11 Best Academic Writing Tools For Researchers
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For many people, the academic writing process can be a daunting and exhausting experience. Papers and reports can take hours or days to complete and require intense dedication to perfect. However, there are tools that can make the process much easier for those who need them most.
If you find yourself struggling with long-form writing projects, these tools will help you work smarter instead of harder.
This article is organized into roughly 3 stages of writing:
- Writing and editing a draft
- Rewording/ Paraphrasing
- Organizing the manuscript
Table of Contents
I. Best Writing Software for Researchers
#1. jasper (formerly jarvis) – game-changing ai writing bot.
Jasper is a clever AI that can help you with different parts of your writing. Jasper can identify the core argument in your writing and will provide an outline, create a title, and offer to write introductions and conclusions.
This tool is relatively new. And, I have become a heavy user. I can see how this tool will be VERY useful for knowledge work like professors and researchers. It takes a bit of a learning curve to master the tool. But, it’s absolutely worth it.
We recently negotiated a deal for our readers to get 10,000 words for free. You can grab it here.
But, let me say this first: this tool is great if you know when and how to use it (like most tools really…). And, no, this AI won’t replace you, yet… Your role as the researcher is to guide the AI. Be clear about the central thesis, arguments, and guide it through the process.
Here is the deep dive review article on Jasper .
- The writing document comes with the basic editing functions e.g.., Grammar, Rephrase, and Explain-it-to-5th-grade
- Great tool for writing a cover letter or email to editors that show a bit of your personality (e.g., using its tone of voice function
- Help you promote your work on social media with the “Quora Answers” template
- Help you do polls and surveys with the “Poll Questions & Multiple Choice Answers” template
- Help you write an opening paragraph of a press release that people will want to read “Press Release Title” Template
- Flexible pay-as-you-go. To start with, Jarvis gives you some credits (5,000 in my case) for free. So, test Jarvis and pay for what you use
- This tool is not ready yet to stand on its own. As I said, you will need to guide it through the process, so you will have to be more involved than with some other tools.
- It does take a bit of learning like using a typewriter when most people are still using pen and paper. (Eventually, most people use a keyword to type. And, I believe it’s only a matter of time until most people realize they can do more and better with AI…)
- Unused credits are not allowed to carry over to the next month. I wish it’s more like the Audible model, where you can save up the credit later on.
- The paraphrasing function only works for a short paragraph (<30 words) and often misses quite a lot of points once word count exceeds that
Update: Jasper is giving a one-off 10,000 words for free for five days to our readers. Check it out before it expires.
#2. ProWritingAid – Your paper enhancer before submission
As someone who works in academia, I understand the importance of producing quality writing that is clear, concise, and accurate. That’s why I love using ProWritingAid, an AI-powered writing tool that helps me perfect my work before submission.
The rephrasing tool allows me to improve any sentence in just a few clicks. The AI-powered grammar checker catches even the trickiest mistakes, ensuring my ideas shine without any easy-to-miss errors.
The learning tool for students provides in-depth analysis to get work publish-ready. ProWritingAid’s analytical language goals and power verb suggestions help me write professionally without sacrificing readability.
I would suggest you test this tool out using its guaranteed refund for 14 days.
One of the things I love is its unique 20 reporting functions from ProWritingAid (see image below), especially the Sticky, Overused, Pronouns, and Alliteration.
Overall, ProWritingAid is a powerful tool that can help you produce quality writing quickly and efficiently.
- Comprehensive grammar checker that can catch and fix even the trickiest issues
- Offers a rephrasing tool that allows you to improve any sentence in just a few clicks
- Learning tool for students that provides in-depth analysis to get your work publish-ready
- Analytical language goals and power verb suggestions to help you write clearly, concisely, and accurately
- Can be used by both students and professionals for all types of academic writing
- The free version has limitations, and you need to upgrade to access all features
- While I love the detailed report feature, some users may find these functions overwhelming at first
- Can be time-consuming to use for long documents or research papers as this is not designed with the paper organization in mind
#3. Trinka – Designed for Academic and Technical writing
Trinka is an AI-powered English grammar and plagiarism checker, which we have covered in this article . It also doubles as a language enrichment writing assistant.
We have been testing Trinka recently and fell in love with it. Trinka is founded by Enago, an established academic service provider. So, they are well-versed in the needs of academic papers or technical writing.
Using real-time writing recommendations, Trinka corrects contextual spelling problems and sophisticated grammatical issues.
It aids academics and professionals in ensuring that their writing is clear, succinct, and interesting.
Below is a comparison of its performance against Grammarly from a Trinka whitepaper. Trinka wins in Domain, Usage, and Style.
We are also delighted to see its Publication Readiness feature included in the free plan. If you have issues with publishing your paper, chances are something is wrong with your manuscript. This Publication Readiness Checker may just be that difference maker.
- More suited for academic and technical writing
- Consistency Check that’s made for scientific writing
- Publication readiness check is a lifesaver (included in the free plan!)
- Flexible – credit-based pricing. Free-credits every month
- No desktop or mobile app
- Free version limits word count to 10,000 words/month
#4. Hemingway Editor – free and powerful
Hemingway Editor is one of my favorite writing tools. It helps you to simplify your writing. And, it’s free and easy to use.
It highlights problems with your writing based on the idea that dense, complex sentences are hard to understand. The program takes these long, winding sentences and breaks them into chunks with periods in between.
This makes it easy to see where you can cut out unnecessary words or phrases. You can also use the Hemingway Editor mobile app, which is available for free on iOS devices!
- Helps you spot your prose’s pitfalls, e.g., passive voice and convoluted sentence structure
- Free tool that also checks grammar
- Software can be downloaded so you can access it without the internet
- Aids in finding alternatives for difficult sentences
- Can make a large difference to the clarity of your writing
- Helps improve reading comprehension and understanding
- Is available as a free mobile app on iOS devices
- Great for essay writing
- Sometimes the alternatives require the reader’s attention
- Can’t export to MS Word or PDF files
- There is no browser plugin for this great tool
- Not ideal for checking really long research or paper
- You need to know what is the right reading level to set it
II. Best Re-Writing Software
#1. quillbot – best paid option for the professional .
