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Academics as Content Writers? It’s Debatable

Guest PostGuest Post
May 7, 2018

Editor’s note: This is a guest post by Amanda Sparks, Head of Content at Essay Supply.

At first thought, it seems illogical and a waste of money. Hiring an academic writer as part of a content writing team? Weren’t these the people who were our teachers? The people who insisted we learn how to write in formal English, using complicated sentences and big words?

Yes, actually, those are the very people you may want to consider as part of a content writing team.

You may be asking what an academic writer could possibly contribute to content writing. And to be sure, there are definite pros and cons. Before you develop a definite opinion about this, consider the following.


  1. Academic writers are highly skilled in research techniques and the ability to determine truth from fiction. As content writing becomes more and more focused on providing valuable information to readers/viewers, having a research expert on board can be a huge plus. Academic writers are accomplished researchers. They can sift through information and data, evaluate sources, and provide writers with the best and most credible resources for the points they are making.
  2. Critical thinking skills are a “given” for seasoned academic writers. Their abilities to engage in higher-level thinking skills – comparison/contrast, application of theory to practice, analysis, synthesis, and evaluation – can provide insights to those responsible for actually crafting the content.
  3. Reliance on “scientific approach” rather than gut feelings. Content writers are often creatives. They love to use words and thoughts to capture attention, to maybe be a little weird, to exaggerate for effect, etc. And that’s a good thing because consumers love to have a bit of fun while they absorb content. But if that content is not backed by facts and data, the blowback can be real. An academic writer can review and check and provide the data that should be included in content.
  4. Often these writers come from essay writing services where they have had to produce pieces of writing under pressure of tight deadlines, and yet stick with the rules of research and writing “rules.” Assuming this role on a content writing team can keep content production and publication on schedule.
  5. They are great at editing and can repair sentence and punctuation errors quickly. While content writing is not formal, it must be error-free in terms of grammar, composition, and mechanics.
  6. Academic writers are especially skilled in structural formatting of written content. They understand the key needs for thesis statements and for a logical flow of coherent writing. While they may not be skilled in the informal writing style of content, they can easily evaluate fluency and coherence and provide insight into the structure of content.
  7. Academic writers can be valuable content producers when white papers are needed. These are more formal documents that rely on research and data as key elements. Academic writers are perfect resources and writers for this type of content.


  1. Because academic writers tend to be very “scientific” in their approach to writing, they tend not to have developed a lot of creativity. They will probably not be coming up with catchy titles and headlines and will not be major contributors of creative approaches to content presentation. They are used to a “drier” approach to information presentation.
  2. Academic writers have a tough time making the transition to content writing. They don’t have lots of experience with casual writing styles; they are used to complex sentence structures and a sophisticated vocabulary. There will be learning curve for these writers to make the transition so they will not be writing content upon joining the team. This means that they may not be productive writers until they are able to “scale down” their rhetoric if they are actually able to do so.
  3. Academic writers tend to be quite serious about their research and writing because this is their background and experience. Loosening up to be more casual and to accept the lower level of writing that is appropriate for content writing is often not “natural” for them. They may never be able to fully abandon the stricter requirements of scholarly writing. Any content they write may need to be edited and revised to reflect the common consumer appetite.

So, What Should Be the Decision?

Only you can determine your content writing/team needs. In terms of bringing an academic writer on board, there are some definite benefits, if the role they can play is valuable to content goals. They have very definite skills to add to a team that may not be skilled in research and evaluation of the credibility of sources, of categorizing content, and of providing analysis and synthesis of that content. Further, they can be the editors that ensure grammatical “rules” are followed. The fact that they may not be able to produce creative content in an informal format must also be considered. However, they may very well be able to act as a “foil” for creative content writers who are not as focused on the skills scholarly writers possess.

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Amanda Sparks, professional marketer, and blogger, head of content department at Essay Supply. She works as a marketer for 7 years and is passionate about developing innovative and customer-friendly solutions for brand growth.

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