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College Essays


If you grow up to be a professional writer, everything you write will first go through an editor before being published. This is because the process of writing is really a process of re-writing —of rethinking and reexamining your work, usually with the help of someone else. So what does this mean for your student writing? And in particular, what does it mean for very important, but nonprofessional writing like your college essay? Should you ask your parents to look at your essay? Pay for an essay service?

If you are wondering what kind of help you can, and should, get with your personal statement, you've come to the right place! In this article, I'll talk about what kind of writing help is useful, ethical, and even expected for your college admission essay . I'll also point out who would make a good editor, what the differences between editing and proofreading are, what to expect from a good editor, and how to spot and stay away from a bad one.

Table of Contents

What Kind of Help for Your Essay Can You Get?

What's Good Editing?

What should an editor do for you, what kind of editing should you avoid, proofreading, what's good proofreading, what kind of proofreading should you avoid.

What Do Colleges Think Of You Getting Help With Your Essay?

Who Can/Should Help You?

Advice for editors.

Should You Pay Money For Essay Editing?

The Bottom Line

What's next, what kind of help with your essay can you get.

Rather than talking in general terms about "help," let's first clarify the two different ways that someone else can improve your writing . There is editing, which is the more intensive kind of assistance that you can use throughout the whole process. And then there's proofreading, which is the last step of really polishing your final product.

Let me go into some more detail about editing and proofreading, and then explain how good editors and proofreaders can help you."

Editing is helping the author (in this case, you) go from a rough draft to a finished work . Editing is the process of asking questions about what you're saying, how you're saying it, and how you're organizing your ideas. But not all editing is good editing . In fact, it's very easy for an editor to cross the line from supportive to overbearing and over-involved.

Ability to clarify assignments. A good editor is usually a good writer, and certainly has to be a good reader. For example, in this case, a good editor should make sure you understand the actual essay prompt you're supposed to be answering.

Open-endedness. Good editing is all about asking questions about your ideas and work, but without providing answers. It's about letting you stick to your story and message, and doesn't alter your point of view.


Think of an editor as a great travel guide. It can show you the many different places your trip could take you. It should explain any parts of the trip that could derail your trip or confuse the traveler. But it never dictates your path, never forces you to go somewhere you don't want to go, and never ignores your interests so that the trip no longer seems like it's your own. So what should good editors do?

Help Brainstorm Topics

Sometimes it's easier to bounce thoughts off of someone else. This doesn't mean that your editor gets to come up with ideas, but they can certainly respond to the various topic options you've come up with. This way, you're less likely to write about the most boring of your ideas, or to write about something that isn't actually important to you.

If you're wondering how to come up with options for your editor to consider, check out our guide to brainstorming topics for your college essay .

Help Revise Your Drafts

Here, your editor can't upset the delicate balance of not intervening too much or too little. It's tricky, but a great way to think about it is to remember: editing is about asking questions, not giving answers .

Revision questions should point out:

  • Places where more detail or more description would help the reader connect with your essay
  • Places where structure and logic don't flow, losing the reader's attention
  • Places where there aren't transitions between paragraphs, confusing the reader
  • Moments where your narrative or the arguments you're making are unclear

But pointing to potential problems is not the same as actually rewriting—editors let authors fix the problems themselves.

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Bad editing is usually very heavy-handed editing. Instead of helping you find your best voice and ideas, a bad editor changes your writing into their own vision.

You may be dealing with a bad editor if they:

  • Add material (examples, descriptions) that doesn't come from you
  • Use a thesaurus to make your college essay sound "more mature"
  • Add meaning or insight to the essay that doesn't come from you
  • Tell you what to say and how to say it
  • Write sentences, phrases, and paragraphs for you
  • Change your voice in the essay so it no longer sounds like it was written by a teenager

Colleges can tell the difference between a 17-year-old's writing and a 50-year-old's writing. Not only that, they have access to your SAT or ACT Writing section, so they can compare your essay to something else you wrote. Writing that's a little more polished is great and expected. But a totally different voice and style will raise questions.

Where's the Line Between Helpful Editing and Unethical Over-Editing?

Sometimes it's hard to tell whether your college essay editor is doing the right thing. Here are some guidelines for staying on the ethical side of the line.

  • An editor should say that the opening paragraph is kind of boring, and explain what exactly is making it drag. But it's overstepping for an editor to tell you exactly how to change it.
  • An editor should point out where your prose is unclear or vague. But it's completely inappropriate for the editor to rewrite that section of your essay.
  • An editor should let you know that a section is light on detail or description. But giving you similes and metaphors to beef up that description is a no-go.


Proofreading (also called copy-editing) is checking for errors in the last draft of a written work. It happens at the end of the process and is meant as the final polishing touch. Proofreading is meticulous and detail-oriented, focusing on small corrections. It sands off all the surface rough spots that could alienate the reader.

Because proofreading is usually concerned with making fixes on the word or sentence level, this is the only process where someone else can actually add to or take away things from your essay . This is because what they are adding or taking away tends to be one or two misplaced letters.

Laser focus. Proofreading is all about the tiny details, so the ability to really concentrate on finding small slip-ups is a must.

Excellent grammar and spelling skills. Proofreaders need to dot every "i" and cross every "t." Good proofreaders should correct spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and grammar. They should put foreign words in italics and surround quotations with quotation marks. They should check that you used the correct college's name, and that you adhered to any formatting requirements (name and date at the top of the page, uniform font and size, uniform spacing).

Limited interference. A proofreader needs to make sure that you followed any word limits. But if cuts need to be made to shorten the essay, that's your job and not the proofreader's.


A bad proofreader either tries to turn into an editor, or just lacks the skills and knowledge necessary to do the job.

