Writing itself is never easy. And if you are someone who is not a native English speaker, the process becomes even more difficult. But does that mean it's not possible to get better at writing in English? Of course not. In fact, being smart and practicing hard is all that it takes to get better in English writing. And here are some of the most popular open source internet-based tools and websites to support your English writing journey.
Top 10 Free Tools, Apps, Websites for Improving Writing Skill in English
Before getting into the details, it's important to understand that these are companion tools. Meaning they will not write a piece for you. Instead, each of these tools can be used to understand the different lacking points. With effort and correction, it is easily possible to get better in a short time.
The first one on the list is Grammarly. Grammarly is a premium grammar-checking software that can correctly identify up to 250 types of grammatical errors in texts. The software also helps to make texts more readable and increase engagement with readers.
The free version of the software can be used as an add-on to most word processing software. Users need to subscribe to their monthly plan to access the premium features. The premium features are a collection of advanced suggestions. It helps to make a piece more appropriate depending on its target audience and tone.
Google translate is probably the most comprehensive translator out there. it supports every major language including their different dialects. Google translate can be very useful for non-native writers as it effectively helps them find the perfect English word based on their own tongue.
It’s also a great source for synonyms, antonyms, and different forms of a word. Google translate is an effective tool to increase the vocabulary as well as the readability of any writing.
Grammar is probably the most difficult thing to grasp for both native and non-native writers. While an app like Grammarly is a great way to correct grammatical mistakes, it doesn’t really provide the writers with the scope of learning the grammar rules.
That’s where Grammar Girl comes in. The website has rules and explanations about all the major grammatical items in both lessons and podcast form. For those who want to really get into the details and intricacies of English grammar, Grammar Girl can be a great starting point.
Hemingway App strategically focuses on the readability of any writing. It doesn’t check for overall grammar items per se, but rather focuses on how easily a piece can be read by a non-technical person.
While the name suggests it to be an app, Hemingway App is most commonly used as a website. Users will simply have to copy and paste their writing on the website. A left tab will open up instantly which will show several readability indicators. It will also show the optimum use of passive voice, adverbs, and complex sentences and highlight where to make changes.
Most traditional dictionaries, thesaurus, or even a google search will simply list out the different words. The words are listed as antonyms, synonyms, or based on their parts of speech. Needless to say, it’s a very boring approach to making someone understand how and where, which words should be used.
VisuWords aims to solve that problem. The platform is a modified form of a dictionary that comes to life in the form of visual relationships. Type in a word and the platform will show you links between different variations of the word and how to use them in a different scenario. It definitely helps to make the learning process more interesting.
A journal isn’t really a tool for writing. Instead, it’s a process that provides the opportunity to practice more and more. The journal can be about anything. It can focus on daily life, personal goals, experience, or even travel experiences.
Regardless of the type, the journal helps a writer to write more and more and make a consistent stride in getting better at it.
Ginger is a similar app just like Grammarly. The main function of the app is to catch grammatical errors and make necessary corrections in the writing. But it does one thing better than Grammarly.
Ginger can trace a pattern of mistakes the more you use the platform. Based on the common mistakes, Ginger can produce a comprehensive report made specific for each user. The platform also offers lessons to get better on certain topics.
Most of us use a word processor on our laptops or PCs. Being connected to the internet becomes an easy source of distraction. Sometimes one might write a few lines and take an hour-long break browsing social media or watching YouTube. While it reduces productivity, it also reduces the flow of writing. And that might hurt the overall writing quality.
ZenPen helps to block out distractions. Just fire up the word processor and start writing. Users won’t be able to exit the application before they have achieved a set word count goal.
Expresso is another Hemingway App alternative. Just like Hemingway, Expresso takes a deep dive into writing and checks for passive voices, complex sentences, and even word choices. It goes up a notch from Hemingway and even includes filler sentence analysis.
Users will be able to easily check the readability of their writing as well as make it more concise by curtailing the fillers.
A dictionary is probably the oldest and still most useful writing tool out there. Nowadays, there are all sorts of different dictionaries available online ranging from Dictionary.com to Merriam-Webster. Combine the dictionary with a thesaurus and it becomes even better.
Whether it's checking for meaning, finding a suitable replacement, or even application, a dictionary can do all that without being too intrusive to the writing.
Writing is more like an acquired taste. Some are inherently good at it; some get good by practice. Either way, there needs to be a concerted effort to be consistent and concise while writing. Different people might have different styles of writing, but continuous practice can improve their skill.
So far, we have discussed some of the best free websites, apps, tools to hone your English writing skill. These resources are really useful to create correct and easily readable pieces.