Studies show that an average college student would spend a significant amount of his academic life writing.
On average, college students would have to write about 10 to 15 essays per semester, equivalent to 40 to 60 pages of writing or 11,000 to 16,500 words written per semester. Sum this up through one’s university life, and you’d find out how vital writing is as it forms a massive part of our academic life.
However, as college once in our lives, we believe that writing may be the most daunting and exhausting task that students face daily. Since the writing assignments in college differ in kind, nature, scope, and extent, students would have to learn new things, adjust their approach, and apply them in their work every time. This does not yet include the sheer amount of time and effort needed in the actual writing process.
In line with this, I would like to share students’ top five writing tools this 2022. Although there are plenty of tools that you can use for free, we factored in various characteristics to find out our top contenders, such as; (1) cost, (2) functionality, (3) uniqueness, and (4) accessibility, to name a few. Our decision came from asking 20 of our top writers, who are college professors, professional writers, and academic researchers.
Stay tuned and learn more about the best writing tools you can use in your daily academic life.
Indispensable Writing Tools for Students and Professionals
1. Microsoft Word
Simply the king of all writing tools for students. Microsoft Word (MS Word) offers a complete and comprehensive experience for everything you need for your writing needs. From researching, writing, and editing, this software has got it all.
In fact, MS Word is usually a free writing software that almost every Window Operating System (Windows OS) has. Otherwise, you can also browse Microsoft’s online writing software, where you can use most of its functionalities 100% for free.
a. Best Features
Based on the survey we collected from our writers, they found that some of the best features of MS Word are (1) flexibility and (2) Referencing software.
On the one hand, its flexibility is due to its usability for ALL writing works. Whether you are writing for personal, academic, or corporate use, MS Word’s functionality has everything you need.
On the other hand, its referencing software is versatile and easy to use. All you need to do is plug in the necessary details, and it will already generate an in-text citation and a reference page matching your desired formatting style. This is more commonly used by traditional writers who want to do their in-text citations and reference pages manually.
b. Possible Improvement
While MS Word is one of the best (if not the best) free writing tools for students, most of our writers would still prefer third-party software and companies in certain parts of the writing process.
For example, almost 93% of our professional writers said that this third-party software is much better compared to MS Word’s in-house functionalities, such as Google Scholar compared to Word’s Researcher function, Scribbr’s Citation Generator compared to Word’s Referencing software, and Grammarly’s Proofreader than Word’s Proofing tools.
To fill this gap, let us explore the other free writing tools and online writing software that would improve your success and complete your experience.
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Another common yet effective writing tool for students and professionals alike is Grammarly. Contrary to the belief that a proofreader is only needed by new writers, studies suggest that writing errors are also expected even for established and experienced writers, due to various reasons as simple as inattention, faulty writing tool, and environmental tool, to name a few.
In line with this, Grammarly has become a staple for most writers today. It is, in fact, one of the best writing tools for college students, post-graduate students, and professionals alike. With its extensive proofreading and editing software, writing a top-notch essay becomes easier to reach.
For most students, this software is one of the free writing tools they always have since it reduces grammatical errors and improves tone, clarity, engagement, and delivery, which is necessary to improve the readability and quality of your essay. This is also why we believe this is the best creative writing tool for students and an even better novel writing software for writers.
In AOS Essays, all of our writers use Grammarly as our online writing software. This premium tool allows us to ensure the quality of our work, which translates to higher grades for our clients. In turn, this helps us increase our Return Customer Rate (RCR), which is also the reason why we always see this tool as great software in line with our desire to always keep our clients one step ahead.
a. Best Feature
Some of the best features of Grammarly software, which make it one of the best writing tools for students, are; (1) comprehensiveness and effectiveness and (2) its Native App.
As I have said earlier, this software is not your run-of-the-mill proofreader since it also improves your tone, quality, delivery, and engagement. With just a single upload, the application would already provide various improvements you can make with your work. What makes this better is the fact that it’s easy to incorporate these improvements by simply clicking the suggestions besides the uploaded content and getting a custom detailed report after you proofread your document.
Aside from its comprehensiveness, the software also has a Native App that you can install in your browser or your device. This additional functionality allows the user to activate the software’s functionality even outside its dedicated webpages, such as in your MS Word document, Website, or even your social media. No more need to be anxious about making a simple grammatical mistake in your Instagram posts too.
b. Possible Improvement
While Grammarly is our writers’ favorite, we also experience several problems from time to time. One of the problems with this is faulty proofreading and word-replacing functionality that occurs in their native writing app. For example, when clicking on their suggested improvement, the software merges two words into one incomprehensible word, making it challenging to figure out what it originally was, especially if you are not paying attention.
Fortunately, this does not happen too often and usually only during times when the internet connection is slow. If this happens, we simply upload our work directly to their web application, and everything’s back to business.
Finally, although Grammarly’s Plagiarism Checker is not its best feature, we believe that this is easily remedied by our succeeding free writing tools for students.
