Connect me with people who need academic editing.
March 17, 2010 3:47 AM   Subscribe

Are there any websites that hook up editors with students willing to pay for paper-editing?

I'd like to make some extra money editing/proofreading academic papers (queue egregious grammar mistakes in this question!), but advertising on Craigslist or in my student newspaper feels sketchy--like I'll get people who won't pay or who expect me to write an entire paper for them.

Are there reputable places (especially websites) that hire graduate students for editing/proofreading work, preferably per-project jobs for students who need help or an extra eye on their writing? I've seen online forums that hook up students and tutors, and would like to find something similar with academic writing/editing. Ideally, such a site would both provide me with (or let me bid on) editing jobs and would also act as a middleman for payment.

I'm not interested in full-time work or "breaking into the business"--just a few jobs on the side from time to time. I have read this and this and this one too.
posted by ollyolly to Work & Money (8 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: might be an example of what I'm looking for--a site that requires a graduate degree.
posted by ollyolly at 4:11 AM on March 17, 2010

I think you mean "cue" :)
posted by CharlesV42 at 4:23 AM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think a pay-service is a little sketchy, but that may be just my own feelings. Part of writing a paper in college is the editing and structuring of the thing, and to pay someone to do that for you seems like a shortcut.

That said, everyone needs a second set of eyes to look over an important essay - and that's why most universities and colleges offer free one-to-one writing assistance and editing to their students. I don't really see there being a market for this kind of thing except for students who are looking to pay their way through harder assignments.
posted by Think_Long at 6:30 AM on March 17, 2010

There are hundreds of these services online. For example seem to be hiring freelancers.
posted by roofus at 6:34 AM on March 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: Um... queue up? These questions are magnets.

Thanks for the link.
posted by ollyolly at 6:40 AM on March 17, 2010

Just stepping in to suggest avoiding American Journal Editors (AJE). They recruit every year at my school, offering "more than $30/hour for work you'd do in your lab anyway" and promising that for most papers, it ends up being pretty straight forward.

When you get into the process (with them at least) you'll discover that you only get paid a fixed rate for every paper, and in order to get $30/hour, you need to CRANK through the paper. Everyone in my lab (for a lark) decided to try doing this and all of us found that our take-home pay was less than minimum wage. The papers we got were termed "typical" - e.g., that there could be substantively more difficult papers that we were to work on, and almost unilaterally were written by foreign students in English. We were expected not only to correct spelling and grammar but to heavily edit the papers for quality- when we failed to do so, it was sent back to us with comments attached that we needed to "work more diligently".

Moreover, while the editor gets paid a pittance (I'm forgetting the amount, but something like $40 for shorter papers, $50 for longer papers, and $70 for papers dozens of pages long), the company AJE rakes in 3-5x the amount.

Anyway, we all found it an exasperating experience and all 7 of us quit soon after we were "accepted" as editors (they have you go through a paper editing qualification and course that takes a while). Incidentally, when we quit, they contacted us to ask "why?" and when we explained, they said that we should try to work faster, that that was how "everyone else" made $30+/hour.

So that's one at least to avoid. The only positive is that if they accept you after the first "test edit" that the next test edit is paid, at least, but they're really a bad company. So much for being a graduate student startup!
posted by arnicae at 9:51 AM on March 17, 2010

It's fine to get paid for coaching a student who's having trouble. But, IMHO, it's simply dishonest to "improve" an assignment that's not good enough to turn in. That's why all the term paper "assistance" sites I've ever seen are crooked. A student who can't write an acceptable paper shouldn't get a free pass due to your re-write.

Would you trust a doctor or a lawyer who could complete a course only with outside help?
posted by KRS at 11:41 AM on March 17, 2010

No really - it is "cue". As in, "Cue the band." But then again, queue as in "queue up" seems to make a lot of sense too. Maybe queue is used in the British English version of the expression?
posted by kitcat at 5:14 PM on March 17, 2010

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