The grey industry of ghostwriting essays behind “the dead turn in their homework

Recently, a teacher at an overseas university posted on social media that a Chinese student in a class she was teaching had tragically died in a car accident. However, in the weeks following the student’s death, she continued to receive emails and online class assignments from the student without interruption and participated in course quizzes on time.

“The deceased handing in assignments ” phenomenon has sparked public concern about International Students commissioning “ghostwriters ” agencies to write on behalf of their students in this gray industry. During the epidemic, study abroad locations in Europe, Australia and North America have been closing schools and most have switched to online teaching. Hiring “ghostwriters ” to complete online classes and essays, or even to write exams on behalf of students, has increased dramatically. The international students bouncing around the downstream, the midstream ghostwriting agencies and the upstream writers constitute a complex gray industry chain through the writing, checking and revision, and submission of an English essay.

Downstream: “Perfectly graduated” international students

In January 2021, Nan started to pack her luggage for her return home and checked the strategy of staying in the quarantine hotel in her landing city. Although she was worried about the epidemic in her home country and the flight policy was constantly being adjusted and changed, Xiao Nan’s tone still sounded relaxed and the tension that had been on her shoulders for three months was finally lifted. Nan said, “It’s kind of a perfect graduation. “

Only a month ago, Minami was still suffering from multiple reversals of fortune that frightened him. If there hadn’t been an accident, Minami would have graduated in June of 2020. But he had to stay in Australia for another six months because he failed an elective course. Spending a full semester taking a sole class.

“The class wasn’t that difficult. ” Nam commented honestly. The course grading consists of three assignments: a group assignment, a paper, and a report of about 1,000 words. Nan did not pass the group work portion that had been graded, the second assignment was not graded, and the last report was so crucial that he had to achieve at least 70 points to ensure that the class was securely passed.

His lover, who went abroad with Xiao Nan, graduated early at the end of 2019 and has not returned to his home country in order to accompany him. The epidemic abroad is severe, and Xiao Nan feels guilty for his lover and worries about his future. If he fails the course again, he will have to stay abroad against the epidemic and continue to retake it. Even though this Essay is so small that it does not require any data analysis or other technical requirements, without being able to afford any risk, Xiao Nan shifts the pressure she has to face – on the The “ghostwriter”.

For international students, finding someone who can “write for them “It is easy to find people who can write for you. The first thing you need to do is search for “ghostwriter” in WeChat. “The first thing you need to do is to find the right person. Returning home group, second-hand book items group, idle transfer group ……. In the various Australian Chinese circle WeChat groups that Xiao Nan is a part of, there are essay writing promotion messages splashed across the screen almost every five days. Each advertisement has the same service coverage, “Esaay, thesis, thesis whole subject writing; photo answer, on behalf of the examination; semester package, online class on behalf of the repair “, also has the same credence, “G5 (five of the top schools in the UK) Ivy League quality writing teachers, quality and quantity guaranteed package, complete confidentiality, absolutely original, not afraid of checkweighing. “

The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers. The company’s business is a company that has been in the business for a long time, and it is a company that has been in the business for a long time. The company’s business is a very important one.

“From the cases he has sent, it feels very reliable. “Xiao Nan said. After making the request and sending the course courseware, references, additional information from the teacher, 1000 words of English Essay, Xiaonan needs to pay more than 2000 RMB. After booking and paying half of the deposit, when the Writer finishes the article and sends it to Xiaonan, then make up the full cost of ghostwriting.

“Thousands of words The “thousand words” is the market base price of a ghostwritten essay. For example, for a 5,000-word paper, a ghostwriting agency will ask for 5,000 to 6,000 RMB. The ghostwriter Xiao Nan found is considered expensive. “I’d rather spend more money, just to graduate smoothly. “Xiao Nan said. He turned in the assignment before the deadline without any problems. But Xiao Nan didn’t expect the score to come out, not only did it not reach the previously agreed 70 points, but it was even two points short of the passing line.

The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers. The first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what you want to do. The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers. The actual fact is that you can find a lot of people who are not able to get a good deal on a lot of things.

The good thing is that the final score out of the assignment Xiao Nan got a high score, the two failing assignments score pulled up, Xiao Nan was able to graduate smoothly. This small paper also came to the end of its drift after getting a rating of 58 points.

