Ghosting Writing Student Papers

Photo_8295_landscape_largeIn today's Chronicle, a ghost writer of student papers tells all.

The request came in by e-mail around 2 in the afternoon. It was from a previous customer, and she had urgent business. I quote her message here verbatim (if I had to put up with it, so should you): "You did me business ethics propsal for me I need propsal got approved pls can you will write me paper?"

Ed Dante says that he works for a company that produces papers for students. He's written over 5,000 pages of scholarly papers, including several masters' thesis and a dissertation in sociology, all for a fee. He finds ghost writing theology papers particularly amusing because of the morality gap.

I like seminary students. They seem so blissfully unaware of the inherent contradiction in paying somebody to help them cheat in courses that are largely about walking in the light of God and providing an ethical model for others to follow.

So, do you think this guy is for real? He participates in this fraud with the glee of a 14 year old hacker. Like a true anarchist, he snickers about taking down an institution, which he disdains. He is a cretin of the highest order.

12 thoughts on “Ghosting Writing Student Papers

  1. The deal appears to be that students will pay thousands of dollars to universities, and the universities will give them pieces of paper that increase their earnings by tens of thousands. ‘Doing the work’ is an optional extra.
    Surely this is worthy of disdain, and worth taking down?

  2. Most anarchists, in practice, are cretins. Which is too bad, since anarchism is an interesting ideology, with some real possibilities. (Incidentally, I call fake on the article. Not fake on the activity it reports; I wouldn’t be at all surprised to find it mostly accurate. But the author’s voice just rang false to me all the way through. The bit about seminary students was just a tad much.)

  3. “But the author’s voice just rang false to me all the way through. The bit about seminary students was just a tad much.)”
    Yeah. From what I hear, you see a lot more cheating in the required courses (like Ethics 101), where students have to get their tickets punched to get their actual degrees. I would bet there is less cheating in the academic areas that students have actually chosen for themselves and genuinely love. I don’t know that I’ve ever heard of a philosophy major cheating in a philosophy course.

  4. I’m with you, Russell. And I called fake on the number over in comments at the Chronicle. The 5000 pages claimed works out to about 1000 words an hour for every hour of every eight-hour working day of the year. No way, no how.
    In rough terms, it’s four times the number of words in The Lord of the Rings. Not in one year.
    The Chronicle says the story came to them via a literary agent. It sounds like “Dante” could be shopping a book proposal. If it gets published, look for it to be shot down for gross inaccuracy and/or plagiarism within two months of publication.

  5. “The 5000 pages claimed works out to about 1000 words an hour for every hour of every eight-hour working day of the year. No way, no how.
    In rough terms, it’s four times the number of words in The Lord of the Rings. Not in one year.”
    Plagiarism and self-plagiarism?

  6. I share RAF’s and Doug’s suspicion. I’m sure that somebody could do that many pages, but they’d have to specialize in a few areas so they could repeat blocks of text. Except, there is software to detect that kind of plagiarism now and he specifically says he wrote on any topic that came up. In addition, the line he had about “your Ivy League graduate thesis was riding on the work ethic and perspicacity of a public-university slacker” is just too close to dust-jacket copy.
    If he is making money, it is from the ESL students that he mentions a few times in passing. However, “I over charged some guy who doesn’t speak English and he got a B- because his lab work was good and the T.A. knew he couldn’t speak English” doesn’t make a very enticing article.

  7. Most anarchists, in practice, are cretins.
    Is Paul’s slam on the Cretans the only ethnic slur in the New Testament that wasn’t either rebutted (e.g. the Samaritans) or metaphorical (e.g. Whore of Babylon)?

  8. “If he is making money, it is from the ESL students that he mentions a few times in passing.”
    That sounds right. I’ve heard that you have to be extremely cautious about not admitting foreign students (particularly East Asians) purely on the strength of writing samples.
    This reminds me that I need to hang out my ESL tutoring shingle after the holidays.

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