Tools for Academic Writing

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/3/35/Pencil-heart.jpg/392px-Pencil-heart.jpgThere are many tools available for the writer today.  Recently, I was asked to provide a brief overview of the more popular low-cost tools out there for new writers.  Here are a few of the ones, in no particular order, that I found during my preparation for that presentation to my writing group.

Scrivener:   Of the tools we will look at today, Scrivener is sort of the Cadillac version of writing tools.  Available on both iOS and Windows, this tool has been around since 2006 and was specifically created to aid in the development of long writing projects. There is a free trial that lasts for 30 days of actual use (vs 30 calendar days), but the one-time cost is only $40.  There is a definite learning curve, but for dedicated writers who take the time to learn the tool, there is a dedicated following.  The tool facilitates the re-organization and shuffling involved in more involved writing projects.

Hemmingway App  This desktop application, for both Mac and Windows, grades the readability of your writing by identifying extraneous adverbs, the use of passive voice, and unnecessarily complicated words.

Trello  While not specifically designed for in-depth writing projects, this project organizer has promising applications for complicated writing projects, with its index card style layout.  It allows for concepts to be easily expanded and moved around while preserving that all-important visual overview of your article or book.

Gingko  This visual tool is best described by the site itself.  You really have to see it to appreciate it.  “Gingko organizes text into trees. It’s not simply for writing text, but also for organizing a plan of what you’re going to write and ordering sections of what you write.” (per site)

Grammarly  This is a free website tool that will check your grammar, looks for contextual errors and suggests better vocabulary choices.

I could go on for many more hours, but will stop here.  Did I cover your favorite tools?  What helps you most when working on your academic writing projects?  Share and let’s continue to learn together.

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  • Fredrik Kašpar

    Crystal, I found this post just in time!

    I will check every tool from your list and hope I’ll find a suitable one for me and my research.

    What about additional writing tools? Citation generator EasyBib and plagiarism checker Unplag (has a demo version https://unplag.com/free-plagiarism-checker ) worth to be mentioned.

    P.S. You’ve misspelled “H-e-m-i-n-g-w-a-y”.