Writer Job Description: Top Duties and Qualifications

Last updated: August 22, 2022

A Writer, or Staff Writer, is in charge of expressing ideas through text according to a set of specifications or a particular style. Their duties include researching their subject, proofreading their drafts and updating a writing project based on client or Editor feedback.

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Writer duties and responsibilities

Writing for any organization comes with certain duties and responsibilities. Listed below are some of the tasks a Writer might expected to complete:

  • Carry out research on topics assigned to them.
  • Fact-check any data collected during the research process.
  • Create content in form of articles, blogs or papers based on the data collected from their research.
  • Develop well-researched pitches and submit to an Editor for review.
  • Read style guides or project briefs and use them to develop content for assignments.
  • Convert the information they’ve acquired into readable, easy-to-understand content tailored to their specific audience.
  • Revise their work based on editorial feedback.
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What does a Writer do?

Writers can work for any business that needs someone to publish pieces of written work. A Writer’s primary role is to produce quality content for their employer. They can produce technical, instructional or creative content about any subject, either using a informative, persuasive or entertaining tone to accomplish a goal. Writers can interpret ideas from others or pitch their own writing prompts based on the organization’s goals. They synthesize outside information and apply it to a new context using their own words, carefully selecting the most effective vocabulary for the project. Writers edit their work for grammar, flow and organization.

Writer skills and qualifications

Being a Writer requires certain skills and qualifications. They include but are not limited to:

  • Excellent command of the English language, especially the rules of syntax, punctuation and grammar
  • Excellent research and analytical skills
  • Ability to break down complex concepts
  • Excellent time management and the ability to stick to deadlines
  • Good observation skills and a keen attention to detail
  • Excellent creativity skills
  • Proficiency in the use of word-processing software, including content management systems
  • In-depth knowledge of style guides

Writer salary expectations

A writer makes an average of $23.59 per hour. Pay rate may depend on level of experience, education and the geographical location. 

Writer education and training requirements

Typically, becoming a Writer requires at least a bachelor’s degree in English language, English literature, media and communications, journalism, creative writing or related fields. In some cases, an associate degree or even a GED is acceptable. However, Technical Writers will benefit from a degree in their area of specialization. Creative writers may equally benefit from a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) program. 

While there is no standard certification for Writers, there are many online courses available that writers can take to improve their skills and increase their chances of getting a job.

Writer experience requirements

A Writer requires at least one year of experience for most positions. They should be familiar with carrying out research and assigned topics and transforming that information into a cohesive piece for audience consumption. Writers should be comfortable with creating content based on assignment briefs and style guides. They should have proven experience delivering high quality work and keeping to deadlines. In addition, they should be able to take editorial feedback and use it to refine their work.

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Frequently asked questions about Writers

 

What are the traits of a good Writer?

Good Writers have a strong grasp of the English language, including sentence structure, grammar, syntax and proper punctuation. They should have an excellent vocabulary that they use to enhance their writing and make their writing more engaging or informative. Talented Writers are usually highly creative, allowing them to develop basic ideas and concepts into a fully formed piece of content. They are also perceptive and good at close reading, able to interpret style guides and follow client instructions closely. They are adept at accepting and applying criticism and have a progress-oriented mindset where they aim to develop their writing strategies.

 

What is the difference between a Writer and an Editor?

Writers create initial drafts of written content while Editors review those drafts and look for any errors or areas for improvements. Writers and Editors may work from the same style guide, with Editors acting as the first step of quality control to ensure that the Writers meet any predetermined specifications for their work. Editors help Writers refine their work by identifying patterns in the errors they make and communicating with them about strategies for improvement. They ask thoughtfully questions about the Writer’s intent with a given piece to help them develop their own ideas and produce a high value publication.

 

What are the daily duties of a Writer?

Writers split their time between researching a topic, planning out the content’s structure, actually writing the body text and reviewing their own work. Some Writers also go through a peer review process with other Writers on their team before submitting a draft to an editor. They work on their computer to search for informational sources or examples of content that have the voice and style they want to emulate. They produce an outline then start adding sentences to each section, including introductory statements, summaries and details as needed. They prepare sources avoid plagiarizing or including false information in their writing.

 

What are the different types of Writer?

Writers can work in many different fields depending on the style of writing they produce. Some of the types of writer include Technical Writers who produce content like instruction booklets, Copywriters who write product descriptions and persuasive marketing content, Creative Writers who generate original fictional stories, Screenwriters who prepare scripts for movies and television, Ghostwriters who produce content under another person’s name and Journalists who tell nonfiction stories about current events.

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