The progress of the developed world to a large extent depends upon the research culture that is instilled in students in their tertiary education.

They are taught to examine, isolate, understand, correlate and solve problems in society. As a result, the research conducted in US universities benefits the society around it. Unfortunately in Pakistan, most of our institutes fail in imparting the research culture to their students. Students are completely unaware of the ethics of research culture. So, when the time comes for them to actually do research, they have to find a ghostwriter to write it for them. And make no mistake, this happens at every level.

In a class of 15 students, one freelancer would have written for at least 5 of them

How much does it cost to hire a ghostwriter?

Libraries of most of the universities in our country are piled up by such research works that are produced by the ghost writers for Rs 80,000 for MPhil Thesis and Rs 200,000 for PhD Thesis. Within the span of 5 to 6 years these ghost writers can make a hefty penny. The HEC (Higher Education Commission) does have a very strict policy on plagiarism but it lack the system to check ensure ghostwriting isn’t taking place.

How do ghost writers actually work?

At the beginning of any thesis, students are asked to write down a proposal with problem statement, research questions and the references that they want to use to complete their research. It’s at this stage that the students start exploring different online websites to hire the writers. For instance, websites such as and can be full of ghostwriters. Students just have to give the details of their thesis, like word count, in how many days they want the completion, referencing style and so on. And the Ghost writer is hired. He or she will write down a proposal after which the students do the quick read through to ensure they can answer any questions the instructors have.

It’s that simple

When the proposal is accepted, the students are allowed to divide their work in portions and submit it step by step. Each portion is done by the ghost writer and it’s submitted after a comprehensive analysis by the students. When the supervisor accepts the written portion, ghost writers get their payment. After the completion of all portions, some amount is not paid to the Ghost writer because of the final Viva. After Viva if the thesis is accepted, Ghost writer get the remaining payment. Otherwise they will be paid after the final editing of the thesis.

Who suffers within this system?

It is very difficult for universities to identify when a ghostwriter is used. Many suspect universities are reluctant to even try because research helps increase their rankings against others. At the losing side there will be only students and our country. Students will not be able to perform well in the future, while the country will not be able to take advantage of the authentic research and development. R & D (Research and Development) plays a very important role in the development of a country. It is important to note that the quality of the thesis matters, not the quantity.

How can this problem be solved?

In order to get quality work, the HEC should develop a policy for checking ghost writing. These online websites and freelancers working for this particularly need to be monitored. They are not just undermining the future of the students but also future of this whole country. For instance in England, students are not be allowed to work at home for their thesis even in MPhil and MS Programme. This is how they they keep their students away from ghost writers. In cases of PhD, students should be hired to work as a researcher and be allowed to work full time at the university.