Some signs that you're working with a bad proofreader are:

  • If they suggest making major changes to the final draft of your essay. Proofreading happens when editing is already finished.
  • If they aren't particularly good at spelling, or don't know grammar, or aren't detail-oriented enough to find someone else's small mistakes.
  • If they start swapping out your words for fancier-sounding synonyms, or changing the voice and sound of your essay in other ways. A proofreader is there to check for errors, not to take the 17-year-old out of your writing.


What Do Colleges Think of Your Getting Help With Your Essay?

Admissions officers agree: light editing and proofreading are good—even required ! But they also want to make sure you're the one doing the work on your essay. They want essays with stories, voice, and themes that come from you. They want to see work that reflects your actual writing ability, and that focuses on what you find important.

On the Importance of Editing

Get feedback. Have a fresh pair of eyes give you some feedback. Don't allow someone else to rewrite your essay, but do take advantage of others' edits and opinions when they seem helpful. ( Bates College )

Read your essay aloud to someone. Reading the essay out loud offers a chance to hear how your essay sounds outside your head. This exercise reveals flaws in the essay's flow, highlights grammatical errors and helps you ensure that you are communicating the exact message you intended. ( Dickinson College )

On the Value of Proofreading

Share your essays with at least one or two people who know you well—such as a parent, teacher, counselor, or friend—and ask for feedback. Remember that you ultimately have control over your essays, and your essays should retain your own voice, but others may be able to catch mistakes that you missed and help suggest areas to cut if you are over the word limit. ( Yale University )

Proofread and then ask someone else to proofread for you. Although we want substance, we also want to be able to see that you can write a paper for our professors and avoid careless mistakes that would drive them crazy. ( Oberlin College )

On Watching Out for Too Much Outside Influence

Limit the number of people who review your essay. Too much input usually means your voice is lost in the writing style. ( Carleton College )

Ask for input (but not too much). Your parents, friends, guidance counselors, coaches, and teachers are great people to bounce ideas off of for your essay. They know how unique and spectacular you are, and they can help you decide how to articulate it. Keep in mind, however, that a 45-year-old lawyer writes quite differently from an 18-year-old student, so if your dad ends up writing the bulk of your essay, we're probably going to notice. ( Vanderbilt University )


Now let's talk about some potential people to approach for your college essay editing and proofreading needs. It's best to start close to home and slowly expand outward. Not only are your family and friends more invested in your success than strangers, but they also have a better handle on your interests and personality. This knowledge is key for judging whether your essay is expressing your true self.

Parents or Close Relatives

Your family may be full of potentially excellent editors! Parents are deeply committed to your well-being, and family members know you and your life well enough to offer details or incidents that can be included in your essay. On the other hand, the rewriting process necessarily involves criticism, which is sometimes hard to hear from someone very close to you.

A parent or close family member is a great choice for an editor if you can answer "yes" to the following questions. Is your parent or close relative a good writer or reader? Do you have a relationship where editing your essay won't create conflict? Are you able to constructively listen to criticism and suggestion from the parent?

One suggestion for defusing face-to-face discussions is to try working on the essay over email. Send your parent a draft, have them write you back some comments, and then you can pick which of their suggestions you want to use and which to discard.

Teachers or Tutors

A humanities teacher that you have a good relationship with is a great choice. I am purposefully saying humanities, and not just English, because teachers of Philosophy, History, Anthropology, and any other classes where you do a lot of writing, are all used to reviewing student work.

Moreover, any teacher or tutor that has been working with you for some time, knows you very well and can vet the essay to make sure it "sounds like you."

If your teacher or tutor has some experience with what college essays are supposed to be like, ask them to be your editor. If not, then ask whether they have time to proofread your final draft.

Guidance or College Counselor at Your School

The best thing about asking your counselor to edit your work is that this is their job. This means that they have a very good sense of what colleges are looking for in an application essay.

At the same time, school counselors tend to have relationships with admissions officers in many colleges, which again gives them insight into what works and which college is focused on what aspect of the application.

Unfortunately, in many schools the guidance counselor tends to be way overextended. If your ratio is 300 students to 1 college counselor, you're unlikely to get that person's undivided attention and focus. It is still useful to ask them for general advice about your potential topics, but don't expect them to be able to stay with your essay from first draft to final version.

Friends, Siblings, or Classmates

Although they most likely don't have much experience with what colleges are hoping to see, your peers are excellent sources for checking that your essay is you .

Friends and siblings are perfect for the read-aloud edit. Read your essay to them so they can listen for words and phrases that are stilted, pompous, or phrases that just don't sound like you.

You can even trade essays and give helpful advice on each other's work.


If your editor hasn't worked with college admissions essays very much, no worries! Any astute and attentive reader can still greatly help with your process. But, as in all things, beginners do better with some preparation.

First, your editor should read our advice about how to write a college essay introduction , how to spot and fix a bad college essay , and get a sense of what other students have written by going through some admissions essays that worked .

Then, as they read your essay, they can work through the following series of questions that will help them to guide you.

Introduction Questions

  • Is the first sentence a killer opening line? Why or why not?
  • Does the introduction hook the reader? Does it have a colorful, detailed, and interesting narrative? Or does it propose a compelling or surprising idea?
  • Can you feel the author's voice in the introduction, or is the tone dry, dull, or overly formal? Show the places where the voice comes through.

Essay Body Questions

  • Does the essay have a through-line? Is it built around a central argument, thought, idea, or focus? Can you put this idea into your own words?
  • How is the essay organized? By logical progression? Chronologically? Do you feel order when you read it, or are there moments where you are confused or lose the thread of the essay?
  • Does the essay have both narratives about the author's life and explanations and insight into what these stories reveal about the author's character, personality, goals, or dreams? If not, which is missing?
  • Does the essay flow? Are there smooth transitions/clever links between paragraphs? Between the narrative and moments of insight?

