What is the phenomenon about ghostwriting like in West Midlands?

“Ghostwriting is a phenomenon defined as an act of creating a work for a client that is then publicly distributed not under the name of the actual author, but that of the client.”

Today, ghostwriters are a huge and mysterious groups wandering in various colleges and Universities. Even in the famous schools, the phenomenon of ghostwriting will happen as well. The main target groups of these ghostwriters are the international students who have difficulties in the local languages and those who are too busy to hand in the schoolwork on time. To face with these ghostwriters, what is the view of students in the West Midlands? And what kind of measures the universities in West Midlands will take?

“Our company provides a kind of annual package service, which is only suitable for the preparatory or undergraduate students, and who must study in business, sociology and other related majors. The company will provide 25000-word writing service to the customers of the annual package service within one year,” said a worker of a ghostwriting agency, who refused to disclose her name and the agency address.

When it comes to the expense of ghostwriting, she told me that the fee of ghostwriting depends on three aspects: the number of words of an article, the deadline of an assignment and the requirements of the work. Sometimes, the price of an urgent assignment will be counted as the 1.4 times of words of the normal one. Besides, during the interview, the ghostwriter admitted, “most of our ghostwriters are current students or new graduates, who often have a thorough understanding of college students’ schoolwork and good at finding target students in the Universities.”

Judy Zhou, a Chinese student studying at Warwick University, said she “always received advertisements from ghostwriters by mails or in some chat groups”. “Sometimes, they asked me about my courses and did some self-promotion. One of my friends once asked a ghostwriter to help his work, but I think the services that they provide are quite expensive and I was not sure that their writings could suit my level and satisfy me. Although I am really busy with my schoolwork sometimes, anyway, I would like to solve these problems on my own rather than turning to a ghostwriter for help.” Faced with questioning, the ghostwriter insisted that their services are quality and quantity guaranteed and they can also help students to do the duplicate checking in order to avoid the punishment from school. At present, however, we still cannot figure out whether the ghostwriter can be 100 percent believed.

Nevertheless, according to the Coventry University, “Using other people’s work (e.g. words, images, etc) as if it were your own amounts to ‘stealing’ the words/ideas/images from real ‘owners’/authors and you can be accused of plagiarism. You should reference/ attribute properly to avoid a charge of plagiarism. The minimum penalty for plagiarism is ‘zero’ for the module; the maximum is exclusion from the university.” Thus, it can be seen that the regulation for plagiarism are really strict to the students and ghostwriting is also a thing that school attaches great importance to.

 

HU YANJUN

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