Ghost Writing by Anonymous Service

Ghost writing is a form of ‘contract cheating’ that involves students asking for, or accepting an invitation for, someone else to produce work that is submitted for assessment, as their own work. A ghost writer may be commissioned from an anonymous service.

Linda is thinking about commissioning someone to help her complete an assessment task.

  • How can I detect ghost writing by an anonymous service?
    • Significantly exceeds the standard of work previously submitted.
    • Significantly exceeds staff expectations of the cohort’s skill and experience.
    • Couldn’t reasonably be completed within the time-frame
    • Is submitted quickly after an extension is requested and / or requested.
    • Answers the question without using any in class examples.
    • References texts not available in English.
    • Has missing sections, in particular the requirement for self-reflection on the task.
    • Inconsistent language, tone and / or grammar in different parts of the task.
    • The ghost writer has reported the student to the faculty for nonpayment.

    NB: Ghost writers who are commissioned generally create bespoke solutions for assignments making it difficult, but not impossible, to detect.

  • What steps should I take?
    1. If you are a Tutor, advise the Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator of your suspicions about the authenticity of a submission.
    2. Collect evidence of the suspected misconduct, without accusing the student of engaging in misconduct. This should include:
    • A copy of the student’s submission that highlights the suspicious content, and
    • Other examples of the student’s work to set a ‘benchmark standard’ and / or
    • Notes from a meeting with the student where they were asked to explain the formation of ideas and/or conclusions.3.
    1. The Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator should contact ABP Academic Service Office, with evidence, for advice on next steps.