5 tools that will make you a better writer

Sep 22, 2016

Writing is a fulfilling but lonely pastime, and sometimes you're not sure how to improve your skills. Thanks to the internet, though, there's plenty that can help you improve your prose without leaving your keyboard. These 5 tools are some of the best writing tools out there today. Why not try them out?

  1. Hemingway App: This app is great if you struggle with spotting errors in your work when it comes to editing. You simply paste your writing into the app, and it will automatically highlight errors such as spelling and grammar mistakes It also picks up on things spell check can't, such as run on sentences and overly used words. It makes them instantly obvious, allowing you to fix them quickly.

  2. Thesaurus.com: One of the original and best online tools, Thesaurus.com allows you to expand your vocabulary if you find yourself using the same words over and over in your work. It also offers fun facts about words every day, and information about the origin of certain words. This site will help you widen your vocabulary, and find the right word for just about every occasion.

  3. Headline Analyzer: A top quality headline is key in hooking your readers. If your headline doesn't grab them, there's no way they're going to read the rest of your work. This handy tool lets you paste in your current headline, and gives you a score on how successful it would be. You can then use the information to tweak it to your heart's content.

  4. Poynter: If you're looking to pick a professional's brains about how they write, Poynter is the site for you. They offer 'coffee break classes', where you can read some short, succinct advice on how to make your writing pop, or you can jump into more sustained classes and seminars. Whatever you're looking for, and no matter how much time you have to spare, there's probably a class for you.

  5. Calmly Writer Online: The Calmly writer is the simplest yet most effective tool on this list. It offer a blank page in your web browser in which to write in. That's it. There's nothing else on the screen to distract you, so all you have to do is fill that page with words. Pop open a neatly hidden side bar, and you can download your work, insert media, or run it through a grammar check. There really aren't another other writing apps that are cleaner than this.

Every writer is different, and some of these tools will work better for you than others. However, it's worth playing around with each of them and seeing what you can get from them. Once you've picked out your favorites, you'll find that your writing skills and habits will improve. After that, well, the sky's the limit.

Mary Walton

Mary Walton is a professional editor and online tutor, currently living in Santa Monica. She shares her thoughts on education and writing on her blog, Simple Grad.