Is It Cheating If You Use a Ghostwriter?

Is It Cheating If You Use a Ghostwriter?

Ghostwriting has always been a controversial topic, especially when it comes to academic writing. Some people consider it cheating, while others see it as a legitimate practice.

In this post, we will discuss the practice of ghostwriting including its pros and cons, and try to answer the question: is it cheating if you use a ghostwriter?

What Is Ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is a practice in which a writer creates content that is officially credited to someone else. Ghostwriters are commonly hired to write books, articles, and speeches for people who do not have the time or expertise to do it themselves. They are often hired by celebrities, politicians, and business executives who want to write a book or give a speech but lack the writing skills or time to do so.

The ghostwriter’s work is usually kept anonymous and credited to the person who hired them. Furthermore, these professionals can write anything from essays, books, articles, blog posts, speeches, and even social media posts. 

Robert Harris, a notable ghostwriter, once wrote that:

“A ghost who has only a lay knowledge of the subject will be able to keep asking the same questions as the lay reader, and will therefore open up the potential readership of the book to a much wider audience.”

Why do People Use Ghostwriters?

People use ghostwriters for many reasons. Some individuals may not have the necessary writing skills or experience to produce high-quality content, while others may not have the time to write due to other commitments. Businesses and organizations may also use ghostwriters to produce content for their marketing and advertising campaigns.

Additionally, the practice is very popular among college and university students. You can read more about how these services help students in this article. However, it is often referred to as custom writing. In this case, students pay custom writing companies to complete their writing assignments. They can help with different types of papers including essays, research papers, term papers, annotated bibliographies, theses, dissertations, and virtually any other type of coursework.

At Freelance Essays, we have cheap custom ghostwriting professionals who can take care of all your academic needs. We provide the perfect solution to students who need to save time and effort or those who lack relevant subject expertise and English language proficiency. Check out our website to understand what type of services we offer and our charges, which are the most reasonable in the industry.

Types of Ghostwriting

There are different types of ghostwriting, including:

Book Ghostwriting: This involves writing a book on behalf of an author. The professional may be hired to write the entire book or a portion of it. However, they are not given credit for having written the book.

Article Ghostwriting: It involves writing articles for individuals or organizations. The articles may be published under the client’s name or as anonymous pieces. Similarly, the one who actually writes the article is not given credit, since the work is published as belonging to the person who paid for the writing services.

Speech Ghostwriting: This involves writing speeches for individuals, such as politicians, business executives, or public figures. The writer may be hired to write a single speech or a series of speeches. Some of the most notable speeches in history were written by professional ghostwriters. In this forum on Quora, you will discover that some of the most notable speeches in history were actually ghostwritten.

Academic Ghostwriting: It involves students hiring professional writers who are subject experts to complete their writing assignments for them. Furthermore, the students submit the work as their own. For instance, they can hire writers to help with essays and research papers, are any other type of coursework.

Advantages of Using a Ghostwriter

  1. Time-saving

One of the primary advantages of using a ghostwriter is the time-saving aspect. Writing a book, article, essay, or speech takes a lot of time, and not everyone has the luxury of spending hours writing. By hiring a ghostwriter, you can save a considerable amount of time that can be invested in other essential tasks. Besides, in the case of students, they may be wanting better grades, but lack the knowledge and expertise to write a paper that will earn them higher grades. In other cases, students lack the relevant English language proficiency, thus using a ghostwriting service allows them to compete with their peers.

  1. Expertise

Ghostwriters are professionals who are experts in their fields. They have years of experience in writing and can provide high-quality content that meets your requirements. If you want to write a book or an article on a particular topic, hiring a ghostwriter can ensure that you get the best quality content. They know how to write the paper properly, including knowing the type of language to use.

  1. Confidentiality

Ghostwriters maintain the confidentiality of their clients. They sign non-disclosure agreements, which means that they cannot reveal their clients’ identities or the fact that they have written for them. This can be especially important for high-profile clients who want to maintain their privacy. It is also beneficial for students who may not want to be accused of academic dishonesty because of using a third party to write their papers.

  1. Timeliness

Another advantage of using ghostwriting services is timeliness. This is particularly important when one needs to submit an assignment or a particular paper on time, yet lacks the expertise to write a paper fast. In these instances, these professionals come in handy since they can be able to write fast owing to their experience and subject knowledge. They’re even better at doing research, so they can be able to write a paper quicker than you can.

Disadvantages of Using a Ghostwriter

  1. Cost

Hiring a ghostwriter can be expensive, especially if you want high-quality content. These writing professionals charge based on their experience, the type of content, and the amount of research required. If you are on a tight budget, hiring a ghostwriter may not be a feasible option. For instance, for academic ghostwriters, the least that you can expect to pay is around $7 per page, and this may only apply to high school papers that have very long deadlines.

  1. Lack of personal touch

When you hire a ghostwriter, you are essentially outsourcing the writing process. This means that the content may lack your personal touch and style. If you want your content to reflect your personality, using these services may not be the best option.

