Who couldn’t use some tools to help with essay writing? If you want to get the best grades, you have to go above and beyond the standard essay formats and basic books you are referred to. You probably already think of your use of language and the correct grammar, but what about really ramping it up? Here are some tools to help with essay writing that should see those A grades flooding in.
1. The Blue Book of Grammar
You’re not going to get those top grades with sloppy grammar, so some of the most popular tools to help with essay writing are grammar and spell checkers. Grammar and spelling checkers are all well and good, but you need to know the rules of grammar, spelling, sentence structure, etc, if you want to take full advantage of them. They make suggestions on changes, and many times those changes are not needed. You have to know at least a little about grammar and sentence structure in order to get it right when you use a spelling and grammar checker, and the blue book of grammar and punctuation will help you with this.
2. Diff Checker
Whether you have been working from a piece of text and you want to make sure you have not plagiarized, or if you have just straight rewritten a piece to make it your own, you can check it with this free tool. Put the original on one side and your version in the other and it highlights the differences.
3. Online Dictionary
Oh why would you need a dictionary in an age where a spellchecker catches all your spelling errors? You need one because there are words you still need to find the meaning of. The text you are researching is going to have words that you do not know yet, and you can check them with this online tool. Plus, there are some words that you may not know how to spell. Plus there are homophones that are so easily mixed up, such as “principle” and “principal,” – a dictionary will tell you which one means the head of a school.
4. Spell Check plus
This is one of the tools to help with essay writing that checks your spelling and your grammar at the same time. Run the spelling and grammar checker that comes with your document word processor first (such as with Microsoft Word) and then run the Spell Check Plus and it will pick up the things that your document word processor spell checker missed.
5. Active Word Counter
Want to check how many words are in each section of your essay? It is difficult with your document word processor because it counts all the words in the document. With the Active word counter, you can check the each section on its own.
6. A Plagiarism Checker
Why would you need a plagiarism checker if you wrote the piece yourself? The first reason is because your teachers are going to run a plagiarism check. Still, you wrote it so why be concerned? The reason is because as you work from text such as online journals and textbooks, you will tend to reword and outright copy parts of the text without realizing. If you do this enough (as much as 5% of the text), then it is going to be flagged by your professor’s plagiarism checker. Plus, you are going to add quotes and references that appear elsewhere. You can check those other essays and online journals to see if they are similar to your work. If they are, then you need to make some changes so that your professor doesn’t think you have tried to steal ideas or content.
7. Reference Generators
When it comes to tools to help with essay writing, then it is reference generators that take the prize every time. When you create your bibliography/reference section at the end of your essay, you are supposed to show your professionalism and diligence to detail by creating perfect references. Each paper and even each college is going to have its own variation on referencing, and you are supposed to get it right and with reference generators you can do that. Even if the generator creates references slightly different to the ones you need, they are all going to come out the same, so you just make the same changes to each reference (easy). Plus, the fact that each reference comes out exactly the same without missing a comma and such, it looks as if you have been very diligent and careful with your referencing.
Some of these tools are suitable for all levels of students, others will become far more relevant when you get to college and the demands of your professors and tutors and their expectations increase. Do you use any of these now?