Free essay editing?
August 8, 2006 11:59 AM   Subscribe

Is their a free service that will edit my essay?

I thought I once read that there is something similar to a wiki where you post an essay and it gets brutally edited.

Does this exist or am I just making it up?

If there isn't such a thing...should I create it?
posted by benji to Writing & Language (19 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
 
How would you know the quality of the feedback you were getting? Random people on the internets might or might not provide valuable insight. If you could get past that, it's an interesting idea.

Oh, to answer the first question, I'm not aware of such a service now existing.
posted by KAS at 12:19 PM on August 8, 2006


A lot of universities have essay readers available to students.
posted by k8t at 12:20 PM on August 8, 2006


I've sent stuff off to editors based online before (not free, but the prices were not bad). Don't expect much more than proof reading from them.
posted by 517 at 12:23 PM on August 8, 2006


The difficulty I see with the service idea, besides the quality control, is relying on users to freely dole out their brutality. I mean, time. It would even be difficult to set up a credit system for this since it revers to the quality issue - of both the editor and of the initial essay submission.

(That said, if you're on a tight schedule and need someone brutal, I may be able to help out...)
posted by whatzit at 12:33 PM on August 8, 2006


Sure, I'll start right now.

"Is there a free service that will edit my essay?"

(You said brutal...)

In seriousness: I've only heard of pay services. As a professional editor, I would personally be wary of free, wiki-like services that would (presumably) allow anyone to insert his two cents. Much of editing is not done on the basis of "facts," but on established styles (as in Chicago style, etc.) or, more specifically, journal/company style sheets. I can imagine a wiki for this purpose without an established style would breed conflict and contradiction.
posted by penchant at 1:43 PM on August 8, 2006


I second checking into your local university. The college I attend has free writing workshops where other writers and tutors will gladly look over your essay and offer feedback.
posted by blueplasticfish at 1:51 PM on August 8, 2006


Dittoing everything penchant said, and adding that professional editors (of which I am one) would likely find such a service seriously annoying, because it encourages the idea that writing, editing, and proofreading are not activities that one should be paid for.

So by creating such a service, you'd be doing a huge disservice to the industry as a whole.
posted by occhiblu at 2:09 PM on August 8, 2006


You need God on this one buddy.
posted by madman at 2:50 PM on August 8, 2006


Dittoing everything penchant said, and adding that professional editors (of which I am one) would likely find such a service seriously annoying, because it encourages the idea that writing, editing, and proofreading are not activities that one should be paid for.

Dittoing everything occhibiu said.
posted by languagehat at 2:58 PM on August 8, 2006


Something like kuro5hin?
posted by sour cream at 3:10 PM on August 8, 2006


If you need an editor but don't want to pay, you might be able to barter. If you're a student, it wouldn't be hard to set up a barter system on campus -- or just find someone who wants to trade services. Craigslist is a good place to look for barter deals, too.
posted by wryly at 4:24 PM on August 8, 2006


thanks everyone...

by the way, i purposely inserted that grammar mistake.



not
posted by benji at 8:00 PM on August 8, 2006


you mean grammer mistake.

; )
posted by DoctorFedora at 9:04 PM on August 8, 2006


Dittoing everything penchant said, and adding that professional editors (of which I am one) would likely find such a service seriously annoying, because it encourages the idea that writing, editing, and proofreading are not activities that one should be paid for.
Dittoing everything occhibiu said.


Dittoing everything they said, but quietly, because last time I did something similar I got snarked out.

posted by altolinguistic at 1:15 AM on August 9, 2006


Grammar is correct. Or was that a joke?
posted by penchant at 9:11 AM on August 9, 2006


(The smiley face might be a clue.)
posted by occhiblu at 9:23 AM on August 9, 2006


I know there are question answering services for people who have science questions, but I don't think you'll find one for writers, because their time is so much more valuable.
posted by Mr. Gunn at 9:57 AM on August 9, 2006


Answering questions is different than editing an essay, though. I'm happy to answer random grammar questions, but I'm not going to donate hours editing a full essay because someone doesn't think my time and expertise are valuable enough to pay for (even though he doesn't possess them himself, and thinks they're valuable enough to seek out).
posted by occhiblu at 10:12 AM on August 9, 2006


If it's a matter of writing/editing questions, the Chicago Manual of Style's Web site has a free Q&A service/page.
posted by penchant at 10:33 AM on August 9, 2006


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