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Ghost-writing ads reappear in KPU Richmond

Essay cheat offer is made on campus to KPU students for $60 per page

An agency is once again offering a cheat, essay-writing service for students in full view of campus bosses at Kwantlen Polytechnic University (KPU) in Richmond.

After an investigation, the Richmond News discovered that the flyers — written in Chinese and posted on KPU bulletin boards  — offer to ghost-write essays for $60 per double-space page (about 250 words).

The News reported last October how the exact same ads were being posted freely on the same bulletin boards until the News brought it to the attention of KPU.

“I looked around the first floor of the building, the ads have been posted in almost every single bulletin board on the first floor,” said Peter, who refused to reveal his last name, in an email to the News last week.

“Whoever post it in public has no shame.”

KPU staff also located one copy of the poster on Monday and removed it from a bulletin board on the second floor, according to Dr. Jane Fee, KPU vice-provost of Students, via email.

An undercover reporter for the News contacted the ghost-writing agency through WeChat (A Chinese-based social media app).

The agency, whose account name is VanStar Essay, revealed that the rate is $60 for a double-space page with approximately 250-275 words.

“Writers are local Canadians or Canadian-born Chinese who graduated from elite universities,” said the agent.

“We guarantee the articles will pass, otherwise you will get fully refunded.”

ghost writing
The rough, English translation of the Chinese language ghost-writing essay service, which was posted across numerous bulletin boards at KPU in Richmond. File photo

The agent told the News that all the articles are “originally written” and will go through a plagiarism detection system — a copyright rate of less than 15 per cent is guaranteed.

For an extra $10, students will get a plagiarism detection report, along with the ghost-written article.

“And all the information is confidential,” said the agent.

All the students need to submit is the topic and criteria, and they will receive an article within a few days.

“It takes three to five days for an article less than 1,500 words and five to 10 days for articles with more than 1,500 words,” the agent said.

Along with ghost-writing, the agency offers an “online course proxy,” which “takes care of” students’ online classes without them attending.

Fee said KPU will take action to ensure posters, such as these, don’t appear on campus.

“In light of this and a previous incident of the same nature, we are forced to commit some of our limited resources to conducting regular walkabouts on campus for the purpose of finding and removing posters like these,” said Fee.

She adds that a ghost-written essay will be considered by the school as an example of cheating, which is a violation of the policy and a serious educational offence.

It is subject to discipline, ranging from a grade of zero being awarded for the paper to suspension from the university.

However, Peter said merely removing the posters from the school’s boards is not enough.

He hopes more serious investigations can be conducted to find and punish those harming the academic integrity.

The poster, according to Fee, does not have the approval from Kwantlen Student Association’s Member Services, but uses a KSA stamp that “is not authentic.”