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Communicating with Clients
What does my rating mean?
Clients purchase content based on varying levels of quality. Your author rating is based on the quality of your work and determines what level of assignments you can access. All articles are rated by our in-house editorial team. We rate according to AP Style and evaluate your work based on spelling, grammar, style and tone.
You can access assignments at your level and below. You are paid according to the level of the assignment, not your overall rating. For example, if you have a 4-star rating but pick up a 2-star assignment, you are paid at the 2-star level.
Overall ratings are based on the average of your last five articles. This allows authors a chance to improve and also ensures that certain standards are maintained.
What do you expect at each level? What are the criteria against which my articles are rated?
Textbroker editors rate articles based on the following standards:
One-star authors are those that have failed to meet the standards set for our two-star authors. These articles are spun, have been put through translation software, or are in any other way unintelligible. One-star authors are no longer allowed to accept OpenOrders in our system.
Two-star items exhibit a basic understanding of English grammar. Misspellings are acceptable, but articles containing an excessive number of misspellings or misspellings that hinder comprehension of the article's basic points are not acceptable. While two-star authors may make some capitalization errors, they must adhere to the basic rules of capitalization: The first person singular pronoun “I” must always be capitalized as must the first letter of each sentence be. Two-star articles will exhibit correct use of periods and question marks. Overall, while there may be minor errors in logic, the article will be legible.
Three-star authors may still make spelling mistakes, but they are usually attributed to homonym confusion and minor typos. Repeated, consistent spelling errors are not acceptable at the three-star level. Also, capitalization mistakes will be limited to specialized, isolated cases, like “Ipod” instead of “iPod.” Three-star authors will use commas correctly approximately fifty percent of the time or more. Although there might be pronoun and subject/verb agreement errors in three-star writing, they will be minor. Additionally, three-star authors will have mastered the use of definite and indefinite articles. Three-star articles, while possibly containing some fluff, will largely make logical sense and will have a discernible argument: They will not consist primarily of filler text.
Four-star articles will have minor grammatical errors only and will exhibit a sophisticated style. Misspellings and typos, aside from those that the client specifically requests in the instructions, are not acceptable in four-star work. Capitalization will be entirely correct, and complex punctuation will be used correctly: There will be very few errors in use of colons or semicolons. Dashes, parentheses, ellipses and exclamation points will be used in a way that is consistent with the AP Stylebook and is not stylistically obtrusive. The four-star article will flow well; it will be informative and entertaining without being wordy or overly colloquial. The argument in a four-star article will be strong and well-supported, and fluff will not be tolerated at this level.
Five-star authors have proven to our editorial staff that they invariably provide professional-grade writing. Each article will be nearly flawless, and five-star authors will consistently provide content that meets our stringent five-star standards. At the five-star level, we do not tolerate spelling mistakes, typos, capitalization errors or punctuation errors that are not mandated by the client instructions. The argument will be extremely strong and will be presented in a style that is insightful and compelling, all while being impeccably and thoroughly researched. Additionally, five-star authors will interact with clients and Textbroker staff in a manner befitting their status as professionals. Our 5-star authors are hand-picked by our editorial staff and represent the best that Textbroker has to offer.
Please keep in mind that sometimes clients specifically request that a keyword violate the rules of grammar. We encourage our authors to follow client instructions even if the client asks the author to omit a grammatically necessary comma or to misspell a word. Be assured that our editors have access to the clients' instructions and do take them into account when rating articles.
Will I receive feedback on my articles?
Unfortunately, we cannot leave feedback on every article we read. Instead, we will try and point out errors that are particularly distracting or are frequent in your work. Our feedback aims to help you improve your rating or maintain it. If you would prefer to not receive feedback, please contact us.
You can review all of your feedback by going to Assignments > Statistics. Please see our blog entry here for further information:
How do I increase my rating?
You can increase your rating by taking our feedback on board and studying on your own. Improving your writing will increase your rating. For a list of resources, please see our blog entry:
Can I request an upgrade?
The ratings you receive on your work will automatically reflect improvements in your writing. We cannot manually adjust your rating except to give 5-star status. Please see our FAQ on 5-star status for more details.
What is a client rating?
Clients are able to rate articles based on how well the finished product meets their needs. This rating is solely for your notes. We do not take the client's rating into consideration when evaluating your articles.
