If you had a penny for every essay you’d written…you’d probably have about fifty cents. But you spend so much of your time writing essays, surely there must be some way to make money out of it? Besides selling your own essays or writing essays for other students (which is – and I cannot stress this enough-one of the stupidest things you can do as a student, and can wind you up in a moral and possible plagiarism-tastic quandary), there are ways you can apply the skills you learn writing essays in the real writing world. How? Read on…
There is a fact that rumbles across pretty much all employment sectors across the world – if you can do something that other people can’t, you can get paid for it. If you’re studying a niche topic – say, science, a specific area in history, a particular mathematic theorem – then there’s no reason you can’t apply the research to writing articles for newspapers, magazines and blogs. Many freelance writing sites offer links to both academic and popular interest publications that are constantly on the lookout for articles – why not use your knowledge to craft something that might inform other people, as well as pocketing a bit of cash for your troubles? The more niche your topic, the more you’ll get paid for it – and if you look hard enough, you will find someone out there willing to hand over some cold, hard cash in exchange for your knowledge and ideas.
Even if you don’t get the highest grade in essays, writing them gives you key argument skills. You know where to find facts, how to construct an argument, and how to make your point with your evidence. Even if you’re writing essays about the driest of dry subjects, who’s to say you can’t apply your debate skills to an article about why Scrubs is better than Friends? If you read a few opinion pieces from major newspapers, you’ll see that most of them revolve around the author making and proving their point, no matter how silly or facetious it might seem. Write up an opinion piece about something you feel passionate about, and then use it to apply for jobs in your areas of interest. Whether that’s music, art, fashion or politics, being able to argue your point succinctly and with relevant evidence is a skill that will get you far in the freelance writing world.
Basically, essay writing gives you a great grounding in two things:
- your area of research,
- and basic writing skills that are valued by publications all over the world.
Freelance jobs are easy to find – try free sites like Odesk and Elance to start with – and all you need is the knowledge that if you can write a great essay, you’ve nailed down a big chunk of the skills lots of publications are looking for. Now, write a kick-ass cover letter with your awesome skills, and get out there. Got to pay for those Saturday nights somehow…