Academic Writer

Write thoughtful essays or well-researched papers.
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Quick Stats

Salary Range
$29,000 – $109,000

Data from U.S. Department of Labor

What do Academic Writers do?

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.

Should I be an Academic Writer?

You should have a bachelor's degree or higher and share these traits:
  • Persistent: You keep pushing through, even when faced with tough obstacles.
  • Outside the Box Thinker: Your creative brainpower gets a workout as you come up with innovative ideas.
  • Ready for a Challenge: You jump into new projects with initiative and drive.

  • How to become an Academic Writer

    We recommend at least a Bachelor's degree. Check out these schools offering Academic Writer-related education!
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