Academic Ghostwriting

Ghostwriting in the academic environment is a topic that has been in the media and headlines again and again in recent years. This topic has received new impetus, not least through automatic text creation with AI. The first US states, such as New York, have now banned AI in schools so that students do not use it in exams. Think back to the accusations of plagiarism that some politicians have to face. Whether some of them were commissioned works? We don’t know. While academic ghostwriting is an efficient way to save time and resources for some, for others it looks morally and ethically questionable.

In this article, we will deal with the different aspects of ghostwriting and highlight the positive and negative sides.

Academic ghostwriting is ultimately a service that can be used meaningfully or abusively in many ways on the educational path to graduation. Among other things, there are legal aspects that should be taken into account. In this article, we will examine to what extent ghostwriting could be legal or illegal in principle, and what penalties and consequences there may be. But be careful, no legal advice! If in doubt, consult a lawyer.

Another important aspect that we will look at is the benefits of ghostwriting. There are people who have difficulty writing or are under time pressure and see ghostwriting as support. Improving language skills can also be an advantage.

Finally, we will also deal with the disadvantages of ghostwriting. There are risks associated with ghostwriting that can lead to the revocation of academic degrees and reputational damage. The loss of the learning process is also a disadvantage that should be addressed in detail.

Although there are many different opinions on the subject of ghostwriting, we hope that this article provides a comprehensive and balanced picture. We invite you to examine our arguments and form your own opinion. You are also welcome to share them in the comments below the article.

Academic ghostwriting from a legal point of view

The legal aspects of academic ghostwriting are complex and depend on various factors. Here are some important points:

Are academic ghostwriting offers legal?

  • As a rule, it is perfectly legitimate and also legal to offer professional ghostwriting . Ghostwriting providers allow their clients to have academic papers written by experienced writers without having to spend a lot of time or skills.
  • Only in a few countries restrictions on the type of work that ghostwriters are allowed to create, as well as the way this work can be presented.

Is it legal to submit falsified exams?

  • In any case, the submission of falsified examinations is not permitted. This applies to pupils as well as to students and scientists.
  • Filing fake work can lead to serious consequences, including revocation of degree, dismissal from the job, and even criminal consequences.

How is academic ghostwriting used legally?

  • There are a few ways in which ghostwriting offers can be legally used by pupils, students and scientists.
  • One option is to use ghostwriting services to create drafts or rough versions of works. These designs can then be revised and improved by the students or scientists to obtain a unique and original work. This is helpful for writer’s block.
  • Another option is to use ghostwriting services to conduct research or write specific chapters or sections of a work. It is important to note that all sources used and assigned paperwork must be marked correctly and transparently in order to avoid accusations of plagiarism and to behave legally.

Ethical concerns: ghostwriting and the pretence of qualifications

Ghostwriting and the impact on third parties

Academic ghostwriting, in which a fake document is submitted as a term paper, bachelor thesis or master thesis, can have an impact on third parties. One possible consequence is that the person who has the text written qualifies dishonestly and thereby disadvantages other people. Since the work is usually not recognizable as a fake , it can in turn be used by others as a source, which leads to false references. This harms not only other people, but also the educational institutions concerned, possibly employers, competitors or customers who rely on the sincere qualification of the ghostwriting client.

If someone has a term paper or thesis written to pretend to have the necessary knowledge and skills, this can lead to problems in the later job. If this person is dependent on the wrong qualifications and can only provide inadequate services later, consequential damage is inevitable. It may also penalise other candidates for the same post who actually possess the necessary qualifications.

Another example is when someone has an exam paper written to pretend they passed the exam themselves. This can lead to problems for reputation up to civil and criminal consequences. If the person is later exposed, then this will usually severely affect their career. If the person is in the spotlight because he holds a public office or a high position, then a media shitstorm is hardly avoidable. This affects all areas of work and private life.

Responsibility of the academic ghostwriter

The ghostwriter’s responsibility is to work diligently and ensure that all materials they create meet the requirements and expectations of their clients. They must also grant licensing rights to their customers and ensure that they indicate the legal use of copyrighted material used in the content they write.

In addition, they must also adhere to ethical standards when it comes to producing high-quality content for their customers. This also includes informing the client of legal consequences and scientific and social responsibility. As a rule, ghostwriting agencies contractually exclude that their work is submitted as an examination service. Instead, they provide a template that can be used for practice purposes or for substantial revision and inspiration.

Ghostwriting and the integrity of academic work

Ghostwriting is becoming more common in academia – and it raises questions about the integrity of scientific work. On the one hand, ghostwriters are entrusted with writing research papers, essays and other written work without proper recognition. Here, the ghostwriter misses the opportunity on his own reputation, which, however, is remunerated.

On the other hand, the use of ghostwriters can also lead to a decrease in the quality of scientific work and research work by students. The test persons miss the opportunity to deal with the tested topic themselves in the necessary depth. Ghostwriting can also lead to problems with plagiarism and copyright infringement if the ghostwriter is not properly recognized for his work. This aspect is important both for licensing reasons and with regard to the examination regulations and rules of the respective examination institute.

