Peer Supported Ghost Writing

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 a student’s peer who offers work they have already completed.

Jerome is tempted to buy an assignment off another student who completed the same subject during a previous semester.

  • How can I detect peer supported ghost writing?

    In the past, staff have suspected peer supported ghost writing in assignments that:

    • Significantly exceeds the standard of work previously submitted.
    • Turnitin reports high or very low percentage of similarity with other sources. (The ‘classic plagiarism’ page explains why this signals academic misconduct).
    • 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.
    • Answer the question with examples provided in previous semesters.
    • References websites that are either no longer available, or access dates that are older than three months.
    • 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.
  • 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.
    1. 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.