  1. Ethical concerns

Some people view ghostwriting as unethical. They believe that it is cheating to take credit for someone else’s work. This is especially true when it comes to academic writing, where the goal is to demonstrate your own knowledge and expertise.

  1. Risk of being caught

This is particularly important in the academic world. If you hire someone to write your paper for you and your instructor finds out, you can get into trouble and you may face the consequences associated with academic dishonesty, which may include failing the course, suspension, or even expulsion in the worst case scenario.

Is It Illegal to Use a Ghostwriter?

No, it is not illegal to use a ghostwriter. The practice is legitimate and it is widely accepted in the publishing industry. As long as the writer is credited appropriately, there are no legal issues.

In fact, there are no laws that specifically prohibit the use of ghostwriters. However, it is important to note that some forms of ghostwriting may be illegal especially if it involves practices such as writing someone else’s signature or forging documents.

However, you need to verify with your country-specific laws to establish the contexts where ghostwriting is acceptable and legal and the ones where it is not. For instance, some countries have harsh laws regarding academic ghostwriting.

Is It Ethical to Use a Ghostwriter?

The answer to this question depends on the context. In some cases, using a ghostwriter can be ethical. For example, if you are a busy executive who wants to write a book, using a ghostwriter can be a practical solution. However, in other cases, using a ghostwriter can be unethical, especially when it comes to academic writing. It is important to consider the context and the purpose of the writing before deciding whether to use a ghostwriter.

Furthermore, the answer to this question is subjective and depends on who you ask. Some people believe that using a ghostwriter is unethical because it is deceptive and misleading. They argue that when someone hires a ghostwriter, they are essentially taking credit for work that they did not do themselves. This can be especially problematic in academic settings where honesty and integrity are highly valued.

On the other hand, some people believe that using a ghostwriter is ethical because it is a legitimate business arrangement that benefits both parties. They argue that ghostwriting provides a valuable service to people who lack the time or skills to write something themselves. As long as the ghostwriter is paid fairly for their work and the client is aware of the arrangement, there is nothing inherently unethical about it.

Is Ghostwriting Academic Misconduct?

Yes, it can be considered academic misconduct in certain contexts. For example, if a student hires a ghostwriter to write their essay or dissertation, they are essentially committing plagiarism and violating academic integrity. This can have serious consequences, including failing the assignment, failing the course, or even being expelled from school.

Similarly, if a researcher hires a ghostwriter to write their research paper or article, this can be considered research misconduct. It can undermine the integrity of the research and lead to serious consequences, such as the retraction of the paper or the loss of funding for the research project.

Nonetheless, from my personal view, it may be a necessary form of academic dishonesty depending on the circumstances and context. For instance, if you’re in full-time employment and have a family you have to take care of, would you rather spend much of your time writing essays, rather than going to work or attending to your family? What if you’re an ESL student who is experiencing a disadvantage due to your lack of English language proficiency? Will you stand back and watch your peers get better grades while you’re almost failing the unit? 

In such a case, I would personally pay for a paper to be written.

What Are the Consequences of Ghostwriting?

The consequences of ghostwriting can vary depending on the context and the severity of the offense. In academic settings, the consequences can be severe, including failing grades, expulsion, and even legal action.

In professional settings, the consequences may be less severe, but can still include damage to one’s reputation and loss of credibility.

For example, if a politician is caught using a ghostwriter to write their speeches or articles, this can damage their reputation and make them appear dishonest or insincere.

Similarly, if a business leader is caught using a ghostwriter to write their book or memoir, this can undermine their credibility and make them appear less authentic.

Alternatives to Ghostwriting

If you do not want to use a ghostwriter, there are alternative options available. Here are some options:

  1. Write the content yourself: If you have the time and the skills, you can write the content yourself. This will not only save you money, but it will also allow you to develop your own writing skills.
  2. Use a writing coach: A writing coach can help you develop your writing skills and provide guidance and feedback on your writing.
  3. Use a content writing service: A content writing service can provide you with high-quality content at a reasonable price. These services employ professional writers who specialize in various types of content, such as blog posts, articles, and whitepapers.
  4. Use a copy editor: A copy editor can help you improve the quality of your writing by correcting errors and improving the clarity and coherence of your writing.

In conclusion, ghostwriting is a controversial practice that raises many ethical and legal questions. While it may be a legitimate business arrangement in certain contexts, such as writing speeches or books for public figures, it can also be considered academic or research misconduct in other contexts. It is important for individuals and organizations to carefully consider the consequences of using ghostwriters and to ensure that they are acting ethically and legally at all times.


  • Felix Kairanya

    Felix is an experienced academic writing professional with a proven track record of working in the staffing and recruiting industry. He possess a range of skills, including academic writing, data entry, editing, project management, and creative writing. Additionally, he has a Master of Business Administration (MBA) with a focus on Business Administration and Management. Felix is a competent academic writer who has diverse set of abilities and qualifications and can help you complete your paper within a short deadline.