Usually, students mention Math when asked about their greatest struggle in school. They can go on and on about their difficulties in understanding number and problem sets, but rarely would you hear them complain about their writing assignments.
It's in great contrast from what you'll read in their personal essays. Though they may not consider it as their weakness, most students have difficulties crafting an engaging composition. Maybe it's because writing is subjective, and mistakes can easily be missed. However, there's a great need for students to focus on their writing skills, as much as there's a need to labor day in, day out over Math sets.
Students have as much difficulty penning a coherent and engaging essay as waking up on Monday morning. It's no rocket science, but it's the vagueness and subjectivity of writing that eludes the minds of students.
They can always try to do it by themselves, but technology is theirs for the taking. Below are five online tools that can aid students when writing:
If the desktop's Word processor isn't enough to spot the mistakes, this tool can detect spelling, grammar, and syntax errors. It also cites style inaccuracies that can be vital when students want to achieve coherence. For example, it can tell you that using “the” as the beginning of the sentence three consecutive times isn't right.
Besides English, this open-source writing tool is available in 20 languages. Users can also set the English language based on location such as U.S., U.K., New Zealand and Australia.
Using clichés can come in handy if the writer can be witty about it. However, using way too many clichés will make the composition seem unoriginal. Though knowing numerous clichés can be a proof that the writer is a wide reader, well-versed in clichés and has an extensive vocabulary, too much of something is still never good.
This simple tool can detect all the clichés in the text the user will input. Though it's unnecessary to remove everything, it's wiser to opt for minimal number of overused phrases.
Bibliography is an essential part of most school papers. It's required for students to cite the sources of the information they'll include in the paper. BibMe helps students write their citations in four formats—MLA, APA, Chicago or Turabian. Users can download their bibliography in their preferred formats for free.
They can either input the title and author of the material and the tool can write the citation for them. Or they can input the details themselves and let the tool organize the citations for the student.
Focusing on their work is one of the greatest difficulties for students. It's easy to say that students should simply stay away from the computer, but these days, most of the research they do for school papers happen online. Researching online can lead them to other distracting websites such as Facebook and Youtube. These web browser plugins can help the students focus on the task at hand. They can block websites set by the student that can disrupt their thoughts and work. StayFocusd is the app for Google Chrome, while LeechBlock is the add-on for Firefox.
One of the most overlooked aspect of a composition is its readability. It's also important to check the readability of a school paper to see if it fits the level of educational attainment of the writer and its readers. This tool measures the readability score of a text based on five formulas—Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning-Fog Score, Coleman-Liau Index, SMOG Index, and Automated Readability Index.
Organizing ideas is one of the pitfalls of students. They can come up with great research paper concepts, but they often fall short with the execution. Using this mind mapping tool can lead them to the right direction. MindMup can help students make a framework of their paper before writing it down. It helps in creating an outline of their composition and in mapping out their thoughts first.
With these tools, students won't need to resort to plagiarizing nor asking for professional help in fixing their school papers. Technology has provided this generation numerous ways to make sure that they learn effectively and efficiently.
Learning in the digital age is meant to be embraced, and for students who have a paper to finish, it cannot be any truer.