“The Shadow Scholar”- The Confession of an Academic Ghostwriter

This occurred a few years back when Dave Tomar, 32, who by profession was a writer came out to tell his story. He invested almost a decade in writing for student’s papers in a manner that was helping them cheat on their assignments which created resentment for his occupation. Being a reason for the academic ghostwriter to retire and he confesses his entire experience in his new memoir.

The writer confessed that he operated under his pseudonym name Ed Dante. Through that profile, he was able to help students to score who were simply too lazy or uninterested in completing their undergraduate, master’s and even doctoral level assignments and thesis. He on occasion had also helped entities on how to create a Wikipedia page for their company.

Dave Tomar, retired as a ghostwriter and in his memoir revealed his true identity. That confirmed that he was a graduate student in the bachelor’s program in communication at the Rutgers University’s New Brunswick campus though at present he is a freelance writer in Philadelphia. In The Shadow Scholar: How I Made a Living Helping College Kids Cheat. Mr. Tomar anticipated to present himself as a millennial antihero.

The reason for doing such was to show his disregard towards colleges for giving importance to money and status over student learning. He addresses the time on how angered and alienated he felt as a young man as he felt defrauded in the academic system that was not true nor honest to its students. During his junior year, his classmate offered to pay his $90 to complete her sociology paper which he grasped at first sight due to his financial situation. And so on the word got out and his business grew ahead.

The book by Mr. Tomar provided unsettling accounts where higher education presented to be most pessimistic and even cynical. Where he addressed too few of his clients to be rich and avail outsourcing their papers as a rational extension to be a suitable relationship that they can endure with their college. While other clients were not suited for college due to their lack of ability which includes language skills to communicate sufficiently in English.

He wrote papers for pupils over a wide range of institutions and he also helped various academic institutions on how to create a Wikipedia page for your company. Mr. Tomar in an interview stated that “he saw vastly different levels of expectations”. The lowest was found at for-profit colleges where he frequently saw the same assignments being reused.

He was also getting hired to complete writing assignments of online discussions at for-profits where the grades depend on the completion of the work while the quality didn’t matter. When he was given to conclude and work on such assignments he took on the task knowing that nobody cared or had a value of the academic standards being attained or no.

Mr. Tomar suggested to his views in the book as well as in an interview that public institutions did not costume to his satisfaction which angered and made him feel alienated. He said as he began his job as an academic ghostwriter for students he was disappointed in his university’s experience on the bases of the path/ system and in general the culture that was being endorsed.

During his student life, he was turned off by his fellow classmates who gave higher importance to the grades that the considered as a prize while having it greatly valued even over learning. He was enjoying taking on his job as an academic ghostwriter not only due to the pay but mainly as he got excited and valued learning while he was able to attain a second education and money both.

The draining part of his job that he shared about was that it was extremely complicated for him to explain his occupation. He said that even if he rationalizes his occupation he was not able to take pride in his accomplish or work. Since everyone who only trashes him and would see him as an aid for students to cheat while not considering the other aspects.


Even though Dave Tomar enjoyed his work and was able to aspire great accomplishment as an academic ghostwriter it was hard for him to avail the limelight as he desired since it was considered wrongdoing and he and his occupation were undermined.

Though his urge and the reason to address numerous points in The Shadow Scholar to come clean was to focus on how universities and various academic institutions are not valuing the core of learning instead of giving preference and indirectly enhancing the use of other means rather than focusing on quality teaching and learning.


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