Sometimes, all you need are a few tools to take your writing to the next level. Grammar, flow, and formatting mistakes are like ghouls lurking within the pages. They pop out and shock the unsuspecting reader, distracting him or her from the important idea you’re trying to convey. Luckily, there are several handy weapons you can use to vanquish these ghouls.
Without further ado, here is a handy toolbox to use when fighting the writing ghouls:
Grammarly is a grammar and spelling checker. It is efficient, can be used online, and there are usually comments in the margin. It can be added as an extension to Google Chrome or downloaded on your laptop. With Grammarly, your end product will be polished content—and you won’t have to expend all that effort editing. You can start on your next article instead!
The Premium version offers a variety of packages: monthly, quarterly, and annual. A plagiarism checker is also included in this version. Certainly, the Premium Version offers more detailed analysis and service more tailored to your specific needs, but the free version works just fine too. You can also use it to check your emails!
For Research Citations:
2. Easybib or Owl Purdue
Easybib creates your Works Cited as well as your in-text citations for you. Enter the desired information and Easybib will do the rest. MLA is for free; however, APA, Chicago, and other technical and medical citation styles are in the Easybib Pro realm for $9.99 a month. This tool is a great way to make sure you don’t get points docked for plagiarism or incorrect formatting.
Alternatively, if you are old-fashioned and a perfectionist like me, Owl Purdue is for you. It provides you with all you need to know about formatting your paper in MLA, APA, and Chicago. The articles are updated monthly or yearly. Moreover, Owl Purdue’s website is a treasure trove of helpful tips for writing various genres of papers.
3. Oxford Dictionaries and Thesaurus:
Oxford Dictionaries are an online godsend. Looking up words is an essential part of using language correctly in specific contexts. Now definitions and shades of meaning are accessible with just a few clicks.
Prepositions are especially tricky, so it’s important to always have an Oxford Dictionaries tab open for reference. This tool also offers grammar, punctuation, writing, and usage guidance. Don’t forget to also consult the word lists, the forum for questions, and helpful articles. You’ll be learning while improving your writing!
Beautiful, attractive, and pretty are synonymous: When to use which? Here, a thesaurus is your best friend. It provides a list of words with similar usages and clarifies the shades of meaning that separate them.
3.1. The Free Dictionary’s Medical, Legal, Acronyms, and Idioms:
This one is also chock-full of useful information and is organised in a neat way. Unlike the Oxford Dictionaries for which a search execution compiles all usages, meanings, and idioms related to a word onto one page, The Free Dictionary organises each of these categories into tabs. My favourite is the idioms tab. If I don’t remember an idiom, I can search for its meaning or by looking up one of the words it includes. Since I started using The Free Dictionary, I’ve dramatically reduced the number of times I use idioms incorrectly.
Globse is an Arabic-English and English-Arabic online dictionary. It is reliable and the examples provided are usually from various sources that are Term Memory-friendly. A translator’s dream, Globse provides examples of the word used in context, giving insight into the right way to use it.
One Heck of a Computer-Aided Tool:
Trados Studio 2017:
Trados is a well-known CAT tool that many professionals have relied on over the years. It’s challenging to use, but more efficient than the usual way. Just insert your Word document, activate a Term Memory to keep all the translated words saved, and translate away. Every time you use the application, the Term Memory updates itself and employs similar words instead of making you retype them. There are many other translation tools you could use.
In summary, writing ghouls can be dispatched quickly and easily with the right tools and approach. Using the tools recommend above, you can accomplish more in a shorter time while also satisfying both your perfectionist and lazy sides.