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Re: "Academic" Writers...

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
1 of 30

So, I came across an FL who appears to specialize in writing others' academic papers for them. 

 

In my mind, as a former teacher/college instructor, anytime someone writes your school papers it's academic fraud.

 

When does "academic writing" not fall into that classification?

 

I ask because I may be overgeneralizing and automatically conflating ALL academic writing with fraud. Other writers and teachers might see a differentiation that I'm not considering. 

 

 

 

 

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Community Guru
Virginia F Member Since: Feb 15, 2016
2 of 30

@Kat C wrote:

So, I came across an FL who appears to specialize in writing others' academic papers for them. 

 

In my mind, as a former teacher/college instructor, anytime someone writes your school papers it's academic fraud.

 

When does "academic writing" not fall into that classification?

 

I ask because I may be overgeneralizing and automatically conflating ALL academic writing with fraud. Other writers and teachers might see a differentiation that I'm not considering.


Hopefully someone from Upwork will answer that question. Even though I'm not in that category ... it makes me wonder (and it makes me mad). Maybe it doesn't matter to Upwork, because after all, they're profiting from it.

Community Guru
Douglas Michael M Member Since: May 22, 2015
3 of 30

@Virginia F wrote:

Hopefully someone from Upwork will answer that question. Even though I'm not in that category ... it makes me wonder (and it makes me mad). Maybe it doesn't matter to Upwork, because after all, they're profiting from it.


Ach! God forbid Upwork should try to answer that question! I'll start with an example from my job history.

 

I was hired to write what was essentially a promotional piece for a medical device. It was not a sales brochure for patients. It was aimed at the medical professionals who would help fit the device and educate patients on its use, who were themselves clinicians. They might also advise the physician prescriber on the device's suitability for a specific patient. Consequently, the piece also had to pass scrutiny by those prescribers. The writing required analysis of the client's market research, and familiarity with not just the device, but with the condition it was intended to treat and with competing treatment options, including their comparative benefits and drawbacks. All such information required citations of peer-reviewed or other professional literature.

 

No academic institution was harmed—or indeed, remotely involved—in the production or consumption of this piece. Yet it required research, analysis, and verification comparable to that required by an academic paper. From the client's point of view, it required an academic(-style) writer.

I remark in passing that ghostwriting occurs in the field of professional clinical research. Controversies over it usually focus on whether given articles, including their analyses, are written by the funders of the research, e.g. pharmaceutical companies using the peer-review process for marketing purposes.

Two writers I know, persons of stringent ethics and exemplary integrity, have had long-term collaborations with researchers who are brilliant in their field. One researcher was simply too busy to write. The other research team couldn't string two clauses into a sentence to save their lives.

 

Best,

Michael

Community Guru
Janean L Member Since: Apr 6, 2016
BEST ANSWER
4 of 30

I will chime in, here.  As you may note, academic fraud is a real bête noire for me.

 

However, here are at least two examples of legitimate academic writing:

 

(1) Along the lines of what Douglas Michael has noted:  writing for an academic journal (scientific, medical).  This is acceptable, as long as it is clear that the work in question has been ghostwritten, and is not claimed as the direct intellectual output of the official "author."

 

(2) Writing for purposes of describing academic pursuits--for example, writing curricula, lesson plans, rubrics, etc. Again, this is acceptable only insofar as one is not doing this so that a teacher or administrator can claim this as his or her original work.

Community Guru
Nichola L Member Since: Mar 13, 2015
5 of 30

There is an enormous difference in writing a dissertation for some panicked/lazy student who shouldn't even have a first degree and collaborating with a genuine academic who needs help with research, writing and editing.

 

There is also (generally) an enormous difference in rates and delivery time. The panicked student wants a 30,OOO word dissertation, researched, written and proofread in ten days (max.) for a fee of about $30, and it always seems to come with the rider, "I will provide the reading matter".

 

(And slightly off topic, there is also the post grad. who has written their 30,000-word dissertation and wants it proofread, correctly formatted, and all the references cross-checked for $30 with a three-day turnaround. It always amazes me that someone who has spent some time on their thesis should have such little respect for their work when it comes to getting it professionally (operative word) proofread.)

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
6 of 30

Thank you, one and all, for further defining (and refining) the difference between legitimate academic writing versus academic fraud. 

 

I wish I could mark all of the responses thus far as the solution. 

 

 

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
7 of 30

I've found that a number of people use the term 'academic writing' to mean they want all sources correctly referenced and cited within the piece.

 

I've written history pieces like that.

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
8 of 30

@Kim F wrote:

I've found that a number of people use the term 'academic writing' to mean they want all sources correctly referenced and cited within the piece.

 

I've written history pieces like that.


 Hi Kim!

 

I'd refer to that as academic editing -- and is one the primary functions I offer as an academic editor.

 

Indeed, I removed academic writing from my profile some time ago as I was tired of being besieged with outright and covert demands to write others Uni papers for them. 

 

However, it still occurs with great frequency. 

Community Guru
Kim F Member Since: Aug 26, 2015
9 of 30

No, I don't mean checking they're correctly formatted, all present and correct - I mean supplying them in the first place in a piece of original writing :-) 

Community Guru
Kat C Member Since: Jul 11, 2016
10 of 30

Supplying quotes for the original author to embed themselves isn't "writing" to me. You're merely researching.

 

But, if you refer to what both Janean and Douglas Michael wrote, depending on the schematics of who is writing an academic paper for a journal, it isn't considered academic fraud (again referring to the prior posts on the matter).

 

Meanwhile, I clearly delineate that if you're embedding the quotes in a Uni paper for a student -- meaning you're writing portions of their paper --  I'd consider that academic fraud and report it. 

 

But, what I MEAN by editing is formatting the quotes and creating the citation to match a style guide. Again, I do that frequently for clients. 

 

 

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