Academic Knowledge Review

Note from me: I asked my friend to write this Academic Knowledge review because I get so many questions about writing for them after writing this article about the company, and I have never done it. He has kindly agreed to share his experiences of working for them below. He really does work for them and this is his honest review of Academic Knowledge. It sounds like a tough gig, but if you can hack it, it looks like a pretty good work from home option…

Writing as a Researcher for Academic Knowledge

Academic Knowledge Review

I have been working as a freelance researcher for Academic Knowledge for almost four years now and my experience thus far has been very positive. At first I combined this work with a mix of other freelance activities, but as the months have passed I have built up a good relationship with all of the staff at Academic Knowledge and now this is by far my largest source of income. I can thoroughly recommend this company because of the following very big plus points:

  • The work is flexible and I can combine it with my family commitments
  • Every day brings new topics, and interesting challenges, so that I am never bored
  • The staff are friendly, efficient and very helpful when you start out as a new researcher
  • The rates of pay are the best in the business (and I have tried a few!)
  • There is a built in quality control system and customer feedback system so that you always know how well you are doing
  • You don’t have to make out an invoice or request payment – your fees are posted with a running total as you go along and your payment comes into your bank account monthly.

It would be fair to say, however, that there are a few important considerations to bear in mind if you sign up to work for Academic Knowledge:

  • It takes a while (several months) to build up your reputation with the company so that you become eligible for the larger and better paid orders.
  • You cannot select your own work – you have to bid, and often the briefs you prefer will go to other writers. Over time, however, you can build up expertise in certain areas and then you will receive more work in those areas.
  • The work is seasonal, and so some months are busier than others. In my first six months I earned between £40 and £500 per month but after a year I was averaging £1000 per month and now I am very happy with an average of over £3000 per month.
  • You have to produce top quality work, on time, every time. The required standards are extremely high, and every single brief that you write is graded by the quality control team. Sometimes you will be asked to amend a brief once, or even twice, in order to meet the customer’s requirements. The customer can also require amendments and so you have to be willing to accept criticism and continually revise your work, even if you don’t necessarily agree with the comments you receive. This can be frustrating but it is all part of the customer service ethos that the company has.
  • The rules on plagiarism are harsh – you will be removed from the books immediately if you plagiarise, even if you re-use parts of your own work.
  • There is a policy of fines for late work – so far I have never experienced being fined but then I am very conscientious and if ever I have a problem with deadlines I telephone immediately and sometimes (but beware: not always!) an extension can be given. The delegations team sometimes ask me to do a particular order and I do try to fit these ones in if I can.

Don’t apply if you are looking for an easy source of income. Being a researcher at Academic Knowledge is a very demanding, sometimes frustrating but ultimately also rewarding role. It requires attention to detail and a professional attitude as well as high academic qualifications and excellent writing skills. If that doesn’t scare you then this may well be exactly the opportunity you are looking for.

That’s it, that’s his Academic Knowledge review, take what you can from it, but to be honest the only way to really find out is to try it yourself, up to you 🙂

Their website is:

5 Replies to “Academic Knowledge Review”

  1. Hi Stew! This sounds quite interesting but I’ll have to have a think about it first. Do you know if they provide access to sources?

      • Hi James, I have asked my friend and this is his reply re. sources:

        “That depends on what subject you are writing for. They can provide access to legal sources. Others you have to locate yourself, but they are happy to help and have a list of useful places to find sources and so on. It’s quite surprising how much good research is not locked behind a paywall! Plus, once you build up a good collection of sources, you have the tools you need to get lots of work done”.

        Hope that helps, good luck if you decide to give it a try, let us know what happens if you do 🙂

  2. I wrote for Academic Knowledge for a couple of years.

    It’s a great side project, if you don’t care that students are submitting your work as their own.

    You are well supported – Academic Knowledge gives you access to journal site Deep Dyve, and provide great feedback for your work.

    They are strict on plagiarism because universities check for that. If students are buying their assignments from you, having them get caught for plagiarism would be terrible for business.

    The staff are lovely, and payments are always on time.

    The only downside is there is no time limit for amendment requests, and any amendment is due within 24 hours or you receive a financial penalty.

    An amendment request could be as simple as explaining part of the work, to a few hours of extra research.

    After two months of not submitting anything I took a holiday. During that time a client requested an amendment for work I had completed months ago.

    I was heavily pressured to complete this even though I was in a remote village with almost no resources, and had planned the holiday months in advance.

    On another occasion I was penalized for not responding to an amendment on time because I was offline for the weekend. Again, the piece of work had been completed several weeks prior – I had no way of knowing an amendment request was going to come through.

    Because change requests can come through at any moment for any piece of work you ever completed, you can never fully disconnect or consider something ‘complete’.

    Previously there was a deadline for requesting amendments. Extending the deadline was an optional extra you could offer your client. I hope they go back to this policy.

    I stopped writing for Academic Knowledge because you were expected to be online all the time, and when I looked at my hourly rate I could earn more elsewhere.

    But it was a fantastic experience as far as writing goes. You get very good at creating an argument, doing research quickly, and working on a deadline. Plus who doesn’t like working from home?

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