QuillBot is a cutting-edge paraphrasing software that may reword part of the text or the entire article. After you’ve entered a sentence or piece of text, hit the paraphrase button, and QuillBot will rephrase your material while preserving its original meaning.
One of the primary strengths of this tool is that it uses machine learning to understand, reword, restructure, and improve on the paraphrases it makes. Besides paraphrasing and cutting your writing time, QuillBot offers a built-in thesaurus function to help you find the perfect word every time and change individual words.
Writing modes are included to help you enhance clarity and meaning, and a Word Flipper helps you change your writing instantly.
The free version can paraphrase up to 700 characters, but you can purchase a premium account and paraphrase up to 10,000 characters. The premium plan also paraphrases text faster, has more writing modes, and shows you a single sentence in multiple modes so you can compare results.
- High-quality results that preserve the original meaning
- Has a slider to adjust the level of synonyms and different writing modes to help you enhance clarity and meaning, as well as style, tone, and grammar tools
- Good interface that shows you the words that have been spun, not just shows you the result
- Works with the writing tools you already use, like Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Google Chrome.
- Has a co-writer function that can rival Jarvis as a writing tool
- Has a Citation Generator that can be handy with your academic paper
- Has a Grammar Checker that rivals Grammarly with a one-click fix-it function
- The free version allows only 125 words (paraphraser) and 1,200 words summarizer
- The absolute price of $15 per month may scare many people off (until you have experienced the power of an AI writing tool, an editing tool like Grammarly, and a paraphrasing tool like WordTune – coming into one).
- Premium starts with $15 billed monthly and $9.99 per month (billed every 6 months)
#2. WordTune – The most convenient option
WordTune can generate rewrite suggestions by analyzing vast amounts of text and finding human language patterns. As a result, it may occasionally change the meaning to convey a more common idea or to include information it believes is implied.
During the rewrite suggestions, Wordtune is learning to preserve the meaning of your input text as best as possible. It may occasionally, however, offer suggestions that seem to be out of context since the tool is built with some creative freedom. Sometimes, it may misinterpret your text and give incorrect or irrelevant suggestions.
- Best onboarding process that allows you to feel the tool – has a floating W icon that follows
- Works as a Google Extension which I use for my daily needs
- Free version shows impressive rewording results with the highlighted changes
- Most rewarding options I have seen from a tool (vs. others that don’t offer options)
- Offers 40% discount to students and educators with a valid academic email address, or those who work for a non-profit or NGO
- To change the tone to casual or formal requires an upgrade
- To use the shorten and expand function requires an upgrade
- Can’t work on a mobile or tablet function
- The normal price of $10 a month may be too much for casual writers
We tested Wordtune and find the Quillbot to be a more powerful tool with more functions mentioned above. Who knows, Wordtune may change after seeing user feedback like ours one day.
#3. Spinbot – Best free option for starters
Spinbot is a free summarizing tool that converts the substance you paste or write directly into an editorial manager. When you submit a request, the Spinbot framework modifies the text automatically.
Spinbot does not capitalize words, which protects uppercase terms like titles, professional people, places, and things while also preserving the main phrase of each sentence. You may modify this setting by checking the Spin Capitalized Words box.
- Free version that works up to 10,000 words which is quite amazing compared with QuillBot’s 125 words
- The interface is simple, spotless, and straightforward to use, but it includes offers. When you get past the commercials, though, the summarizing method is simple
- User experience is interrupted by ads sometimes
- The results is not as transparent as the QuillBot which shows you what has been changed
- The result can sometimes be quite bad (makes no sense) and you can’t adjust the rewording level like you can with QuillBot
III. 3 Best Writing Organization Tools
#1. scrivener – best for academic researchers.
Scrivener is great for researchers who need to handle a large volume of research. Academic writing is more complicated than a grad school writing assignment. This tool costs a little bit of money. But, many top researchers use it for their research papers.
It’s helpful that it has a mobile app, too. If you want to walk around and research ideas or write on your phone, Scrivener can sync with your device so everything is in one place.
Scrivener is very easy to use and helps you organize your writing. You can create chapters that have subpages for all of your research. You can also add images or text boxes that relate to your writing. It’s a great tool for organizing your research and thoughts, so you can produce a better academic research paper.
Scrivener also has a great free trial period – 30 days of use . So, if you use it 3 days a week, then you could have the trial for 10 weeks. Check the Discount here .
- Ease of use – allows you to easily rearrange your chapters and organize your research paper later without worrying about the order
- Many guides along the research process
- Free app trial that most students can access and test
- Able to help you turn random articles and documents into a thesis and great research paper
- Interface in the documents can be a bit confusing for first-time users
- Robin Nemesszeghy has written a great article on Scrivener vs. Dabble.
#2. Authorea – Best for Alternative Publication and Exposure
Authorea is this writing tool is a one-stop-shop for you to a) create/upload, b) disseminate your research paper, and c) get published in top journals. Authorea is great for young researchers who want to publish their academic work.
You can also use Authorea with Scrivener!
That’s right, you won’t have to leave your writing tool if you need to upload a research paper or just an article.
One of the best features is that Authorea officials allow you to publish your work on their website, free of charge. You can also get a DOI from them so it’s easier for people to cite your original research paper.
- One-stop shop for creating, disseminating, and getting published in top journals
- Great tool for young researchers who want to do their academic work and publish their research paper without having to handle the document and other admin tasks
- Can use Authorea with Scrivener
- May be difficult to get published in top journals
#3. Reedsy – Best for Aspiring Best-Selling Authors
Reedsy is a publishing company that helps authors and publishers connect with professionals to help them create beautiful books. They offer powerful tools and free educational content to help people become top researchers and have more academic success.
