Essay Writing Software

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Essay Master

Create your flawless essay

Starting from scratch, Essay Master handles your essay research, rewriting and referencing. Creating your perfect essay.


Essay Generator

Generate essay paper with one click

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Essay Rewriter

Rewrite essays with ease

Article rewriting software that helps you rewrite and reword any articles into your own essay. Choose from automatic or semiautomatic.


Essay Researcher

Essay researching done for you

Plenty of time must be invested into research before writing any essay, Essay Researcher guarantees to simplify your research time by providing you with quality information.


Essay Bibliography

Generate bibliography for your essay

Generate a list of high quality references that is relevant to your essay topic and isnert them to your essay paper for maximum marks.


Essay Shuffler

Reorder sentences in your essay

Similar to Essay Rewriter our essay shuffler will shuffle the sentences in an article without altering individual words.

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Free writing software: 24 tools to help you create better content, faster

Find the best brainstorming, researching, writing, and editing tools.

writing-editing-apps primary img

As a freelance writer, I try to keep my app costs lean, so I'm a sucker for free writing tools. But with so many writing apps on the market, it's hard to tell which free options are actually valuable.

I've done some of the legwork for you by bringing together some of the best free writing apps on the internet. All of the options listed here are tools the Zapier team or I have used and enjoyed.

For this roundup, I prioritized completely free tools and freemium apps with a forever free plan that was sufficient for actual regular use. Many of the options have paid plans, but those plans are generally geared toward power users.

Researching and note-taking software

Writing software

Editing software

Proofreading software

The best free writing software at a glance

Free writing tools for brainstorming and organizing your thoughts, best free writing software for expanding your ideas.

MindMeister (Web, iOS, Android)

MindMeister, our pick for the best free writing software for brainstorming with a mind map

If you like to perform mind mapping to get your thoughts on paper and connect them, MindMeister gives you a virtual space to do it. It includes templates for the traditional mind map as well as more specific layouts for frameworks like SMART goals, case studies, and content plans.

Want to learn more about mind mapping? Check out Zapier's list of the best mind mapping apps , or discover nine ways to use mind maps to jumpstart your projects.

MindMeister pricing: Free for up to 3 mind maps; from $5.99/month for premium plans , including features like unlimited mind maps, advanced exporting, and group sharing

Best free writing software for creating content outlines

Workflowy (Web, macOS, Windows, Chrome, iOS, Android)

WorkFlowy, our pick for the best free writing software for creating content outlines

Outlines are a writer's best friend , and Workflowy lets you go as deep or shallow as you want. This tool organizes your outline into bullet points that you can click to nest and expand however you want.

Workflowy pricing: Free for up to 250 bullets a month ; from $4.99/month for the Workflowy Pro plan with expanded features like unlimited bullets and uploads

Best free writing software for brainstorming together

Miro, our pick for the best free writing software for brainstorming together

When you need to write something in collaboration with others, the brainstorming process is one of the trickiest to facilitate with technology. Miro lets you plot out ideas with mind maps, Kanban boards, virtual sticky notes, and whatever strategy you use to get your thoughts down. The free plan allows for unlimited team members to brainstorm with at the same time.

If whiteboards aren't your preferred brainstorming method, explore Zapier's picks for the top brainstorming tools for more collaborative and solo apps.

You can even use Miro with Zapier (also free), so you can automate your brainstorming workflows. Here are a couple of ideas to get you started.

Create Miro widgets with new Trello cards

Trello logo

Add Miro cards from new rows on Google Sheets

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Miro pricing: Free for 3 whiteboards with unlimited team members; from $8/user/month for plans with unlimited whiteboards and advanced collaboration features

Best free writing software for brainstorming topics

Ryan Robinson's Keyword Research Tool (Web)

Ryan Robinson's Keyword Research Tool, our pick for the best free writing software for brainstorming topics

Go to the Ideas tab of Ryan Robinson's Keyword Research Tool , and it'll provide ideas related to your query. Since it's a keyword tool first and foremost, these ideas are designed to be less competitive on search results, too.

If you're looking for keyword research tools specifically for their main purpose, check out Zapier's roundup of the best free keyword research tools .  

Keyword Research Tool pricing: Free

Best free writing software for brainstorming ideas with AI

ChatGPT (Web)

Example of ChatGPT, powered by the GPT-3.5 model, writing marketing copy for a newsletter: headlines, taglines, and call-to-actions.

With the rise of AI , some writers use GPT-based apps to brainstorm ideas and build the base for an outline. ChatGPT is the best free option—and the one you know and love—or you can check out even more GPT-powered writing apps in Zapier's list of the best AI writing generators . 

You can also combine GPT with Zapier to send ideas to your favorite project management tool.

ChatGPT pricing: Free; ChatGPT Plus is $20/month

Best free writing software for brainstorming out loud

Your computer's dictation software (MacOS, Windows)

Windows dictation software

If you process your thoughts best through speaking, there's a brainstorming app already on your computer. Boot up Windows 10 Speech Recognition on Windows or Apple Dictation on Mac to record your thoughts as you brainstorm out loud.

For mobile and premium dictation app options, check out Zapier's list of the best text dictation software .

Windows 10 Speech Recognition and Apple Dictation pricing: Free

Free writing tools for research and note-taking

Best free writing software for keeping everything in one place.

Notion (Web, MacOS, Windows, iOS, Android)

Notion, our pick for the best free writing software for keeping everything in one place

Notion's balance of organization and spontaneity make it a great place to hold your notes, links, social media posts, transcriptions, and any other resources you need to write that draft. Plus, depending on your writing preferences, you can then write the draft itself in Notion—all for free. 

Add Zapier integrations to the mix to bring even more of your writing life together. Here are some pre-made workflows to get you started.

Save new tasks in Google Tasks in Notion databases

Google Tasks logo

Add new Microsoft Outlook calendar events to Notion databases

Microsoft Outlook logo

If Notion doesn't meet your needs, try one of these Notion alternatives . Zapier also has a list of the best note-taking apps for you to browse.

Notion pricing: Free plan available; from $8/user/month for team plans

Best free writing software for finding free copies of paywalled research

Unpaywall (Web)

Unpaywall, our pick for the best free writing software for finding free copies of paywalled research

Have you ever come across a search result for the perfect research article, only to discover it's behind a paywall? Unpaywall gets you across those paywalls ethically by looking for legitimate free versions of paywalled academic research. It looks at sources like journals' open-access repositories and university and government databases, so you're never infringing copyright.

Unpaywall pricing: Free

Best free writing software for transcribing interview and video content

oTranscribe (Web)

oTranscribe, our pick for the best free writing software for transcribing interview and video content

oTranscribe simplifies the manual transcription process by placing your audio controls and a word processor on the same screen. This tool has keyboard controls and speed adjustment, so you can seamlessly transition between your audio and transcript.

If you're willing to pay a bit, here's Zapier's list of the best transcription apps and services .

oTranscribe pricing: Free

Best free writing software for collecting research from other people

Google Forms (Web, iOS, Android)

Google Forms, our pick for the best free writing software for collecting research from other people

When you need original quotes or data from other people, a free survey tool or form builder will help you organize it all. Google Forms is an accessible choice for most people because it's completely free and works with the rest of Google Workspace.

Turn your form responses into Trello cards, Notion database entries, or any other nugget of info that serves you well with Google Forms' Zapier integrations .

Create Trello cards from new Google Forms responses

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Share Google Forms responses in a Slack channel

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Google Forms pricing: Free

Free writing tools for solo and collaborative writing

Best free writing software for collaborative writing.

Google Docs (Web, Chrome, iOS, Android)

Google Docs, our pick for the best free writing software for collaborative writing

Google Docs' straightforward interface and ease of use make it a great tool for writing solo, but this app really shines through its collaborative features . Its suggestion, sharing, and version history features put it on par with its paid alternatives at no cost to you.

You can connect Google Docs to all the other tools you use with its Zapier integration . Here are some ideas for free automations you might set up.

