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Re: "Academic" Writers...

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

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

 

That wasn't what I said. OK - I'll bow out. I have a book to 'merely' research.

 

However, despite your disbelief, I do write original work and I do include sources and references. Hence why I said 'original' writing. (I actually have quite good credentials in a couple of niche areas.) And some people class that as academic writing.

 

The only time I've written a paper for a uni student was when I was that uni student. 

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

@Kim F wrote:

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

 

That wasn't what I said. OK - I'll bow out. I have a book to 'merely' research.

 

However, despite your disbelief, I do write original work and I do include sources and references. Hence why I said 'original' writing. (I actually have quite good credentials in a couple of niche areas.) And some people class that as academic writing.

 

The only time I've written a paper for a uni student was when I was that uni student. 


 Kim,

 

I was specifically speaking about academic writing such as Uni papers for other people to turn into their Profs at school -- meaning the academic writer is writing the paper FOR that student. Not books, not editing, etc.

 

Many laypeople classify things on basic features of writing (such as researching...which all good writers should do). It doesn't make that classification correct. The same goes for editing. Neither does a misclassification prohibit anyone from doing the work per se. 

 

No one is questioning your credentials (that's your underlying schema and no one else's in this thread).

 

 

Ace Contributor
Nancy J. D Member Since: Dec 1, 2015
13 of 30

Hi, Kim. I include "academic writing" among my skills but never (ever) do student work. In my case, it refers more to the style of writing used, which I provide to professionals who are interested in what's going on in their field.

Active Member
Robin D Member Since: Jun 19, 2017
14 of 30

You're not the only one Kat - I was the Academic Writing Coordinator at a University in Beijing for six years and I had to design assignments that couldn't be simply handed off to ghost-writers on sites like this - and of course, whenever I had concerns that students weren't doing their own writing, I'd call them in and have a discussion with them about their papers.

 

Of course, I also had students of mine who went on to become ghost-writers for Chinese students studying abroad (and at entirely abysmal rates as well), but the papers produced were probably flagged by the institutions in question (the Chinese companies hiring the writers were not going to fork out the money to get a subscription to Turnitin or other anti-plagiarism software commonly used by Unis).

 

At any rate, yes, it bothers me greatly to see people doing this and for sites like Upwork and Freelancer.com to allow these; there ARE ways to adjust the system for this when signing up for a project, but its unlikely that adjustments will be made. It's bad enough that Undergraduate degrees are being devalued because Chinese Universities give everyone a free ride and pass everyone that gets through 4 years automatically; we don't need it devalued further by lazy students with more money than intelligence, diligence/dicipline, and integrity.

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

Since you're new on Upwork...I'm curious to see if you receive a slew of "academic" writing invites couched in the form of "coaching" (meaning they SAY they want coaching from you, but that's not the intent).

 

Not that you'll take them. Whenever I've had academic writing or anything to do with mentioning "academic" on my profile, the "academic writing" jobs came out of the woodwork. Frustrating. 

Active Member
Robin D Member Since: Jun 19, 2017
16 of 30

Not at this point Kat, no. In fact, I've only been approached by one or two persons without bidding, and one of them "hired" me for a job without giving me a project (which I didn't do) and the other one wanted me to write a review for a product on Amazon.ca - which I refused to do and then reported the product and seller to Amazon Customer Service (does that make me a bad person? Smiley Very Happy). I generally report projects that cross the line into the realm of plagiarism/collusion or violate website ToS when I see them here though.

 

I'm also on Freelancer.com and I find they have more issues with this than Upwork at this point.

 

Community Leader
Michelle S Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
17 of 30

This is an interesting discussion.  I too am new to Upwork and I list “Academic Writing” in my profile because I think of it as covering a host of skills like research, writing, proofreading/editing, guidance for study design, etc. It may not be the best descriptor of the service I can offer, but it is what clients search on.  My first job came about because of that listed skill and it had nothing to do with “academic” writing. The job was/is for writing biographies on a website.  I have to other interviews in-progress that have little to do with “academic” writing, but they are writing jobs with an academic process.  I feel like they want an “academic” to do their writing.