Reedsy’s Book Editor is a powerful digital tool used for writing and editing eBooks, print books, journals, and articles. It gives you all the features you need to write your manuscript, including unlimited revision history with comments sent via email; automatic backups; dynamic word count; advanced character filtering; track changes; export to .docx or .txt files; the ability to collaborate on your manuscript with several people at once; and much more.
Reedsy’s eBook Editor has all the features of an advanced word processor, meaning you can write your eBook with the same high-powered tools that are used by best-selling authors.
- Reedsy offers a wide range of professional services to help you create a beautiful book
- They have a lot of free educational content that can help you improve your research and writing skills
- The Reedsy Book Editor is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, tool for writing and editing manuscripts
- Reedsy is quite expensive compared to other publishing companies
- More of a next-level tool for people who have some success or resources
#4. LaTeX – Great tool but difficult for non-coder
LaTeX is one of the most widely used academic writing tools that are free and reliable. We have even created a LaTex tutorial, where we help with the minimal programming knowledge that you need to use this too.
Use LaTex if you haven’t started writing your research paper, have some time to learn it, and want to learn one of the absolute classic writing tools.
Download the LaTeX program here , and don’t forget to check out our guide on how to use it here .
- LaTeX is free to use, which helps students on tight academic budgets.
- The ability to create your own bibliography using Latex’s site function saves time for you and your librarian.
- Creates a technical barrier for researchers who know how to use LaTex and those who don’t
- It takes some time to learn how to use Latex and can take a few hours or even months for beginner writers
- Certain word processing programs such as MS Word cannot be used with LaTex
#5. DraftIn – Minimalistic and free for laser-focus writing
If Steve Jobs creates an academic writing tool, Draftin might be it. The tool is designed for people who just want to focus on words. It embraces Hemmingway’s motto of “Writer drunk. Edit Sober.”
I work with other people all the time, using Google Docs. But, sometimes there are issues with version control. This tool solves that problem by holding the version updated by the user in the user’s environment. So, you should review it first before accepting it.
This is different from Google Docs’ showing the updated version and you figure out what has been changed. And, revert them one by one.
The downside of being minimalist is that you can’t embed links in the text.
- One of the good free online writing tools
- Minimalist design with the Hemingway Mode that encourages “write first, edit later”
- Version control is very helpful for keeping track of edits and updates
- Great when you have co-authors to work on the same documents
- Help you focus on the quality of your writing and notes
- You can’t embed links in text in the document
- Limited functions (by design) compared with other tools
The best academic writing tools don’t have to be expensive or complicated.
The most important thing you can do is use your time wisely.
We are also curious about your experience with what works and what doesn’t.
What are the top three things you wish someone had told you about academic writing when you were starting out?
Share them with us below!
Why should I use LaTeX?
One important but less obvious benefit is that LaTeX allows you to clearly distinguish the substance of your academic papers from the format. As a writer (scientist, researcher or not), this frees you up to concentrate on “what” rather than “how” will it look when printed out on paper (that is the job of LaTeX document class designers).
One big caveat is that the learning curve is quite steep. So, be sure to check out our tutorial here .
What are the best tips for academic writing?
- 1. Make sure to spell-check and proofread
- 2. It’s not enough to merely quote your references
- 3. Try using different words than the ones you found in your research
- 4. You have to accurately summarize and synthesize their ideas in a new way
- 5. Write clearly and simply
- 6. Avoid cliches
- 7. Vary your SENTENCE STRUCTURE
- 8. Mix it up in terms of PUNCTUATION
- 9. Be CONCISE
- 10. Use the VOCABULARY that you know
- 11. But also work on expanding your VOCABULARY
- 12. ***Be open mind and learn to use the tool that you need, not what others recommend
What are the tools for effective writing?
The most important tool is your mind as a researcher.
Good academic writing relies on clear thinking, orderly presentation, and sustained focus.
To be an effective researcher, it’s important to have a set of clearly defined priorities for how you will spend your time in the library or office, what questions you’re devoting attention to, which ideas are worth pursuing in more depth.
Brainstorming is often part of drafting a paper in rhetoric, but in these earliest stages, it is also about figuring out one’s attitude toward the subject at hand. Who am I writing this essay for? Who am I disagreeing with? What are they saying about my topic that I need to refute – all this has implications when deciding where to look next or what hypothesis to pursue.
One major problem for researchers is to actually “see” how much they know. Scapple can be a great tool for organizing knowledge and connecting the dots. You can find out more about how we reviewed >30 mind mapping software here .
There is more.
Check out our other articles on the Best Academic Tools Series for Research below.
- Learn how to get more done with these Academic Writing Tools
- Learn how to proofread your work with these Proofreading Tools
- Learn how to broaden your research landscape with these Academic Search Engines
- Learn how to manage multiple research projects with these Project Management Tools
- Learn how to run effective survey research with these Survey Tools for Research
- Learn how get more insights from important conversations and interviews with Transcription Tools
- Learn how to manage the ever-growing list of references with these Reference Management Software
- Learn how to double your productivity with literature reviews with these AI-Based Summary Generators
- Learn how to build and develop your audience with these Academic Social Network Sites
- Learn how to make sure your content is original and trustworthy with these Plagiarism Checkers
- Learn how to talk about your work effectively with these Science Communication Tools
10 thoughts on “11 Best Academic Writing Tools For Researchers”
Does quiltbot,save the changed text on its server, and then creata the problem of plagerisim.
Here is what it says about its plagiarism checker: “QuillBot stores your content in order to run the plagiarism report, so you can access your reports in the future. Our third-party vendor, CopyLeaks, does not store your content. QuillBot will never share your content with any third parties outside of CopyLeaks.”