Create new Google Docs from text with new rows in Google Sheets

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Create new Google Docs when Trint transcripts are ready

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Not a fan of Google Docs or don't want to create a Google account? Find another great option in Zapier's guide to the best collaborative writing apps .

Google Docs pricing: Free

Best free writing software for messages and blurbs

WordCounter (Web)

WordCounter, our pick for the best free writing software for messages and blurbs

Sometimes you need to write a small amount of text, such as a message or a blurb, without the pressure of accidentally hitting the Enter button too early. WordCounter acts as a combination clipboard and editor with a word count that saves your work in your browser cache for the next time you visit.

WordCounter pricing: Free

Free writing tools for editing

Best free writing software for finding the perfect word.

OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus (Web)

OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus, our pick for the best free writing software for finding the perfect word

OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus offers all the synonyms you could dream of like a regular thesaurus, but it stands out in its reverse dictionary capabilities. Enter a phrase—or even a full sentence—to get words that match that meaning. This feature comes in handy when you want to write more concisely or find that word that's on the tip of your tongue.

OneLook Reverse Dictionary and Thesaurus pricing: Free

Best free writing software for finding the right word—anywhere

Power Thesaurus (Web, Chrome, iOS, Android)

Power Thesaurus, our pick for the best free writing software for finding the right word—anywhere

As a freelance writer, I find myself needing to switch up words when I write on various platforms across the internet. Power Thesaurus gives me synonyms, antonyms, definitions, and other forms of word assistance wherever I like to write. It can do the same for you—put it to use on its website, in your browser, on your phone, in Google Docs, in Word, and in Gmail.

Power Thesaurus pricing: Free for fundamental features; starting from $2.49/month for Power Thesaurus PRO , featuring filters and a wider selection of synonyms

Best free writing software for rewording what you write

Wordtune (Web, Chrome, iOS)

Wordtune, our pick for the best free writing software for rewording what you write

When you just can't get phrasing right in your writing, you might turn to a friend or editor to help you sort it out. Wordtune acts as that person by offering suggestions to reword, expand, and shorten your content using AI. It doesn't have as robust of a free plan as some of the other options on this list, but it provides enough if you need assistance here and there.

If you want more features and are willing to pay a monthly fee, you can put AI to work in your editing process with Zapier's list of the best AI rewording and grammar-checking tools .

Wordtune pricing: Free for up to 10 rewrites, three AI prompts, and three summaries a day; from $9.99/month for advanced plans featuring more rewrites, AI prompts, and summaries

Best free writing software for clear and concise writing

Hemingway Editor (Web, macOS, Windows)

Hemingway, our pick for the best free writing software for clear and concise writing

Inspired by Ernest Hemingway's concise writing style, the Hemingway Editor points out opportunities to sharpen your writing. This tool highlights passive voice, complex sentences, and adverbs that make your work harder to understand. It also supplies a readability score to estimate how accessible your writing is to a broad audience.

Hemingway Editor pricing: Free for editing in the Hemingway web app; $19.99 for the Mac or Windows desktop app

Best free writing software for creating compelling headlines

CoSchedule Headline Studio (Web, Chrome)

CoSchedule, our pick for the best free writing software for creating compelling headlines

CoSchedule Headline Studio helps you write compelling headlines by analyzing the sentiment and word balance in your titles. Type in a headline to get a score and test different variations based on the suggestions you get. The Google Chrome extension and WordPress plugin let you analyze headlines wherever you go.

CoSchedule Headline Studio pricing: Free for basic features; from $8/month to buy "Premium Headline" credits that give you access to an SEO score, AI writing features, headline suggestions, and word banks for a certain number of headlines

Best free writing software for finding and removing cliches

Cliche Finder (Web)

Cliche Finder, our pick for the best free writing software for finding and removing cliches

Cut cliches out of your writing using Cliche Finder . After you paste your text into the textbox and click the Find Cliches button, the tool will highlight any cliches in bold, red text. It's up to you from there, but the tool is 100% free.

Cliche Finder pricing: Free

Best free writing software for finding jargon in your text

De-Jargonizer (Web)

De-Jargonizer, our pick for the best free writing software for finding jargon in your text

Another writing mechanism that gets in the way of clarity is jargon—terms that only people in a specific role will understand. The De-Jargonizer highlights potential jargon in your writing in orange in red for you to consider rephrasing.

Once you identify jargon in your text with the De-Jargonizer, you can get suggestions for rewriting it from Zapier's Corporate Jargon Translator , built using Zapier's free AI chatbot builder .

De-Jargonizer pricing: Free

Best free writing software for varying your wording and sentence length

Expresso (Web)

Expresso, our pick for the best free writing software for varying your wording and sentence length

Two of the best ways to amp up your writing are to switch up your words and sentence length. Expresso helps you achieve both of these goals by breaking your writing down into metrics based on word usage and sentence length, such as frequently repeated words and average sentence word count.

Expresso pricing: Free

Best free writing software for comparing your writing to AI content

GPTZero (Web, Chrome)

GPTZero, our pick for the best free writing software for comparing your writing to AI content

Due to the complexity of the AI situation, it can be tricky to truly detect AI writing with an AI content detector . But, as one writer discovered in our guide to standing out from AI , these tools work well for picking out human content that sounds like AI due to repetitive phrases and generic writing. GPTZero is a free option that judges text based on perplexity (complexity) and burstiness (sentence variation).

GPTZero pricing: Free for documents up to 5,000 words and batch uploads of up to 3 files; from $9.99/month for plans with higher word and batch limits

Free writing tools for proofreading

Best free writing software for catching spelling and grammar mistakes.

Grammarly (Web, macOS, Windows, Android iOS, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge)

Grammarly, our pick for the best free writing software for catching spelling and grammar mistakes

Check for spelling and grammar mistakes everywhere you write with Grammarly . It looks for even the nit-pickiest details, like missing dashes and incorrect prepositions. Stick to its web editor, add it to your favorite writing tool, or add the browser extension to check your writing wherever you go.

Grammarly pricing: Free for the basic spell- and grammar-checker; from $12/month for plans with advanced features like tone, vocabulary, and rewrite suggestions

Best free writing tool for proofreading short-form content

ProWritingAid (Web, macOS, Windows, Chrome, Firefox, Safari, Edge)

ProWritingAid, our pick for the best free writing tool for proofreading short-form content

ProWritingAid's free plan can analyze less text at a time than Grammarly , but it includes a word explorer, thesaurus, and rephrasing tool on top of its grammar-checking features. These capabilities make it a better fit for writers who like to get really granular with their improvement. ProWritingAid's free plan could be a better option for you than Grammarly if your total word count usually clocks at 500 words or fewer.

ProWritingAid pricing: Free for a 500 word count limit and 10 rephrases per day; from $10/month for a Premium plan with no word count limit, unlimited rephrases, and advanced grammar improvement features like in-depth analytics of your writing

Best free writing tool for making MLA citations

EasyBib (Web)

EasyBib, our pick for the Best free writing tool for making MLA citations

This one's for the academics out there. Enter your paper's sources into EasyBib , and it'll organize them into an MLA bibliography for you. I had to give everything a once-over and make minor changes, but EasyBib helped me win my college library's bibliography contest back in the day by getting it all together.

EasyBib pricing: Free

Free writing software FAQ

Here are some questions lots of people have about writing apps and how to choose the right one.

What's a good free writing tool?

Tools like Google Docs and WordCounter are free forever and very functional. Other apps, like Grammarly or ProWritingAid, have free plans that offer basic features, with more advanced features available via a paid plan.

But there are a lot of free writing tools available that perform a wide variety of functions—everything from brainstorming to research and note-taking to writing to editing to proofreading.

What writing tool do most writers use?

There's a wide variety of writing tools out there, and which one a writer uses really comes down to preference. A lot of writers use Google Docs to write because they already use Google for so many other things—but some may prefer a tool like Notion, where they can combine writing with project management.

What makes a good writing tool?

