Write anything from scripts or news to blogs or books.
An Academic Writer creates college-level papers such as essays, dissertations, and theses. Technically, any college student is an Academic Writer. However if you want to make money in this position, you will write papers for someone other than yourself—which means you need to move beyond turning in the product of an all-nighter.
Use your freshman paper as the first step on your path to beginning your career as a professional Academic Writer. In this position, you devote your writing to topics of interest, or to intellectual debates with other students or faculty. Research papers and other documents that express viewpoints, challenge current ideas, or induce thought-provoking dorm room chatter all fit the bill.
Finding a topic is the easy part. Ideas are around you every day. When the Barista makes your coffee at Starbucks, you might consider the addiction of caffeine, the damage inflicted by artificial sweeteners, or the impact of a wafting coffee aroma on the day’s sales numbers. With this curiosity, you investigate existing research on the subject, formulate your own hypothesis, test your theory, and/or present expectations and results in a formal document.
Writing this type of document is very different from a journal entry, short story, or Christmas letter. The style must obey the rules outlined in one of many style manuals (Chicago or APA). These guidelines cover precise details from the number of spaces following a period to the proper way to mark a footnote on the page.