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In our times of massive online working, freelance academic writing has become a very opportune income source for people with scholarly skillsets. However, a writer aspiring to start a personal freelancing enterprise should know that, just as in any line of work, there are certain rules and common errors.
But the most important element of a successful career in freelance academic writing is quality and that is what we are going to talk about. These tips will give you an opportunity to upgrade your writing skills and boost your start to a much higher level.
That being said, we are going to make a list of 10 most common things the freelance academic writer must avoid.
1. Not Doing Prior Research
Sometimes you might come across a topic that seems quite plain to you. Immediately you start drafting. Afterwards, when you begin looking for additional information you realize that you’ve got it wrong at least in some parts.
If you have worked on the matter in the past, it shouldn’t be a great warning to you, just don’t assume knowing something you didn’t really encounter. Be mindful about your background knowledge.
2. Being Dragged Away by Your Findings
Very often when doing research, academic writers find themselves dragged along by whatever information they’ve gathered rather than their goals. The matter you have to describe can be below the surface of what you’ve managed to find. If you check the instructions by the middle of your work, you’ll see that your narrative little by little has gone off road. So, don’t forget the prior requirements of your assignment.
3. Not Making a Prior Plan
Every order for an academic paper comes as a task with requirements and specifications the client wants you to include. This part is the most important for you, so focus on it. Academic writers often tend to forget this. One of the main reasons is that your requirements are staying in your client’s email. You edit your text in a separate document and it’s easy to leave it behind, out of mind. This is why you are strongly recommended to copy requirements into your document as the first rough draft of your plan.
Remember, when you need a lot of prior research, you still make a plan at the beginning of your work and review it after the research again.
4. Disproportion in Size
Often you will find yourself absorbed in one particular point of the plan, exceeding your size limit and having no room to fit in other items. In order to solve this issue, after making a plan, you should get a calculator and divide your size constraints by the amount of plan points. Don’t forget to include introduction and conclusion.
Then you start gradual drafting. In the beginning make notes. They don’t have to be very intelligible or complete but serve as reminders for you to follow the plan. Slowly you grow them and start including more substance into these thoughts.
5. Many Words – Little Content
When getting better at doing academic work, every freelance academic writer goes through writing with own personal style. In the beginning we tend to unconsciously fill the text with what we find fitting. When describing something, we overuse stylistic devices and metaphors just because we can, or repeat the same thoughts with different words. Instead of following every particular requirement and ignoring the general context, an academic writer should be goal-oriented. The goal is to deliver a great text.
6. Being Afraid to Erase
Sometimes, when reviewing a part of the text, you will see that it is abundant and unable to communicate the intended point. You will struggle editing it with a great mess on your hands. Don’t get stuck on it. If you have been editing other people’s work in the past, you know that it’s easier to write on your own rather than correcting someone’s bad work, and trying to make it more decent.
So instead of trying to mend the situation you should make a separate copy of your document and delete the bad passage to start it over.
7. Ignoring Research Field Specifications
When working on academic papers writers can sometimes forget that certain research types are to be conducted in specific ways. It strongly depends on the field of your writing. For instance, a lab report constrains your workflow from figurative language and certain stylistic devices, inappropriate in science. Essays on law have a very restrictive set of clichés that you have to know as well. All you have to do is to remember to look up typical features of this or that paper.
8. Poor Editing
There are always a certain percentage of errors that slips into any text. Knowing that, many academic writers can sometimes comfortably accommodate the idea that the text can’t be perfect. With time they neglect the quality more and more or start making excuses that editorial work is not included into the price.
While it is true that editing the text, when repeatedly reading through it, can be hard, there is no excuse for a poor result. Therefore, one solution to edit the text is completing it long in advance and reading it through breaks. The best way is having another person proofreading for you. Make use of grammar checkers to ensure perfect quality.
9. Lingual Interference
With academic writers coming from different countries all over the globe, there is a good chance that your native language may interfere with your writing in English. Your primary language can be evident through certain sentence constructs that you take along when writing in the other. Such displays show that you are a non-native and give you away. Always remember to maintain English syntax.
The last but not the least. It may seem like a no brainer but we have seen a lot of academic writers make a patchwork of different texts in hope that it could pass. While common ideas are not protected by copyright laws, online articles are. You can’t just copy paste a piece of text. It would be visible. Any text should at least be rewritten in your own words.
When speaking about term papers, the writer should rather include the source in references than be exposed to plagiarism claims.
These tips are the most important points in freelance academic writing because they are formed through the years of experience. We hope that they will help you avoid mistakes and become real pros in this sphere.