In short, whatever helps you write! If a blank page and no distraction is what helps you actually get words down, then open a new Google Doc and go at it. If you need to organize your thoughts before you even think about writing, consider adding a brainstorming tool to the mix. Each writer's process is different, and it's all about finding tools that enable your writing, not add another roadblock to your process.

Sharpen your craft with your new toolkit

As is the case with many skills, it can be easy to focus too much on improving your writing through tools alone. You'll maximize the results you'll get from your apps with a solid foundation in writing techniques. Grab the tools that appeal to you on this page, then brush up on your core writing skills to become a killer prose machine.

Related reading

The best journal apps

How to capitalize or change the case of your text in any app

How to write great copy: 11 copywriting tips

Copywriting vs. content writing: How to do each one well

This article was originally published in June 2015 by Jane Callahan and has also had contributions from Jessica Greene. The most recent update was in August 2023.

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Melissa King

Melissa King is a freelance writer who helps B2B SaaS companies spread the word about their products through engaging content. Outside of the content marketing world, she sometimes writes about video games. Check out her work at

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Best free writing apps in 2023

Bring your words to life with the best free writing apps

Person writing on a laptop

  • Best distraction-free
  • Best with markup support
  • Best free Word alternative
  • Best word processor
  • Best for Mac
  • Best online
  • How to choose
  • How we test

The best free writing apps serve up more than just text tools - they also offer betters ways to manage and organize all your ideas, outlines, and projects. 

Like the best free word processors , writing apps help you get your thoughts on the page without breaking the bank (or your train of thought). But we’ve also made sure they’ll make it easier to save, share, and sync all your documents and keep them safe, whether you need a desktop writing app for work, school, or play. 

If you struggle to stay focused, we’ve tested some of the best free writing apps come with distraction-free layouts or gamification challenges to keep you in the zone. We’ve also reviewed those built for professional document creation, with advanced business features such as speech-to-text transcription and online collaboration tools. 

Our picks cover the best apps for writing on the web, Windows, Mac, Android, and iOS - so you’re always ready whenever and wherever creativity strikes. 

literature and latte Scrivener 3

Scrivener: best writing software for authors Scrivener is packed with all the features a novelist needs, helping you track plot threads, store notes on characters and locations, structure your work and (most importantly) get some serious work done. It's not a free writing app like the tools below, but it's well worth the investment if your budget will allow it.

Best distraction-free writing app

1. focuswriter.

Our expert review:


Reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

FocusWriter helps writers combat one of their biggest challenges: distractions. One of the best free writing software tools out there, it's specifically designed to let you just concentrate on your writing. 

The stripped-back interface is deliciously sparse - ideal for when you just need to get your head down and write - and not dissimilar to a moderately powerful version of Notepad, featuring support for TXT, basic, RTF, and ODT files. 

Even the toolbar is hidden until you actually need it. Just swoop your cursor to the top on the screen to reveal a barren menu, from basic formatting to themes and timers.

Features are light within the software, but FocusWriter isn’t made for heavy editing sessions. It’s designed to make the act of writing flow seamlessly onto the page. 

Elsewhere, the writing app boasts the ability to add themes and your own background images, which can help you stay motivated. 

The Daily Progress tool is a sweet extra, adding Duolingo-style gamification that lets you track your daily writing streak. For when it’s oh-so-easy to slip onto social media when you can’t find the perfect word, it’s a nice way to keep you within the app. 

Available for Windows, Linux, and macOS, the writing software also comes as a portable download, no installation required. So, you can pop it on a USB stick and plug it into any computer you’re working on. 

Read our full FocusWriter review

Best free writing software with markup support

2. writemonkey.

WriteMonkey is another piece of free writing software that cuts down on the clutter to deliver uninterrupted writing sessions. 

The free word processor, cleverly described as zenware, is unbelievably pared back compared to more traditional writing apps. 

There’s very little in the way of distracting ‘screen furniture’, which means you’re better positioned to concentrate on the writing process. And absolutely nothing else. 

But don’t let that stripped-back approach fool you. As one of the best free writing apps, WriteMonkey is still rich with the sort of core features that matter to writers. 

However, most options are hidden in a context menu (so you’ll need to right-click to view it). It also only supports TXT files, which may limit those looking to read, write, or edit across multiple formats. It is, at least, a portable download, letting you take it wherever you need.

If you’ve enjoyed Markdown, the simplified text-editing language that lets you format, annotate, classify, and link as you type, then great. WriteMonkey’s inner workings will instantly chime. 

First-timers should spend a little time with this free writing software, to uncover that intuitive simplicity. 

Read our full WriteMonkey review

Best free alternative to Microsoft Word

3. libreoffice writer.

Writer, the open-source, free writing software, serves almost all general writing needs.

LibreOffice is a near-perfect example of free office software - a familiar, feature-rich take on the office suite. What the veteran software package lacks in Microsoft polish (its interface is undeniably old-fashioned, for starters), it makes up for in its price-point: free. For that, you get access to six tools: Calc, Impress, Draw, Base, Math, and Writer. 

Earning it a slot on our list of best free writing apps is the fact that LibreOffice Writer packs the full editing toolbox. 

This isn’t just a note-taking app for staving off distractions when you’re deep in the zone; it’s for when you’re in pure writer-mode. 

If you’re at all proficient with Microsoft Word, you won’t have any problems using the Writer software. Layouts and functions are almost identical, and there’s support for DOC and DOCX file types, making it efficient to switch out of the Microsoft garden.

This free writing app is ideal if you’re hunting for a tool that almost perfectly replicates the Word experience without the cost. 

Read our full LibreOffice review

Best free writing app for word processing

4. microsoft word.

When it comes to word processors, Microsoft Word is probably the baseline against which all others are compared. It’s the one most of us use at school, home, and work. It’s familiar, comfortable - and it’s available free on the web and mobile devices. 

That may not be the best way to write your masterpiece (unless you’ve hooked up a Bluetooth keyboard). But it’s a great way to jot down ideas on-the-go. When we tested the browser-based version we found it could be a bit slow at first, and we were typing faster than the words appeared on screen. This settles down (mostly) after a minute or so. 

Microsoft’s free writing apps on Android and iPhone had no such issues. Using these was velvety smooth. We especially appreciated the option to switch between mobile view and desktop view, so we could gauge how the document would appear in full-screen. 

As with Google Docs, you’ll need to sign up with a Microsoft account. And, like Google, that also lets you use free versions of PowerPoint, Excel, and the like. While Word offers one of the best free writing app experiences, there’s no denying that the paid-for upgrade is superior, offering more tools, and a true desktop app. 

Read our full Microsoft Word review

Best free writing software for Mac

Author promises to make it easier to ‘think, write, and cite’. It’s a promise capably delivered, with a clean interface and bags of writing features designed to make it easy to go from first draft to final copy. 

If you're an Apple user in search of the best free writing apps on macOS, this one demands your attention. 

Concept Maps is one of the best features. It’s a great mind-mapping tool to visualize and lay down all your thoughts while they’re fresh in your head without constraint. You can worry about whipping them into shape later. 

Students and report writers will appreciate Author’s ‘fast citing’ tools - speeding up assignment-writing by correctly adding and formatting citations, references, and contents. 

A paid-for upgrade of the writing software that offers exporting options is available. However, unless you need automatic formatting on export, you can stick with the free version. 

Best free writing app online

6. google docs.

Google Docs is a great free writing platform for any writer. It’s an extremely clean, quick word processor available in the browser, on desktop, and phone and tablet apps. So, you can take notes wherever inspiration strikes. 

Docs is more or less Google’s spin on Microsoft Word. The interface is a bit more simple than the professional office software - although it’s no less powerful. 

You’ll find heaps of writing tools, including a pretty accurate speech-to-text transcription tool (just enunciate and don’t talk too fast). Keyboard shortcuts are very well-supported. 

For best results, you’ll need an internet connection, though documents can be used offline. They’ll be synced, and in our experience, that happens swiftly behind the scenes. 

