Monday, December 6, 2010

Ethical Problems

"You got an ethical problem with writin' my paper? You can't handle it?"

This was a question from a potential writing client. He needed "help" with papers for his masters program at a prestigious university.

I'm sure you can guess my answer.

Please, please, please!, understand that as a professional writing coach, I will help you to develop your voice and writing skills. I will point out patterns of errors in your paper, offer you resources, examples, and more, but I won’t actually write your paper for you.

Do you really want someone to write your paper for you?

The Chronicle for Higher Education recently published The Shadow Scholar about a man who writes student papers for a living. It is both fascinating and horrifying all at once. If a student has the money and wants to hire someone to write a paper, there are writers who are willing to take the job. But what will that student do later when she has memos or emails that she must write while holding a paid position? Will she continue to pay someone to do her work? How will she get promoted, or perhaps find a job in the first place, without knowing how to formulate a clear idea and share it with others?

As a writing coach, I work to put myself out of business. If I can help writers to develop the tools to write on their own, then I know that they will be able to succeed on their own. They shouldn’t write like me, but they should know the rules and even how to break them, consciously.

If you are looking to work with a writing coach to help you to develop your (own) writing skills, I look forward to hearing from you: ChloeMiller(at)gmail(dot)com.

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