But back to the source of the paper, “Which country is the writer from? Chinese writers or foreigners? What major did you graduate from? Is the person you’re interfacing with an agent who contacts the writer directly, or is he or she only responsible for taking orders overseas to domestic ghostwriting agencies? When asked these questions, Nan looked confused.

This is a gray area that Minami is not familiar with. “About 80% of the international students around me have looked for ghostwriters. Once or twice or many times, as small as a few hundred words of Essay or tens of thousands of words of graduation thesis. The company’s main business is to provide a wide range of products and services to the public. In this hidden underground industry chain, ghostwriting has formed a perfect division of labor system. Even Turnitin – the essay testing system that covers publicly published papers, conference reports and even student assignments from major universities – cannot detect an original ghostwriting assignment by a writer. An academic environment of fairness, integrity and high standards still looks like a mirage, and in the face of a thriving ghostwriting industry, “no university is immune to academic misconduct by its students. ” says Liz Johnson, vice chancellor of Deakin University.

The gray ghostwriting industry is eroding the foundation of fairness in the Education industry.

Clients and agents do not meet, clients and writers do not meet, and writers and agents do not meet. Like most students, Nam has no ability to identify ghostwriting agencies, and he can’t get much more information from this agent who is in one-way contact with him.

However, Nan doesn’t care. “Luckily, it didn’t delay me. Otherwise I would have gone crazy. “Nan still sounded intense when he mentioned it. But he also agreed that “after all, it is the gray industry chain, this loss is dumb to eat, only to swallow. “

Midstream: “receiving single intermediary”, “dispatch single intermediary”, and the intermediary of the intermediary

“Have time? “

“There are. “

“Taking jobs? “

“Pick up. “

Receive the course materials and thesis requirements from the other party, send the document after writing, send the second draft after revising according to the comments received, and receive the document from the other party. Each conversation ends with a reply of “Transferred ” at the end of each conversation. With a new qq account and only one contact, Mabel and the agent of a study abroad writing agency were in constant contact in this concise and tacit way.

In September 2017, Mabel returned home after graduating from her master’s degree in the UK. While she was looking for a job and waiting for an offer, she was bored and thought that there should be a huge demand for ghostwriting papers as international students are almost always catching up on due (handing in assignments and papers) during the Christmas holidays. So, Mabel registered a new QQ account and left her new account under a post for a ghostwriter in the Douban group. Within a few hours, Mabel received a friend request and knew she could make some quick extra money this month.

Mabel is not a complete stranger to writing papers for international students. in 2016, around the same Christmas time, while reviewing literature to write a paper, Mabel got someone to write a small literature review for her because she had about 5 final reports to write for her course. A year later, after a brief background inquiry and a trial draft, Mabel went from being a “client” downstream in the industry chain to being a “client” upstream. downstream in the chain to a “writer Mabel went from being a “client” downstream to being a “writer” upstream.

But whether as an international student looking for an “order-taking agent as an international student looking for an “order-taking agent”, or as a writer to an “order-dispensing agent Mabel knew nothing about the chain between writers and international students, and could only see that the other account was a domestic company when she received her commission. “I’m not sure if this agent I’m working with is a direct match for students and how many writers they have under them. “

Also a mystery are the international students Mabel works with. The agent does not allow Mabel to communicate directly with the international students, and Mabel is not sure about the essay requirements and course materials of the international students, which have to go through several channels of the agent before they reach her. After a moment’s pause, Mabel says the only thing she’s sure of, “But there’s definitely a dark web underneath him. “

In Mabel’s understanding in the past, study abroad ghostwriting agents are rooted overseas where they have access to a large number of international students, find clients and then send them to part-time writers at home to complete the matchmaking between home and abroad. However, the ghostwriting industry has attracted a large number of small and medium-sized agencies, and even small workshop production teams, because of its fast payback cycle, the fact that all transactions can be completed online, and its abundant cash flow. Their entry makes the market grow wildly in a direction that is more difficult to monitor. “International students are weak in English, have a need and are willing to pay. “This is the common perception of all ghostwriters.

With the development of the industry, the links in the chain, from promotion, order taking, writers, checking, after-sales, and quality monitoring, have gradually become more complex. For example, the derivation of “order-taking agents” who only take orders overseas “, and only in the country to meet the writers of the “single agent “. The assignment agents give up looking for clients directly overseas and focus on training writers in China, then cooperate with overseas order-taking agents and split the commission between the two agents to achieve a win-win situation.

