8 Unique Free Resources Students Can Use to Improve Their Writing Skills

by Sonia Jackson on June 19, 2014

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Not the Usual Writing Tools and Resources …

Any tool that is going to help you improve your writing skills is a good idea. After all, you cannot make a wheel without tools, so why not use them when you write?

While tools like Dictonary.com and other straightforward resources are often suggested on sites and articles across the web, we were looking for some more unique offerings. While you may have come across some of these resources before, we hope we’ve offered some that you may not have considered before.

Happy Writing!

Creative Writing Tools

Creativity Portal

http://www.creativity-portal.com/prompts/imagination.prompt.html

They have an imagination portal that has prompts you can use to get your imagination flowing a little. It pumps out random thoughts that are supposed to get you thinking. Click on the link that says prompts, and you will find tools that may help you get your creative juices flowing. For example, they have a picture prompter that gives you pictures in a random order so as to create a little inspiration.

A Research Guide

http://www.aresearchguide.com/

This website is its own tool. It is like a big encyclopedia of the many technical aspects of essay writing. There are topics on the expected areas such as formatting and styles, but it also gets into quoting, when you to use parenthesis, what counts as plagiarism. It really goes into detail about the more technical aspects of writing an essay, and the website is free to use. It also has literature guides, which are very good for students completing essays for English qualifications.

Unusual Writing Ideas

http://www.writingforward.com/writing-ideas/unusual-writing-ideas

This set of ideas can be just what the blocked writer needs to stimulate new ideas and get creative. “18 writing ideas [that] are definitely unusual, and unlike most ideas, they don’t happen inside your head. You’ll make them happen with your body, your surroundings, and the tools you’re writing with.”

Spellcheck Plus

http://spellcheckplus.com/

The great thing about this spelling and grammar checker is the fact it will pick up on things that your regular spelling and grammar checker will not. It is especially good for pointing out words that may be correctly-spelt typos. It is also good at teaching you why you went wrong and explaining if the error is actually an error on your part. You can learn from the things that it shows you. The tool has been created in a way that makes it slightly more text-aware by making assumptions about your writing. It asks you to check things that are grammatically correct and spelled correctly because people make common mistakes around that area/phrase or sentence element. It is a great tool to check your work and learn from at the same time.

FreeMind

http://freemind.sourceforge.net/wiki/index.php/Main_Page

Improve the content of your essay with this tool. You can mind map some of your best ideas and use this tool to plan your essay. By planning your essay, you automatically make it of higher quality. The structure you create may improve your essay, and the points you note in your mind map will help you fit them into the essay more easily. It can be its own disjointed mess of ideas so that your essay doesn’t have to be.

Write Words Phrase Counter and Word Counter

http://www.writewords.org.uk/phrase_count.asp and http://www.writewords.org.uk/word_count.asp

Use both to find out if you are using the same words or phrases too frequently in the same piece of text. Have you gotten into the habit of writing, “Be that as it may” or “Of which”? Or, maybe you are overly fond of the word, “Said” or “Then.” It may even be that you have frequently used a phrase that could be shortened down to make the text easier to understand.

Common Errors in English Use

http://public.wsu.edu/~brians/errors

This is a resource that has a massive amount of possible errors that your grammar and spelling checkers are going to miss. Do you know the difference between principle and principal? Do you know the difference between alliterate and illiterate, or allude and elude, or what about the difference between allusive, elusive and illusive.

Related Posts (if the above topic is of interest, you might want to check these out):

Social Media Websites can be a Powerful Aid in Writing Assignment (with 5 Examples)
The Updated Classroom – Developing Student Writing Skills with Tablet and Smartphone Apps
4 Great Online Citation Tools For Students (for MLA, APA, or Chicago Manual of Style citation styles)

 

About 

Sonia J. is a freelance writer at
Essaymama.com
. She works at improving her writing skills, travels and reads a lot.

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