To take advantage of the free writing app, you’ll need a Google account, which may be a deal-breaker for some - but that also opens up the rest of the Google-stuff in the Google-sphere, such as Sheets, Slides, and . With a free account, you get 15GB of storage, which should be more than enough for word documents. A Google One subscription upgrades your storage space, amongst other things. 

Additionally, Google Docs is great if you want to collaborate with one or more other writers. Just be warned to stay in Google Docs for that, because exporting the data into Word or other writing applications can result formatting errors.

Read our full Google Docs review

Best free writing app: FAQs

What's the difference between a writing app and an ai writer.

AI writers vs writing apps - what's the real difference?

Artificial intelligence is growing in a big way - and when it comes to writing, it's ChatGPT that's been snatching all the headlines of late, with its ability to generate short- and long-form content based on user prompts.

Generally, an AI writer will write your content for you, based on its current learning (although often without 'understanding' the context). A writing app simply lets you write your way, in your own voice. 

Some platforms, such as Canva , have even integrated AI into its Canva Docs and Canva PDF Editor services. However. its Magic Write tool acts as a writing assistant, serving up suggestions and ideas, leaving real writers to work their magic on the content. Though usually hiding in the back-end, you can also find AI integrated in other ways across other the best PDF editor apps (and even the best free PDF editor apps, too).

As always with AI-generated content, whether it's the written word or an artwork masterpiece, human involvement is usually necessary and always desirable. Even if you're using the best AI writers out there, editing and proofreading is essential to give the content accuracy and emotional resonance.

How to choose the best free writing app for you

When deciding which free writing app is best, start by figuring out what sort of writing you want to do. 

Do you need a handy tool for quick scribbles and jotting down ideas here and there, or are you using the writing software to write and edit an epic novel? Tools like FocusWriter and Write Monkey are great for getting thoughts on the page without friction.

It’s also worth considering if you need a writing app with a distraction-free design, so you can concentrate on what really matters to you. Again, FocusWriter performs admirably here, but as a result, you lose core typography and editing functions. Unlike LibreOffice, this isn’t the best Microsoft Office alternative if you need those tools. In that scenario, it may be worth considering looking at some of the best free office software , which includes MS Word-style apps, alongside other tools similar to Excel, PowerPoint, and so on. 

Access is an important factor when using your writing software. A tool like Scribus needs to be downloaded to your machine. Lightweight apps like FocusWriter, however, offer a portable download that can be downloaded to a USB and carried with you. 

Check what file formats your chosen writing app supports, too. While some let you create and edit the common DOC and DOCX files, others only allow TXT or RTF documents.

But most of all, it’s important to choose the best free writing app for your unique creative flow. 

How we test the best free writing apps

Testing the best free writing apps and software, we assess how easy it is to get your words down on the page with the least amount of friction. Portable writing apps rank high, because they let you use the program on whatever computer or laptop you’re using. 

We also look at performance for its intended audience. For distraction-free writing apps, do they really foster focus? For word processor-style software, does it offer good formatting and editing options? 

Most importantly, we expect to see free writing apps that are genuinely cost-free - no-one wants to stumble across hidden fees and charges in the contracts. 

  • Best laptops for writers : Tested for typing 

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Steve Clark

Steve is TechRadar Pro’s B2B Editor for Creative & Hardware. He explores the apps and devices for individuals and organizations that thrive on design and innovation. A former journalist at Web User magazine, he's covered software and hardware news, reviews, features, and guides. He's previously worked on content for Microsoft, Sony, and countless SaaS & product design firms. Once upon a time, he wrote commercials and movie trailers. Relentless champion of the Oxford comma.

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  • Discovering The 9 Best Academic Writing Software to Improve Your Writing

Table of content

Part 1. What is Academic Writing?

Part 2. what is the purpose of academic writing.

  • Part 3. What are the main Differences between Professional and Academic Writing?

Part 4. What Software is Used to Write Academic Papers

Part 5. which ai tool is best for academic writing, part 6. which tool is the best plagiarism detection tool for academic writing.

Students often find writing challenging since it includes a lot of research. However, on the bright side, many academic writing software options make the work easy. With the tools available today, you only need to gather the ideas, and the software will take care of the rest. Since technology makes academic writing easy, this article contains a collection of software students can use.

Academic writing is impersonal and formal writing that focuses on scholars. It is used to propose and prove an idea with factual evidence from previous research work and some additional research work. Some most common types of academic writing include:

  • Dissertations
  • Research papers.

All these academic writing pieces have a thesis statement; the whole layout and content are designed around that thesis statement with solid information.

Academic writing aims to help scholars present their ideas, explain and persuade their ideas, and analyze research by constructing an effective argument with supporting material and references. Some other purposes of academic writing include preparing students for further studies and their professional careers.

Part 3. What are the main differences between Professional and Academic Writing?

The two most common types of writing include academic and professional writing. Academic writing is done for academic purposes, including giving an idea to students and presenting it in front of fellow researchers and professors. On the other hand, professional writing is targeted at business people, including clients, management, leaders, employees, etc. So, both types of writing have different purposes.

Both writing types use different styles, and the method/importance of referencing is also variable due to the varying audience. Lastly, there is a huge difference in the writer's experience here. The writer for academic writing is usually a beginner at practical writing, while professional writers have much more experience.

With this comparison between these two types of writing, it is clear that following the layout, outline, and other parameters is essential since the target audience is critical in either case.

Writing an academic paper is a whole process involving many steps, and the first step is gathering ideas and writing them in your words. Different tools are used for this phase since those tools increase your efficiency. Here are the top 3 software options for writing academic papers.

1.  UPDF – Best Academic Writing Software on Mac and Windows with PDF Format

Academic papers are published and uploaded in PDF format, so working on a PDF file while writing them gives you more control over the formatting. UPDF makes the best software for academic writing on Mac and Windows since it comes with the following benefits:

Windows • macOS • iOS • Android 100% secure

Best Academic Writing Software on Mac and Windows with PDF Format - PDF

  • Note-taking options while doing research.
  • UPDF Cloud allows accessing files on any device.
  • Printing and sharing papers without changing the formatting.
  • One license for all your devices.

2. Microsoft Word – Best Academic Writing Software on Mac and Windows with Word Format

If you want to try Word format for writing your academic paper and have no worries about the pricing of the software, then try Microsoft Word. It brings the old-school user interface experience that every student is aware of. However, it does not lack with it comes to the latest features since the best ones here include:

Ms Word

  • References and citations.
  • Exporting in different formats.
  • Print preview.
  • Writing formatting choices.

3. Google Docs – Best Free Academic Writing Software

Google Docs is the best choice for students who want online software for their academic writing needs. This online document editor is free for everyone and only requires a Google account. It comes with an interface much like Microsoft Word, but there are multiple latest features to it that you may not find in other tools, including:

Google Docs – Best Free Academic Writing Software

  • Collaboration option with activity tracking.
  • Comments, suggesting mode, etc.
  • Basic document editing and formatting features.
  • Importing-exporting files in multiple formats.

Which One is Better for Academic Writing?

Here is a detailed comparison table comparing features, advantages, and many other factors about these three.

With this comparison table, you can see the value UPDF brings to students. Its PDF editing features allow you to write content in the tool, so you don’t have to waste additional effort editing PDFs afterward. It also works on all your devices and offers a similar experience.

There has been a lot of fuss about AI content writing tools that anyone can use for academic writing, blog writing, and many other options. So, if you are a student asking what is the best academic writing generator AI tool, here is a comparison of the top 2 options you can try.

1. ChatGPT

ChatGPT is the most recent and, currently, the most popular AI chatbot that can be used for academic writing. Although you need to give the most appropriate prompts to ChatGPT, it makes writing much easier. The best part about ChatGPT is that you can get different benefits from it, including:


  • Generating outlines for academic writing.
  • Using ChatGPT for generating academic writing ideas.
  • Finding the right research material for academic writing.

So, if you don’t use it for writing the content, it can help amazingly with its research capabilities.