Please provide information on resources for systematic review and meta-analysis; for conducting literature review
No it does not
i am a research scholar.i request you to kindly let me share information on rewrite cum plagiarism check, removal tool for best performance. Thank you all
Thank you, Dear Writer. It’s very much helpful.
These are very important for research students. Thank you very much for this piece of information. Great work Joannah.
Thank you for the kind words!
Thanks for sharing this well-researched article.
Nice article, might I suggest Writefull also, they have a number of tools designed for academic/technical writing…
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19 ACADEMIC WRITING TOOLS (THAT ARE COMPLETELY FREE!)
A selection of tools for academic writing – from collaborating, time-tracking and project management to finding the perfect phrase or translation. We are continuously updating this list (latest update: April 2023).
I often get asked about my favourite academic writing tools. That’s why I compiled this scientific tools list for you with 19 great tools to support your academic writing. You can use all these scientific research tools for free and some of them have paid versions with additional features.
Just one word of caution: Exploring new academic writing tools can be a time-suck and distract you from getting your actual writing done. If you are one of those people who spend hours signing up for new software for academic writing and getting it set up, only to abandon the tool a few days or weeks later – then be careful reading this scientific tools list, and don’t get overenthusiastic. 😉
By the way, I don’t have any affiliation with any of the academic writing tools listed below, and none of these are affiliated links.
Here, we go, 19 tools for academic writing and scientific research I recommend in no particular order:
ACADEMIC Writing tools
This proof-reading tool for scientific texts is powered by AI and big data. You can integrate the Writefull app into Word or Overleaf for free. A reader of the blog brought my attention to this tool (thank you so much!) and I’ve only recently started using it, so I can’t give you a full-blown review just yet but so far the results are promising. Writefull is owned by Digital Science, a company that has released several Open Science apps, such as figshare, Overleaf and Altmetric.
Created by Dr John Morley from “The University Language Center” of Manchester University, the Phrasebank is a database of common phrases used in papers, dissertations and grant proposals – a real goldmine!
The phrases are organised both by the common sections in a paper such as the Introduction, Methods, Results or Discussion section. For example, in the tab for the Introduction section, one can find entries for “establishing the importance of the topic for the world or society” or “identifying a knowledge gap in the field of study”. If you click on the latter, you can find among others the following suggested phrases: “It is still unclear whether…”, “However, the behaviour of X has not yet been investigated” and “Causal factors leading to X remain speculative”.
You can also look for phrases by choosing a general language function. Some of the choices are “being cautious”, “describing trends”, “signalling transition”.
The Phrasebank is very useful to get inspiration for new wording but I do not endorse all entries. Sometimes you find language that is a bit clunky or overly complicated so do use your own judgement when you browse this academic writing tool. PS: You can also download the Academic Phrasebank as PDF or Kindle file.
If you’re looking for synonyms, thesaurus.com is the best online thesaurus I’ve found so far. It divides the synonyms based on different meanings of the word and indicates the relevance of the synonym by using three shades of orange.
Just one word of caution: Don’t fall into the trap of using too many synonyms in your academic writing. Being precise is so much more important than varying the words you are using in your writing. In particular for field-specific terminology, I advise against using synonyms .
This is a hot tip for researchers who need to transcribe interviews (hello, social scientists!), who like to record research ideas or those who like to write by dictating text into their phone. Otter is an AI-based transcription tool that works for English language recordings. The quality of the transcriptions is comparable to other transcription services using AI, meaning they are often not accurate and can give nonsensical, even comical results — especially when the recorded voice has a strong or unusual accent. Still, the automated and quick transcriptions (real time transcriptions are available too!) can be a good starting point and are a huge time saver. What’s cool about Otter compared to its competitors is that they give you 300 minutes of transcriptions per month for free!
There are many online dictionaries but Linguee is my favourite for academic writing. It suggests a translation on the basis of previous translations published on the internet. Therefore, this dictionary is especially great if you’re looking to not only translate a word but a certain turn of phrase or idiom. Linguee translates to and from English in over 20 languages. An essential academic writing tool for all non-native English speakers!
ACADEMIC WRITING TOOLS FOR Collaboration AND CO-WRITING
The magazine “ TechCrunch ” describes Authorea as “a Google Docs for scientists”. On the academic writing platform, you can write, edit, and insert citations, figures and data. And it’s great for collaborative writing: Co-authors can access the same text at the same time, track the changes they made, insert comments and even live-chat during writing sessions. Documents can be imported from LaTeX and Word and exported as LaTeX, Word and PDF documents. You can also submit your article as a bioRxiv preprint straight from the Authorea platform. This software for academic writing is free for up to ten documents with limited sharing options.
Overleaf is to LaTeX users, what Authorea (see tool #6) is to Word users: an online editor that allows you to access and collaborate on your writing projects from anywhere. You can, for example, invite others to comment on your work. Overleaf offers some other neat collaborative writing features, such as a track-changes function, but – unfortunately – only on the paid plan. LaTeX may seem a bit intimidating at first but you actually get the hang of it quite fast (and feel like a coder 😎). Also, in my experience, you save a lot of time formatting your text (and feel smug about it when you talk to Word users 😁).
Slack is a chat tool that you can use in your lab or with your collaborators. Used in the right way, it allows you to save time by cutting down on emails and create a group atmosphere even if the members are not working in the same location. You can easily add files to the chats and create different channels for subgroups or certain topics. There also exist virtual communities on Slack you can join, such as the New PI Slack community for Assistant professors around the world.
Loom is a great scientific research tool when you want to share a quick video with a colleague, student or collaborator. This could be a recorded presentation or lecture, your comments on the paper of a co-author, or a tutorial on using a piece of software. You can record your screen, camera and microphone. The neat thing is that after you’re done recording, Loom auto-generates a link you can share.