Reader Response Questions

  • Does the writer's personality come through? Do we know what the speaker cares about? Do we get a sense of "who he or she is"?
  • Where did you feel most connected to the essay? Which parts of the essay gave you a "you are there" sensation by invoking your senses? What moments could you picture in your head well?
  • Where are the details and examples vague and not specific enough?
  • Did you get an "a-ha!" feeling anywhere in the essay? Is there a moment of insight that connected all the dots for you? Is there a good reveal or "twist" anywhere in the essay?
  • What are the strengths of this essay? What needs the most improvement?


Should You Pay Money for Essay Editing?

One alternative to asking someone you know to help you with your college essay is the paid editor route. There are two different ways to pay for essay help: a private essay coach or a less personal editing service , like the many proliferating on the internet.

My advice is to think of these options as a last resort rather than your go-to first choice. I'll first go through the reasons why. Then, if you do decide to go with a paid editor, I'll help you decide between a coach and a service.

When to Consider a Paid Editor

In general, I think hiring someone to work on your essay makes a lot of sense if none of the people I discussed above are a possibility for you.

If you can't ask your parents. For example, if your parents aren't good writers, or if English isn't their first language. Or if you think getting your parents to help is going create unnecessary extra conflict in your relationship with them (applying to college is stressful as it is!)

If you can't ask your teacher or tutor. Maybe you don't have a trusted teacher or tutor that has time to look over your essay with focus. Or, for instance, your favorite humanities teacher has very limited experience with college essays and so won't know what admissions officers want to see.

If you can't ask your guidance counselor. This could be because your guidance counselor is way overwhelmed with other students.

If you can't share your essay with those who know you. It might be that your essay is on a very personal topic that you're unwilling to share with parents, teachers, or peers. Just make sure it doesn't fall into one of the bad-idea topics in our article on bad college essays .

If the cost isn't a consideration. Many of these services are quite expensive, and private coaches even more so. If you have finite resources, I'd say that hiring an SAT or ACT tutor (whether it's PrepScholar or someone else) is better way to spend your money . This is because there's no guarantee that a slightly better essay will sufficiently elevate the rest of your application, but a significantly higher SAT score will definitely raise your applicant profile much more.

Should You Hire an Essay Coach?

On the plus side, essay coaches have read dozens or even hundreds of college essays, so they have experience with the format. Also, because you'll be working closely with a specific person, it's more personal than sending your essay to a service, which will know even less about you.

But, on the minus side, you'll still be bouncing ideas off of someone who doesn't know that much about you . In general, if you can adequately get the help from someone you know, there is no advantage to paying someone to help you.

If you do decide to hire a coach, ask your school counselor, or older students that have used the service for recommendations. If you can't afford the coach's fees, ask whether they can work on a sliding scale —many do. And finally, beware those who guarantee admission to your school of choice—essay coaches don't have any special magic that can back up those promises.

Should You Send Your Essay to a Service?

On the plus side, essay editing services provide a similar product to essay coaches, and they cost significantly less . If you have some assurance that you'll be working with a good editor, the lack of face-to-face interaction won't prevent great results.

On the minus side, however, it can be difficult to gauge the quality of the service before working with them . If they are churning through many application essays without getting to know the students they are helping, you could end up with an over-edited essay that sounds just like everyone else's. In the worst case scenario, an unscrupulous service could send you back a plagiarized essay.

Getting recommendations from friends or a school counselor for reputable services is key to avoiding heavy-handed editing that writes essays for you or does too much to change your essay. Including a badly-edited essay like this in your application could cause problems if there are inconsistencies. For example, in interviews it might be clear you didn't write the essay, or the skill of the essay might not be reflected in your schoolwork and test scores.

Should You Buy an Essay Written by Someone Else?

Let me elaborate. There are super sketchy places on the internet where you can simply buy a pre-written essay. Don't do this!

For one thing, you'll be lying on an official, signed document. All college applications make you sign a statement saying something like this:

I certify that all information submitted in the admission process—including the application, the personal essay, any supplements, and any other supporting materials—is my own work, factually true, and honestly presented... I understand that I may be subject to a range of possible disciplinary actions, including admission revocation, expulsion, or revocation of course credit, grades, and degree, should the information I have certified be false. (From the Common Application )

For another thing, if your academic record doesn't match the essay's quality, the admissions officer will start thinking your whole application is riddled with lies.

Admission officers have full access to your writing portion of the SAT or ACT so that they can compare work that was done in proctored conditions with that done at home. They can tell if these were written by different people. Not only that, but there are now a number of search engines that faculty and admission officers can use to see if an essay contains strings of words that have appeared in other essays—you have no guarantee that the essay you bought wasn't also bought by 50 other students.


  • You should get college essay help with both editing and proofreading
  • A good editor will ask questions about your idea, logic, and structure, and will point out places where clarity is needed
  • A good editor will absolutely not answer these questions, give you their own ideas, or write the essay or parts of the essay for you
  • A good proofreader will find typos and check your formatting
  • All of them agree that getting light editing and proofreading is necessary
  • Parents, teachers, guidance or college counselor, and peers or siblings
  • If you can't ask any of those, you can pay for college essay help, but watch out for services or coaches who over-edit you work
  • Don't buy a pre-written essay! Colleges can tell, and it'll make your whole application sound false.

Ready to start working on your essay? Check out our explanation of the point of the personal essay and the role it plays on your applications and then explore our step-by-step guide to writing a great college essay .

Using the Common Application for your college applications? We have an excellent guide to the Common App essay prompts and useful advice on how to pick the Common App prompt that's right for you . Wondering how other people tackled these prompts? Then work through our roundup of over 130 real college essay examples published by colleges .

Stressed about whether to take the SAT again before submitting your application? Let us help you decide how many times to take this test . If you choose to go for it, we have the ultimate guide to studying for the SAT to give you the ins and outs of the best ways to study.

Want to improve your SAT score by 160 points or your ACT score by 4 points? We've written a guide for each test about the top 5 strategies you must be using to have a shot at improving your score. Download it for free now:

Get eBook: 5 Tips for 160+ Points

Anna scored in the 99th percentile on her SATs in high school, and went on to major in English at Princeton and to get her doctorate in English Literature at Columbia. She is passionate about improving student access to higher education.

