Writing academic papers is so 20th century, they say. Gamification of education will reduce the volume of required academic content drastically, they claim. Well, looks like modern students are tired of waiting for these prophecies to fulfill themselves. Essays, research papers, reports, and theses are still here and don’t seem to go anywhere. Calling out to all high school, college, and university students out there: stop hoping that you’d be able to dodge academic writing and rise to the challenge right now. At the same time, it doesn’t mean you cannot or should not use multiple opportunities the Internet offers to save the day.
Explore the list of the best free or affordable online writing tools designed to help you deal with virtually any academic writing or editing task. Some of them are brand new; others have been around for years now. However, we promise each and all of them will let you be extremely productive in putting together remarkable academic papers in 2022!
Purdue Online Writing Lab (Purdue OWL) – Your Online Gateway to Academic Writing
This free resource by Purdue University could be the only thing you need to learn all the nuances of academic writing. Here you can find general writing principles, detailed writing instructions for various styles, recommendations on organizing the writing process, grammar and punctuation guides, advice on avoiding plagiarism, citation generators for different formats, and much, much more. The variety and comprehensiveness of the offered information and tools make Purdue OWL a universal go-to resource for students of all levels, especially ESL learners. Apparently, it will take some time to get used to the website’s structure and content presentation. However, once you’re done with that, you will be able to easily find answers to any questions and get practical tips about any aspect of academic writing your teacher or course instructions failed to get across.
The bottom line? The Purdue OWL website must be in every student’s browser bookmarks.
Bubbl.us – Virtual Mind Mapping Tool
Before you start writing, you need to come up with a general concept of your forthcoming piece. Bubbl.us is a simple online tool that will help you do that in the form of a visual mind map. In other words, Bubbl lets you structure your initial thoughts and ideas, hence building a foundation for your further work. Once you’ve sketched the initial mind map, you can then build the paper’s structure, add or remove data or arguments, and eventually create a detailed outline. The tool has a free version with limited functionality; a Premium subscription for personal use ($6/month); and a Team subscription for three users ($18/month).
Overall, Bubbl is a great utility for brainstorming, noting ideas for further research, and/or collaborative work to start off a group project. High school students and college freshmen will definitely find its simple yet visually compelling design very comfortable to work with.
WowEssays.com – Expertly Crafted College Essay Examples for Model Writing
Another thing you might want to do before you start writing is to check out several expertly crafted samples to get a better idea of what your paper should look like. To this end, you hardly find a better place than a free essay database by WowEssays.com. It hosts almost 100.000 example papers, including high school and college essay samples, course works, reviews, reports, university-level theses, and even Ph.D. dissertation chapters. All entries are categorized by paper type (with separate sections for argumentative and application essays) and topics, so you can purposefully browse the essay database to find proper entries in terms of relevance or structure. In case you need papers on a particular issue, don’t hesitate to use an on-site search with keyword(s). Not only can you use samples as content presentation and structuring models to follow but also as sources of new topic ideas and overall writing inspiration.
Apart from samples, WowEssays also offers several other things students can benefit from while crafting their papers. For example, over three dozen writing assistance tools like citation generator, grammar checker, essay editor, etc. Finally, there’s an option to hire an experienced essay writer and get practical help developing your piece.
EssayTopicGenerator.com – The Name Says It All
Often the paper topic is assigned by a teacher. In that case, you can move on directly to researching the issue. However, sometimes you need to come up with a topic yourself, and it could not be as easy as it seems. A good topic is usually a prerequisite for inspired and efficient writing. As the name implies, EssayTopicGenerator.com produces topics based on the provided keywords, selected essay type (you can choose among 15 options), and subject area. Alternatively, you can skip filling out the specifics and just press the Generate button. Each entry will return 25 subject-specific (in the former case) or random (in the latter case) results – for free.
Although EssayTopicGenerator will hardly offer you a 100% novice problem to research, it can hint essay writers of all academic levels a proper line of thought. In general, this website is a great time-savior when it comes to choosing or exploring your preferred subject area for writing opportunities.
StayFocusd – The Utility to Keep Your Head Down
StayFocusd is the only add-on on our list – still counts as an online tool. The concept of this free productivity utility is as simple as it is effective: you allot a certain amount of time to be spent on designated sites, and once it’s over, these pages are blocked. The idea is that you wouldn’t have another choice than get back to work, in our case – writing your essay or research paper. Yet, you must realize that to use StayFocusd most effectively and get your assignment done on time, you still need to have willpower.
OneLook.com – Thesaurus on Juice
Once you’ve finally chosen the topic and start writing with your head down, you might bump into another problem – finding the right words to get your message across. OneLook.com is a free tool that will help you choose words wisely and appropriately. This website sifts through multiple web-based dictionaries to present you with any word’s definition, synonyms, usage examples, and relevant words and phrases. The results are grouped by parts of speech. In a nutshell, OneLook lets you be precise in word usage, avoid repeating, and make your content unique. Despite the seemingly simple interface, this resource is a powerful dictionary search engine that – if got used to – can outmatch a much wider known Thesaurus.com. We especially loved the wildcard patterns feature, though we still try to figure where it can be used beyond solving crossword puzzles .
