The Best of Digital Writing Tools: A Guide for Academics 

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Writing well is never easy. It’s an art, and it takes practice to string the right words together in the most effective way to engage your audience and transmit your message. Academic writing can be one of the most arduous forms of writing to pull off as it demands an entirely different skill set from the one you need to pen fictional stories or marketing copy. Fortunately, there’s an abundance of online tools and software programs designed to facilitate the writing process for students, researchers, and teachers. That’s not to say writing your paper will be easy—these tools just make it easier

We have compiled a detailed list of digital tools that can help you with paraphrasing and rewriting, structuring and organizing, and academic writing and editing. If you want an experienced professional to review your work after you’ve had some digital assistance, contact our team of academic editors and proofreaders to ensure your writing is polished to a shine. A professional editor’s eagle eye is indispensable if you plan to publish your work.

Top tools for paraphrasing and rewriting

Before you jump into using paraphrasing and rewriting tools, it’s worth stressing that these are only meant to assist you in your writing. It’s important for your academic integrity—not to mention the quality of your research papers—that you do the work yourself. Paraphrasing and rewriting tools are useful for inspiration or overcoming writer’s block, but they should never replace you as the author.

  1. Spinbot

If you’re new to online rewriting tools, Spinbot is a good place to start. It’s free and user-friendly, with a simple interface. Just copy and paste your text, and the software will rewrite it while still preserving the original meaning. Note, however, that Spinbot operates at a basic level and may struggle with more sophisticated writing. The version it produces may also sound awkward—use it as inspiration or a prop, not verbatim. You’ll likely need to tweak the output to render it professional.

  1. WordTune

WordTune uses innovative AI technology to analyze written text patterns and offer improved, paraphrased suggestions for your original writing. This tool costs $10 a month and is designed primarily for academics and businesses. Though it’s largely effective, be wary of relying on it too much. Make sure the rewrites are still in tune with what you’re trying to convey. Again, this works as a good assistant or a source of inspiration, but you should polish anything the program serves up.

  1. QuillBot

QuillBot functions similarly to the aforementioned tools. It charges a $15 monthly fee for its high-powered technology that helps reword text for maximum clarity. QuillBot is currently considered the best rewriting software on the market, making it the top choice for academics who need help refining their writing. However, just as with the other programs, you’ll always want to carefully check the output in case you need to make corrections. 

Top tools for structure and organization

  1. Authorea

Commonly described as the “Google Docs for scientists,” Authorea is a collaborative writing tool that also doubles as a publishing platform. While some of its features may be irrelevant to solo authors, it easily constitutes one of the best academic writing tools for projects with multiple authors. Researchers can use Authorea to work on their writing projects and then circulate and publish their work upon completion. This tool can also be used concurrently with Scrivener (see below) and is conveniently free of charge. 

  1. Scrivener

Scrivener is most suitable for writers and researchers who need to organize large amounts of material. Though not free, Scrivener is very user-friendly while also brimming with advanced functionalities. Academic researchers can use the help of Scrivener to structure their texts into sections and chapters to produce well-organized, cohesive papers. 

Top tools for writing and editing

  1. LaTeX

This program has been growing in popularity due to being accessible, consistent, and free. Its versatile features are ideal for highly technical, scientific documents, with researchers in the humanities field perhaps not finding as much utility in the software. Note that some knowledge of programming is required to use LaTeX effectively as it’s primarily typesetting software. Beginners should be prepared for a steep learning curve before they can make the most of LaTeX.  

  1. DraftIn

This simple tool focuses on collaboration and makes it easy to see what changes others have introduced to a document. Unlike Google Docs, which shows the most recently updated version, DraftIn creates different copies of the document for each user, allowing you to easily see and accept or reject others’ changes without messing up the master copy of the document.

  1. Jasper AI

Formerly known as Jarvis, this emerging AI-powered writing tool can assist you by expanding content, generating ideas, suggesting outlines and titles, and even writing copy, social media captions, and small paragraphs. Just be mindful that since it’s very new, you’ll need to be directly involved in the process. You’ll likely have to correct mistakes it makes—either factual errors or awkward grammar—and you may need to polish the ideas it suggests.

  1. Trinka

Targeting academic and technical writers, Trinka is an AI tool that functions as a grammar and plagiarism checker. It also helps by enhancing the clarity of your writing and correcting contextual mechanical errors. As with any of these AI tools, you should always take its suggestions with a grain of salt, but Trinka can save you significant amounts of time and effort in writing your paper.

  1. Hemingway Editor

Acclaimed writer Ernest Hemingway is known for his sparse yet highly effective prose. True to its namesake, Hemingway Editor enhances clarity and concision by highlighting long, convoluted sentences and providing color-coded alternatives to weak words and phrases. This tool is excellent for all types of writing, particularly academic essays. However, you have to be careful because its suggestions can change the meaning or alter the nuances of your text, so implement them only after careful consideration. 

Ultimately, you should use these tools as facilitators in your writing process, not rely solely on them to create written content. They do well as assistants, but they can’t write a great paper for you on their own. It’s also important to have your work thoroughly checked by an experienced human editor, regardless of the tools you use. Contact our team of proofreaders and editors to ensure your paper is polished, professional, and error-free. 

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