2. Jasper

Jasper AI is an artificial intelligence content creation tool that can start with a blank page, a template, or an outline for writing your content. The best part is that you can write content in different tones and choose the content length generated. It keeps learning from your responses and often adds elements to your outline.

Jasper - Best AI Writing Essay App

Which one is better for Academic Writing

This comparison table gives an insight into the value offered by ChatGPT and Jasper.

ChatGPT is the clear winner for students since the AI content generation features like outline and idea generation help students get more ideas and manually write their concepts within the scope of a thesis statement.

Once you are done with the writing part, you need to ensure that your content is original and does not match any previous work. Sometimes you unintentionally plagiarize content; otherwise, the tools show results from sources you haven't seen before. In either case, you must check your content for originality, and multiple tools are available.

1. PlagScan

PlagScan is a premium plagiarism scanning tool known for providing results similar to Turnitin, which is professionally used for checking plagiarism in academic writing. It is one of the best tools to compare your content against the internet, other users, and several academic portals to ensure it is 100% original. The tool itself is from the company Turnitin, so you get very reliable results.


2. Duplichecker

Duplichecker is one of the best free plagiarism-checking tools available out there. It has a paid version if you want the best experience. However, the free version will work fine if your goal is only generating original content. Here you can copy the content or upload files with a maximum limit of 1000 words, and it will check your content. Duplichecker also gives you the highlighted results with their links so you can compare and edit your content.


Below is a comparison of the top 2 plagiarism detectors students can use.

With both these tools offering a similar experience, using PlagScan is a better option since Turnitin backs it. It provides highly accurate details without wasting any time.

Part 7. Which Tool is The Best Proofreading Software for Academic Writing

Editing is the final step to academic writing, and when editing your content, you must proofread. Since it is not humanly possible to point out all the mistakes made while writing content, you can get assistance from proofreading tools here. Below are the top 2 proofreading tools that students can use:

1. Scribbr

Scribbr is your writing assistant that provides proofreading, citation-generating services, and plagiarism check. It provides you with a team of experts who assist you with their professional experience of proofreading and editing content. Here you also get detailed feedback about your content for making any further revisions.


2. Grammarly

The next one is Grammarly, which is made for students and everyone who types. Grammarly takes proofreading to the next level by checking for correctness, including punctuation and grammatical errors. It also checks your content for clarity to maintain that professional touch, and there are others, including engagement and delivery. You can check for plagiarism and get a complete writing and plagiarism report about your content.


See the comparison table below to see which of the proofreading tools makes a better option for you.

So, we can see that Grammarly is a better option for academic writing and other typing needs due to its wide variety of features, better accuracy, and good user experience.

Final Words

Choosing the right academic writing software is an essential part of academic writing in today's age. Having the right tools on your side significantly enhances your productivity as a writer, editor, and proofreader, and even for generating new ideas. So, select all the products that will enhance your writing performance.

One of the best options is UPDF since it brings features for PDF editing, allowing you to set your formatting carefully. With its in-built note-taking features, research also becomes significantly easier.

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A selection of tools for academic writing – from collaborating, time-tracking and project management to finding the perfect phrase or translation. We are continuously updating this list (latest update: April 2023).

I often get asked about my favourite academic writing tools. That’s why I compiled this scientific tools list for you with 19 great tools to support your academic writing. You can use all these scientific research tools for free and some of them have paid versions with additional features.

Just one word of caution: Exploring new academic writing tools can be a time-suck and distract you from getting your actual writing done. If you are one of those people who spend hours signing up for new software for academic writing and getting it set up, only to abandon the tool a few days or weeks later – then be careful reading this scientific tools list, and don’t get overenthusiastic. 😉

By the way, I don’t have any affiliation with any of the academic writing tools listed below, and none of these are affiliated links.

Here, we go, 19 tools for academic writing and scientific research I recommend in no particular order:

ACADEMIC Writing tools

1. writefull.

This proof-reading tool for scientific texts is powered by AI and big data. You can integrate the Writefull app into Word or Overleaf for free. A reader of the blog brought my attention to this tool (thank you so much!) and I’ve only recently started using it, so I can’t give you a full-blown review just yet but so far the results are promising. Writefull is owned by Digital Science, a company that has released several Open Science apps, such as figshare, Overleaf and Altmetric. 

2. Phrasebank

Created by Dr John Morley from “The University Language Center” of Manchester University, the Phrasebank is a database of common phrases used in papers, dissertations and grant proposals – a real goldmine!

The phrases are organised both by the common sections in a paper such as the Introduction, Methods, Results or Discussion section. For example, in the tab for the Introduction section, one can find entries for “establishing the importance of the topic for the world or society” or “identifying a knowledge gap in the field of study”. If you click on the latter, you can find among others the following suggested phrases: “It is still unclear whether…”, “However, the behaviour of X has not yet been investigated” and “Causal factors leading to X remain speculative”.

You can also look for phrases by choosing a general language function. Some of the choices are “being cautious”, “describing trends”, “signalling transition”.   

The Phrasebank is very useful to get inspiration for new wording but I do not endorse all entries. Sometimes you find language that is a bit clunky or overly complicated so do use your own judgement when you browse this academic writing tool. PS: You can also download the Academic Phrasebank as PDF or Kindle file.


If you’re looking for synonyms, is the best online thesaurus I’ve found so far. It divides the synonyms based on different meanings of the word and indicates the relevance of the synonym by using three shades of orange.

Just one word of caution: Don’t fall into the trap of using too many synonyms in your academic writing. Being precise is so much more important than varying the words you are using in your writing. In particular for field-specific terminology, I advise against using synonyms .

If you love this blog post about free writing tools, you'll love our free writing training

This is a hot tip for researchers who need to transcribe interviews (hello, social scientists!), who like to record research ideas or those who like to write by dictating text into their phone. Otter is an AI-based transcription tool that works for English language recordings. The quality of the transcriptions is comparable to other transcription services using AI, meaning they are often not accurate and can give nonsensical, even comical results — especially when the recorded voice has a strong or unusual accent. Still, the automated and quick transcriptions (real time transcriptions are available too!) can be a good starting point and are a huge time saver. What’s cool about Otter compared to its competitors is that they give you 300 minutes of transcriptions per month for free!

There are many online dictionaries but Linguee is my favourite for academic writing. It suggests a translation on the basis of previous translations published on the internet.  Therefore, this dictionary is especially great if you’re looking to not only translate a word but a certain turn of phrase or idiom. Linguee translates to and from English in over 20 languages. An essential academic writing tool for all non-native English speakers!


6. authorea.

The magazine “ TechCrunch ” describes Authorea as “a Google Docs for scientists”. On the academic writing platform, you can write, edit, and insert citations, figures and data. And it’s great for collaborative writing: Co-authors can access the same text at the same time, track the changes they made, insert comments and even live-chat during writing sessions. Documents can be imported from LaTeX and Word and exported as LaTeX, Word and PDF documents. You can also submit your article as a bioRxiv preprint straight from the Authorea platform. This software for academic writing is free for up to ten documents with limited sharing options.

7. Overleaf

Overleaf is to LaTeX users, what Authorea (see tool #6) is to Word users: an online editor that allows you to access and collaborate on your writing projects from anywhere. You can, for example, invite others to comment on your work. Overleaf offers some other neat collaborative writing features, such as a track-changes function, but – unfortunately – only on the paid plan. LaTeX may seem a bit intimidating at first but you actually get the hang of it quite fast (and feel like a coder 😎). Also, in my experience, you save a lot of time formatting your text (and feel smug about it when you talk to Word users 😁).

Slack is a chat tool that you can use in your lab or with your collaborators. Used in the right way, it allows you to save time by cutting down on emails and create a group atmosphere even if the members are not working in the same location. You can easily add files to the chats and create different channels for subgroups or certain topics. There also exist virtual communities on Slack you can join, such as the New PI Slack community for Assistant professors around the world. 

