Academic Writing Online

Be very careful when you see an opportunity for academic writing online. I have yet to see a highly compensated opportunity that is not ethically questionable. Very early on in my freelance writing career, I stumbled across a website that paid up to $16 per page, required a college degree (which I have) and offered ongoing work. I quickly applied, only to be gravely disappointed. I was thrilled about the opportunity, until I found out that I was writing papers for students. I wrote all about the experience in my review of the website. Needless to say, I quit. It was purely unethical and the pay really wasn’t as good as it sounded. Even if the pay was higher, I would have left the position.

I would like to thank Allison Boyer for her post The Truth About Academic Writing Online because every serious writer should stand up for the ethics of the business. Don’t compromise moral standards for a paycheck.

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3 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. As a college English professor, I agree with you wholeheartedly! I have my students write frequently for me IN CLASS, so that I can get a sense of their writing style. Later, when they are sent forth to create an essay on their own, I can tell pretty quickly if they had someone else write the paper for them. I may accept peanuts for a lot of my freelance writing work, but I draw the line at doing any academic writing other than editing and proofreading.

  2. There is another field entirely that people who have taught college can do: writing supplements and ancillaries — instructor’s manuals, study guides, test questions, etc. — for college textbooks. This has been my primary source of income for the last 15 years and it can pay quite well.

    I haven’t taught college since the mid-1990s, but even then I had one occasion where a student turned in an American governmment paper that he obviously had gotten elsewhere. (It wasn’t even on the correct topic.) I gave him a zero, which effectively meant he would get an F. I explained why; he left without saying a word and dropped the course.

  3. Thanks for reading my website and promoting this particular piece! You’re so right – writers need to stand up for what’s right, not compromise their moral standards for a paycheck.


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