 

I have no desire to write dissertations for grad students (one was enough!) and no desire to write anyone else’s graded research papers.    

 

I’m curious where you would classify things like IRB protocol writing for studies, writing consent forms for academic studies, surveys for academic studies, recruitment statements for academic studies, etc.  I would never hire someone to do this for me, but I have been hired within the university to perform these tasks for groups who do not usually work with human subjects. I’ve also been hired within the university to write the human subjects portion of grant proposals.  So again, maybe it is not” academic writing,” but a person with an academic background looking for help may not know what else to call it.  I’m not even sure what I would call it. 

 

I’ve had only one invite to write an academic paper and that was like “write 10 pages in 24 hours on a topic you know nothing about for pennies.” 

 

Right now I have a bigger problem with graduate students (I assume) who are farming out their statistical analyses for their dissertations/thesis.  I feel that this is also crossing the line.  It’s one thing to ask for advice on which analysis to run or ask how to perform the analysis in SPSS, but there many postings for running all of the analyses in the study.  By the time you are to that point, you should know how to do that.  And you should WANT to handle your own data. 

 

Michelle

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

Michelle S wrote:  

 

I’m curious where you would classify things like IRB protocol writing for studies, writing consent forms for academic studies, surveys for academic studies, recruitment statements for academic studies, etc.  I would never hire someone to do this for me, but I have been hired within the university to perform these tasks for groups who do not usually work with human subjects. I’ve also been hired within the university to write the human subjects portion of grant proposals....

While on the one hand I would be concerned about a human-subjects researcher who accepted second-hand information on the IRB protocol of their governing institution, I would feel as comfortable writing these as I would being hired to do the same by that institution. In your case, that would seem to be an acceptable degree of comfort, accompanied by your university's "blessing" on ethical issues. In my case, despite being NIH-certified in the ethics of human-subject research, I would not be comfortable; I simply lack the experience and competence to be sure I'd be doing flawless work in a sensitive area. 

 

Right now I have a bigger problem with graduate students (I assume) who are farming out their statistical analyses for their dissertations/thesis.  I feel that this is also crossing the line.  It’s one thing to ask for advice on which analysis to run or ask how to perform the analysis in SPSS, but there many postings for running all of the analyses in the study.  By the time you are to that point, you should know how to do that.  And you should WANT to handle your own data. 

 

Again, this is outside my area of competence, though I occasionally help interpret clinical research statistics. While I can imagine a professional research team depending on particular expertise to run the stats analysis, I would expect them to be enough in command of their data to be able to question and verify any analysis. As for students: Yes, how they get to the point of being confident in having another party do their analysis is by doing it themselves, and taking the lumps when they get it wrong. And I can't imagine how any student can believe it to be responsible (or in any way desirable) to farm out a literature review.


 

Community Leader
Michelle S Member Since: Jun 23, 2017
19 of 30

Thanks for the thoughtful reply!

 

I would also not feel comfortable writing for NIH studies...those are WAY outside of my area of expertise.  However, I would feel comfortable helping someone from a computer science discipline through the process of understanding human-subject testing for interfaces or other things computer science-y folk do. In fact if I was hired to help with research I would feel obligated to make sure that the researchers were aware "rules" of using people in their reserach (because some are not aware).  However,  I'm not the PI on the study and I would assume they would still have to jump through all the hoops required by their university (CITI human subjects training, full IRB review if there were children or deception involved, etc.).  I am not the reviewer so it is up to the researcher's university to review the study and it is up to the researcher to adhere to the protocol or answer to the university’s board of ethics.  If it is an army grant, the army also has its own IRB you also have to answer to.  But I see your point, and maybe it IS different to be hired as part of a research team as a freelancer on this board than it is to be hired as the human subjects expert on a local research team.

 

That said, this is probably far outside the question and intent of the original poster. 

 

-Michelle

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

@Michelle S wrote:

 

That said, this is probably far outside the question and intent of the original poster. 

 

-Michelle


Quite possibly, although I think such questions and discussions may clarify for any eavesdroppers that those of us who call ourselves academic writers are far from unfamiliar with the ethical landmines that surround the field, and that we have both established canons and our own values to guide us in traversing them.

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