Loom is a great scientific research tool when you want to share a quick video with a colleague, student or collaborator. This could be a recorded presentation or lecture, your comments on the paper of a co-author, or a tutorial on using a piece of software. You can record your screen, camera and microphone. The neat thing is that after you’re done recording, Loom auto-generates a link you can share.

Academic writing tools for Productivity and project management

Toggl is a time-tracking app that you can install on your phone and computer. There’s only one way of knowing how long certain writing tasks typically take you, and that is by tracking the time they took you to complete . Time-tracking has another great advantage: You can identify time-sucks in your day. And these may be less obvious than you think.

I like to use Toggl for time-tracking because it’s quick to use and integrates with various other scientific research tools I am using. You just need to click the big red power button to start or stop a recording and assign tracked times to different projects. This scientific research tool has paid plans but for most people the free basic plan will be sufficient.

Are you easily tempted to check your phone when you really should be writing? This app called Forest may be just right for you then. Once installed on your phone, you can start planting a virtual tree whenever you want to focus. It grows from a little plant to a full-grown tree. When you pick up your phone and leave the app, the tree dies. This way, you can build your forest representing the time you have spent on focused work (or quality time with your family and friends…). I’m not using Forest myself, but I’ve heard that it works really as an academic writing tool well for some people. Give it a go!  

12. Focusmate

As Forest (see tool #11), Focusmate is an app to help you stay focused. Instead of  gamification, the concept of Focusmate is based on social accountability. Here is how it works: You schedule a 50-minute virtual co-writing session with another Focusmate member, turn on your webcam when your session starts, greet your temporary co-worker and then get to work silently.

Even though being filmed while working is a little strange in the beginning, co-writing sessions work really well for a lot of researchers. This is why we offer co-writing sessions as part of our academic writing program, the Researchers’ Writing Academy, as well.

13. Cold Turkey

If Forest (tool #11) or Focusmate (#12) don’t get you to focus on your writing, you may need to go Cold Turkey . This software for academic writing blocks any other application and turns your computer into a typewriter. You can choose whether you want Cold Turkey to prevent you from digital distractions for a certain amount of time or until you’ve hit a certain word count. With the paid version, you can even access integrated productivity soundtracks and text formatting.

Free writing training by the author of the blog post about free writing tools

Not an app exactly, but free as well: Click the orange button below to have me walk you through my step-by-step system to write clear & concise papers for your target journals in a timely manner . This free academic writing training is perfect for you if you’re reading this blog post because you are procrastinating on writing your paper.

Trello is an excellent project management tool for your academic writing, which you can use for managing each of your writing projects, for creating a publication pipeline and as a daily and weekly to-do list. Trello is a great introduction into project management because it’s a lot easier to learn and use than most other project management software. For each project called a “Board”, you can create different “lists”, which are vertical collection of “cards”, which you can move between lists. You can add due dates, checklist lists, links, files and text to each card. To work collaboratively, you can leave comments on cards and assign them to members on your team. You can also use Trello as a brainstorming tool, using the cards just as you would use post-it notes.

Members of my online course, the Researchers’ Writing Academy , get access to Trello templates I created to easily manage their publication pipeline, the writing process for each of their scientific papers and all of their other daily, weekly and monthly tasks and projects.

15. Todoist

Todoist is an alternative to Trello (see tool #16) or can be used in addition. It’s an online to-do list organiser and project management tool that comes as an app and browser version. You can organise your tasks in projects and schedule them for a certain day. This academic writing tool shows you today’s tasks as well as those for the next seven days. It also tracks your productivity, i.e. how many tasks you have completed.

academic writing Tools for finding and reading the literature

Feedly is a neat RSS feed manager that helps you stay up to date with the scientific literature. Instead of getting email alerts from journals (because who wants to get more emails…) you can view and organise the literature you are interested in by following journals’ RSS feeds. You can not only use this for scientific literature but also subscribe to blogs, for example the one you’re reading right now, by simply putting the URL in the Feedly search: .

Are you a mindmapper? Then you need Xmind , a free mindmapping and brain-storming tool. It’s intuitive, looks good and does exactly what you want a mindmapping tool to do. The free version allows for embedding of hyperlinks, images, attachments, so you can really use it however you like! That’s all I can really say about it as I’m not using mindmapping myself. But I know scientists who swear by it!

18. Audemic

Audio formats have become so popular (I’m a big podcast lover myself!) so it shouldn’t really come as a surprise that there now is an audio tool available for the scientific literature too: Audemic . This tool — completely free to use for individual researchers — creates summaries for you (that go beyond the abstract), lets you skip sections, highlight text and take notes while listening.

There are a few reference managers for your academic writing to choose from, some of which cost money. Zotero is free, open-source and doesn’t lack in functionality. You can easily save references from your browser, organise them in folders and with tags and create bibliographies with the right style. You can also create a citation library with your co-authors or share your library with others.

That’s it: 19 academic writing apps and scientific research tools to support your writing for free! However, the best academic writing software won’t make you more productive if you don’t rely on a streamlined writing process and if you aren’t using your writing sessions effectively. If you want to get your hands on a template to write scientific papers in a systematic fashion, sign up for this 1-hour writing training now. It’s free too!

Free writing training that goes beyond writing tools

The power of connecting Open research-related data


Part 2 of the 3-part blog series on open science tools.

10 Open Science tools for literature review you should know about

Here are 9 literature search tools that will make your scientific literature search faster and more convenient. All of the presented literature review software is free and follows Open Science principles.

Whether you're looking for an academic phrase finder, a collaborative academic writing software, a tool to stay focused on your writing or a writing project management app - I've got you covered!

SCI Journal

11 Best Academic Writing Tools For Researchers

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Best Academic Writing Tools

For many people, the academic writing process can be a daunting and exhausting experience. Papers and reports can take hours or days to complete and require intense dedication to perfect. However, there are tools that can make the process much easier for those who need them most. 

If you find yourself struggling with long-form writing projects, these tools will help you work smarter instead of harder. 

This article is organized into roughly 3 stages of writing:

  • Writing and editing a draft 
  • Rewording/ Paraphrasing
  • Organizing the manuscript

Table of Contents

I. Best Writing Software for Researchers 

#1. jasper (formerly jarvis) – game-changing ai writing bot.

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Jasper is a clever AI that can help you with different parts of your writing. Jasper can identify the core argument in your writing and will provide an outline, create a title, and offer to write introductions and conclusions.

This tool is relatively new. And, I have become a heavy user. I can see how this tool will be VERY useful for knowledge work like professors and researchers. It takes a bit of a learning curve to master the tool. But, it’s absolutely worth it.

We recently negotiated a deal for our readers to get 10,000 words for free. You can grab it here.

But, let me say this first: this tool is great if you know when and how to use it (like most tools really…). And, no, this AI won’t replace you, yet… Your role as the researcher is to guide the AI. Be clear about the central thesis, arguments, and guide it through the process.  

Here is the deep dive review article on Jasper .

  • The writing document comes with the basic editing functions e.g.., Grammar, Rephrase, and Explain-it-to-5th-grade
  • Great tool for writing a cover letter or email to editors that show a bit of your personality (e.g., using its tone of voice function
  • Help you promote your work on social media with the “Quora Answers” template
  • Help you do polls and surveys with the “Poll Questions & Multiple Choice Answers” template
  • Help you write an opening paragraph of a press release that people will want to read “Press Release Title” Template
  • Flexible pay-as-you-go. To start with, Jarvis gives you some credits (5,000 in my case) for free. So, test Jarvis and pay for what you use
  • This tool is not ready yet to stand on its own. As I said, you will need to guide it through the process, so you will have to be more involved than with some other tools.
  • It does take a bit of learning like using a typewriter when most people are still using pen and paper. (Eventually, most people use a keyword to type. And, I believe it’s only a matter of time until most people realize they can do more and better with AI…)
  • Unused credits are not allowed to carry over to the next month. I wish it’s more like the Audible model, where you can save up the credit later on. 
  • The paraphrasing function only works for a short paragraph (<30 words) and often misses quite a lot of points once word count exceeds that

Update: Jasper is giving a one-off 10,000 words for free for five days to our readers. Check it out before it expires.