Grammarly.com – Of Course, It’s on the List
Although Grammarly is located in the middle of our list, it’s an absolute must-use while writing and after. The main thing that this software does is spelling, grammar, and punctuation check while suggesting corrections on the fly. These features are available in the free version. The Premium subscription (starts at $12/month) unlocks clarity, tone, and engagement adjustments, plagiarism detection, adaptation for various content styles (confident, polite, creative, formal writing), and other features, depending on writing goals a user can set single-handedly. Grammarly is available via the web interface, a separate app for PC or Mac, and as an add-on for MS Office.
After running your piece through Grammarly, you will get various suggestions on correcting mistakes and typos, inserting or removing punctuation marks, improving text flow and clarity. Importantly, it’s up to you to decide whether to apply offered amendments or decline them.
To sum up how crucial Grammarly can be for great academic writing, it must be stressed that no matter how confident you are about your grammar and punctuation skills, but if you’re not using this tool, you risk falling behind the competition.
Hemingway App – Readability Is the New Black
Hemingway App is a useful editing tool that focuses on content’s overall readability. Grammar and spelling also get their share of corrections, but they are not as clear and precise as in Grammarly. However, when it comes to highlighting hard-to-read sentences, Hemingway is second to none. It also grades the readability of your text according to pre-set algorithms and generally accepted academic writing standards, hence letting you know whether it needs further simplifications and improvements.
Hemingway’s web-based version is free, while the app for Windows or MacOS is available at a one-time $19.99 fee. Here we must mention the Readable App that has a similar purpose and even wider functionality (what for?!). However, it is subscription-based (from $4/month) and doesn’t have a free version.
The takeaway here is that if you have troubles mastering the art of simplicity in academic writing, the Hemingway App is exactly what you need to help you deal with this issue.
BibMe.org – Citation Generator That Fits All
BibMe is a web-based citation generator and checking tool for all imaginable formats and occasions. It covers journals, websites, books, videos, and other types of citations in APA, MLA, Chicago, and a number of other highly specific formats. To get a properly formatted citation of an article or a book, you just need to enter their title, author, or ISBN and choose the required style. Voila – your citation is ready to be copy-pasted in your paper! With a website or an online video, it’s even easier – just paste a URL. Other sources for citation that BibMe can automatically process include but aren’t limited to broadcasts, lectures, testimonies, photographs, paintings, music/audio, and even Bible. Overall, it’s a perfect tool to finish off your paper with accurate references to the sources used.
Another BibMe’s attractive feature is a free title page generator. Also, there is a plagiarism checker and editor combined in one interface. However, the latter is only useful when you purchase a subscription plan for $9.95/month.
PaperHelp.org – When Other Writing Tools Online Don’t Help
PaperHelp is, perhaps, the last resort for students who really struggle’ with writing or are pressured for time. On this website, they can address a professional writer or subject expert for practical assistance. At a reasonable cost (starting from $10/page), they will craft an entirely original essay or another academic paper according to a customer’s individual instructions and deliver it within days or even hours. Of course, students are not supposed to submit these works as their own but rather use them as customized writing models to build their own papers around or on top of them. The same goes for problem solving, presentations, Q&A, and other high school, college, university, or even postgraduate-level assignments.
The PaperHelp website is the oldest writing assistance tool on our list, operating since 2008. This points at the service’s popularity among students, many of whom undoubtedly turn in the delivered papers under their names. This poses more of an ethical than legal dilemma as one can ask “Write my paper” and receive it confidentially without risking being caught. Still, we definitely suggest you do everything it takes to develop a paper single-handedly while using PaperHelp and suchlike services should remain the ultima ratio when you cannot get the job done with other online writing tools.
OneClass.com – A Place to Go for Textbooks, Study Guides, and Class Notes
This one is not directly related to academic writing but has plenty of useful resources to get you ready to fulfilling this task successfully. Specifically, we’re talking about study guides, class and textbook notes, and textbook solutions. Remarkably, OneClass materials are predominantly contributed to the website by students themselves, which guarantees that they are relevant. Yet, to access them, you need to subscribe to one of three plans. The cheapest one costs $9/month and lets you browse almost 4 million step-by-step answers in most various subjects. The $30/month plan adds unlimited class and textbook notes downloads, textbook solutions with video lessons, and 7 verified answers to your questions from qualified tutors. Finally, for $40/month, you also get unlimited study guides downloads and booster classes while the number of allowed questions increases to 10.
If used properly, OneClass has the potential to become the only study resource you need to handle writing and homework assignments in college.
So there you go, explore and use these 11 awesomely helpful online tools not only to deal with challenges on any writing stage but take your entire learning process to a new level.