Re-Writing: A New Bane for Freelance Writers

Re-Writing: A New Bane for Freelance Writers
by Bianca Raven

Recently, a writing friend invited me to proofread a few of the articles she'd written for a new 'freelance writing assignment' she'd landed. She was very proud to have received a paying writing job and wanted my opinion before submitting them to the publisher.

The job description as told by her was quite simple - take 20 article topics dictated by the publisher and create 20 new articles.

It sounded good so far.

I was happy to take a look over her articles for her. Each was no longer than 500 words, and each written on a topic chosen for her by the editor. I was very impressed by the level of research my friend had put into each article - especially since they varied across some broadly different niches. 20 researched articles in under a week! The girl mustn' have slept at all.

So I asked her how she squeezed so much research into such a short time. Her answer shocked and surprised me.

Basically put - she did NO research at all.

That doesn't mean she made up the information. Far from it. A few of the topics spanned my own personal niche and they were factually correct, however brief. But the information was stolen and then copied from the hard-work of another writer and 're-written' so it could pass a Copyscape.com detection.

I left that thought hanging for a moment and wondered then how much my friend was being offered for writing 20 articles on topics she knew little about in under a week.

Rather than tell me, she proudly showed me the actual listing to which she'd responded, calling for writers.

I've listed it below:

I need a writer who can rewrite articles in his/her own words while retaining the meanings of the original articles.
I will provide 20 articles (containing 500-600 words each) for you to rewrite and I should retain all rights to the articles written.

In rewriting articles you will
- Provide re-written versions that must be 100% original and unique while retaining the keywords. No sentences or paragraphs in your rewritten version can be uniquely identifiable from the original version (I will check through copyscape to detect any sign of duplication for each article. Each one will pass Copyscape and DupeFree for uniqueness of 95% minimum.)

- Provide re-written articles that have 500 words or more BUT If the original article provided by me contain 600 words or more you need to rewrite to minimum 600 words.

- Re-write each article (INCLUDING article titles) in a way that its meaning is retained.

- Provide re-written versions that are grammatically correct and in standard American English and should make sense to the reader

- Article must be in Word 2000 format

- Must save the documents accordingly and DO NOTE RENAME THE FILES so I can cross reference with the original article files

Your rewritten version of articles are not allowed to be rewritten in the following manner
- changing only a word or two (e.g., substituting synonyms) and leaving the sentences still intact and recognizable from the original text;

- simply transposing whole sentences within a paragraph (e.g., putting the last sentence somewhere in the middle of the paragraph).

- using any software ( I want all of my articles to be manually rewritten)
NOTE:I'll be having more rewrites coming up. As such the maximum bid of this project is US$30

I honestly thought I'd misunderstood the listing at first. Sadly, I hadn't.

Now, I'm a big fan of Copyscape.com. You type in the URL of your own article and it searches the net for any piece of work with similar content. Over the years it's been a great way to see who is listing my work rightfully and who isn't.

Now these sharks have found a new way to get out of paying writers the professional rates required for highly researched niche topics - AND avoid the plagiarism search engines at the same time!

I promptly jumped onto the site where she'd found this listing originally and not only did I find the above listing, but I found many more just like it.

Take this gem from a completely different 'editor' for instance:

Rewrite 20 articles
What I need:
An excellent writer who is willing to rewrite 20 articles (350-400 words) that has no errors and will pass copyscape. Two days is the timeframe (10 articles submitted for checking every 24 hours).
Take note: no payment for: 1. substandard work 2. work fails to pass copyscape 3. fails to meet deadline. Budget is 30$.
I will acquire perpetual, unconditional ownership once payment is made.

Seriously? I mean you've got to be kidding me!

Or how about this little diamond:

Urgent - rewrites
I need 7 short pieces rewritten urgently. They MUST be done by a person - not rewriting software. They need to be returned within the next 12 hours. I am posting this job for a longer period, but I will award it as soon as I have a good candidate.If your first language is not English then do not bid unless you have an extremely high level of written English. My first language is English so I will know if you aren't up to the standard I ask.
I am willing to pay no more than $20 for all 7 rewrites

It's bad enough that people are asking writers to work for this kind of disgusting payment for low-down dirty work - but it's even worse that new writers all over the world are jumping at the pitiful pay-rates just to make a buck. Yes, each of these "job" listings had multiple writers bidding to gain the work.

They may call it "re-writing", but let's be honest: it's the lowest form of theft dressed up and resold to the lowest bidder. It's outright plagiarism to steal another writer's work. What hope is there for professional freelance writers around the world when this kind of activity is not only rampant, it's growing at an alarming rate!

Let's get the word out to serious writers everywhere to help newer writers avoid "opportunities" like this like the plague.


elle said...

I like this post.

Bianca Raven said...

Thanks elle. I think this practise of stealing good writer's work and then "re-writing" it should be banned! It's unfair to hard-working writers everywhere

Zainab Zayer said...

uuh ,,
reminds me of skool ,,
whenever the doctors or instructure asks for a report , many or i may say most of the students do search for previous reports already made via students or search through out the net for any article or whatever , paste theier names n id's n submited !
gettin a full mark so easily ,,

i wonder if new tallented ppl gona be raised with this ganaration :S ,,

nice one bianca ,,