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Defining "writing only, no research required"

gilbert-phyllis
Community Guru
Phyllis G Member Since: Sep 8, 2016
1 of 20

I could use some perspective from the veterans around here, please. The question is what is meant by "writing only--the research is already done."

 

I accepted a project to write a business report using source material that would be supplied. I had several chat and emai exchanges with the client during which it was specified that the research was done and my job would be to organize the material into a 10,000-word report. I was given major section headings and told to sequence and organize as I see fit.

 

The timeline was somewhat aggressive but not unreasonable, and the client authorized a small portion of the fee as soon as we finalized the contract, "to reserve my time."

 

When I sat down to begin, I discovered that what she provided as "completed research" was actually about 40 PDF documents that she had gathered, ranging in length from 1-90 pages each, plus links to 18 more (also ranging in length). None of it was marked up or flagged in any way to indicate where the relevant portions are that need to be incorporated into the report. (And she instructed me to use every single source.) In my opinion, this does not represent "completed research" or a "writing only" assignment. I am having to skim through all of this material and determine what is relevant and THEN weave it together into a narrative report. It's an assortment of white papers, press articles, and academic papers, so some of it requires deeper scrutiny than skimming.

 

I can do a good job on it. The problem is that it's going to take considerably longer than I budgeted. This client has two more, similar projects after this one. I'd like to land those, but I want to be paid fairly for whatever the work actually entails. My plan is to do my best job on this, for the fee we agreed upon. Assuming she offers me the chance to one or both of the next ones, then I will tell her that the scope was actually different than I had understood on the first one, and that we need to budget differently.

 

But I'm also interested to hear what others think. Those who do research and writing, how do you break the tasks apart, when you need to? How do you talk to clients about it to avoid this kind of misunderstanding? 

 

thx!

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
2 of 20

so I take it that you fell for the "if you do a good job there will be more work in the future" thing?

busanitoday
Ace Contributor
Busani M Member Since: Oct 13, 2016
3 of 20

Jennifer M, you are not helping anyone with this answer. It's fine to reserve your comments if you have nothing constructive to add. 

 

 

tlsanders
Community Guru
Tiffany S Member Since: Jan 15, 2016
4 of 20

@Busani M wrote:

Jennifer M, you are not helping anyone with this answer. It's fine to reserve your comments if you have nothing constructive to add. 

 

 


 Jennifer has a unique communication style, but she actually raises a good point: promising future work as a method of getting a freelancer to do too much work for too little money on the first project is a fairly common scam around here.

busanitoday
Ace Contributor
Busani M Member Since: Oct 13, 2016
5 of 20

Oh I understand, Jennifer uses contempt and mockery to help others. 

katrinabeaver
Community Guru
Katrina B Member Since: Jan 9, 2011
6 of 20

@Busani M wrote:

Oh I understand, Jennifer uses contempt and mockery to help others. 


 No she uses a no nonsense, pill isn't easy to swallow way. Which actually makes her a very successful freelancer here. She uses the same language with clients. This isn't a hold my hand society. She takes time out of her (very successful) day and puts it up front. No sugar coating, nothing.  She's a very respected contributor. 

"Fairness is giving all people the treatment they earn and deserve. It doesn't mean treating everyone alike-Coach John Wooden"
busanitoday
Ace Contributor
Busani M Member Since: Oct 13, 2016
7 of 20

There are different ways people use to manage a low self-esteem. They throw meanless words like "very successful " here and there. If it makes them feel better, who are we to judge?  

researchediting
Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
8 of 20

@Busani M wrote:

There are different ways people use to manage a low self-esteem. They throw meanless words like "very successful " here and there. If it makes them feel better, who are we to judge?  


And there are different and frankly distasteful rhetorical modes, such as armchair psychologizing, that people use to undercut others whose rhetoric rubs them the wrong way. If they choose to claim that verifiable facts are "mean[ing]less," who are we to judge?

lysis10
Community Guru
Jennifer M Member Since: May 17, 2015
9 of 20

hey now I don't have contempt for random strangers on the internet. I think they are funny though.

 

Don't hate the player. Hate the game.

tlbp
Community Guru
Tonya P Member Since: Nov 26, 2015
10 of 20

@Busani M wrote:

Jennifer M, you are not helping anyone with this answer. It's fine to reserve your comments if you have nothing constructive to add. 

 

 


I don't find this comment to be helpful or constructive. 

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