John is a Nanjing-based “assignment agency In 2018, John resigned from a second-hand real estate agency and saw the job application information of this company on the Internet. The information showed that this company was no different from other study abroad training institutions, focusing on services such as IELTS TOEFL test coaching, translation and touch-up of application documents and resumes.

It was not until a week after he started working that John realized that this small company with less than 20 employees mainly provided gray services such as ghostwriting, class substitution and exam substitution for international students.

John’s job was simple: to consolidate the needs and information of students sent by the agents who received orders from overseas, and then send them to the company. Even though he is already an employee of the company, John is not sure how many writers there are in the company, “The exact number is known only to the owner of the company. ” John said.

When asked if the writers are all, as advertised in overseas order-taking agencies, “graduates of prestigious schools with more than 10 years of substitute teaching experience The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers. Science writers are generally from domestic college backgrounds, and liberal arts writers are mostly from overseas, mostly Indonesians, and a small number of Europeans and Americans. “

“There are even agents of agents. ” John said, “These people pour orders between overseas order-taking agents and domestic order-dispensing agents. For example, at the end of the semester or during the epidemic, there are especially many orders, and foreign agents receive more orders than they can write. Sometimes the writers are recruited too much, not so many papers to write no work to do. This is when you need intermediaries who integrate the resources the agents have to help the whole market reach a delicate balance. “

In addition, Mabel and John are convinced that there is a dedicated “quality control ” (QualityControl) companies or teams exist. After writing the first draft, Mabel sends the paper to an agent and then gets feedback from the agent. In Mabel’s opinion, the guidance and revisions she received were very professional and should have come from a high level writer. John reveals, “It’s another part of the chain, there are people who are responsible for quality control. They check and guide the writers’ papers and train new writers. The first thing you need to do is to get a good idea of what you’re doing.

Upstream: Grey justice for writers

Sitting on the bed, under the covers, with the computer on your lap and a large bottle of water at your fingertips for refreshment and rest. Pull the thick curtains, light and sound are blocked out. At 10:00 a.m., Baozhu’s mind wakes up in the darkness and tranquility as she begins to write her paper.

From helping our students write their Chinese papers, she has since expanded to international students from outside schools and overseas. Since 2015, Baozhu has been ghostwriting essays for six years now. Unlike writers who are backed by institutions, Baozhu and her partner Dahua started their own ghostwriting work throughout the university during their college years. Today, the process is long established: the

The client provides the paper requirements and the reading material given by the teacher, Baozhu makes a quote, and after receiving a non-refundable deposit from the client, Baozhu starts writing. After the writing is completed, she submits screenshots of the paper (with a small number of content, word count and bibliography list) and then sends the client the full word file when the client has paid the final payment.

Baozhu and Dahua studied at a well-known 985 university in college. The company’s main goal is to help people write their essays for them because they want to meet more beautiful girls. The first year, Dahua help sophomore sister to write papers, a paper in exchange for a meal together. The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers. The company’s main goal is to provide the best possible service to its customers.

The company’s reputation is such that the teachers in the school even know that Dahua is doing ghostwriting. Some teachers have heard about what he did, painstakingly advised him, “have this ability, this talent, do something bad ah! The reason behind Dahua’s brazenness is his knowledge of the Behind Dahua’s brazenness is his familiarity with the “rules”. “Help a person to write a paper will be caught, but when you help the whole school students to write papers, but safe. If I were to break out, it would be a scandal for the prestigious school. So the teachers will not find me trouble. “

The busiest time, Dahua at the same time to take 10 papers in writing, a day can be a total of 10,000 words to advance. The third year of the dissertation period, Dahua early hoarded ten 4,000-word paper, sold in the circle of friends, a night earned 4,000 yuan. Daily average monthly income, but also tens of thousands of yuan.

Baoju’s busy schedule is similar to Daehwa’s. The end-of-course assignments for international students are usually 3,000 to 5,000 words and at least 10 references. Baozhu has a double degree in journalism and business, and then went abroad to study politics. The range of papers that can be written for her covers journalism and communication, sociology, politics, finance, law and business. The greatest demand for final papers is from November to March and from June to August every year. During this time, Baozhu can write six to seven papers a month in different directions.