Academic writing tools for Productivity and project management
Toggl is a time-tracking app that you can install on your phone and computer. There’s only one way of knowing how long certain writing tasks typically take you, and that is by tracking the time they took you to complete . Time-tracking has another great advantage: You can identify time-sucks in your day. And these may be less obvious than you think.
I like to use Toggl for time-tracking because it’s quick to use and integrates with various other scientific research tools I am using. You just need to click the big red power button to start or stop a recording and assign tracked times to different projects. This scientific research tool has paid plans but for most people the free basic plan will be sufficient.
Are you easily tempted to check your phone when you really should be writing? This app called Forest may be just right for you then. Once installed on your phone, you can start planting a virtual tree whenever you want to focus. It grows from a little plant to a full-grown tree. When you pick up your phone and leave the app, the tree dies. This way, you can build your forest representing the time you have spent on focused work (or quality time with your family and friends…). I’m not using Forest myself, but I’ve heard that it works really as an academic writing tool well for some people. Give it a go!
As Forest (see tool #11), Focusmate is an app to help you stay focused. Instead of gamification, the concept of Focusmate is based on social accountability. Here is how it works: You schedule a 50-minute virtual co-writing session with another Focusmate member, turn on your webcam when your session starts, greet your temporary co-worker and then get to work silently.
Even though being filmed while working is a little strange in the beginning, co-writing sessions work really well for a lot of researchers. This is why we offer co-writing sessions as part of our academic writing program, the Researchers’ Writing Academy, as well.
13. Cold Turkey
If Forest (tool #11) or Focusmate (#12) don’t get you to focus on your writing, you may need to go Cold Turkey . This software for academic writing blocks any other application and turns your computer into a typewriter. You can choose whether you want Cold Turkey to prevent you from digital distractions for a certain amount of time or until you’ve hit a certain word count. With the paid version, you can even access integrated productivity soundtracks and text formatting.
Not an app exactly, but free as well: Click the orange button below to have me walk you through my step-by-step system to write clear & concise papers for your target journals in a timely manner . This free academic writing training is perfect for you if you’re reading this blog post because you are procrastinating on writing your paper.
Trello is an excellent project management tool for your academic writing, which you can use for managing each of your writing projects, for creating a publication pipeline and as a daily and weekly to-do list. Trello is a great introduction into project management because it’s a lot easier to learn and use than most other project management software. For each project called a “Board”, you can create different “lists”, which are vertical collection of “cards”, which you can move between lists. You can add due dates, checklist lists, links, files and text to each card. To work collaboratively, you can leave comments on cards and assign them to members on your team. You can also use Trello as a brainstorming tool, using the cards just as you would use post-it notes.
Members of my online course, the Researchers’ Writing Academy , get access to Trello templates I created to easily manage their publication pipeline, the writing process for each of their scientific papers and all of their other daily, weekly and monthly tasks and projects.
Todoist is an alternative to Trello (see tool #16) or can be used in addition. It’s an online to-do list organiser and project management tool that comes as an app and browser version. You can organise your tasks in projects and schedule them for a certain day. This academic writing tool shows you today’s tasks as well as those for the next seven days. It also tracks your productivity, i.e. how many tasks you have completed.
academic writing Tools for finding and reading the literature
Feedly is a neat RSS feed manager that helps you stay up to date with the scientific literature. Instead of getting email alerts from journals (because who wants to get more emails…) you can view and organise the literature you are interested in by following journals’ RSS feeds. You can not only use this for scientific literature but also subscribe to blogs, for example the one you’re reading right now, by simply putting the URL in the Feedly search: https://www.annaclemens.com/blog .
Are you a mindmapper? Then you need Xmind , a free mindmapping and brain-storming tool. It’s intuitive, looks good and does exactly what you want a mindmapping tool to do. The free version allows for embedding of hyperlinks, images, attachments, so you can really use it however you like! That’s all I can really say about it as I’m not using mindmapping myself. But I know scientists who swear by it!
Audio formats have become so popular (I’m a big podcast lover myself!) so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that there now is an audio tool available for the scientific literature too: Audemic . This tool — completely free to use for individual researchers — creates summaries for you (that go beyond the abstract), lets you skip sections, highlight text and take notes while listening.
There are a few reference managers for your academic writing to choose from, some of which cost money. Zotero is free, open-source and doesn’t lack in functionality. You can easily save references from your browser, organise them in folders and with tags and create bibliographies with the right style. You can also create a citation library with your co-authors or share your library with others.
That’s it: 19 academic writing apps and scientific research tools to support your writing for free! However, the best academic writing software won’t make you more productive if you don’t rely on a streamlined writing process and if you aren’t using your writing sessions effectively. If you want to get your hands on a template to write scientific papers in a systematic fashion, sign up for this 1-hour writing training now. It’s free too!
The power of connecting Open research-related data
Part 2 of the 3-part blog series on open science tools.
Here are 9 literature search tools that will make your scientific literature search faster and more convenient. All of the presented literature review software is free and follows Open Science principles.
Whether you're looking for an academic phrase finder, a collaborative academic writing software, a tool to stay focused on your writing or a writing project management app - I've got you covered!
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- Discovering The 9 Best Academic Writing Software to Improve Your Writing
Table of content
Part 1. What is Academic Writing?
Part 2. what is the purpose of academic writing.
- Part 3. What are the main Differences between Professional and Academic Writing?
Part 4. What Software is Used to Write Academic Papers
Part 5. which ai tool is best for academic writing, part 6. which tool is the best plagiarism detection tool for academic writing.
Students often find writing challenging since it includes a lot of research. However, on the bright side, many academic writing software options make the work easy. With the tools available today, you only need to gather the ideas, and the software will take care of the rest. Since technology makes academic writing easy, this article contains a collection of software students can use.
Academic writing is impersonal and formal writing that focuses on scholars. It is used to propose and prove an idea with factual evidence from previous research work and some additional research work. Some most common types of academic writing include:
- Research papers.
