Abby Slutsky graduated University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in English and writing. She has written copy for more than 12 years.
Given that there are many native and nonnative speakers who struggle with how to improve English grammar and other writing issues, I thought it would be nice to write an article that reviews some of the wonderful tools that are available to help improve your writing skills and articles. Fortunately, many of them are free (but not all), so if you are willing to put in the time to use them, you can elevate your knowledge and writing skills without laying out a lot of cash. Here are my favorite picks.
Free Tools or Classes to Help Improve Your Writing
Khan Academy Grammar Class
Khan Academy offers a free grammar class that is divided into mini videos. Each individual video is only a few minutes long, and they are conveniently titled, so you can review only the subjects you need. Native and nonnative speakers will find these videos user-friendly because the instructor uses visual and auditory teaching methods to explain each grammar lesson. Therefore, if English is not your first language, the concept you are learning is written in front of you, so it is effortless to follow along and learn. The teachers provide plenty of examples and carefully explain the purpose of the punctuation they are discussing.
While you probably will not want to listen to all the videos in one sitting, the titles and topics are short enough that you can take a break and then return to learning whenever it is convenient. There are short quizzes and tests along the way, so you can make sure you are mastering what you learn before watching the next video. Although my grammar is decent, I have been taking this class and have learned a lot, so I would highly recommend it.
Capitalize My Title
Capitalize My Title is a wonderful tool for making sure your titles and subtitles are in the correct style. The website allows you to indicate which style (MLA, APA, Chicago and other styles) you want. Simply select your desired writing style and type in your title, and the website will make sure your title is grammatically correct.
Web FX title generator can help you find your next article topic. Enter a noun, and the website will generate titles. Some of the titles may not be appealing, but if you keep clicking to see additional options, you are likely to hit a few that are worthwhile to research and write about.
Use Your Spell Check and Word Count Features
These online writing tools are in your word processing program, but many writers neglect to use them. Although I find the spell checker feature limited because it does not catch improperly used words that are spelled correctly, it will still identify some errors.
Using your word counter ensures that you are following the directions of a client or platform. Frequently, writers will be given a recommended word count; it is essential to make sure that you are writing the quantity of words the client or platform wants.
Writing Tools That Require a Fee
Grammarly provides some basic services for free that include grammar and punctuation help. The premium plan includes plagiarism detection, vocabulary suggestions, and points out other advanced details. I have subscribed to grammarly on and off for years, but even the free plan will improve your writing. If you are writing professionally, it is nice to use a service that checks for plagiarism. I am including this in the fee subscription section because the premium version provides help that is more comprehensive than the basic service.
Jaaxy is a website that will help you find keywords to improve your search optimization and vary your keyword phrases. Although an upgraded version of Jaaxy costs money, there is a trial version that permits you to have up to 30 searches for free. Simply enter your keywords, and Jaaxy will generate similar keywords with search information to help you find the best ones. I have been using this website recently, and I am considering the upgraded version.
It is worthwhile to check out some of these writing tools and take advantage of them. They can help improve your writing, and most of them require minimal effort to use.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2020 Abby Slutsky