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“ Very affordable and professional”

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EssayAssist Review That Explains What to Expect From the Service

A modern student might easily get lost in the abundance and toughness of academic challenges. How often are you trying to cope with too many assignments and still missing the deadline in the end? The fact that it happens quite frequently is, perhaps, the main reason why various paper writing companies are so popular among students these days. Hardly anyone can blame students for seeking help when trying to deal with this ever-growing study load and opting for an essay writing assist website. But how to find the trustworthy one and be sure that you delegate your tasks to the guys who are not gonna make things even worse? In this review, we share the first-hand experience with yet another writing solution for students across the country.

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Pricing System and Essay Assist Discount Code

For starters, let us point out that the EssayAssist website is designed in an eye-catching grey, salmon, and blue colors template. Once you visit it, you will find out that it’s straightforward to navigate. The main page isn’t cluttered with too much information; it primarily speaks of the service’s advantages, provides client reviews, and showcases a quick guide on how to place an order. There is also a price calculator to help you estimate the cost of the prospective order right away.

Generally speaking, EssayAssist’s prices are close to the market’s average and appear quite suitable to any budget. I did like that there is no bidding system, so you can quickly calculate the fixed cost of the required paper. IMHO, the bidding system provokes tough competition between writers, which often gets in the way of focusing on the order’s quality alone. To speak in numbers, you can get a high school-level paper with a 2-week deadline for $10 per page, which is a cheap option compared to many other services. Urgent 3-hour orders of the same level will go at $38 per page.

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Does Essay Assist Work?

To test EssayAssist, I chose to ask them to assist me to write an essay on Marketing. I pretended to be a struggling student who hasn’t found any profound info on the issue while the deadline was looming too fast. I told a customer manager I read positive reviews about their service on Reddit and decided to give it a shot.

With this in mind, I intentionally contacted customer support at 3 am to figure out the ordering process. I liked that web developers didn’t miss such an essential part as a live chat. For me, it’s the most convenient way to reach support agents. Who, by the way, responded very quickly. The operator politely navigated through the process and answered the question. At the same time, I got a feeling that he talked as if trying to finish our conversation as soon as possible. Of course, I don’t really blame him – I wanted it finished, too. Yet, the experiment had to be performed in full. In general, everything went fine, the order went on, and I went to bed.

My $81-paper was delivered just in time. What can I say? Nothing extraordinary – a couple of typos, one formatting flaw here, one logical inconsistency there… Though I could have easily and quickly fixed these issues by myself, I requested a free revision – I’m here to test all aspects of the service, after all. The next day I got the altered text – this time it was great.

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How Reliable Is Essay Assist? Can You Trust It?

The short answer is yes, at least, with my order, worked 100%.

I wouldn’t claim that one glance at this college essay website is all it takes to see that it’s secure, legit, and reliable. However, it does have working business processes that allow taking orders, processing and delivering them while providing adequate customer support. I didn’t request a refund, but I did request and received a free paper revision. Thankfully, any student can figure out how to do that – either by reading their on-site instructions or via the support.

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To cut a long Essay Assist review short, there is no doubt it’s a legit service. They have almost 300 testimonials on Trustpilot with an average rating of 4.7. Sitejabber rating is lower – just 4.27; however, there are only couple dozen reviews. Except for negative feedback about late delivery and mistakes in papers, Essay Assist reviews definitely show that the number of satisfied customers prevails. Rating

If paper writing isn’t your forte as a high school or university student, or if you are a master at procrastinating, feel free to try EssayAssist at least once. Their services don’t cost a pretty penny but can easily save loads of time. Writers do a fairly good job here; however, judging from reviews, sometimes, to get a shot at an A-grade paper, you would need to order a higher-level piece, request a revision, or polish the text on your own. Forewarned is forearmed, so weigh up all the pros and cons on that one.

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Order-Based EssayAssist Review

Published by globalearn on april 15, 2021 april 15, 2021.

EssayAssist is a writing service with a nicely designed website yet mediocre quality of writing. On the upside, the company offers various types of writing services for all academic levels at market-average prices. However, the final result might require requesting a revision or polishing the paper by yourself, which in any case means wasting more time and effort

Just a quick recap: is a writing service with years of experience in providing academic services to high school, college, and postgraduate students. Even though most of the reviews about the service are favorable, there are still people who claim it to be a scam and indecent website. So, how does this platform work? Is it really legit and reliable? Let’s figure this out.

Pricing Policy and Essay Assist Discount Code

It’s generally considered that the market-average price per page of college/undergraduate-level writing is somewhere around $11-13. So, we weren’t too surprised to see the $12 price tag on the EssayAssist website. On the pricing page, we noticed that the cost of a school paper can go as low as $9 per page if ordered two weeks in advance. In an emergency mode (that is in 3-6 hours), it costs $38 per page. Hence, if you can properly manage your time, you can enjoy the minimum prices and save a dime; otherwise, you’d have to fork out pretty considerable money. At the same time, the service doesn’t offer discounts or bulk promos – and that’s something completely out of line compared to the competitors.

essayassist pricing

Writing Quality and Services Overview, Plus Where to Get Coupons

Before evaluating the service, we’ve looked through what people say about the service on the Internet. Impressively, EssayAssist customer reviews online prove the service enjoys having a big following out there, including reviews on Trustpilot and Sitejabber. Moreover, if you visit a popular networking platform and ask how does Essay Assist work, Reddit users will throw in a number of testimonials, mostly neutral (which is a really nice indicator when it comes to online writing services). Besides, such platforms – as well as discount-accumulating websites – are full of 10% off Essay Assist codes you may apply to the order. coupons

EssayAssist claims that its writers can handle a variety of academic tasks, for example, writing from scratch (essays, coursework, business plan, or even a dissertation) or editing and proofreading. We ordered a 4-page analytical essay on e-commerce during the COVID pandemic that should’ve been delivered in 5 days and got a quote of $76. A promo code we googled in 5 minutes saved us $7, so the final cost of the paper got reduced to $69. As usual, we’ve registered, received a login confirmation, placed an order, and sat back waiting for the outcome. Despite a strong introduction and conclusion, it seemed that the writer repeated the same arguments throughout the paper. Plus, it was full of minor spelling and grammar mistakes.

