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Ed Dante

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Ed Dante is the pseudonym of Dave Tomar, a freelance writer living in Philadelphia, USA.[1][2] The writer ignited controversy in the North American academic community when his article The Shadow Scholar appeared in 2010 in The Chronicle of Higher Education.[3]

The article detailed the writer's experiences as a ghostwriter who was paid to help students cheat at every level of formal education. Dave Tomar claimed in his article that he had written nearly 5000 pages of scholarly literature in the last year including a master's degree in cognitive psychology; a PhD in sociology; and essays on history, cinema, labor relations, marketing, philosophy, ethics, and public administration.[4] The writer claims to have assisted college, graduate and doctoral students by accepting money in exchange for writing their assignments over the course of a decade. The Shadow Scholar was met with extensive debate amongst students, educators, and parents. It became the most popularly commented-on article in the Chronicle Review’s history and brought wider attention to issues relating to student cheating, plagiarism, and academic integrity.[5]

In January 2011, Ed Dante appeared on ABC World News with Diane Sawyer and Nightline. On both the programs, Dante's voice and face were concealed.[3]

In March 2011, Ed Dante's The Shadow Scholar received special citation by The National Awards For Education Reporting Association.[6]

In 2012, Tomar wrote a book, also entitled The Shadow Scholar.[7]

Reporting for the Journal of African Cultural Studies, Patricia Kingori wrote that “To date, Tomar’s work is one of the most detailed and influential autobiographies in the field. Almost ten years after The Shadow Scholar was published it remains important for shedding light on the perspectives of those involved in writing assignments and publications for others as part of the “fake essay” industry. However, increasingly, its reach has extended beyond American contexts to speak to African, and in particular Kenyan, writers as the term “Shadow Scholar” is now used to describe...a phenomena [sic] which is now an industrial global enterprise involving the labour of Africans on an unprecedented scale.”[8]

Dave Tomar writes for various online platforms, such as the Huffington Post.[9] and Inflection, a college lifestyle publication.[10] The scope of his work includes music;[11] politics;[12] and education, including topics related to academic ghostwriting and essay mills.[13]

On July 17, 2022, Tomar published his second book—The Complete Guide to Cheating in Higher Education—through Academic Influence Press. The Complete Guide is a comprehensive resource on college cheating aimed at educators, administrators, and parents.


  1. ^ Tomar, Dave (2012-08-21). "An Academic Ghostwriter, the 'Shadow Scholar,' Comes Clean". Retrieved 28 August 2012.
  2. ^ Dante, Ed (2010-11-19). "The Shadow Scholar - The Chronicle Review - The Chronicle of Higher Education". Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  3. ^ a b "The College Cheating Culture - ABC News". ABC News. 2010-12-13. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  4. ^ Kreutzmann, Rasmus. "The 'Shadow Scholar' Shows How Students Hire Essay Writers Online". The Jittery Monks. Archived from the original on 22 March 2018. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  5. ^ Netter, Sarah (2010-12-13). "ABCNews.com - Breaking news, politics, online news, world news, feature stories, celebrity interviews and more - ABC News". ABC News. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  6. ^ "The Chronicle Wins 7 National Awards From Education Writers Assn". 2011-02-28. Retrieved 29 March 2011.
  7. ^ Coll, Susan (7 September 2012). "'The Shadow Scholar' by Dave Tomar and 'Conning Harvard' by Julie Zauzmer". Washington Post. Retrieved 15 October 2014.
  8. ^ Kingori, P (2021). "Kenya's "Fake Essay" Writers and the Light they Shine on Assumptions of Shadows in Knowledge Production". Journal of African Cultural Studies. 33 (3): 297–304. doi:10.1080/13696815.2021.1952405. PMC 8596499. PMID 34803473.
  9. ^ Tomar, Dave. "Dave Tomar: Author, Blogger, Music Journalist, Recipient of Numerous Sports Participation Trophies". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  10. ^ "Dave Tomar". AcademicInfluence.com. Retrieved February 14, 2023.
  11. ^ Tomar, Dave (29 July 2014). "From User to Dealer: A Vinyl Junkie Goes Pro... Sort of". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  12. ^ Tomar, Dave. "Rockers Hate Republicans". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 March 2018.
  13. ^ Tomar, Dave. "Ghost in the Machine? How To Spot a Ghostwritten Paper". Huffington Post. Retrieved 21 March 2018.

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