Writing is a multilayered and difficult skill to master. Many students struggle with getting their writing to express what they mean, so they get frustrated. The key to improving writing skills involves practice, practice and more practice.
I’ve found seven online tools that are useful to help high school or college students hone writing skills and make them more effective writers.
- Australian Help: I ask all my students to bookmark this comprehensive resource. Whatever causes them issues, they can probably find answers here. The site offers a detailed grammar guide, a guide on listing citations and assistance on writing assignments from research papers to book reviews and more.
- Visuwords: If your students are visual learners, this tool helps them understand words. When they type a word, they get a visual map of the word’s meanings and derivations, among other things. The maps show how words relate to one another, as well as how to use them in everyday writing.
- Easy Word Count: You give your students word counts so they learn to keep their writing in check. They can paste their essays into this tool and get an instant, accurate word count. Then, if they’re running too long, they can start making edits and tightening up their writing.
- 750 Words: As mentioned earlier, good writing comes about through practice. This website gives your students a place and motivation for daily writing. Students earn badges the longer they keep their writing streaks going, so it taps into students’ competitiveness.
- TwinWord: This app offers a great alternative to Microsoft Word for students learning to write. As they type into the app, they get real time feedback on what they’re saying. The app also provides an option for checking tone in each article and a synonym tool so students can switch up their word choice and increase their vocabulary.
- Story Mash: This fiction-writing community encourages budding writers by giving them a forum to work together on new stories and plots. Participating writers can even make some money with their creative submissions. Students not ready to submit writing can get involved by reading published stories and voting on the plot line they want the story to follow next, so the site offers several ways and reasons to get involved.
- Verbix: This tool is especially useful for your students learning English as a second language. All they have to do is plug in a verb, and the site will conjugate it for them.
These tools can provide a variety of help to every student whenever they need it.