3. Scribbr’s Citation Generator
Another one of our favorites is Scribbr’s Citation Generator. Scribbr has both APA and MLA citation software, making creating a bibliographic entry easier. Additionally, both of these software has an automatic detection function, which would allow the user to create a citation by simply plugging in the Web URL or a website, the title of a journal article, or even the name of the book’s author, etc. It is a very convenient tool used by our writers in our academic or professional departments.
a. Best Features
Personally, I believe that Scribbr is one of the best research tools for students and professionals alike.
On the one hand, Scribbr’s Software allows for an easier and more convenient way of citing sources, especially with its automatic citation feature. This already places it ahead of MS Word’s default Referencing Function since the latter would require you to input the source’s details individually. Additionally, the fact that its software is up-to-date to the latest rules and regulations of various citation styles, you would surely get an accurate reference for your works.
On the other hand, Scribbr’s automatic bibliographic storage is another critical factor for its ease of use. Even its free users (free writing software) can go back to the site and see their cited references. This is the reason why our writers who work on long pieces (i.e., Master’s Thesis or Ph.D. Dissertation) opt to use this research tool for students so that it would be easier to recall or ‘re-cite’ during revisions.
b. Possible Improvement
One possible improvement for this software is an expansion of its citation style. Scribbr only has APA and MLA citation styles, although it also provides guidelines for Chicago writing styles. However, most of our creative writers believe that novel writing software (and third-party plugins) should be able to have more flexible citation guides to balance referencing and creative functions.
Nonetheless, given that this is mere free writing software and that most writing pieces would require between APA or MLA only, I believe that this feature is excellent enough.
4. Google Scholar
The following software is one of the staple research assistant software for students and professionals alike. Google Scholar is simply the search engine for credible academic articles, journals, and books, to name a few.
What makes this one of the best free writing tools for students is its capability of providing credible (or at least semi-credible) sources that can be filtered using its advanced search and filter function that operates using the same Boolean function that Google Search Engine has.
Here at AOS Essays, our writers and researchers start finding their sources by utilizing this software before diving deeper into academic databases. This way, you initially get a brief overview of previous works on the subject matter before you drill down to specific studies published by authors. Thus, I believe this is one of the best research tools for students and professionals alike.
a. Best Features
As stated earlier, one of the best features of Google Scholar is its combination of a Google-like search algorithm and scholarly search results. Notably, the Boolean search function that filters search results based on a specific set of criteria allows for a comprehensive yet targeted search. This then allows writers to know where to start in their research.
This is also why some of the best online writing websites like AOS Essays use Google Scholar daily (if not hourly). The features of this research assistant software simplify the overview and research process by acting as a springboard for further research.
Additionally, most of our associates who are writing short papers tend to use Google Scholar’s citation and referencing function since it’s less tedious than MS Word or Scribbr. However, if you are writing more extended essays or requiring more than five (5) sources, I would recommend using Scribbr instead.
b. Possible Improvements
One of the possible improvements that Google Scholar could have is its’ credibility results.’ As stated earlier, Google Scholar’s Search Results would provide “seemingly-credible” results, including journals, Books, Reports, etc. However, this is also where it is limited since there seems to be a lack of criteria for what may be called “scholarly.”
While there are other issues and lapses that Google Scholar suffers from, it is undeniable that its broad but filtered search results make it one of the best free writing tools for students. Additionally, I also believe that these issues do not have a significant impact considering that expert writers like those at AOS Essays usually make an independent evaluation of each source instead.
Now that you have completed your paper and are in the process of polishing your content, the final step should be checking for plagiarism. This is due to the heavy fines and penalties imposed upon you once you are caught plagiarizing others’ works. This is where high-powered tools like Turnitin comes into play.
Turnitin is one of the best tools for detecting plagiarized content. According to a study done by Meo and Talha (2019), Turnitin has an accuracy of 93.5% on average in detecting plagiarized content. This includes direct, self, mosaic, and even accidental plagiarism.
Thus, in AOS Essays, we constantly check our writers’ works using this research assistant software to ensure that each essay is of top quality, even though most of them are seasoned writers.
a. Best Features
Some of the best features of Turnitin are its accuracy and report-generation capability.
On the one hand, Turnitin’s high-accuracy rate allows the researcher to find where similar information or data is found and address such information quickly. It even provides a metric showing each source’s various percentages of similarity with your written work, making it a highly valuable writing tool for college students and professionals.
On the other hand, Turnitin’s report-generation capability makes it a helpful writing tool for college students who have to write tons of papers every semester. With this capacity, a student can use such features as evidence of ownership and originality in case someone takes credit for their paper. This is why I highly recommend this as one of the indispensable writing tools for students in 2022.
b. Possible Improvements
One of the possible improvements that Turnitin could have is its cost and access. Most of the time, the software can only be accessed by institutions and instructors due to its price point. While this is not an issue with AOS Essay’s writers, I believe allowing greater access should be given to students. This would allow them to revise their paper, thereby giving more time and effort to polishing their works.