What does a Writing Consultant do?

Alan Rankin

A writing consultant is a communications professional who assists others with writing tasks. These consultants are experienced writers with thorough knowledge of grammar, composition, and other fields relating to the written word. Working as either freelance contractors or regular employees of an organization, they assist others with the creation and presentation of written material. Some work for schools and universities, guiding students through written assignments. Others are employed in the professional world, helping companies develop manuals, advertising and marketing materials, and the like.

In the professional world, some writing consultants will be full-time employees of a company or organization.
In the professional world, some writing consultants will be full-time employees of a company or organization.

Writing, in English or any language, requires close attention to detail and extensive knowledge of widely accepted compositional guidelines. A writing consultant will possess these traits as well as an overall talent for written communication. He or she will also benefit from research skills, a flexible writing style, and familiarity with the requirements of different writing jobs. Most writing consultants are trained professional writers who consult either as a sideline or as their primary source of income.

Writing consultants may offer proofreading services.
Writing consultants may offer proofreading services.

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In a college or university setting, a writing consultant helps students master the intricacies of writing assignments. A writing consultant can help a student meet the writing requirements of a particular subject, course, or instructor. Some work as private tutors, while others may be available to the student body at large through student centers or writing workshops. They may focus on an individual student’s needs,or offer more general advice to a group. They will generally not write or edit papers, as their function is to teach students how to achieve these ends on their own.

In the professional world, some writing consultants will be full-time employees of a company or organization. Consultants work on written material in various capacities, from simple proofreading of internal documents to the creation, presentation, and sometimes even publication of mass-printed material. In addition to the general requirements of written language, they must also ensure the material conforms to the needs of the organization. Any outfit, from a small non-profit agency to a multinational corporation, may employ a writing consultant, sometimes in a wide-ranging capacity that includes multiple writing tasks.

A freelance writing consultant is a contractor for hire. Such consultants can work for several different clients in any given month. As with other kinds of contractors, they will often be hired for a single problem or project. These consultants must be highly flexible, as they may need to balance the business and writing requirements of multiple clients simultaneously. A script doctor is a freelance writing consultant who works for TV and movie studios, fixing problems with screenplays while a project is in production.

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