Saturday, December 2, 2017

Tools to Help Students Improve Their Writing

The spelling and grammar checkers built into word processors are fine for helping students catch basic mistakes in their writing. To get beyond the basics, students need tools that offer more than just spelling and grammar checking services. The following services can help students improve their writing.

StoryToolz offers a collection of free tools for student writers. Writers who are struggling to come up with ideas for fiction stories will like the story starters featured on StoryToolz. StoryToolz has three tools that students can use to get story ideas; Random Conflicts, Half Title Generator, and Story Idea Generator. In addition to the writing prompts tools, StoryToolz offers a few tools to help students edit their work. The Cliché Buster analyzes students' texts to find clichés that they have used in their writing. The Readability tool analyzes texts to estimate a reading level on several scales.

Hemingway offers students a bunch of information about the passages they have either written or copied and pasted into the site's editor. Hemingway highlights the parts of a student's writing that uses passive voice, adverbs, and overly complex sentences. All of those factors are accounted for in generating a general readability score for a student's written work. The Hemingway Editor also provides tools for formatting the text that students write in the web version of Hemingway. Students can create bullet lists, change font size and style, write numbered lists, and indent paragraphs in the Hemingway Editor.

GradeProof is a service designed to help students improve their writing. GradeProof lets students either import documents or write documents within the GradeProof editor. Either way that the students use, the next step is the same. GradeProof identifies spelling, grammar, and phrasing errors within a student's writing. GradeProof highlights and color codes the errors that it identifies for students. Students can then click on each highlighted error to see a suggested change. Students can click on each suggested change to immediately implement the change.