While studying, the three majors she pursued had a perfect GPA of 4, and Baozhu had a GPA of 3.5 or higher in all of them. Because of her solid academic skills, Baozhu was able to guarantee a grade of B and B or higher on every paper she wrote on her behalf. Relying on word-of-mouth and all the positive feedback, her clientele is getting wider and wider, and her return rate is very high. “I can say that there are several people whose master’s degrees I read back. ” Baozhu says, as AI does, making it impossible to tell whether the emotions mixed in with the words are sarcasm or indifference.

Every time a new customer is added, Baozhu will first look at his circle of friends to understand the background information of the customer. Some people will post some very hard study content in their friend circle, or photos of traveling around the world. The details of life are hidden in them, and Baozhu will evaluate the economic status of the international student in her mind. For example, Switzerland, Scandinavia and other big cities are relatively expensive, she will pay attention to whether the client will go to similar places, what are the common items to play, or photos of hotels, etc. On such a basis, Baozhu then makes the service and quotes.

Dahua said it more directly, “We will tailor the price to the customer according to his consumption level. Default international students are fat sheep, not to slaughter them to slaughter who. “Dahua finished by adding that “Sometimes it’s really not our greed to collect money, we are convinced that this money we take, will be more useful than in their pockets. “

“Does it feel like you’re doing something unjust? ” In answer to this question, Mabel answered, without hesitation “Not at all. “This is the consensus among writers: more online classes in North America, more assignments in the UK. A one-year taught master’s degree in the UK is expensive with few hours and is located at the bottom of the international student contempt chain. Having studied in the UK for a year, Mabel has long been surprised by the phenomenon of ghostwriting. “Some of them haven’t even had a single class. ” Mabel said with a big smile.

In Baozhu’s opinion, ghostwriting is a well-paid and interesting piece of extra money. Some of the paper topics seem interesting to Baozhu, and new things are learned when reviewing the literature. Baozhu says that through training, she has improved her ability to build a framework and think logically.

Baozhu has no moral judgment, either on herself or on her clients, “90% of the clients have little pursuit of academics, and feel more like they are looking for a legitimate reason to experience life and Gold plating by the way. But we are a very business relationship, I don’t care about their life abroad or their growth. Besides, having the financial and psychological capacity to choose a ghostwriter is considered a form of competence. “

Compared to Mabel’s indifference and Baozhu’s calm “professional “, when it comes to this issue, Dahua is a bit agitated. “These people are bastards in the class, their class barriers are insurmountable. If you don’t weed them out when you’re reading, when can you? If you can’t write a paper, it can only mean one thing, you shouldn’t be in that position, in that school. It’s that simple. “

But this self-consciousness didn’t last long. Once, Da Hua complained to Bao Zhu, “I helped an international student write his dissertation, and he didn’t even know what the literature review was! ” Baozhu replied to him coldly that “Isn’t it still our fault? “

The shock of that remark to Da Hua persisted. From then on, Dahua began to gradually withdraw from the industry. For those who approached him with their needs, Dahua would provide pro bono coaching and send some relevant materials.

Now, when doing ghostwriting “robbing the rich to help the poor The “chivalry” is gone, and Dahua describes the job as “fighting the evil dragon for too long, and becoming an evil dragon myself. Trying to get the fruits of justice through an unjust process is ultimately wrong. “

On several occasions, Dahua saw his own papers being published in journals, but they were not signed by him, not even by his clients. Dahua found it funny that those so-called “professional “The journal, it turns out to be paid to publish. Good laugh and then a pity, “the environment is not a person I messed up, and they are not ready to purify now. I came like this, I left when still like this. “

In January 2021, during an interview, Baozhu said she is writing an English paper on political science right now, and relaxing by writing papers when she goes to work to touch the fish. Information about ghostwriting ads continues to flash in Xiao Nan’s Chinese crowd, reminding international students that they have such an option. In the latest one, a ghostwriting agent writes in slightly playful language, “When you are in a hurry to catch a plane, go out, date, can’t write, too lazy to write can always drop me la! “This is closely followed by an ad from another ghostwriter agent, who ends with the following statement “I wish you all a happy life and success in your studies. “