5 Free Online Tools for Writers

Posted by Amanda Ellison

Creating great content needn't cost a penny, with so many free resources out there. Some of these are fun, such as iwritelike.com while others can help you express yourself perfectly - think wordtune - or do some fact-checking - Snopes.com is the go-to site for this - but the five I've listed are the ones I use again and again.

If you're not already familiar with these, check them out. They're all absolutely free!

Photo by Sergey Zolkin for Unsplash

1. The Go-To Tool: Proofed Writing Tips

While not a tool as such, this website offers all manner of services related to proofreading. My favourite part of the site, however, is its daily writing types. Simply type in a topic and useful information is there before you. Accuracy is a big plus for this site, so if you need to check out anything relating to spelling, punctuation or grammar this is a one-stop-shop.

2. The Editing Tool: Hemingway App

This colour-coded text editor can be brutal - but helpful. By cutting and pasting your text into the box you receive immediate feedback in terms of sentence length, grammar etc. It's particularly useful for evaluating the readability of your text. A great tool for redrafting and making improvements.

3. The Plagiarism-Checker Tool: Dupli Checker

Again, a simple-to-use tool that enables you to check whether you have inadvertently plagiarised any of your content. You can even download a free report as proof of your originality - or otherwise! A downside is that you can only paste in up to 1000 words at a time. But it is free, after all ...

A good alternative is Edubirdie, which does a similar job.

4. The Vocabulary Tool: OneLook Dictionary and Thesaurus

It's what it says on the tin! This tool has the edge on other online thesauruses (thesauri?!) in that it has extra functions such as the ability to see words in use - including in rap music - and how the word can be used according to word class. Very handy.

A good alternative is Power Thesaurus.

5. The Headline Tool: Co-Schedule Headline Analyser

No doubt you've heard that 8/10 people will read your headline but only 2/10 will actually read the article itself. This makes the headline a valuable hook. By typing in your headline you can instantly see its effectiveness and be given pointers for improvement. It even tells you how SEO-friendly your headline is. When crafting your your headline it's worth bearing in mind the 4Us:

1) Is it useful to readers?

2) Does it convey urgency?

3) Is it unique

4) Is it ultra-specific?

With the help of a headline analysis tool, sharper headlines are virtually guaranteed!

If you try any of these tools and find them helpful - or not! - I'd really appreciate your comments. Over to you!

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