Customer Support: Does Essay Assist Work on Their Blunders?

Due to the paper’s mediocre quality, we use the option of free revisions and contacted customer support. Customer service is one of the strong points of the service. I had a brief conversation with the agent, who explained how to send the revision request and advised to make my instructions as clear as possible. He also promised that the revision will be performed by a different writer within 24 hours. On the other hand, he also tried to lure me into their affiliate program, which was completely out of subject.

In general, my impression about EssayAssist customer support is positive as helpful and quick support agents are rare nowadays. By the way, he did deliver on the promise – our paper was amended within a day.

Another thing we can point out is that all the main guarantees (confidentiality, revision, and money-back option) are clearly visible and explained on designated pages. All cases when you can request a free revision or refund are straightforward.

Other Features

As with many other similar services, you can add extra features while placing an order. EssayAssist offers the following options: an abstract page, plagiarism report, and PowerPoint slides. Moreover, if you have some more money to spend, feel free to order a High Priority service and indulge in the highest level of support. features

Essay Assist Review: Final Verdict

Let us put it this way: it feels like this service has a lot of potential. By providing quick academic support at affordable rates, EssayAssist created good conditions for students who need a boost in their studies. At the same time, we’d suggest working on the consistency of writing quality even if it can slightly influence the prices, because who needs low rates and urgency when the final result leaves much to be desired?

Essay Assist

Essay Assist

Range of Services

Writing Quality

Customer Service

  • Unlimited revisions
  • Good support
  • Simple ordering procedure
  • No on-site discounts
  • Mediocre writing quality
  • Few extra services

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Best Online Writing Tutoring Services

Chegg is our pick for best online writing tutoring service

Everyone needs a little writing boost from time to time, whether they're working on a term paper, preparing for the essay portion of a standardized test, or developing niche writing skills.

Online writing tutors are a great solution to any writing issues you or your child might have, with plenty of instructors specializing in every niche imaginable, right at your fingertips. And, thanks to the pandemic and the growing need for flexible learning options, online tutoring options continue to expand.

If you're looking for professional help or a way to boost your creative writing skills, we've reviewed some of the best online writing tutoring services out there.

The 7 Best Online Writing Tutoring Services of 2024

  • Best Overall: Chegg
  • Best for High School Students: Princeton Review
  • Best for Transparent Pricing: Skooli
  • Best National: Kaplan
  • Best for Creative Writing: Wyzant
  • Best for Professional Writing: Business Writing Center
  • Our Top Picks

Princeton Review

Business Writing Center

  • See More (3)

Final Verdict

Comparing online writing tutoring services, frequently asked questions, methodology, best overall : chegg.

  • Price: Starting at about $15.95 per month
  • Grade Level: High school-age and older
  • Frequency: As needed

Chegg makes it easy to find tutors with expertise in your struggle areas. Plus, you’ll be able to submit a paper and receive feedback within 48 hours.

24/7 support

Submit papers for feedback

Plagiarism checker

Different tutor for each use

No real curriculum or lessons

Chegg covers pretty much any subject you might need writing help in, which is a comfort for students. The site has thousands of writing experts, all with their own individual expertise and specialties. Whether students need help with literary analysis, lab reports, or a history research paper, someone can assist.

Chegg’s system allows learners to submit a paper they need help with and have it checked by a suitable expert who can provide feedback within 48 hours, whether it's an answer to a specific question or a general scan of your paper and writing style.

The platform offers a subscription plan for Chegg Writing, which includes a plagiarism detector, free citation creation, and proofreading and grammar scans for an unlimited number of papers.

The writing subscription is $9.95 per month, however there is a free trial. Prices for Chegg study and tutor start at around $15.95 per month.

Best for High School Students : Princeton Review

Use promo code INVESTO15 for 15% off MSRP.

  • Price: Starts at $40 an hour up to roughly $350 to $1,450 for six-month flex plans
  • Grade Level: K-12 and higher education
  • Frequency: One to 10 hours per month, or 10 hours to 50 hours in six months

High school students will benefit from the help of expert tutors that can cater to individuals’ one-on-one needs and specific learning goals. The tutors are available 24/7 for those late-night cramming sessions.

One-on-one tutors plus premade content for academic help

Tutors available 24/7

Heavily vetted tutors include professors, teachers, PhDs and other experts

Can be expensive

No one-off sessions

Princeton Review just might be the perfect fit for high school students looking for help with their writing skills.

Whether they're looking for help on a book report, a research paper, an admissions essay, or something else, they can call on these tutors 24/7 to polish writing skills. Even better: Princeton Review's instructors are categorized by topic, so students can specifically search for tutors with expertise in whatever subject help is needed.

Rather than negotiating rates with individual tutors, Princeton Review offers several different pricing plans, including monthly subscriptions with a set number of hours per month or a more flexible plan allowing access anytime.

Monthly packages range from about $40 for one hour to roughly $340 for 10 hours per month, while six-month flex plans run from approximately $350 for 10 hours ($35 per hour) to around $1,450 for 50 hours ($29 per hour).

These flex plans allow students to log on at any time during the six months, and a session can be as short or as long as they want.

Best for Transparent Pricing : Skooli

  • Price: Starts at $0.82 a minute with pay-as-you-go; as low as $0.65 a minute if you prepay 32 hours
  • Grade Level: Elementary school through college

There’s no commitment needed with Skooli. You can use the platform as needed, and you’ll only have to pay roughly $1 per minute. 