Pro-arguments: Time savings & increased efficiency

Ghostwriting as an opportunity for people with difficulties in writing

Ghostwriting is a way for people with writing difficulties to overcome them and compensate for their disadvantage. It offers them the opportunity to express their thoughts and ideas and overcome writer’s block .

Commissioned work then serves as a template for students who have difficulty starting or finishing their own projects. In addition, ghostwriting in the academic environment can provide people with disabilities with access to the same opportunities as everyone else. This is similar to editing, which brings a text into a form customary for the purpose.

Ghostwriting as support for time pressure

Ghostwriting is a solution for all those who need to finish their bachelor thesis or master thesis shortly before the deadline. With the help of a ghostwriter, students can do their housework on time, even if there is no time for personal or professional reasons.

Academic ghostwriting is often commissioned due to time pressure, with students benefiting from the expertise of professional authors and editors who can quickly put together high-quality content. Ghostwriters have the experience and skills to create well-researched and well-structured work that meets all academic requirements. In this way, students can be sure that their work will be accepted by their professors.

The fact that clients of this kind are legally on black ice and usually even violate the contract for the ghostwriter does not need to be mentioned here, which has already been explained above. Nevertheless, this is a common purpose of academic ghostwriting.

Ghostwriting and improving language skills

Ghostwriting is ultimately also a great opportunity for foreign students who want to improve their language skills in academic practice. Because it allows them to practice their foreign language and learn the right formulations, grammar and syntax from experts in the field. Ghostwriting only has a great learning effect if it helps the student to become more familiar with the language he wants to learn – which should only be the case as long as it serves as a template that is at least extensively adapted before the result is submitted. Since lecturers and professors usually know the foreign student at least superficially, it would be noticeable anyway if the document is error-free. Therefore, no foreign speaker can avoid completely rewriting the document.

Through the responsible use of ghostwriting, foreign students can significantly improve their language skills and practice mastering their language of study.

Counter-arguments: possible consequences

Revocation of academic degrees and reputational damage

Academic degrees are a source of pride and recognition for many people. If they have been obtained unjustly, titles of any kind can also be revoked. For example, if it turns out that the graduate has used ghostwriting services to obtain his qualification. This revocation can have serious consequences and damage the reputation of the individual immensely.

The revocation of an academic degree can be a severe blow to those who have worked hard for it. It could mean loss of employment opportunities or career advancement, as well as social stigma and humiliation. Depending on the degree of degree, any title, whether doctoral thesis, master’s thesis or bachelor’s thesis can be declared invalid and the university degree revoked.

Plagiarism and the risk of detection

Ghostwriting also carries a significant risk of discovery for students who are still on their way to the academic title. If a student is found to be using ghostwriting services, they may face expulsion from their university or college or receive the worst grade for a job.

The risk of discovery increases when students don’t pay attention to who they hire to write their papers. In any case, it is advisable to do a plagiarism check before submitting any work. Services for this can be found in abundance on the Internet. You scan a text for possible copies. If certain paragraphs, sentences or phrases already occur elsewhere, then you can check the source, if necessary add a source reference or change the wording.

Academic ghostwriting and the learning process

When you hire a ghostwriter, you are essentially bypassing the process of learning by doing. Writing something ourselves requires a lot of practice and dedication from us over time, which allows us to acquire a qualification or expertise in this field.

Without this learning process, it is difficult for a person to really understand how to write a work professionally and stylistically. Through research, you also expand your expertise, experience marginal aspects of your own field of expertise and can read the work of colleagues in order to grow with it.


In this article, we have dealt with the different aspects of ghostwriting and highlighted the positive and negative sides. We have seen that ghostwriting is handled differently in Germany, Austria and Switzerland and that there are both legal and moral and ethical aspects that need to be considered.

On the one hand, there are the advantages of ghostwriting, such as saving time and assistance in writing, improving language skills, on the other hand, there are the disadvantages, such as the risk of discovery, deprivation of academic degrees and reputational damage, loss of the learning process.

It is important to be aware that academic ghostwriting can be morally and ethically questionable and that it can have long-term consequences. We advise you to think carefully about whether ghostwriting is the only and right way, and in case of doubt to stick to an ethical and legal way. Ultimately, we should always remember that writing academic papers is an important part of the learning process and personal development. With this in mind, we should focus on improving our skills and knowledge.

This can be done in a legal and ethical way. At the same time, it is important to be aware that ghostwriting can be an option to gain support and save time. However, before deciding on ghostwriting, it is essential to weigh carefully and ensure that you adhere to personally defensible, ethical and legal principles.

Do you have further questions? You can find out more about academic ghostwriting by searching the Internet, for example, for “ghostwriting service provider”, “academic ghostwriting” or “ghostwriter for master’s theses”. Thank you for your interest and welcome your comments.