How Much Can You Earn Writing Essays for Students?

First of all, why would a student need an essay written? Isn’t that cheating? No, not really. It could be considered more of a grey area, and here is why. A student should be graded on the work they do because it shows what they have learned, but does it really?

A quiz or discussions are a great way to see what a student has learned, but a paper that involves researching or the student gets to pick the essay topic, all they are doing is showing they have research and writing skills.

Some schools use APA format while others use MLA. This can be really confusing, especially if a student is used to another format. Getting a paper written can provide a top-notch example for the student to follow for future papers. Because the student is having you write the paper, instead of finding a random one on the internet, there is no chance of plagiarism. Plagiarism is what schools and teachers REALLY go after.

It is basically a form of theft. This alone can make students really wary and even scared about writing a paper. When you write a paper for a student, you give the student confidence that they will have a plagiarism free paper that has great spelling, grammar and correct formatting. You are providing them with a template for all their future papers. Sometimes students need papers written strictly due to time constraints.

They may be going to school and working and had to pick up extra hours or had additional homework in another class. They may have been ill, or in the hospital, or had to take care of a sick family member. Whatever is going on, they know they don’t have the time to do it, even though they know the material and how to write a paper. Students are humans too, we all things come up and we all need a little help now and then.

How do you find students that need essays written?

There are several ways to find students that need essays written. There are sites like or where a student may post a “job ad” saying they need an essay written, the due date and how much they can pay. You can also find some orders on Reddit. For instance, some redditors post their essay requirements in essay writing service subreddits, so you can find some new orders on Reddit from time to time. Once you write one, then you may even get requests from friends of clients whom they have referred. You can even check craigslist or other sites out there.

Popular essay writing services are always on the lookout for professional writers. That said, you can try to contact one of the essay writing services that are out there to see if they hire any new writers. If you don’t know where to start, has a list of the most popular essay writing services that Reddit users love. These writing companies have been on the market for years and they typically serve as an intermediary between students and freelance writers. Such companies don’t typically have in-house writers, so they’re more than willing to hire freelancers.

Okay, so how much money can I actually make doing this?

The answer is it varies. On sites such as freelancer and Upwork, you can talk and message with your potential client and come up with a price that is agreeable to both parties. You will know upfront what they are wanting to offer, but negotiation is always possible. A lot of times they will want to go with the most cost-saving person, however meeting deadlines is always crucial. A lot of the essay sites have calculators.

The average essay, ranging about a thousand words, will run about $50.00 for a student, so you can expect around $30 to $40.00 of that. The best option though is to find your clients directly so that you get all of the profit and don’t have to share with a third-party website. Even with Upwork, if someone charges $20, they only actually see $16.00 of it. Some people will charge around $25 a page. Others charge around $40-$50 for 1,000 words.

There have been articles written on small and that says you average $9-$15 a page. If you are a talented writer working as a freelancer, you can write college level papers for $20 to $40 a page. There are some writers out there that can make $500 to $1,000 a week. If you are a complete writer and have no math skills whatsoever, that means you can make $2,000 to $4,000 a month.

Starting out though, I would anticipate only fifty to a hundred a week, so $250 to $400 a month. The odds that you will start out making thousands is really rare, so estimate low. As you get more repeat clients and your clients start giving you word of mouth referrals, your sales and work will go up, meaning so will your profit.

If you use a website to find students to write for, your work may be a little steadier than if you go the freelance route. Keep in mind a lot of schools are going to an online format, so a lot of students get about a paper a week. Another thing to keep in mind while you are writing papers for students and earning money doing it, is who is keeping track of your pay?

You will have to file taxes as a freelancer where you report. Your income. If you go on a site and have a third party involved your wages are likely tracked. If you go completely rouge and freelance by yourself, you will have to keep track of your earnings. According to, once you earn $400.00 you need to report your freelance income on your taxes.

However, the same list has a list of items that you can likely deduct as business expenses including equipment, phone and internet, electric, office supplies and so on. The IRS of course has a site for freelancers to help with figuring out what to file, what kind of employee you are and what forms you may need. 

The views expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of The World Financial Review.