Research Paper: An Ethical Dilemma

I have been asked to assist a student with a research paper. I have my own business which includes proposals, legal documents, student papers, brochures, etc., and other forms of communication. My dilemma is:

This student has given me a paper that requires four to six weeks of comprehensive work and is asking for it to be completed within five days. I told her that I would not even consider accepting this assignment because I could not in all honesty work with her to complete this assignment in such a short time.

First of all, her time for interviewing with me and composing the salient parts of the paper are limited.

Secondly, it is to be at least 15 pages long in a particular format, with a variety of instructions from her Professor that require her concentration and input. I have told her that it would be "unethical" for me to accept her money when I know that I won't be able to complete this assignment in such a short time. I told her that without an extension from her Professor - I absolutely could not take her money or attempt to do the paper. What are your thoughts?

I appreciate any feedback you can provide.

Comments from Lyndsay:


Thanks for the interesting question, though I think you have answered the question yourself. The conflict is that you are being asked to do 4-6 weeks worth of work in 5 days and that you are concerned that you will have to drop the quality of your work to meet the impossible deadline.

It is obvious that standards are important to you, as is your reputation. It seems like the only course of action that fits is to request the student to get an extension to the deadline, or to be honest about what you can and can't deliver in the deadline.

Kind Regards

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