Online Tools to Make Writing Easier


Whether writing is a delight or a chore, these online tools will help make writing easier for you.

Grammar Tools

Go beyond SpellChecker with these free grammar tools, Hemingway and Grammarly. Here’s how I use them. Both have online editors to use for any project.

Grammarly’s free version is not as powerful as Hemingway. I use their Chrome extension to catch grammar errors in Facebook posts and emails. Grammarly also edits within the WordPress editor.

I love that Hemingway Editor looks for ways to make my writing more readable. It suggests replacing adverbs and shortening your sentences, for instance.

Hemingway is a powerful grammar tool, but with two small glitches. For one, I noticed it didn’t catch every passive voice sentence. You may still have to self-edit (see NOTES about passive voice).

Secondly, if you paste your text from Hemingway into WordPress’ editor all the HTML comes along with it… and stays. I used the clear formatting tool which didn’t erase the mess. To solve this:

  • create your piece in WordPress, and then,
  • paste it into Hemingway for error-checking,
  • make your corrections in WordPress.

I don’t know how Hemingway interacts with Pages, Blogger, or other blogging platforms. Please help readers by commenting how you use these with Hemingway.

Bible References

You’ll find many online Bibles. You may already have a preferred source for linking Bible verses in your blog posts.

BibleGateway offers dozens of language translations. I use BibleGateway with my readers in mind. By following the link, they might discover a translation of the verse in their heart language.

Need a photo to go with your Scripture? Check out Free Bible Images.

Final Touches

Merriam-Webster’s site is helpful for their dictionary and thesaurus.

Do you know the proper “grammar rules” for Cru-specific products, Cru conferences, for salvation decisions, and more? For Cru staff, check our very own (and recently updated) Gospel of Writing Style on the StaffWeb. Turn to The AP Stylebook for other fine points of writing such as: How do you write out numbers? What are the rules for quotations?

Check your title’s capitalization at capitalizemytitle.com, even choosing which style to use (AP, MLA, etc.).

What about Your Research Paper?

If your magnum opus is a research paper, submit it for free to Citation Machine. The free version checks for unintentional plagiarism and adds a bibliography and citations. We’re taking our final IBS class next month, so I’ll try this one out.

Before You Go

I hope you’ve found a tool or two for your writing toolkit. Always give that post or paper one more read. It’s a good idea to self-edit as a final step and not depend on these tools alone.

Do you have any tools to share with us?

NOTES:

  • Active voice is much more powerful than passive-voice sentences. Switch the subject and object of a sentence to correct passive voice. For example, passive: “Every spring, large theology books are bought by many Cru staff.” Active: “Every spring, many Cru staff are buying large theology books.” (Hmm, can you guess what’s on my mind?)
  • A Google search will turn up helpful articles to look for good nouns and verbs for your writing. Be a lifelong learner of writing skills. 249 Powerful Verbs That’ll Spice Up Your Writing includes lists as well as examples of how to self-edit.
  • Photo by: Matthew Henry on Burst.

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