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10/12/2012

Choosing a Legitimate Academic Writing Service

There are a lot of academic writing services out there. How do you decide which one to use? The suggestions below can help.

• Obviously, you want to avoid any sites that have pages riddled with grammatical errors. These are foreign sites run and staffed by people whose first language is not English. This isn’t a dig at anyone who speaks English as a second language; the dedication and study required to learn a new language is significant, and anyone who does it deserves credit. It’s just that native English speakers understand the mechanical, stylistic, and cultural standards involved in producing academic work for institutions in English-speaking countries. If you come across a site full of errors and awkward phrasing, move on.

• Price is an important consideration, and as in all things, you get what you pay for. You should be wary of sites that claim to offer original work for prices that seem too good to be true. These papers are recycled and resold, cut and pasted from the web, or written by people who don’t have a command of the language or an understanding of the standards of quality academic writing. The prices may be cheap, but ultimately, it’s a total waste of your money.

• Similarly, cheap prices, even if offered by a legitimate American company, indicate that they’re not paying their writers very much. Most writing companies pay their writers half or less than half of the total paper cost. That means that the writer may be receiving something like $8 per page on a bargain paper. You may not be gravely concerned about the writer’s financial situation, but think of it this way: how hard is that writer going to work on the paper? Writers who are paid poorly tend to overbook themselves, rush through their work, and cut corners. And who can blame them? If a company indicates that they don’t value their workers, workers aren’t likely to feel especially loyal to that company. Writing well is a skill that should be compensated appropriately. (In case you’re wondering, our writers earn 75-85% of the profits on each project.)

• A huge stable of writers isn’t necessarily a red flag, but it’s something to think about. Bigger isn’t always better. How well can a company really know each one of its hundreds of writers? Often, these writers are contracted on the basis of a couple of samples that may or may not reflect the real quality of their work. I’m sure these big companies make a sincere effort at quality control, but by the time they discover that a writer can’t actually handle the work, or reuses portions of old papers, it may be at your expense. A smaller company with a group of trusted, proven, well-paid writers is often a better choice.

• I’m suspicious of companies that claim to run their papers through plagiarism software. There are some good free plagiarism-detection sites available, but many are actually fronts for shady essay companies that take the inputted text and sell it on another site. And if a company claims to run their papers through Turnitin, be wary. I’m not sure I believe their claims that they have a Turnitin account in the first place, and even if they do, anything run through Turnitin automatically becomes part of the Turnitin database and will therefore show up as a match when you or someone else runs it a second time. A better bet is for you to run the paper yourself through a service like WriteCheck.

• Above all, trust your instincts. You’re a knowledgeable, savvy online consumer!

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