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How flexible are the academic requirements for new freelance essay writers?

proteus690 1 | -  
Aug 06, 2012 | #1
Quick question about starting out as a freelance writer: I've had a look at several essay writing companies, and many of the UK-based ones insist that new writers have at least a 2:1 degree from a British university. How strict are these requirements, generally speaking? I have a medical degree from a Nigerian university, currently live in the UK, and have done some (unpaid) academic and quasi-academic writing on the side. Do companies actually turn competent new applicants away if their academic qualifications are not up to scratch, or are these criteria merely listed to deter the unsuitable? (as an indication of the level at which one *ought* to be able to perform).

I realise that different companies have different policies and attitudes towards hiring writing "talent", but I was just wondering if, by and large, they take their listed requirements seriously.

srandrews 12 | 143   Observer
Aug 06, 2012 | #2
This is my opinion only, and others on the forum have far more experience and knowledge, so take it for what it's worth. The requirements are there for show. They want to create an appearance, for clients' sake, that they only hire qualified writers. In reality, at the lesser firms, anything goes. At the better firms, maybe they stick to the stated requirements, maybe not. Anybody who has attended a bachelor's program, even if it was never completed, and could show evidence of decent academic writing, including citing sources, should be a viable candidate. Writers who can do the work but don't have the degree probably just fake it on their resumes, and I'm quite sure the companies never check.
Major 38 | 1,319 ☆☆☆☆  
Aug 06, 2012 | #3
The requirements are there for show.

DominiEarl - | 1   Freelance Writer
Aug 09, 2012 | #4
Writers who can do the work but don't have the degree probably just fake it on their resumes, and I'm quite sure the companies never check.
karen_criticalproof - | 41   Company Representative
Aug 18, 2012 | #5
While this may be true of some companies I make sure my writers provide their degree certs and transcripts, along with 3 pieces of academic writing. I do actually take foreign writers on ocassion but only if their writing is of sufficient quality. I find the easiest way to assess an ESL's writing skills is to look at their informal emails. This is far more reliable as of course they may in fact have paid for their academic essays!

FreelanceWriter    5 | 1,260 ☆☆☆☆   Freelance Writer
Aug 18, 2012 | #6
I don't recall ever having actually been asked for transcripts, just for a list of my degrees and the institutions where I earned them. They also asked for writing samples. In my opinion, it's impossible for any company to really evaluate writers until they actually hire them and see the work they produce. A degree is not necessarily proof that someone genuinely earned it and there's no way to be sure that the furnished writing samples were actually written by the applicant.

More importantly, there's not necessarily any correlation between degrees and writing ability, much less writing ability in any specific area. For example, I have formal degrees in Law, Psychology, and History, but there are (admittedly) plenty of topics in Law and History that I don't handle at all. Conversely, there are even more topics in completely different areas (like Business, Communications, Nursing, Philosophy, Political Science, etc) that I handle routinely (and very well) without having any formal degrees in any of those areas.

If I were running an essay company, I'd just want to verify that applicants really have any degrees listed from the schools where they're supposed to have been issued (mainly to to see whether they're being honest with me), and I'd want to review the first few essays to make sure they're up to company standards. In my opinion, it's unrealistic to expect a company to do much more than that. On the other hand, they should be pretty quick to dump any writer whose work turns out not to be good or that generates legitimate customer complaints; and they should have an absolute zero-tolerance policy toward any sort of plagiarism.
Highly-experienced, extremely versatile, and honest writer in NYC with a law degree from NYLS: www"dot"NYCFreelanceWriter"dot" com

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