Three apps to help you improve your writing

Published by Clara on

We all make mistakes, and for many years I relied on Microsoft Word to pick up those dreaded typos. Recently, however, I stumbled upon some alternative apps that help writers to fine-tune their articles.

From style checkers to plagiarism scanners, here are three tools that I’ve found useful, and I hope you will too.

Hemingway Editor

A screenshot of the hemingway app.

Hemingway Editor is designed to help make your writing bold and clear, its creators describe it as ‘like a spellchecker, but for style’.

The app is based on studies carried out by researchers in the field of “readability” and gives your copy a grade based on the Automated Readability Index (ARI) – a test that measures a text’s complexity to assess how difficult it is to read. The grade that you receive is the lowest education needed to understand your text.

I paste my copy into the Hemingway Editor, but you can type straight into it – click the ‘write’ tab so that you don’t get distracted by all the different colours. When you’re done, click ‘edit’ to switch back to editing mode.

Hemingway Editor highlights complex sentences so you can see where you may need to cut words. This service is particularly useful if you write for the web or if you need some punchy sales copy. Hemingway Editor also highlights adverbs, passive voice, and words that can be simplified.

Grammarly

A screenshot of the grammarly app

Grammarly is one of my favourite online writing apps because it offers a free browser extension, enabling me to write with clarity on almost every site on the web, including social media platforms.

What I also like about Grammarly is that it offers a wealth of great content that will help you to improve your writing skills. The Blog offers daily tips on writing and style, whilse the Handbook helps you brush up on grammar, spelling and punctuation.

Like Hemingway Editor, Grammarly highlights spelling, grammar, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes. Where it differs, however, is that it explains the reasoning behind each correction. With this, you can make a more informed decision about whether to correct the word.

There are two versions of Grammarly – free and premium. The premium version offers extra tools including plagiarism detection and vocabulary enhancement suggestions. However, if you’re just looking for a simple style and grammar checker, then the free version does the job.

Small SEO Tools

A screenshot of small seo tools

Small SEO Tools is a free tool that scans text for identical sentences and provides a score that tells you how unique the article is.

To check for plagiarism, simply copy and paste your work into the text box. The software will then search the web and highlight any unoriginal sentences in red. Yes, there are a lot of adverts and pop-ups to navigate, but for a free service, this is to be expected.

What I like most about SEO Tools is that there is no membership fee. Other plagiarism checkers will ask you to pay a premium to unlock all their features. Its creators also state that it doesn’t save any content in its database, so you can rest assured that your work won’t be sold on to a third party.

Over to you

I always use at least one of these apps – or a combination of all three – to highlight errors in my work and avoid embarrassment. What writing apps have you found useful and how have they helped you to improve your writing technique?


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