Ghostwriting is at the latest since the plagiarism allegations against the ministers Guttenberg (2011) and Schavan (2013) were ruchbar nationwide, no longer denying. Newly submitted scientific texts, regardless of whether they are a bachelor’s thesis, master’s thesis or dissertation, are subject to a general suspicion from the outset. If the given academic achievement was also provided by the student himself, then the question is often unspoken in the room.

Many ghostwriting agencies are acting in the gray market, trying to get students and postgraduates to know that ghostwriting is not that bad. Apparently, the thesis is just a click away from the order. In this shadow world, the massive risks of ghostwriting are systematically reduced.

Prologue to ghostwriting

Ghostwriting in times of Guttenberg & Co. should not really be an issue among students and doctoral candidates. Warnings and reports on plagiarism allegations and the consequences are enough. By means of a plagiarism check with a plagiarism software, a fraud can be detected quickly anyway. Nevertheless, there are always students who can not resist the temptation and entrust so-called academic ghostwriters with writing their scientific texts.

But one by one. First, the question is what academic ghostwriting is at all – and, given many misunderstandings in this field, what academic ghostwriting is not. Afterwards it should be clarified whether it is legal and only morally questionable to employ a ghostwriter or if this is legally illegal.

And in the event that such a commission would be illegal, the follow-up question would be, what consequences the client would have to face in this case.

Last but not least, do not close your eyes to reality. Despite the known risks, the market for academic ghostwriting is growing. In view of these risks, the question is whether there are actually worthwhile alternatives for hiring a ghostwriter. This article tries to bring light into the darkness. You can find more about plagiarism in the article Plagiarism.

Ghostwriting: manifestations of bachelor and master theses

If you approach the subject of ghostwriting, you should first of all deal with the various manifestations.

Of course, politicians continue to write their speeches and lectures by professional ghostwriters. Some of them have even made it to some celebrity, such as Klaus Harprecht, the speechwriter of the Federal Chancellor Willy Brandt (“Daring more democracy”) or Theodore Sorensen, the speechwriter of US President John F. Kennedy (“Do not ask what Your country can do for you, ask what you can do for your country. “).

It should also be clear that many companies source the content for company blogs, newsletters, websites etc. from external providers – ie ghostwriters – and do not even make the effort to regularly fill these channels with content.

Yes, and some celebrities have already gratefully used the services of a ghostwriter, for example to write a book or a novel, especially when their own abilities are limited or the talents of the celebrity are in another field.

The ghostwriter – the unknown being

Contrary to the literal translation, Ghostwriters are extremely lively. They are contract writers who make their abilities available to other persons and refrain from paying their names. Sometimes they work for publishers, for celebrities, politicians or companies. In some cases, the name of the author may be mentioned in the imprint or the ghostwriter – for example, a well-known journalist – appears as a co-author. He can also be honored in the form of a thanksgiving.

Many of these manifestations of ghostwriting are completely unproblematic, socially acceptable and legally unobjectionable. Only the so-called academic ghostwriting is an exception, although ghostwriting is also more widespread in the world of science than is generally expected.

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