All these academic writing pieces have a thesis statement; the whole layout and content are designed around that thesis statement with solid information.
Academic writing aims to help scholars present their ideas, explain and persuade their ideas, and analyze research by constructing an effective argument with supporting material and references. Some other purposes of academic writing include preparing students for further studies and their professional careers.
Part 3. What are the main differences between Professional and Academic Writing?
The two most common types of writing include academic and professional writing. Academic writing is done for academic purposes, including giving an idea to students and presenting it in front of fellow researchers and professors. On the other hand, professional writing is targeted at business people, including clients, management, leaders, employees, etc. So, both types of writing have different purposes.
Both writing types use different styles, and the method/importance of referencing is also variable due to the varying audience. Lastly, there is a huge difference in the writer's experience here. The writer for academic writing is usually a beginner at practical writing, while professional writers have much more experience.
With this comparison between these two types of writing, it is clear that following the layout, outline, and other parameters is essential since the target audience is critical in either case.
Writing an academic paper is a whole process involving many steps, and the first step is gathering ideas and writing them in your words. Different tools are used for this phase since those tools increase your efficiency. Here are the top 3 software options for writing academic papers.
1. UPDF – Best Academic Writing Software on Mac and Windows with PDF Format
Academic papers are published and uploaded in PDF format, so working on a PDF file while writing them gives you more control over the formatting. UPDF makes the best software for academic writing on Mac and Windows since it comes with the following benefits:
Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure
- Note-taking options while doing research.
- UPDF Cloud allows accessing files on any device.
- Printing and sharing papers without changing the formatting.
- One license for all your devices.
2. Microsoft Word – Best Academic Writing Software on Mac and Windows with Word Format
If you want to try Word format for writing your academic paper and have no worries about the pricing of the software, then try Microsoft Word. It brings the old-school user interface experience that every student is aware of. However, it does not lack with it comes to the latest features since the best ones here include:
- References and citations.
- Exporting in different formats.
- Print preview.
- Writing formatting choices.
3. Google Docs – Best Free Academic Writing Software
Google Docs is the best choice for students who want online software for their academic writing needs. This online document editor is free for everyone and only requires a Google account. It comes with an interface much like Microsoft Word, but there are multiple latest features to it that you may not find in other tools, including:
- Collaboration option with activity tracking.
- Comments, suggesting mode, etc.
- Basic document editing and formatting features.
- Importing-exporting files in multiple formats.
Which One is Better for Academic Writing?
Here is a detailed comparison table comparing features, advantages, and many other factors about these three.
With this comparison table, you can see the value UPDF brings to students. Its PDF editing features allow you to write content in the tool, so you don’t have to waste additional effort editing PDFs afterward. It also works on all your devices and offers a similar experience.
There has been a lot of fuss about AI content writing tools that anyone can use for academic writing, blog writing, and many other options. So, if you are a student asking what is the best academic writing generator AI tool, here is a comparison of the top 2 options you can try.
ChatGPT is the most recent and, currently, the most popular AI chatbot that can be used for academic writing. Although you need to give the most appropriate prompts to ChatGPT, it makes writing much easier. The best part about ChatGPT is that you can get different benefits from it, including:
- Generating outlines for academic writing.
- Using ChatGPT for generating academic writing ideas.
- Finding the right research material for academic writing.
So, if you don’t use it for writing the content, it can help amazingly with its research capabilities.
Jasper AI is an artificial intelligence content creation tool that can start with a blank page, a template, or an outline for writing your content. The best part is that you can write content in different tones and choose the content length generated. It keeps learning from your responses and often adds elements to your outline.
Which one is better for Academic Writing
This comparison table gives an insight into the value offered by ChatGPT and Jasper.
ChatGPT is the clear winner for students since the AI content generation features like outline and idea generation help students get more ideas and manually write their concepts within the scope of a thesis statement.
Once you are done with the writing part, you need to ensure that your content is original and does not match any previous work. Sometimes you unintentionally plagiarize content; otherwise, the tools show results from sources you haven't seen before. In either case, you must check your content for originality, and multiple tools are available.
PlagScan is a premium plagiarism scanning tool known for providing results similar to Turnitin, which is professionally used for checking plagiarism in academic writing. It is one of the best tools to compare your content against the internet, other users, and several academic portals to ensure it is 100% original. The tool itself is from the company Turnitin, so you get very reliable results.
Duplichecker is one of the best free plagiarism-checking tools available out there. It has a paid version if you want the best experience. However, the free version will work fine if your goal is only generating original content. Here you can copy the content or upload files with a maximum limit of 1000 words, and it will check your content. Duplichecker also gives you the highlighted results with their links so you can compare and edit your content.
Below is a comparison of the top 2 plagiarism detectors students can use.
With both these tools offering a similar experience, using PlagScan is a better option since Turnitin backs it. It provides highly accurate details without wasting any time.
Part 7. Which Tool is The Best Proofreading Software for Academic Writing
Editing is the final step to academic writing, and when editing your content, you must proofread. Since it is not humanly possible to point out all the mistakes made while writing content, you can get assistance from proofreading tools here. Below are the top 2 proofreading tools that students can use:
Scribbr is your writing assistant that provides proofreading, citation-generating services, and plagiarism check. It provides you with a team of experts who assist you with their professional experience of proofreading and editing content. Here you also get detailed feedback about your content for making any further revisions.
The next one is Grammarly, which is made for students and everyone who types. Grammarly takes proofreading to the next level by checking for correctness, including punctuation and grammatical errors. It also checks your content for clarity to maintain that professional touch, and there are others, including engagement and delivery. You can check for plagiarism and get a complete writing and plagiarism report about your content.
See the comparison table below to see which of the proofreading tools makes a better option for you.
So, we can see that Grammarly is a better option for academic writing and other typing needs due to its wide variety of features, better accuracy, and good user experience.
