Home Free Tools & Resources 14 Essential Academic Writing Tools for the New School Year

14 Essential Academic Writing Tools for the New School Year

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These (Mostly Free) Tools Make a Great Addition to Every Student's Writing Resource ‘Tool Kit'

The new school year is almost upon us! Whether you are just entering a new grade, or starting in a new high school or college, this can be an overwhelming and stressful time for most students. Each new year of school brings with it new challenges and stresses. Whether you’re looking for a little help with spelling and grammar, or more in-depth help with writing, the tools are out there. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most helpful resources to make your academic years a little more manageable.

Docear

If you’ve got a lot on your plate, it’s essential to stay organized. Docear is the tool to help you do this. It's a free and open source program that allows you to organize, create and organize academic literature. This unique solution for staying organized will help you manage your workload.

Active Scholar

Research papers require a ton of information compiled from articles, theses, books and other sources. Gathering this information and keeping it organized is a job unto itself. But, with Research Writer, you can cut your work time down by 25%-50%, by allowing you to manage your research quickly and easily. Designed by and for academics, it’s a complete system for research writing management.

SpellCheckPlus

After hours in front of the computer screen, it can be difficult to see typos and other errors in your writing. This instant and free spelling and grammar checker points out any potential errors for your review. You can also tailor your check whether you're a native English speaker or a non-native speaker, to receive more informative and helpful feedback.

LanguageTool

If you need proofreading done in English, French, German, Polish, or more than 20 other languages, look no further than the open source program, LanguageTool. It is able to point out many mistakes that basic spell checkers just can’t find. It’ll also find several grammatical errors in your writing.

WriteWords Phrase Frequency Counter

A community of friendly and constructive members, WriteWords has been offering helpful critiques of written work for more than 10 years. Chat with other members and receive feedback on a wide array of writing styles, from essays to poetry. Members range from beginners to published authors, and everyone in between.

Bibme

Creating a bibliography in proper format can be a tedious and time consuming effort. But, with BibMe, you can quickly build your works cited page. Generate your citations in MLA, APA, Chicago or Turabian styles, and more. And, the best part is that you can use this automatic bibliography maker for free.

EssayRoo

Based in Australia, Essayroo writing company suggests personalized assistance and tutoring service for students. The consulting is provided by a team of professionals, educated and well versed in the field in which they’re assigned to write. If you’ve got writer’s block or are just swamped with work, you can rely on the services of Essayroo to help you get through.

Instagrok

Interactive concept maps are a great way to organize and share information visually. With Instagrok, you can customize your fully interactive maps and easily share them with colleagues. Highlight key facts, while linking each point to the original source of information, add notes with the integrated journals and convey information easily through the interactive visual interface.

Cite This For Me

Another great bibliography creator, Cite This For Me lets you whip together your works cited page in 60 seconds or less. Simply add your reference and select your formatting style. Pro features allow you to proofread, check spelling and more. Create Harvard, APA and MLA citations for your bibliography, among other styles.

MindMup

Open source and free, MindMup helps you put together vertical mind maps and hierarchical structures. Organize and manage your information in a visual format, to help you get through your big projects more easily.. Share your creation easily, with a simple click and collaborate live with colleagues. You’ll have access to your maps anytime and anywhere, as the information is stored in the cloud.

Scvisuais.com

Offering an array of video, web, audiovisual and multimedia projects, SC + V provide freelance services to meet the specific needs of each project. Their team of professionals has over 10 years of field experience and can provide highly effective and economical project creation services.

iA Writer

Simple and clean, iA Writer was designed to be an easy to use plain text editor. Described as both “clever” and “beautiful and simple,” it offers a straightforward, uncomplicated writing environment. It doesn’t concern itself with features and frills. Rather, it seeks to achieve one simple goal – provide a space that makes writing an enjoyable pursuit. Download to your computer or mobile device for free.

StoryBird

One of the largest storytelling communities, Storybird can add visuals to your stories in seconds. Because they curate artwork from artists around the world, they are able to provide illustrations and animations to enhance and inspire storytelling.

Writing A-Z

Writing A-Z is a creative and engaging online resource for teachers and students alike. For kids, it allows them to work on improving their writing skills through a variety of portals and workshops. As a teacher’s tool, it provides you with the resources to assign each student with a developmentally appropriate writing level, create assignments and publish student writing to share with the rest of the class.

The stresses that accompany academic pursuits can be an overwhelming weight on your shoulders. The tools available at your disposal are there to lighten the load and make your college years more manageable. Take advantage of these tools and make most of the benefits they provide.

11 COMMENTS

  1. It is more likely to happen that students will be needed to write a great number of works during a forthcoming academic year. And I don’t know what can be more tortures than the process of formatting. For these obvious reasons, it is quite rationally to be armed with such a good tool as Unplag. First and foremost, it helps to avoid mess with citations and references, and, what is more, thanks to this plagiarism detection software, it becomes easier to avoid plagiarism. So to say, students have a great variety of tools to choose that can help them to stay progressive and productive.

  2. Thanks Jennifer – sorry to hear that. Can you provide some of the specific examples you used? I’m going to give all these tools a closer look and update this post accordingly.

  3. I just checked a sample of my student’s work using first Language Tool and then Spell Checker Plus. Neither tool was able to identify the grammar errors, which were easy to see. These tools are not sensitive enough to help international students who are learning academic writing in EFL.

  4. […] The new school year is almost upon us! Whether you are just entering a new grade, or starting in a new high school or college, this can be an overwhelming and stressful time for most students. Each new year of school brings with it new challenges and stresses. Whether you’re looking for a little help with spelling and grammar, or more in-depth help with writing, the tools are out there. We’ve compiled a list of some of the most helpful resources to make your academic years a little more manageable.  […]

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