Getting somebody else to write an essay for you in exchange for money will soon be made illegal in England.
So-called 'essay mills' see students paying money to a service and getting an essay back in return - allowing the pupil to submit an assignment without necessarily having done the work.
Students can stipulate the topic, number of pages and the timeframe.
The ban will make it a criminal offence to provide, arrange or advertise these services to any students in post-16 and higher education.
Minister for Skills Alex Burghart said: “Essay mills are completely unethical and profit by undermining the hard work most students do. We are taking steps to ban these cheating services.
“We have also announced a new measure to make sure all young people receive broader careers guidance so everyone can get the advice that’s right for them.”
The move comes as part of the Skills and Post-16 Education Bill.
Banning charged essay writing services will safeguard the academic integrity and standards of educational institutions in England, the government said.
Ministers insist it will protect students from falling prey to the deceptive marketing techniques of contract cheating services.
The bill will enter its report stage in the House of Lords next Tuesday.