Get help instantly 

No commitment needed

Pay per minute makes rates reasonable

15 minute minimum

No student-tutor relationship, since you’ll book as needed

Since Skooli offers tutoring in plenty of different subjects, you’re likely to be able to find writing tutors who can help tailor your essays to the specific needs of your subject. Writing a history research paper is very different from writing a literary analysis, and you can browse Skooli’s wide range of tutors to find one with the background and expertise to help with your specific project.

You can use Skooli as a long-term tutoring option—either with one specific instructor or different ones each time students log on—but it’s also designed for in-the-moment queries. The pricing structure reflects that: Skooli charges around $1 per minute rather than monthly or even hourly rates, so all time is accounted for while learning.

For the most part, tutors on Skooli are well-vetted and experienced and hold degrees and teaching certifications, so students can be sure that every minute spent will further their knowledge.

Best National : Kaplan

  • Price: Courses start at $549 (ACT prep) and $1,100 (LSAT prep)
  • Grade Level: From high school admissions through career advancement
  • Frequency: Varies by course

Kaplan is widely known and trusted for online tutoring, and offers test prep tutoring from high school admissions tests through college admissions tests and beyond. 

Robust offering

Help for specific tests

Widely known and trusted brand

Not much offered beyond test prep courses

Not for basic writing tutoring

Kaplan's name and its test prep formulas are top of the line. For students looking for private or group tutoring to prepare for a standardized test or entrance exam, Kaplan’s tutoring program is one of the most comprehensive.

Students can sign up for small-group remote classes with experienced teachers or enroll in private, one-on-one tutoring. Tutoring sessions are highly structured, including multiple full-length practice tests and in-depth explanations for scores. It’s as close as it gets to taking the test before you actually take it.

While a good portion of the tutoring focuses on the multiple-choice sections of these tests, Kaplan tutors also work with students to improve their writing skills and help them learn what the test review boards are looking for in each individual exam. The platform is for serious, long-term tutoring with highly experienced tutors and exclusive materials, not one-time sessions, and the prices reflect that.

Prices vary depending on which test you’re preparing for. If you're prepping for the ACT, you can enroll in an online class with top ACT teachers for $549. If you want one-on-one tutoring, options start at $749. If you're prepping for the LSAT, they offer a live online course for $1,100 and one-on-one tutoring plus a live online course starting at $1,999.

Best for Creative Writing : Wyzant

  • Price: Starts at $25 an hour
  • Grade Level: All, plus adults

Wyzant allows you to search for tutors in your subject matter of interest, including both gen-eds and more creative classes. 

Ability to search for the type of tutor you want

Search within your price range

24/7 access to tutors

Experience is specific to the tutor you choose

Site does not have tutors adhere to a specific methodology

No tutor/student relationship, as sessions are one-off and as-needed

While the majority of tutoring sites focus more on straightforward academics, Wyzant also includes creative writing tutors. Whether you’re a student working on an English class assignment, a creative writing major looking for a little extra guidance, or just someone wanting to dig into creative writing on your own time, there’s likely an instructor for you.

The site filters tutors by broad subject area and then by narrower expertise. Prospective students can view a tutor’s profile, rating, and hourly rate before reaching out. Many of the site’s creative writing tutors have advanced degrees or professional experience, so you can be sure you’re getting genuine expert help.

Wyzant gives students and tutors a lot of leeway to negotiate their own relationships, both in the classroom and in terms of rates. Tutors set their own fees (the average is between about $25 and $65 per hour, although there are plenty of tutors above and below that range), and the platform offers a one-hour guarantee: the first hour lesson with a new tutor is guaranteed to be a success, or it’s free. It’s a great way to dip your toe in and get help honing your craft.

Best for Professional Writing : Business Writing Center

  • Price: $69 up to $595
  • Grade Level: Adult
  • Frequency: Self-paced for four months

Business Writing Center caters specifically to professionals by teaching business writing for reports, proposals, and other important work writing. 

Specifically for business professionals

Classes for non-native speakers available

Self-paced classes may not be for everyone

Greater fee for individualized courses

Business Writing Center (BWC) isn’t your typical tutoring service.

Rather than aiming its services at secondary school-aged students, the site is geared toward business professionals looking to brush up their writing skills. While some of the offerings are more suitable for business people whose first language isn’t English, there are options for one-on-one tutoring and feedback on professional reports, proposals, and other important work documents.

Rather than hourly tutoring, BWC offers its tutoring services through “coaching” courses. The company has a few different specialties, including document writing, coaching for executive writing, and a more general individual training option.

Self-paced courses start at $69, go up to $595, and can last up to four months. They allow students to work on real-world writing projects and get personalized feedback from an experienced teacher.

An online writing tutor can help students and professionals alike brush up on their writing skills so that their finished writing projects are more successful. Since you can access these tutors from anywhere, they can accommodate most schedules and learning rhythms. We chose Chegg Study as the best overall online tutoring service because it's affordable, convenient, and offers a range of writing tutoring options.

What Is an Online Writing Tutoring Service?

An online writing tutoring service is a website or platform that connects students with writing tutors, completely online and remote. These companies may be geared toward a specific grade level or type of writing, or they may be a more general platform to connect students and tutors.

A research study found that students who sought the help of tutors in writing the second draft of essays progressed more and scored higher on their second drafts than those who did not seek help. The same study found that students who used online tutoring services in addition to in-person tutoring in their school’s writing center scored even higher than those who did not take advantage of online tutoring services.

How Much Do Online Writing Tutoring Services Cost?

Online writing tutoring services cover a wide range of prices. In general, there are two basic models: pay-per-session or subscription. For the former, students pay for access each time they use the service for tutoring help. For the latter, students pre-pay for a package that spans a certain amount of time, number of sessions, or even a mini-course that also includes one-on-one tutoring time. Many tutoring services charge $1 per minute or $35 to $60 per hour. Monthly packages can range from about $69 to thousands of dollars.

