Freelance Writing: Simple Tips on Complicated TopicsQA Revelations: Food for Thought

Some thoughts about your work from our QA Dpt. Working online can feel anonymous and dehumanizing at times. This new blog is meant to offset that. We want it to be an important communication channel, establishing a more personal relationship between our far-flung writers and the company’s in-house staff.

That’s why we conducted a series of interviews with the QA Department, seeking to personalize their work, and share, with you, what issues frustrate them daily. Look for upcoming articles here, taking the perspective of the hard-working folks who help us all stay in line with the company’s standards and procedures.

When I first got the brain wave to interview our own in-house employees, I didn’t know where to start. So, I just sauntered over to QA, and made myself incredibly annoying; wandering around, staring over their shoulders at their monitor screens, and asking dumb questions.

And, voila! It worked! They were so eager to get rid of me that they abandoned their computers to answer my questions=) Of course, I’m joking! These folks always help writers, which included me as the blog writer. Their reflex responses kicked in and they extended themselves graciously to answer all my inquiries (Thanks, by the way).

So, let us cut to the chase – many issues bother the QA Department!

Account Security

One of the most dangerous and damaging issues concerns account security.
“Some of our writers ‘share’ their accounts with other users. And this is really frustrating, because we have not had the chance to verify the other person(s)’ qualifications. Thus, we simply have no idea what kind of quality or style we are going to see in the final paper!” – said Nina Richmond, one of the top managers in the QA Department.

Additionally, such ‘shared’ accounts create other disturbing problems. For example, there are instances wherein accounts were hacked into, and ‘stolen’. The more people with access to an account, the less secure it is, for all involved.

“Writers have lost hundreds (and), sometimes, even thousands of dollars associated with their accounts” reports Alice Buckster, QA Department manager. That’s why we encourage people to treat their personal information and account security seriously.

However, the most damaging aspect of this practice is that the company’s experienced editors have no objective means to judge/evaluate/classify the writing produced under the aegis of a ‘shared’ account. We make every effort to assign jobs based on the proven skills, knowledge, style, vocabulary, and other assets, of each writer.

If writer Z is trying to ‘share’ their account with an anonymous brother or sister, or in-law, or neighbor, there will inevitably be communication gaps, and frustration. The customer may expect one style, or emphasis, or depth of knowledge or insight, and receive quite another.

Have you considered that this can bite us all in the posterior? Unhappy customers are not ‘return customers’. They recount their bad experiences to others. Remember, one angry customer destroys our reputation more than many satisfied ones can enhance it!

If there is someone in your household/neighborhood who feels skilled and expert enough to do custom writing, go ahead and encourage them to apply and become a registered writer as well. Then, both of you can benefit from the overwhelming crush of work in the ‘high season’. We welcome applicants that are more qualified! Just don’t try to stuff two or more writers into one writer account.

That can be quite disastrous.
By the way, when I conducted this interview it was Nina’s birthday :) So, Happy birthday Nina! The cake you brought for the office was fabulous=)


Another important issue that bothers the QA Department is self-plagiarism.
“The number of guys that self plagiarize is pretty substantial,” says Charlie Jones, QA Dpt. manager. “And the more experienced the writer the more chances that he/she will self plagiarize” adds Nina Richmond.

Unfortunately, eventually, many writers resort to this practice to save time and meet a deadline
It is easy to understand how they fall into this; many orders seem to address similar topics to those they have worked on previously, and the writer may be tempted to copy-paste something from this earlier order. They may see nothing wrong in this, since the words were theirs in the first place. Sorry, folks! This is, indeed, self-plagiarism, and it is wrong intellectually and in terms of good business.

It could be disastrous for the customer. If they use your paper as a model for their own work, as they are supposed to do, they may unwittingly copy some of your words. Let’s just remember that, as noted in an earlier blog article, many, many colleges and employers use to check for plagiarism.

That system not only compares text to published works by established scholars and authors, but also to all the papers submitted previously for checking by Let’s think about the resulting potential chain of events for a moment.

If a paper of yours has been used as a model by a previous customer and you thoughtlessly re-use some of it in a model paper for another customer, and somehow it slips by the plagiarism check (QA’s unceasing nightmare), your customer may be cited for plagiarism when they hand it in. This could mean delay in professional certification, or loss of a grade, at the best, and loss of a career, at the worst. This is serious stuff, folks!

“Imagine you are copy-pasting a piece of info from Wikipedia” said Charlie Jones. That’s how you should treat self plagiarism – just like any other kind of copyright violation and professional dishonesty. Furthermore, you can’t quote any of your previous model papers, either, because they cannot be treated as an official source, despite your advanced degrees. Instead, find another way to use those nicely thought-out ideas, perhaps by locating a published reference which says something similar (or different, and demolishing that argument in incisive and lapidary prose)!

Order Verification

Ok, we are moving on to a fun issue – one I know you folks simply ‘love’! It’s the order verification procedure…Aarrgghh!… I know, I know – no one likes it, it consumes masses of time, and sometimes takes away your money! However, it’s a must, if we want to maintain the quality of our products, and keep our customers coming back and referring others to our company for future work.

“We hope that all our writers will finally understand the importance of the order verification process. We can see that most of them are doing the best they can to keep up with the requirements” – said Alice Buckster.

You need to remember, folks, that all of the requirements for the order verification procedure are available to view on our website. Click on the link at the left hand of the page, labeled ‘Format Requirements’, ‘Home’. Take the time to familiarize yourself with them. You can also always direct format questions to the Support team.

We encourage you to allow time before the deadline to check your format compliance (unless the order has specified otherwise). You can post a list next to your computer screen for easy reference.

It is also helpful to develop a sequence of keystrokes for each submission. I would suggest this one:

  • ‘Save as’ correct file name
  • Go to Review tab
  • Select Spell Check/Grammar
  • Select option of grammar + style, choose your preferences
  • Slog through that checking process
  • Control+A to select all text
  • Go to Home tab
  • Select Arial
  • Select 12 point
  • Select double-spacing
  • Under paragraph tab, select one-inch margins
  • Select and highlight Bibliography/Works Cited section (sometimes the bibliography function defaults to a different typeface and format when you correct your references)
  • Select Arial, 12 point, one-inch margins, double-spaced
  • Select the paragraph “more” arrow to lower right of that tab
  • Select ‘Special’ for indentation
  • Select ’hanging’ for indentation
  • Re-examine with eyes, not just computer software
  • ‘Save as’ correct file name
  • Submit!
  • Collect vast amounts of pay :)

We hope that you understand the importance of our mutual cooperation. The standard format speeds QA’s review of your submission. Our bibliographic and grammar accuracy sets our service apart from other companies.

I would like to send a person thank you to QA for their gracious help. It really contributed to shaping the article!

You can get more things done by simply turning to QA or the support! For more details on how to do that, read this article

Have a great day and keep up the good work, folks! See you!

1 Comment

  • jane
    September 28th, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Great article! And Happy Birthday to Nina! She is really caring and just at the same time, which is proven by my cooperation with QA department! :)

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