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Are Essay Writing Services Trustworthy? 10 Things You Need to Know

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Many students and professionals juggle full schedules. Meeting essay deadlines can be stressful amidst work, family and academic commitments. Not to mention, shifting mental gears from work to social life to high-quality essay writing--in a single afternoon--can sometimes feel overwhelming.

If you’re in a time-crunch, or if writing simply doesn’t come naturally and you’re looking for guidance (to avoid pesky brain fog), essay writing services are a great tool and technology for writers needing a little help.

Essay writing services can help you:

  • Conduct research during your preliminary writing stages
  • Clarify and organize your dissertation or thesis writing
  • Receive an example essay to use as a writing guide if you’re stuck
  • Proofread or edit your essay draft
  • Craft a grammatically and structurally correct essay if you’re not fluent in English
  • Make sure your formatting and citation styles are correct

As you might have noticed, there are literally hundreds of essay writing services online-- and unfortunately not all are trustworthy. If you’re in a bind to complete an essay on time (or just need support and guidance), there’s a few things you need to know.

Follow this guide to make sure you receive the top-quality help you’re looking for.

10 Things to Know When Searching for an Essay Writing Service

#1: Do they specialize in the type of essay you need?

Many essay writing services claim to be able to write a variety of essay types. But do they specifically list the type of essay you’re looking for, at the level of skill you need? For example, if you need a persuasive essay, rather than a research essay, be sure the service can provide that. If you’re a graduate student, make sure the essay writing service you work with provides graduate-level example essays and assistance.

A great way to do this is to look for published examples of essays on the site. Or, ask a customer service agent if you can see an example of their products. Are they up to par? Do their examples cover a diverse spectrum of topics? Or, is the writing style inferior and limited? If the service can’t provide the level of writing and the topic you’re looking for, continue searching.

Plus, does the essay writing service you want to work with provide the service you need?

Here’s some key questions to use as a guide:

  • If I need an example essay, can they provide the type I’m looking for?
  • Is there a limit to the number of sources I can request?
  • Are the title and reference pages free? (They should be).
  • Does the writing service provide editing help if that’s all I need?
  • Do they provide developmental and grammatical editing?
  • If I only need research, can they help me with that?
  • What if I just need to create an outline but I don’t need a draft written?

#2: Beware of plagiarism

Crazy as it sounds, too many online essay writing services provide inferior, non-original papers. Not only is plagiarism prohibited in schools and universities, but it also presents a legal issue to writing services who plagiarize. Unfortunately, some essay writing services actually resell their own papers. This sometimes happens among essays that are frequently requested and relate to a common topic.

To be sure you’re purchasing original content, verify the essay writing service you choose checks each paper for plagiarism before providing it to you. Also, if you do purchase an entire essay, be sure to use it as an exemplary writing guide.

#3: Don’t settle for less than stellar customer service

Remember, the number one goal of working with an essay writing service is support and service during your writing process. When a deadline is approaching and words start to blur, nothing’s worse than receiving a poor-quality product with no access to customer support.

Make sure you can message your writer during the writing process via email or chat. A great essay writing service will allow you to upload specific instructions to your writer. Stellar services will also allow you to request writers you’ve worked with and trust. Last, be sure there’s a customer service phone number you can call if you encounter any last-minute issues.

#4: Know their refund and revision policy:

Especially if you’re needing assistance with a lengthy document like a thesis or dissertation, this is a must. Long documents often require multiple rounds of drafting and editing in order to fully develop content. So, when you’re considering an essay writing service, ask questions like:

  • If I’m not happy with my document, can I request a revision?
  • How many revisions can I request?
  • Is there a time limit on when I can request a revision?
  • Are revisions free?
  • Who will revise my paper if I need a revision? Will it be the same writer who originally wrote it?
  • If I’m not happy with my paper, revisions or any of the services I asked for, can I get a refund?
  • Is there a disclaimer to refunds? What does it state?

#5: Don’t go free, and (usually) super cheap isn't worth it

Granted, it’s tempting when you’re on a budget. But, the last thing you want is the headache of last-minute scrambling to re-do a crummy product or make up for a lack of service.

Although “Free” can seem like a good deal at first, a little reasoning suggests you’re more likely to encounter plagiarism when using a free writing service. After all, to make “free” cost-effective for the site providing the essays, that site may be re-using commonly-requested essays. This also means you’re less likely to be able to customize what you want. When grades, learning and success depends on it, you want top-notch, custom service.

Also, don’t settle for the cheapest. Especially if the site promises inexpensive essays in a flash. Generally, if you’re in a hurry and need an essay written as quickly as possible, a slightly higher fee will be charged in order to cover the cost it requires for an extremely skilled writer to quickly produce a top-notch essay.

The bottom line is, writing a quality, custom essay is a process. It takes time and skill. As a result, quality essay writing services are priced accordingly. This doesn’t mean that quality sites don’t sometimes run promotions or deals. Keep an eye out for special discounts and you could still save.

#6: Make sure your writer is qualified

Review the site’s website. Do a little research on how writers are hired and qualified. Are writers English speakers, or able to write in the language of your choice? Are the service’s writers only undergraduate students, or does the service employ professional writers who are able to produce graduate-level writing?