Choosing the right academic writing software is an essential part of academic writing in today's age. Having the right tools on your side significantly enhances your productivity as a writer, editor, and proofreader, and even for generating new ideas. So, select all the products that will enhance your writing performance.
One of the best options is UPDF since it brings features for PDF editing, allowing you to set your formatting carefully. With its in-built note-taking features, research also becomes significantly easier.
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Academic Writing Tools and Research Software – A Comprehensive Guide
Overview | Writing Software | Reference Management Software | Research Tools | Grammar Checking Tools
In this blog, we review academic writing tools and software that students, academics, researchers and PhD students can benefit from. We have categorised the tools into four broad areas: writing tools, referencing tools, research tools and grammar checking tools. The motivation behind this blog is to provide readers with a snapshot of popular tools in each category.
1. Writing Tools and Software
Whether you are writing an article, research paper, essay, blog, and dissertation or PhD thesis, it is important to choose an appropriate writing software tool for your work. The choice of writing software comes down to your personal taste. Everyday users are happy to shed a few dollars to purchase a well-known writing tool such as MS Word. Tech savvies welcome open source projects such as OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Whereas, the research community is much more adventurous and has embraced the type-setting system, Latex as their writing medium. Blog writers and journalists use online writing tools such as GoogleDocs and DropBox Paper as they find these tools perfect for collaborating with others. Novel writers use more fancy writing tools such as Scrivener to organize their ideas and create a storyboard to help them write. In this blog, we review some of the common writing tools and software used by writers.
- Microsoft Word
Click here to visit the blog on Writing Tools and Software…
2. Referencing Tools and Reference Management Software
Referencing tools are handy to organize and format references so that you can easily incorporate them in your essays, research papers, dissertations and PhD thesis. There are many terms used for such tools such as referencing software, referencing tool, reference management software, citation software, citation app, paper software, citation manager, research paper management tool, bibliography software, literature review software, literature management software and research paper organizer. These all refer to a piece of software or an online tool that allows you to store and format references. It is very important that you choose a right tool for your research and stick to it. We have reviewed some of the popular referencing tools used in the scientific community below from an academic writing perspective.
Click here to visit the blog on Referencing Tools…
3. Research Tools and Software
If you are conducting research, it is very important that you have appropriate methods and tools to carry out your research. If you are a non-native English speaker, then you need a research tool to help you with your written language. If your research involves data analysis, then you need a good statistical research tool for your work. It is also important that you keep tabs on what other people in your research arena are doing, so you need research tools such as Google Scholar and ResearchGate to collaborate with your peers. You also need a good plagiarism checking software to avoid academic misconduct. Finally, you need a research project management software to stay on top of the deadlines. In this blog, we review some of the useful tools for research that researchers can use to be more productive.
- Online Statistical testing tools
- Microsoft Excel
- Google Scholar
- Plagiarism Checker
- Project Management Tools
Click here to visit the blog on Research Tools…
4. Grammar Checkers and Sentence Correction Tools
When you are writing your paper or essay, it is very important to ensure that your document does not contain typos, grammatical errors, and bad sentence structure. Your work will be badly judged if English is bad despite the good content. For non-native English speakers, it presents a particular challenge because of the difficulties in mastering English, vocabulary, grammar, and usage. A brief review of grammar checking software, grammar correction apps, online grammar checking sites, punctuation checker, sentence structure and construction checkers are given in this blog.
- MS Word Spelling & Grammar checker
- Ginger Software
- Online Grammar checking sites
Click here to visit the blog on Grammar and Sentence checking Tools…
Popular Writing Tools and Software for Authors and Researchers
In this blog, we review some of the common writing tools and software used by writers, and discuss their pros and cons in detail.
Scholarly Paraphrasing Tool and Essay Rewriter for Rewording Academic Papers
In the blog, we focus on academic and scientific paraphrasing software tools that help students to rewrite their essay into an academically acceptable format.
Self-Plagiarism – Similarity Checker Tool to Avoid Academic Misconduct
In this blog, we explain the differences between self-plagiarism and plain plagiarism, and demonstrate the benefits of Ref-n-write’s similarity checker tool.
Top Referencing Tools and Reference Management Software for Academic Writing
In this blog, we have reviewed some of the popular referencing tools used by the scientific community from an academic writing perspective.
Top Research Tools and Software for Academics and Research Students
In this blog, we review some of the useful tools for research that researchers can use to be more productive.
Top English Grammar Checkers and Sentence Correction Tools
In this blog, grammar checking software, grammar correction apps and online grammar checking sites are reviewed along with the discussion about various features.
Very nice, very comprehensive
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Highly educative, and informative beside I appreciate your blogs post.
YOUR ARTICLE IS HIGHLY HELPFUL AND VERY INFORMATIVE
NICE BLOG THANKS FOR HELPING
There is also Refereed.com. It has either reference management or collaborative writing in real-time. And It is free.
Good blog, thanks for to compile my intention of materials.
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Really informative blog
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Digital Tools for Research and Writing
Writing is a challenge. This comes as no surprise to anyone trying to write any sort of lengthy piece of work. Keeping track of the different sections, research and flow of a document in any kind of academic writing can be especially daunting.
There are many tools for writing beyond the basic word processing program that you may find useful in your research and writing process. Some of these are available for free and others may have a fee attached. We have collected a number of different tools here that may be of use in different stages of the writing process.
Managing your research process
During the research process you will likely amass a large number of documents from lecture notes, books, articles and other documents. Depending on your type of project you may be able to keep these materials organized in your own way, but there are digital tools that can help you. Some citation manager, such as Zotero, offer a certain amount of storage and organization for these types of files, but a number of other options are out there that offer different capabilities.
Tropy is a free image management program created by the Center for History and New Media at George Mason University. It is specifically aimed at researchers offering a great deal of flexibility in keeping track of archival materials. If you are someone who amasses archival material, Tropy is an amazing tool.