The client loved me. Why hasn’t my rating improved?
Clients rate articles subjectively based on how well your article met their needs. Many clients also rate based on how well your article met their expectations for the quality level they ordered. We rate objectively based on spelling, grammar, style and tone.
Can I request a re-evaluation?
We cannot change your ratings; however, if there is something you need clarified, please contact us.
How long does it take to be rated?
Currently, it takes about four weeks for our editors to review articles. This timeline may fluctuate based on the number of orders in the system.
What about my sample piece and first five articles?
Sample articles are usually rated within a day or two. Once you get your initial rating, you’ll be able to start writing.
When an author completes his or her first five articles, a block will be placed on the author's account until those articles have received a rating. Blocked author accounts are sent to the front of the editor’s to-be-rated queue and are usually rated within a few days.
What do editors see when rating my articles? Why didn’t the editor rate my entire batch?
Articles are sorted chronologically, and we rate the oldest articles first. When an editor clicks on an author’s account to open the first article, all of the author's articles are displayed.
Many times, this means that you will receive all of your ratings in one batch. When there are a lot of articles, we may opt to rate a few and leave the rest for a later date to ensure that every author gets a chance to be evaluated.
We see client instructions underneath your articles, including keywords. This helps us determine if a mistake is truly a mistake or if it was requested by the client.
How can I reach level 5?
Authors who have maintained an author rating of 4 for at least ten articles and have passed the proofreading test are eligible to upgrade to level 5. Upon passing the proofreading test, the author will be placed on a list for 5-star observation. When our editors have enough material to make a decision, they will notify the author. Authors no longer have to request an upgrade.
We look at the author's spelling, grammar, style and tone as well as the author's conduct.
Spelling: Misspelled words will not be tolerated and will result in our team denying your request. Use spell-check, and always proofread prior to submission.
Grammar: Weakness in any of the following areas will result in your request being denied.
Word choice: Ensure that your word choice is both correct and appropriate for the tone of the piece. There should not be problems with homonyms at this level.
Pronouns: Keep pronouns consistent, and make sure that your pronouns have antecedents.
Plural/Possessive: Know the difference between these two concepts and the proper usage of apostrophes.
Punctuation: Understand the proper usage of the semicolon, the colon and the comma. Areas of concern in comma usage are coordinating conjunctions, compound predicates, adverbial clauses, appositives, relative and restrictive clauses, comma splices and introductory elements. If you are unfamiliar with these terms, please research them prior to requesting 5-stars.
Stylistic Choices: Use dashes, parentheses and exclamation points sparingly. We adhere to AP Style, which says:
"Parentheses are jarring to the reader ... The temptation to use parentheses is a clue that a sentence is becoming contorted. Try to write it another way. If a sentence must contain incidental material, then commas or two dashes are frequently more effective. Use these alternatives whenever possible."
If you choose to employ these stylistic elements, be certain that doing so strengthens your writing rather than distracts your reader.
Style: An author's style is unique; however, every author's style should be appropriate for the content. Ensure that your pacing, word choice and sentence structure aid in the interpretation of your message. Most importantly, because clients are paying considerably more for 5-star articles, there should be no fluff in your writing. Fluff is defined as text that is redundant, circuitous, unrelated or otherwise devoid of value.
Tone: Your tone should match the content, and it should establish a certain level of insight and authority.
Conduct: We assume that all of our writers are capable of being polite and professional. We will not promote any author who proves otherwise. Harassing clients or Textbroker staff or engaging in other volatile behavior will not be tolerated. We are open to polite constructive criticism and suggestions for improvement. If you have an issue with a client, please contact us.
My 5-star request was denied. Can I re-apply?
We will re-evaluate 5-star requests based on the improvement we see in subsequent articles. We will no longer accept re-evaluation requests.
I'm a 5-star writer, but I keep getting rated 4!
5 stars is a manual setting in our system. We rate individual articles at 4 stars as a rule. Only you see these ratings, and individual ratings will not impact your score once you are set to 5 stars.
What does an "N" mean?
"N" means that an article was rated neutrally. This does not affect your rating. Usually, articles rated "N" are too short to evaluate your writing skills. We may also use "N" ratings for managed clients or items that a Textbroker editor changes.