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?
- If you are a Tutor, advise the Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator of your suspicions about the authenticity of a submission.
- 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.
- The Senior Tutor or Subject Coordinator should contact the ABP Academic Support Office, with evidence, for advice on next steps. Please refer to this page for details and links.