Is Ghostwriting Plagiarism? 3 Ways to avoid it.

Ghostwriting becomes a fair deal and free from plagiarism when the writer is just simply presenting your work in polished writing.

Ghostwriting is a controversial topic in the academic and literary world, with some people considering it a form of plagiarism while others see it as a legitimate writing service. Even in professional corporate circles, ghostwriting without any active involvement constitutes plagiarism. 

This articles explore how Ghostwriting done responsibly is not considered plagiarism and how you can avoid it.

What is Ghostwriting?

Ghostwriting is the practice of creating written work for someone else who will be credited as the author. The person who hires a ghostwriter pays for the creation of a piece of writing, and the credit for the work goes to the employer. 

Usually, this is done in academic writing, where students or researchers may hire someone to write a thesis, dissertation, or article for them.

Further, in the corporate world, ghostwriting is used for CEOs, CIOs, and other Professionals who want to provide insights into the field using their experience but lack the time or expertise to create a well-written and polished piece of text.

What constitutes Plagiarism?

Typically, plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work without giving them credit, and it is considered a severe offense in academic circles. Here is something from Oxford.

Plagiarism is presenting someone else’s work or ideas as your own, with or without their consent, by incorporating it into your work without full acknowledgement.

~ Oxford

In the context of ghostwriting, the person who is credited as the author of the work is taking credit for someone else’s writing if there is no involvement from their side.

When is Ghostwriting not considered Plagiarism?

However, some people argue that ghostwriting is not plagiarism as long as the work is original and the person who is credited as the author provides their own ideas, research, and insights. 

It really depends on the way.

Right or Wrong Signboard
Ethical or Unethical

It is important to note that ghostwriting is not always ethical, and it is essential to understand the distinction between ethical and unethical ghostwriting. 

Ethical ghostwriting involves original work that is fully credited to the person who is paying for it. The original work (howsoever condensed) must be that person’s research and not taken from someone else. 

In this case, the ghostwriter simply provides the writing skills to turn those ideas into a polished piece of writing. The person who is credited as the author is still responsible for the content of the work, and the ghostwriter is simply a writing tool that helps bring their ideas to life.

On the other hand, unethical ghostwriting involves creating work that is plagiarized, including passing off someone else’s work as your own. It has none of your involvement other than paying the ghostwriter.

How to Avoid Unethical Ghostwriting?

Whether you are a Ghostwriter or someone who needs ghostwriting, make sure that you use the following checklist to ensure that the article or text you need is not stolen from someone else’s work.

  • Always use a Plagiarism Detector. Paid content detectors like Grammarly works wonders, but free tools are also effective. When you are using free tools, make sure to check with at least two tools. My favorite free plagiarism detection tools are Plagiarism Detector and Duplichecker.
  • Use AI detector tools like CopyLeaks to check if the content is AI created. AI content often collects information from over the internet, which might contain intellectually protected material.
  • Always remember to provide complete guidelines to the ghostwriter, including your research key points, dos and don’ts, and other relevant information.


It really depends on the way you do it. Plagiarism is the act of using someone else’s work without giving them credit. Ghostwriting done in a way that has none of your involvement might be termed plagiarism. However, if it is your work, and the writer is simply expanding it, it will not be counted as plagiarism. A ghostwriter is just expanding your research verbally. They are not adding any value, academically or research-wise.

Therefore, Ghostwriting becomes a fair deal when that person(Ghostwriter) willingly sells you the rights over that article.


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