Turning a good essay into a great one can be as simple as finding the right writing tools to use. Online writing tools can make writing essays easier and help you earn better grades for your writing assignments.
If you're looking for how to improve writing skills, these online writing tools are a great place to start.
Top Writing Tools for College Students
There are so many tools to choose from. Here are some of the best sites that can help you with all different aspects of your writing.
Bonus: Most of these tools can be used for free! So you can enhance your writing without sacrificing your budget.
1. Google Docs
If you're looking to collaborate with other writers or you're working on a group project, this free site is perfect for you. The program is similar to Microsoft Word, but it's free and its documents can be shared in real-time.
You and multiple classmates can be working on the same document anywhere, anytime. Even if you don't use this program for collaboration, it's nice to write in Google Docs because all work is automatically saved- so no need to worry about losing work if your computer starts doing something crazy.
When your writing is done, you can share the doc with a friend to help proofread it, or you can submit it to a professor who also uses Google.
Price: Free with an option for premium at $6/month
Bubbl.us is a tool to use to get your ideas flowing. This virtual mind map helps you brainstorm how your essay will take shape.
Before you begin writing, visit Bubbl.us to make a free map of your thoughts. It helps you structure your big ideas, add supporting details, and eliminate non-essential information before you dive into the actual writing of your paper.
You can also share your map and use it to collaborate in group projects whenever you need.
Once you've started putting together a draft, you'll need a tool to help you choose your words wisely. OneLook offers free assistance in making your words unique and less repetitive.
OneLook has a dictionary tool that provides many different sources to help you choose the right use of a word. More importantly, it offers an intense thesaurus and reverse dictionary that can help you create colorful and exciting language in your essays.
Price: Options for $4-$24 per month, depending on desired features
If you've ever wondered what grade-level your writing is, Readable will let you know. This site (which has a limited, but helpful free version) will let you know the readability of your text along with offering help with spelling and grammar and giving you lots of data about your text (syllables in words, number of adverbs, and more).
Readable is the perfect tool for decoding your writing and help you make sure your writing is suitable for your audience.
Price: $70 per year
ProWritingAid markets itself as a "grammar checker, a style editor, and a writing mentor all in one package." This site will provide you with basic editing, but also (for a fee) help with style issues and repetitive mistakes.
For college students, the plagiarism check feature is a nice addition to make sure the words you are choosing are strictly your own.
6. Word Counter
Every student needs to be aware of the length of their writing. This easy-to-use online tool will count words, characters, sentences, paragraphs and pages in real-time, along with spelling and grammar checking.
You can type directly in the site or you can simply copy and paste your paper into the tool to make sure you are within your assignment's guidelines.
Price: Free with an upgrade option for $11.66/month
Grammarly is a free online proofreading tool that offers suggestions for grammar and spelling edits. Its free version offers basic writing edits, but for its paid subscribers, Grammarly will check for things like tone, offensive language, and plagiarism.
Grammarly can also be added as an extension to your browser to help you catch any errors in emails and online documents.
Price: Free with an upgrade option for $9.95/month
Hate adding citations to your papers? Yeah...us too.
But BibMe makes the process of sourcing your work much less painful. It will help create citations for APA, MLA, and Chicago styles. The paid version also checks for unintentional plagiarism and missing citations.
StayFocusd is an add-on extension that helps you to...well, stay focused. Although it might not directly affect your writing skills, it may very well help you get your paper completed on-time.
This extension increases your productivity by limiting the amount of time that you can spend on time-wasting sites. Once you've wasted your allotted amount of time, those sites are blocked, so you are forced to get back to work and get your writing done.
Writing an essay requires time, creativity, and concentration, but it also requires help. Using online writing tools to assist your writing process will take much of the guesswork and confusion out of the way for you.
A few simple clicks on your computer and you can have access to multiple writing tools to take your writing to the next level.