While poor-quality essay writing services may settle for inexpensive labor and employ only undergraduates, many exceptional writing services will hire writers with specific backgrounds and skills sets able to assist with subject-specific essays. For example, if you need assistance with a doctoral-level nursing essay, a quality service may be able to pair you with a writer with graduate-level experience in nursing.

If you can’t find information about a company’s writers on their site, call customer support and ask about their writer qualification process.

Afraid a writing service might be a scam? Avoid online writing scams with help from our how-to guide!

#7: Can they match your writing style?

It can be difficult to get the help you’re looking for if your writer can’t match your style. For instance, if you’re an ESL student needing help creating better sentence structures and making your essay flow, you’ll want a writer who can understand the tone and voice you’d like to write in. Do you prefer a persuasive tone? A humorous tone? A logical voice? Do you write simply or prefer complex sentence structures?

A skilled writer can easily match your style after looking at a sample of writing you share. Make sure you can upload instructions and samples to your writer through a message or email platform. This will make it easier to clarify whether or not your writer is a good match.

#8: Look for reviews

A great way to qualify an essay writing service is to search for and read unbiased reviews. You can usually find reviews by searching sites like Quora, Reddit and Google. Although the essay writing service site might list reviews on their website (as they should), reviews on places like Google and Quora can be helpful because they're likely more neutral.

However, be aware of essay writing services that don’t list client testimonials and reviews. Services that provide value will have at least a few testimonials and reviews listed somewhere on their site. If you can’t find them, contact customer support and ask where you can read reviews.

Another great way to qualify an essay writing service is to look at reviews on places like Glassdoor. By reading internal reviews (from writers) you can also get an idea of the quality of the company.

Finally, check the site to see if the company is BBB accredited or lists any other professional recognitions and qualifications. Ask your friends, peers and colleagues for recommendations of writing services they’ve had great experiences using.

#9: Turnaround Time

How quickly do you need your essay or the help you’re looking for? Most quality essay writing services will allow you to choose how quickly you’d like your example essay, editing, or other assistance.

Generally, services will be priced according to how quickly you’d like your request, and according to the level of quality you’re needing.

Excellent essay writing services should be able to provide you with an example essay quickly, though bear in mind that the longer your custom essay is, the more time it will take to create. If you’re unsure of how quickly a writer can produce the length and quality of essay you’re looking for, contact the site’s customer service number for guidance.

If your example essay wasn’t provided by the deadline you ordered, you should be able to request a refund. Missed deadlines create hassle and headache, and a quality essay writing service will be able to provide assistance by the deadline you request (so long as your time frame is an option when ordering).

#10: How much can you customize your order?

Once again, the goal of hiring an essay writing service is support in the writing, learning and editing process. So, you should be able to customize your order according to your needs. Plus, your writer should be able to provide you with feedback and tips if you request them.

Make sure the essay writing service you hire offers a variety of service types and options that allow you to:

  • Specify exactly how many sources you need cited
  • Clarify what tone and voice you’d like used
  • Indicate what citation style you prefer
  • Receive your example essay in the format you requested
  • Upload an outline you’d like followed
  • Request feedback from a writer or editor

Quick Screening Questions

Here’s a few quick screening questions to ask essay writing services:

  1. Can I communicate with my writer or request a favorite writer?
  2. Is there a customer support phone number?
  3. Does the essay writing service provide original content and check for plagiarism?
  4. Do they have awesome reviews?
  5. Does the service provide high-quality example papers written at the level of skill and in the topic I’m looking for?
  6. Can I request a revision or refund if I’m not happy?
  7. How are writers qualified?


Without a doubt, there’s quite a bit to consider. So, let’s recap:

Keep these considerations in mind when you’re choosing an essay writing service:

  • Know if the service can provide the type of essay you’re looking for
  • Ensure content is original and the service checks for plagiarism
  • Check their revision and refund policy
  • Check site reviews
  • Make sure quality is top-notch (look at examples and don’t use free services)

Also, before starting your search, it’s helpful to know exactly what type of essay you need and what aspects of writing you need help with. For instance, do you need help writing, conducting research, drafting an outline or all of the above?

Look for an essay writing service that checks all these boxes, and you’ll be on your way to success!



Ultius, Inc. "Are Essay Writing Services Trustworthy? 10 Things You Need to Know." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. Ultius Blog, 01 Feb. 2019. https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/are-essay-writing-services-trustworthy.html

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Ultius, Inc. (2019, February 01). Are Essay Writing Services Trustworthy? 10 Things You Need to Know. Retrieved from Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services, https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/are-essay-writing-services-trustworthy.html

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Ultius, Inc. "Are Essay Writing Services Trustworthy? 10 Things You Need to Know." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. February 01, 2019 https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/are-essay-writing-services-trustworthy.html.

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Ultius, Inc. "Are Essay Writing Services Trustworthy? 10 Things You Need to Know." Ultius | Custom Writing and Editing Services. February 01, 2019 https://www.ultius.com/ultius-blog/entry/are-essay-writing-services-trustworthy.html.

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