What writing tools will make your college life easier than ever
College is looming in your future after the summer months are over, and you will be doing more writing than ever. Essays will flood your schedule as soon as your first week begins, and you need to be ready and equipped with the writing tools that will make your academic life less hectic.
Besides the online writing tools that we will discuss later, there are other tools that you need on your desk, the hardware.
Try to stay out of the college bookstore, they are designed to charge exorbitant prices for what you can get cheaper at a dollar store or a local stationary store such as Staples. If you cannot find your books online cheaper, then by all means, get them at the college bookstore. You are going to need a stapler, 3 x 5 cards, thumb drives, folders, copy-paper, ink for your printer, pens, pencils, and 3-5 five subject notebooks. If you don’t have one, get a good collegiate dictionary with a thesaurus. Invest in a book that can sit on your desk about the rules of writing. Mine is Rules for Writers 7th Edition. It is my go to when I read over my work and something just does not sound right. You will be correcting your grammar when you write for the rest of your academic career, no matter how well you write, and these types of books come in handy.
It may seem that you are spending a lot of money in your first semester, but hardware should last. Be wary of peers that borrow your hardware and do not return them, like your stapler. You are on a budget and cannot afford to buy hardware every semester.
Students love to play games. Restrict these to your phone. Your laptop needs to be in working condition to keep you out of the computer lab and downloading games slows your computer down, invites viruses and can lessen your productivity. When choosing a laptop, choose the notebook type in lieu of the gaming type. Not only will you save money, there will probably be software attached to the notebook such as Microsoft Word for your word processing projects. This is not a piece of hardware that you share with anyone. Invest in a carry case to take it with you wherever you go, and create a locking password to gain entry into it.
Erase boards and notebooks
Writing a lab report or a book report takes planning. It can be the difference in earning an “A” on your paper or a “C”. Purchasing an erase board to create outlines before you begin to type your papers gives you a clear mental path to a successful thesis, body paragraphs, and conclusions. After developing your outline on the erase board, write it out in your notebook, and then use this to guide you while typing out your hard copy. We suggest doing this in case you need to erase the board for other projects, and if your professor wants changes to your first draft, you have your paper outline written down. It seems like a lot of work, but the grades you will get will be worth it.
Online Writing Tools
Hundreds of these apps are online to help with your academic writing, some you will use always, and some you may only need when you are in a pinch. Whatever the case may be, we have compiled what we believe are the best for student life. Copy these and keep the list close by.
When you leave high school, or any grade, you tend to leave behind the grammar rules, hence the reason for the hard copy book mentioned earlier, but an app like Grammarcheck also comes in handy. When using these type of apps, still make sure you read through your content. Many checkers will accept the spelling of words if they are in context to the sentence.
Sometimes you will need to use a writing service due to time constraints, you forgot the paper, or you just didn’t do the work. Writing Daddy will make sure you have the paper you need, when you need it. They have a secure system, professional writers and competitive rates so they don’t break your budget. So don’t panic, and by all means do not walk into class with no paper at all, that is a no-no!
Do you write like you talk? Many of us overuse words when we talk and then we type like we talk. Word counter catches these little redundancies and puts them in check. It is not configured to upload complete documents yet, but you can copy/paste groups of text to get free help.
This app is not only great; it is fun to use. If you are an adverb addict, Hemingway will help you control your need to put -ly on everything. It helps shorten long sentences and words that are useless in academic writing. If you have read any books by Hemingway, you know that he is a concise writer who hates using adverbs.
If you are taking a creative writing class, this writing tool is a must have. Ilys will keep you out of your editing head while you write. Many writers (including myself), edit while they write, which can stop the flow of creativity. Ilys won’t allow you to do this. You tell it how many words you want to write and there is not turning back. Your productivity will soar Ilys. They have a free trial for up to 3,000 words, so that you can see if you like it before committing to a membership.
This is a mind mapping tool that creates bubble maps to use in collaborations when writing. It’s like an erase board, but online and can be shared with teams. There is a free version, and a monthly membership that has more features.
Sometimes you just cannot help yourself. Your mind wanders and you end up wasting time surfing the Internet wasting your valuable time. Use these site blockers to keep the distractions down.
- Chrome: StayFocused you will need to download chrome to use this app.
- Firefox: LeechBlock simple to add-on to your web browser to keep those time suckers at bay.
Professional writers know that apps are created every day. So check often to see the latest, greatest tools that can pump up your productivity, and don’t forget to share them with your academic peers.