What Can You Learn From a Professional Writing Tutoring Session?

Adult professionals can expect to gain practical skills they can apply directly to the writing they do in their chosen profession. Some of those skills may include document writing, executive writing, using basic grammar and sentence structure, and writing for non-native speakers of English.

Online writing tutors may also look over previously written documents and provide edits and/or suggestions to help you polish them.

What Features Do Online Writing Tutoring Services Have?

Every tutoring service structures its offerings a little differently, and each tutor may have their own particular style of teaching. That being said, these platforms are usually based around chat functions, either video/audio or text-based (or some combination of both), and many services have some type of screen-sharing and document-sharing capabilities.

Most online writing tutors will focus on helping students apply their knowledge in a practical sense. While some might have pre-planned assignments to develop particular skills (more common in specialized subjects like creative writing or test prep), other instructors prefer to have students come prepared with an assignment they need help with and give feedback to strengthen it.

Online writing tutoring doesn’t have to be overwhelming, and we’ve tried to make selecting an instructor as easy as possible. Because “writing” is such a broad skill applied to so many different settings, we’ve sorted out some of the categories that we think will be the most useful to the largest number of students. The platforms here range from specialized expertise in niches like business writing and test prep to more general essay-writing assistance.

Students seeking a writing tutor may want a long-term preparatory course or help with an individual essay. With this in mind, we’ve included a wide range of specialties and, more importantly, price points, from pay-per-minute instant feedback to formal, highly researched, long-term prep classes that cost significantly more over the course of several months.

Rachel Weill / Getty Images

Al Chibani W. The effectiveness of online and on-to-one tutoring in the writing center on the students’ achievement: a multiple case study . Int Lett Soc Humanist Sci . 2014;41:192-197. doi:10.18052/

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Dear Parent - One of the realities that confronts many high school seniors during the college application process is the data-centric nature of college admissions.  College applications involve standardized forms, obligatory exam scores, and formulaic transcripts; I remember applying to college and feeling schools were more interested in my statistics and quantitative measurements than in me as a person.  This over-reliance on data is what makes the college application essay such a crucial component of the college application.  When your child is competing for a spot at his or her first choice school against dozens of other students with nearly identical GPA’s, test scores, and extra-curricular backgrounds, the application essay becomes your child’s one opportunity to showcase himself or herself as something more than a data point.  Your child’s essay is the only opportunity an admissions officer has to get to know the creative and quirky, considerate and thoughtful, or inquisitive and courageous child that you know and love. Most students will never face a more difficult writing assignment than the college essay. Figuring out how to write a strong essay that showcases all of your unique strengths is tough enough, but doing so within the constraints of a few hundred words can feel near impossible. It's a challenge that vexes even great writers, and when the stakes feel so high it's no wonder the college essay process can be so overwhelming. Our college essay coaching is designed to help students craft a compelling essay or personal statement. Working with one of our exceptional writing instructors, your child will start by brainstorming potential topics. From there the process works through cycles of drafts and revisions until everyone is satisfied with the final piece. The goal is to help your child demonstrate why he or she will make a meaningful and unique addition to the campus community and learning environment, and to keep the process of achieving that goal organized and on track. Our writing instructors are extremely talented, and will coach and encourage your child to a finished product that you can be proud of. If you’d like to learn more about how our college essay coaching works and what it entails, I encourage you to scroll down and continue reading about this tremendous resource for college-bound students. Sincerely,

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We’ve helped over 30,000 students since the 1990’s

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One-to-one, private college essay support.

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Writing a strong college essay is an intensive effort, and there is no better support resource than a private essay coach. With a private coach your child will have the undivided attention of an expert writing instructor, and will be able to move through the process at a pace that fits his or her needs.

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This isn't a theoretical program. It is 100% focused on helping your child move from a blank page to a polished final essay that he or she can submit to colleges. Together with the college essay coach your child will work through the brainstorming, drafting, re-drafting, and final editing process.

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While nobody can guarantee your child acceptance to a particular school, our essay coaching program can help ensure that your child's application stands out. The goal is to increase your child's chances of admission by clearly communicating the unique and important contributions he or she will make to the campus community.

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Being smart isn't enough—our tutors are able to listen well and communicate clearly, and they adapt their approach to fit your child.

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To provide you access to our elite instructional team, and make tutoring logistics easier, all of our essay coaching takes place in our custom online learning environment. This innovative tool enables your child and his or her coach to brainstorm, edit, and work on drafts together, just as they would on at your kitchen table. Online tutoring replicates the in-person tutoring dynamic, and it’s remarkably effective.  

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Our one-to-one format and innovative approach make scheduling sessions with your essay coach easy. Generally, sessions occur about once a week over four weeks, but session timing and frequency can be adjusted to accommodate your child's schedule and his or her upcoming college application deadlines. We know you're busy, so we work hard to make things easy.  

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ChatGPT can be a great study assistant, but the responses you get are only as good as the input you provide. Keep these four tips in mind to craft great ChatGPT prompts :

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Trump Spurned by 30 Companies as He Seeks Bond in $454 Million Judgment

Donald J. Trump’s lawyers said in a court filing that he faces “insurmountable difficulties” as he tries to raise cash for the civil fraud penalty he faces in New York.

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Donald Trump in a navy suit and blue tie stands behind a barricade in a court hallway.

By Ben Protess ,  Maggie Haberman and Kate Christobek

Donald J. Trump’s lawyers disclosed on Monday that he had failed to secure a roughly half-billion dollar bond in his civil fraud case in New York, raising the prospect that the state could seek to freeze some of his bank accounts and seize some of his marquee properties.

The court filing, coming one week before the bond is due, suggested that the former president might soon face a financial crisis unless an appeals court comes to his rescue.

Mr. Trump has asked the appeals court to pause the $454 million judgment that a New York judge imposed on Mr. Trump in the fraud case last month, or accept a bond of only $100 million. Otherwise, the New York attorney general’s office, which brought the case, might soon move to collect from Mr. Trump.