#2. ProWritingAid – Your paper enhancer before submission

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As someone who works in academia, I understand the importance of producing quality writing that is clear, concise, and accurate. That’s why I love using ProWritingAid, an AI-powered writing tool that helps me perfect my work before submission.

The rephrasing tool allows me to improve any sentence in just a few clicks. The AI-powered grammar checker catches even the trickiest mistakes, ensuring my ideas shine without any easy-to-miss errors.

The learning tool for students provides in-depth analysis to get work publish-ready. ProWritingAid’s analytical language goals and power verb suggestions help me write professionally without sacrificing readability.

I would suggest you test this tool out using its guaranteed refund for 14 days.

One of the things I love is its unique 20 reporting functions from ProWritingAid (see image below), especially the Sticky, Overused, Pronouns, and Alliteration.

Overall, ProWritingAid is a powerful tool that can help you produce quality writing quickly and efficiently.

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  • Comprehensive grammar checker that can catch and fix even the trickiest issues
  • Offers a rephrasing tool that allows you to improve any sentence in just a few clicks
  • Learning tool for students that provides in-depth analysis to get your work publish-ready
  • Analytical language goals and power verb suggestions to help you write clearly, concisely, and accurately
  • Can be used by both students and professionals for all types of academic writing
  • The free version has limitations, and you need to upgrade to access all features
  • While I love the detailed report feature, some users may find these functions overwhelming at first 
  • Can be time-consuming to use for long documents or research papers as this is not designed with the paper organization in mind

#3. Trinka – Designed for Academic and Technical writing

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Trinka is an AI-powered English grammar and plagiarism checker, which we have covered in this article . It also doubles as a language enrichment writing assistant.

We have been testing Trinka recently and fell in love with it. Trinka is founded by Enago, an established academic service provider. So, they are well-versed in the needs of academic papers or technical writing. 

Using real-time writing recommendations, Trinka corrects contextual spelling problems and sophisticated grammatical issues.

It aids academics and professionals in ensuring that their writing is clear, succinct, and interesting.

Below is a comparison of its performance against Grammarly from a Trinka whitepaper. Trinka wins in Domain, Usage, and Style.

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We are also delighted to see its Publication Readiness feature included in the free plan. If you have issues with publishing your paper, chances are something is wrong with your manuscript. This Publication Readiness Checker may just be that difference maker.

  • More suited for academic and technical writing 
  • Consistency Check that’s made for scientific writing
  • Publication readiness check is a lifesaver (included in the free plan!)
  • Flexible – credit-based pricing. Free-credits every month
  • No desktop or mobile app
  • Free version limits word count to 10,000 words/month

#4. Hemingway Editor – free and powerful

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Hemingway Editor is one of my favorite writing tools. It helps you to simplify your writing. And, it’s free and easy to use.

It highlights problems with your writing based on the idea that dense, complex sentences are hard to understand. The program takes these long, winding sentences and breaks them into chunks with periods in between. 

This makes it easy to see where you can cut out unnecessary words or phrases. You can also use the Hemingway Editor mobile app, which is available for free on iOS devices!

  • Helps you spot your prose’s pitfalls, e.g., passive voice and convoluted sentence structure
  • Free tool that also checks grammar
  • Software can be downloaded so you can access it without the internet
  • Aids in finding alternatives for difficult sentences
  • Can make a large difference to the clarity of your writing
  • Helps improve reading comprehension and understanding  
  • Is available as a free mobile app on iOS devices
  • Great for essay writing
  • Sometimes the alternatives require the reader’s attention 
  • Can’t export to MS Word or PDF files
  • There is no browser plugin for this great tool
  • Not ideal for checking really long research or paper
  • You need to know what is the right reading level to set it

II. Best Re-Writing Software

#1. quillbot – best paid option for the professional .

QuillBot is a cutting-edge paraphrasing software that may reword part of the text or the entire article. After you’ve entered a sentence or piece of text, hit the paraphrase button, and QuillBot will rephrase your material while preserving its original meaning.

One of the primary strengths of this tool is that it uses machine learning to understand, reword, restructure, and improve on the paraphrases it makes. Besides paraphrasing and cutting your writing time, QuillBot offers a built-in thesaurus function to help you find the perfect word every time and change individual words.

Writing modes are included to help you enhance clarity and meaning, and a Word Flipper helps you change your writing instantly. 

The free version can paraphrase up to 700 characters, but you can purchase a premium account and paraphrase up to 10,000 characters. The premium plan also paraphrases text faster, has more writing modes, and shows you a single sentence in multiple modes so you can compare results.

  • High-quality results that preserve the original meaning
  • Has a slider to adjust the level of synonyms and different writing modes to help you enhance clarity and meaning, as well as style, tone, and grammar tools
  • Good interface that shows you the words that have been spun, not just shows you the result
  • Works with the writing tools you already use, like Microsoft Office, Google Docs, and Google Chrome.
  • Has a co-writer function that can rival Jarvis as a writing tool
  • Has a Citation Generator that can be handy with your academic paper
  • Has a Grammar Checker that rivals Grammarly with a one-click fix-it function
  • The free version allows only 125 words (paraphraser) and 1,200 words summarizer
  • The absolute price of $15 per month may scare many people off (until you have experienced the power of an AI writing tool, an editing tool like Grammarly, and a paraphrasing tool like WordTune – coming into one).
  • Premium starts with $15 billed monthly and $9.99 per month (billed every 6 months)

#2. WordTune – The most convenient option

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WordTune can generate rewrite suggestions by analyzing vast amounts of text and finding human language patterns. As a result, it may occasionally change the meaning to convey a more common idea or to include information it believes is implied. 

During the rewrite suggestions, Wordtune is learning to preserve the meaning of your input text as best as possible. It may occasionally, however, offer suggestions that seem to be out of context since the tool is built with some creative freedom. Sometimes, it may misinterpret your text and give incorrect or irrelevant suggestions. 

  • Best onboarding process that allows you to feel the tool – has a floating W icon that follows
  • Works as a Google Extension which I use for my daily needs
  • Free version shows impressive rewording results with the highlighted changes
  • Most rewarding options I have seen from a tool (vs. others that don’t offer options)
  • Offers 40% discount to students and educators with a valid academic email address, or those who work for a non-profit or NGO 
  • To change the tone to casual or formal requires an upgrade
  • To use the shorten and expand function requires an upgrade
  • Can’t work on a mobile or tablet function 
  • The normal price of $10 a month may be too much for casual writers

We tested Wordtune and find the Quillbot to be a more powerful tool with more functions mentioned above. Who knows, Wordtune may change after seeing user feedback like ours one day.

#3. Spinbot – Best free option for starters

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Spinbot is a free summarizing tool that converts the substance you paste or write directly into an editorial manager. When you submit a request, the Spinbot framework modifies the text automatically.

Spinbot does not capitalize words, which protects uppercase terms like titles, professional people, places, and things while also preserving the main phrase of each sentence. You may modify this setting by checking the Spin Capitalized Words box.

  • Free version  that works up to 10,000 words which is quite amazing compared with QuillBot’s 125 words
  • The interface is simple, spotless, and straightforward to use, but it includes offers. When you get past the commercials, though, the summarizing method is simple
  • User experience is interrupted by ads sometimes
  • The results is not as transparent as the QuillBot which shows you what has been changed
  • The result can sometimes be quite bad (makes no sense) and you can’t adjust the rewording level like you can with QuillBot 

III. 3 Best Writing Organization Tools

#1. scrivener – best for academic researchers.

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Scrivener is great for researchers who need to handle a large volume of research. Academic writing is more complicated than a grad school writing assignment. This tool costs a little bit of money. But, many top researchers use it for their research papers. 

It’s helpful that it has a mobile app, too. If you want to walk around and research ideas or write on your phone, Scrivener can sync with your device so everything is in one place.

Scrivener is very easy to use and helps you organize your writing. You can create chapters that have subpages for all of your research. You can also add images or text boxes that relate to your writing. It’s a great tool for organizing your research and thoughts, so you can produce a better academic research paper.