Tropy works by creating an easily searchable database of your images. You are able to add metadata of your choice to your images. A number of templates exist or you can use your own. You can group images, annotate images and attach notes, such as transcriptions, to a particular image. The Tropy image viewer allows you to zoom in making it a useful tool for working with the material. There are different export objects as well.
- A helpful Tropy introduction video
- Tropy has an excellent step-by-step guide for setting up a project
One of Trello’s added benefits is the ability to work as a team. Team members can share a board with individual users assigned to particular task cards.
Trello is a platform that syncs across devices. It allows you to create boards featuring multiple customizable lists. It can be used as a simple to do list, but it can also be useful in organizing materials. The interface is very straightforward. Under each list you create what is essentially an index card for a task or item. You can tag that card with various information including additional task breakdowns and comments.
One of Trello’s added benefits is the ability to work as a team. Team members can share a board with individual users assigned to particular task cards.
Trello comes in both a free and subscription version. With the subscription version you get further flexibility with templates
Trello offers a number of resources for thinking about using the platform for academics and researchers.
- Using Trello for group research
- Using Trello for working with your advisor
Scrivener is one of the best known alternatives to traditional word processing software. It is inexpensive writing software that can help your writing process become more efficient. Produced by Literature and Latte, the program allows you to write in sections that can be rearranged in easier ways then endless scrolling and cut and paste. Other super useful functions include multiple split-screen views whether of different parts of your own paper or your research documents. Scrivener is like having a digital binder; you can also keep track of your research documents and notes (including photos and audio) and access them within your writing program. Scrivener also syncs across multiple devices.
There are useful functions including the ability to set a word count goal for individual sections, an option to look at all particular parts of speech, the ability to write in a mode without any desktop notifications or toolbar distractions, and a navigation pane on the side. Everyone’s writing process is different – for some people an outline comes first and for others it grows naturally. Scrivener is specifically designed to allow you to see the structure of your paper as you write which is invaluable to academic writing.
By far one of the most useful options is the corkboard view. This view shows each section or subsection of your paper as the equivalent of a digital index card. You can add a brief description of the content in that section which helps to visualize the overall paper. You can then rearrange the sections as you need to without any of the copying and pasting and hoping that you got the right section and didn’t accidentally lose a piece that can happen in Microsoft Word. For me, this especially helpful as someone who doesn’t write in a linear fashion. If you have an idea but aren’t sure yet where it fits, you create a section and can worry about putting it in the right place later.
Literature and Lattes overview of Scrivener:
- A useful video guide for setting up a dissertation project
- The Thesis Whisperer on using Scrivener for research projects
- A review of the pros and cons of using Scrivener for academic writing
750Words.com This website is as simple as it sounds. It challenges you to write at least 750 words a day, offering you digital badges for continued accomplishment of a goal. It’s a great opportunity to simply write out initial ideas or thoughts on readings while building a regular writing habit. You can easily search past entries and export entries.
While it is an online platform, your particular entries are private. It does offer some extra useful features. The site tracks your writing patterns including the time it takes you and frequently used words as well as some other stats of varying usefulness. If you are someone who needs some accountability both the sites reward system and ability to participate in challenges and follow other individuals can be very helpful.
Scapple comes from the same makers as Scrivener. It is a kind of mind mapping tool and works as a digital blank page allowing you to sketch out ideas and make connections between them using arrows and lines. There are multiple ways for grouping ideas and the program allows you to color code, combine thoughts and connect them in different ways and drag things around the screen as needed. You are also able to export your notes directly into Scrivener or in other formats.
- Scapple introduction video
- A helpful blog post on using Scapple
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Is there a best tool for writing scientific papers?
Most people use Microsoft Word to write documents. And most scientific journals and conferences ask authors to submit their work using Word templates. In conferences, a Word template can be important to format the final edition of the proceedings. If you have different tools, you have to make sure the final result is the same which is difficult. With Journals, I guess the reason is that most people submitted their works in Word. But, with recent developments in writing software, is Word the best tool for writing scientific papers?
My experience has always been with Word because it was the tool most people used. And scientific papers are a collaborative creative process where all authors give their contribution, thus, we must use a tool where everyone can make adjustments to the paper. Otherwise, we print a copy, make adjustments on paper and someone else introduces them in the original file. Not practical. Word in not bad, but, from my experience, it’s not good enough. So, what’s the problem?
Most problems you experience with Word relate with formatting and indexing. Often we open a document in a different computer and everything is in the wrong place. Arghhh! Or when Word crashes, it could happen that some final changes were… just… gone! Arghhh! What I’ve noticed is people often loosing time on the formatting, and indexing (figures, equations, tables, references) – which is hard by the way-, instead of focusing on the content. And this is the main issue. When you write a scientific paper, you should solely focus on the content.
Well, we have other options.
Most of my scientific writing is made using an old tool. LaTeX. The layout is not appealing because it seems like you are programming code. And you are. But the outcome is always amazing, figures, tables, equations, references are always correctly indexed, and the design doesn’t depend on the computer you compile.
You still have some work with tables, sometimes with figures to put them in the right place, but the community of users is so vast you find almost every answer to your problems with a simple search.
In my experience, and after using online platforms with the ability for collaborative writing, LaTeX is the best option for writing scientific papers. The learning curve is slower, but once you become used to, you never go back… unless you could have WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) and the LaTeX functionality for equations, figure placement, tables and so on.
My initial question stated “is there a best tool”. And in my experience, the best tool is always the one that works best for “you”. Also, any tool which promotes greater focus on content instead of loosing time with formatting is better. The challenge appears when you want to promote a more collaborative writing, which is now possible, but implies all co-authors to follow a certain platform and this is difficult. I think we’ll get there in the next few years.
QUESTION: What is the best tool for your scientific writing? Have you ever thought if’s this tool allows you to focus on content?
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