Still, even if the higher court rejects his appeal, Mr. Trump is not entirely out of options. He might appeal to the state’s highest court, quickly sell an asset or seek help from a wealthy supporter.

Mr. Trump’s team has also left the door open to exploring a bankruptcy for corporate entities implicated in the case, according to people with knowledge of the discussions. That option, however, is politically fraught during a presidential race in which he is the presumptive Republican nominee, and for now it appears unlikely.

The judge in the civil fraud case, Arthur F. Engoron , levied the $454 million penalty and other punishments after concluding that Mr. Trump had fraudulently inflated his net worth to obtain favorable loans and other benefits. The case, brought by the New York attorney general, Letitia James, has posed a grave financial threat to Mr. Trump.

The former president has been unable to secure the full bond, his lawyers said in the court filing on Monday, calling it a “practical impossibility” despite “diligent efforts.” Those efforts included approaching about 30 companies that provide appeal bonds, and yet, the lawyers said, he has encountered “insurmountable difficulties.”

The company providing the bond would essentially promise to cover Mr. Trump’s judgment if he lost an appeal and failed to pay. In exchange, he would pledge cash and other liquid assets as collateral, and he would pay the company a fee as high as $20 million.

But Mr. Trump does not have enough liquidity to obtain the bond. The company would require Mr. Trump to pledge more than $550 million in cash and securities as collateral — a sum he simply does not have.

Although the former president boasts of his billions, his net worth is derived largely from the value of his real estate, which bond companies rarely accept as collateral. Mr. Trump has more than $350 million in cash , a recent New York Times analysis found, far short of what he needs.

He might have to post an appeal bond worth more than $454 million — possibly above $500 million, to reflect the interest he will owe — in order to prevent Ms. James from seizing his assets on March 25.

Under the law, Ms. James could have moved to collect from Mr. Trump as soon as Justice Engoron ruled, but she offered a 30-day grace period, until March 25. It is unclear whether she will provide Mr. Trump extra time or if she will move swiftly to collect. Nor is it clear whether the appellate court will rule on his plea for help before the deadline.

Mr. Trump could also seek to appeal to New York’s highest court, and it is unclear whether Ms. James will hold off on the seizure while he pursues that route.

A spokeswoman for Ms. James did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Mr. Trump has denied all wrongdoing and claimed that Ms. James and Justice Engoron, both Democrats, are out to get him.

“This is a motion to stay the unjust, unconstitutional, un-American judgment from New York Judge Arthur Engoron in a political witch hunt brought by a corrupt attorney general,” Steven Cheung, a spokesman for Mr. Trump’s campaign, said in a statement. “A bond of this size would be an abuse of the law, contradict bedrock principles of our republic, and fundamentally undermine the rule of law in New York.”

The looming deadline could not come at a worse time for Mr. Trump. He also faces four criminal indictments, including one in Manhattan that is tentatively set for trial in mid-April.

And just last week he finalized a $91.6 million bond in a defamation case he recently lost to the writer E. Jean Carroll, a costly deal that drained him of precious cash.

Mr. Trump, who obtained that bond from the insurance giant Chubb, pledged an investment account at Charles Schwab as collateral, records show. He most likely pledged more than $100 million in cash and stocks and bonds that he could sell in a hurry — investments that are now no longer available for him to use in the civil fraud case.

A nearly $500 million bond, Mr. Trump’s lawyers wrote on Monday, “is unprecedented for a private company.”

Yet Mr. Trump’s legal team “devoted a substantial amount of time, money, and effort” to finding one, according to a court filing by Alan Garten, the top lawyer at Mr. Trump’s family business.

Using four separate brokers, the lawyers approached more than two dozen companies that provide appellate bonds, including Chubb and Berkshire Hathaway, the conglomerate run for decades by Warren E. Buffett, Mr. Garten said. He added that most of the companies were either unable or unwilling to handle a bond of this size, and that none were willing to accept property as collateral.

Their best bet appeared to be Chubb, but within the past week, Chubb notified Mr. Trump’s lawyers that it, too, could not accept property as collateral.

“This presents a major obstacle,” Mr. Garten wrote.

Mr. Trump’s company has not ruled out the possibility of having the corporate entities declare bankruptcy, the people with knowledge of the discussions said. That move would automatically halt the judgment against those entities and prevent Ms. James from seizing some of the former president’s properties.

But Mr. Trump, scarred from an experience in the 1990s when some of his companies filed for bankruptcy, is likely to balk at a filing.

And even if he supported it, bankruptcy — which Mr. Trump used to describe derisively as “the b-word” — might not be a cure-all, legal experts said. Seeking court protection could trigger defaults in loans he holds, and would most likely set off litigation over whether Mr. Trump is still responsible to pay his company’s debts.

Mr. Trump’s lawyers on Monday also submitted a filing from one of his insurance brokers, Gary Giulietti, who said his team had for several weeks been “scouring the market” for a bond.

“Simply put, a bond of this size is rarely, if ever, seen,” he wrote.

Mr. Giulietti, who testified as an expert witness at the trial, also occasionally golfs and dines with Mr. Trump.

In his decision, Justice Engoron criticized his testimony, saying that in more than 20 years on the bench, he had never encountered an expert witness who “not only was a close personal friend of a party, but also had a personal financial interest in the outcome of the case.”

Ben Protess is an investigative reporter at The Times, writing about public corruption. He has been covering the various criminal investigations into former President Trump and his allies. More about Ben Protess

Maggie Haberman is a senior political correspondent reporting on the 2024 presidential campaign, down ballot races across the country and the investigations into former President Donald J. Trump. More about Maggie Haberman


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  20. Trump Spurned by 30 Companies as He Tries to Raise $454 Million Bond in

    Donald J. Trump's lawyers said in a court filing that he faces "insurmountable difficulties" as he tries to raise cash for the civil fraud penalty he faces in New York.