Ghostwriting Student Admission Essays a Growing Trend

Ghostwriting material for use by those applying for admission to academic programs is a growing niche, both for start-up businesses and getting a job. Of course, as Bloomberg Business Week points out, it's also unethical.

Yet, the demand for this service is skyrocketing. A whole cottage industry of these kinds of ghostwriters has sprung up. For a fee, they will also research and write your term paper, master thesis, or even dissertation.

Some of those searching for the right ghostwriter will place a confidential kind of help wanted ad on Craigslist. However, a clever investigative journalist could easily smoke them out, turn them into the authorities at their school, and make a name with the expose. The more cautious surf the Web looking for ghostwriters and academic ghostwriting services. They carefully probe about price and turnaround time.

Those offering the services usually frame them as "coaching." They advertise globally, ranging from online sites to the classifieds in print publications. Increasing demand is coming from China.

In addition, they recruit for assistants. To qualify, you usually need to have already completed one degree, at least for the college-level assignments. For the more sophisticated tasks, be it an admission essay for medical school or a 90-page master's research paper, you would need an advanced degree, though not necessarily in any particular field. Many of those hiring seem to agree that a lot of higher education qualifies you for just about any kind of ghostwriting.

Of course, there is danger involved for both provider of the service and the user. In addition to being outed as doing more than coaching, there is the possibility of the ghostwriter being arrested for fraud and being sued for malpractice. You never know if the customer is an undercover university official. If you are doing this in addition to your regular job, you could lose the latter. For the student, there could be suspension, denial of the granting of the degree, and no references from professors. Both could wind up all over the Internet as symbols of the decline of American values.

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