Academic writing is a form of content writing quite commonly undertaken in the freelance industry. It is, however, one of the most challenging forms of content writing as well because it is strictly professional and requires more than just flair in writing appropriate words and sentences.
Due to the rise in the demand of academic writers, the industry has become lucrative and requires skilled writers. If you are one of those who wishes to become an academic writer, then there are lots of things you need to take care of.
In this article, we will discuss ten tricks that will lead you to become a successful freelance academic writer:
1. Prepare A Portfolio
The first and foremost thing to do is to prepare a good portfolio. In order to create a good portfolio, you will need to take note of its organization as much as possible. You need to list down all your qualifications chronologically and under respective headings.
Since you wish to become or grow as a freelance academic writer, you should consider reflecting your skills through your portfolio. It is, therefore, necessary to arrange and describe your portfolio using the right language and tone. You must pay special attention to the brief description that you will give to your qualifications and achievements so that the reader gets a prima facie idea that you possess the necessary skills.
2. Perfect The Art of Researching
Academic writing requires extensive research, and inarguably, research is not a piece of cake. It is not just about going through Google and randomly putting keywords in the search engine. It is topic-oriented and without directionlessness. While you may end up collecting a huge pile of articles to use in your article, they may not be relevant and of poor quality.
Anyone who wishes to improve their research-related skills and techniques can do a number of things. For example, one must learn to rely more on scholarly websites which offer peer-reviewed materials such as Jstor than on platforms such as Wikipedia that is unreliable and could be edited by anyone.
In addition to this, one must identify the right keywords before starting research. Read through articles carefully, and instead of piling up a bulk of articles, it is always better to select those which can play a significant role in your article.
3. Give Credits
Academic writing requires a lot of research. You might come across a topic you are not adequately aware of and will, inevitably, end up referring to a number of articles. It will be unethical of you if you do not give them due credit in your article.
A successful academic writer knows the value of the generation of content. Content is not easy to create and is a work of someone who has put in time and resources into its creation, and therefore, laws across the globe enforce copyright laws. You must ensure that you give due credits to the creators of any article you refer to in your work.
For providing credits, you should consider using a uniform form of citation which could be Bluebook, MLA, OSCOLA, etc. It depends on the requirements of the article, and in the absence of such requirements; upon the discretion of the academic writer.
4. Go Online
You cannot underestimate the power of the Internet in propelling one’s career. It possesses enough potential to make a celebrity out of you overnight, and hence, you must ensure that you have marked your presence online.
There are many websites that you must immediately sign up if you haven’t. These websites include Freelancer.com, Upwork.com, and Guru.com. All you need to is to create a profile, upload a professional display picture and a nicely done portfolio, and your job is done. These websites allow you to send proposals to clients, secure a deposit, and ensure credible work assignments among many other things.
5. Work On Writing Good Proposals
When you apply for jobs on freelance websites or otherwise, you will have to submit a proposal along with an application. These proposals lay down your professional profile and why you are best suited for the job, briefly.
Be professional while writing proposals. Point out your qualities which are specific to the job applied for and use tone and language which does not reflect the desperation of any sort. Do not boast and stay true to who you are.
6. Strengthen Your Professional Network
For a freelancer, networking is an indispensable necessity. You will have to keep establishing and maintaining contacts so that work keeps coming to you.
Stay close to your school friends, college mates and office colleagues who can assist in the popularisation of your freelance services. It is advisable to establish contacts with editors of newspapers, academic journals, and books so that they know who to look for when in need of content.
You must consider joining LinkedIn, as it is presently the most extensive network of professionals in the world and can help you approach the right people for work. It will provide you the convenience to know who your competitors are, who your potential recruiters are, and what makes a good professional.
7. Be A Stickler For Guidelines
One of the most common issues which clients have with academic writers is that the latter tend to make unwarranted incorporations and not stick to guidelines.
Always remember that academic writing requires that you keep in mind the right citation format, the proper use of sources, the right number of words, and others. As compared to other forms of article writing, there is less scope of infusing creativity into the content.
By this, it should not be construed that you must rigidly follow guidelines and avoid making necessary improvements where need be. All that is needed that you do not mess with the core of the guidelines.
8. Consider Joining Certificate Courses
There is a string of reputed platforms which offer beginner to advanced level courses on academic writing such as Coursera, edX, etc. If you want some recommendations on courses, you can check out this link. Having certificates added to your resume will definitely get you brownie points.
9. Gain Experience
Experience sells in the freelance industry. The more experienced you are, the better your chances to gain more and better work. If you are a fresher, you must start looking for avenues which can increase your experience.
While as a fresher it may be difficult to gain big working opportunities, you might consider writing good sample articles to add to your portfolio. You can go for unpaid work opportunities so that you can add them up to your portfolio as work experiences. With time, you will gain enough to raise the bar and get the most out of your freelance career.
10. Don’t Give in To Pressure
Academic writing could turn into a really tedious task, especially when you are a freelancer. However, you must keep in mind that nothing in freelancing comes easy—there is always a fight, and you must not back out.
Anyone who wishes to be a freelance academic writer must consider academic writing seriously. There are so many things one can do to excel as an academic writer, and we have enumerated the same in the preceding paragraphs. While these tips may not be exhaustive, they are assuredly effective provided you take them seriously.
We are concerned about all of this because we care and want the freelance industry to grow qualitatively. We wish to engage people in such discussions so that they know what they should know and can produce better output. To help us achieve this goal, we would like you to share our article with the world at large and contribute your thoughts on it as well.