Scrivener also has a great free trial period – 30 days of use . So, if you use it 3 days a week, then you could have the trial for 10 weeks. Check the Discount here . 

  • Ease of use – allows you to easily rearrange your chapters and organize your research paper later without worrying about the order
  • Many guides along the research process 
  • Free app trial that most students can access and test 
  • Able to help you turn random articles and documents into a thesis and great research paper
  • Interface in the documents can be a bit confusing for first-time users

Further reading: 

  • Robin Nemesszeghy has written a great article on Scrivener vs. Dabble.

#2. Authorea – Best for Alternative Publication and Exposure

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Authorea is this writing tool is a one-stop-shop for you to a) create/upload, b) disseminate your research paper, and c) get published in top journals. Authorea is great for young researchers who want to publish their academic work.

You can also use Authorea with Scrivener!

That’s right, you won’t have to leave your writing tool if you need to upload a research paper or just an article. 

One of the best features is that Authorea officials allow you to publish your work on their website, free of charge. You can also get a DOI from them so it’s easier for people to cite your original research paper.

  • One-stop shop for creating, disseminating, and getting published in top journals
  • Great tool for young researchers who want to do their academic work and publish their research paper without having to handle the document and other admin tasks
  • Can use Authorea with Scrivener
  • May be difficult to get published in top journals 

#3. Reedsy – Best for Aspiring Best-Selling Authors

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Reedsy is a publishing company that helps authors and publishers connect with professionals to help them create beautiful books. They offer powerful tools and free educational content to help people become top researchers and have more academic success.

Reedsy’s Book Editor is a powerful digital tool used for writing and editing eBooks, print books, journals, and articles. It gives you all the features you need to write your manuscript, including unlimited revision history with comments sent via email; automatic backups; dynamic word count; advanced character filtering; track changes; export to .docx or .txt files; the ability to collaborate on your manuscript with several people at once; and much more.

Reedsy’s eBook Editor has all the features of an advanced word processor, meaning you can write your eBook with the same high-powered tools that are used by best-selling authors.

  • Reedsy offers a wide range of professional services to help you create a beautiful book
  • They have a lot of free educational content that can help you improve your research and writing skills
  • The Reedsy Book Editor is a powerful, yet easy-to-use, tool for writing and editing manuscripts
  • Reedsy is quite expensive compared to other publishing companies
  • More of a next-level tool for people who have some success or resources 

#4. LaTeX – Great tool but difficult for non-coder  

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LaTeX is one of the most widely used academic writing tools that are free and reliable. We have even created a LaTex tutorial, where we help with the minimal programming knowledge that you need to use this too. 

Use LaTex if you haven’t started writing your research paper, have some time to learn it, and want to learn one of the absolute classic writing tools.

Download the LaTeX program here , and don’t forget to check out our guide on how to use it here .

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  • LaTeX is free to use, which helps students on tight academic budgets.
  • The ability to create your own bibliography using Latex’s site function saves time for you and your librarian.
  • Creates a technical barrier for researchers who know how to use LaTex and those who don’t
  • It takes some time to learn how to use Latex and can take a few hours or even months for beginner writers
  • Certain word processing programs such as MS Word cannot be used with LaTex

#5. DraftIn – Minimalistic and free for laser-focus writing  

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If Steve Jobs creates an academic writing tool, Draftin might be it. The tool is designed for people who just want to focus on words. It embraces Hemmingway’s motto of “Writer drunk. Edit Sober.”

I work with other people all the time, using Google Docs. But, sometimes there are issues with version control. This tool solves that problem by holding the version updated by the user in the user’s environment. So, you should review it first before accepting it. 

This is different from Google Docs’ showing the updated version and you figure out what has been changed. And, revert them one by one.  

The downside of being minimalist is that you can’t embed links in the text.

  • One of the good free online writing tools
  • Minimalist design with the Hemingway Mode that encourages “write first, edit later”
  • Version control is very helpful for keeping track of edits and updates
  • Great when you have co-authors to work on the same documents
  • Help you focus on the quality of your writing and notes
  • You can’t embed links in text in the document
  • Limited functions (by design) compared with other tools 

Final Thoughts

The best academic writing tools don’t have to be expensive or complicated. 

The most important thing you can do is use your time wisely. 

We are also curious about your experience with what works and what doesn’t.

What are the top three things you wish someone had told you about academic writing when you were starting out? 

Share them with us below!

Why should I use LaTeX?

One important but less obvious benefit is that LaTeX allows you to clearly distinguish the substance of your academic papers from the format. As a writer (scientist, researcher or not), this frees you up to concentrate on “what” rather than “how” will it look when printed out on paper (that is the job of LaTeX document class designers).

One big caveat is that the learning curve is quite steep. So, be sure to check out our tutorial here .

What are the best tips for academic writing?

  • 1. Make sure to spell-check and proofread 
  • 2. It’s not enough to merely quote your references 
  • 3. Try using different words than the ones you found in your research
  • 4. You have to accurately summarize and synthesize their ideas in a new way 
  • 5. Write clearly and simply 
  • 6. Avoid cliches
  • 7. Vary your SENTENCE STRUCTURE 
  • 8. Mix it up in terms of PUNCTUATION 
  • 9. Be CONCISE
  • 10. Use the VOCABULARY that you know 
  • 11. But also work on expanding your VOCABULARY 
  • 12. ***Be open mind and learn to use the tool that you need, not what others recommend

What are the tools for effective writing?

The most important tool is your mind as a researcher.

Good academic writing relies on clear thinking, orderly presentation, and sustained focus.

To be an effective researcher, it’s important to have a set of clearly defined priorities for how you will spend your time in the library or office, what questions you’re devoting attention to, which ideas are worth pursuing in more depth. 

Brainstorming is often part of drafting a paper in rhetoric, but in these earliest stages, it is also about figuring out one’s attitude toward the subject at hand. Who am I writing this essay for? Who am I disagreeing with? What are they saying about my topic that I need to refute – all this has implications when deciding where to look next or what hypothesis to pursue. 

One major problem for researchers is to actually “see” how much they know. Scapple  can be a great tool for organizing knowledge and connecting the dots. You can find out more about how we reviewed >30 mind mapping software here .

There is more.

Check out our other articles on the Best Academic Tools Series for Research below.

  • Learn how to get more done with these Academic Writing Tools  
  • Learn how to proofread your work with these Proofreading Tools
  • Learn how to broaden your research landscape with these Academic Search Engines
  • Learn how to manage multiple research projects with these Project Management Tools
  • Learn how to run effective survey research with these Survey Tools for Research
  • Learn how get more insights from important conversations and interviews with Transcription Tools
  • Learn how to manage the ever-growing list of references with these Reference Management Software
  • Learn how to double your productivity with literature reviews with these AI-Based Summary Generators
  • Learn how to build and develop your audience with these Academic Social Network Sites
  • Learn how to make sure your content is original and trustworthy with these Plagiarism Checkers
  • Learn how to talk about your work effectively with these Science Communication Tools

Photo of author

10 thoughts on “11 Best Academic Writing Tools For Researchers”

Does quiltbot,save the changed text on its server, and then creata the problem of plagerisim.

Here is what it says about its plagiarism checker: “QuillBot stores your content in order to run the plagiarism report, so you can access your reports in the future. Our third-party vendor, CopyLeaks, does not store your content. QuillBot will never share your content with any third parties outside of CopyLeaks.”

Please provide information on resources for systematic review and meta-analysis; for conducting literature review

No it does not

i am a research scholar.i request you to kindly let me share information on rewrite cum plagiarism check, removal tool for best performance. Thank you all

Thank you, Dear Writer. It’s very much helpful.

These are very important for research students. Thank you very much for this piece of information. Great work Joannah.

Thank you for the kind words!

Thanks for sharing this well-researched article.

Nice article, might I suggest Writefull also, they have a number of tools designed for academic/technical writing…

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