Writing Wednesday: 4 Great Online Tools to Improve Your Writing

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Our Writing Wednesday series is all about bringing you the best possible writing advice we can. But we know that we aren’t the only resource out there, and so today we want to take the opportunity to showcase some other online tools for writers. Whether you want to streamline your sentence structure or expand your vocabulary, these four sites are by writers, for writers, and offer something for every writing style.

Cliché Finder

URL: cliche.theinfo.org

What it offers: The Cliché Finder does exactly what you think it would. Simply paste your text into the box on the homepage and click “find clichés” and the website does the rest. It will return your words with the clichés bolded in red, drawing attention to the overused and weak phrases. It’s up to you to find a replacement, though! And be aware, when we say “basic” we mean it – don’t include any special characters in your text (though it’s okay with HTML).

Hemingway Editor

URL: hemingwayapp.com

What it offers: Ernest Hemingway is famed for his concise writing style. While his extreme brevity may not work for every writer, we could all learn a lesson or two in self-editing from this great American author. The Hemingway Editor helps you make your writing “bold and clear” by scanning your text for adverbs, the passive voice, overly complicated phrasing and sentences that are too long and assigns your work a readability score. You’ll need to think (and edit) like Hemingway to increase your score.

In fact, we put the above paragraph through the test and our Hemingway-approved edited version would be:

Ernest Hemingway’s concise writing style is famous. His extreme brevity may not work for every writer. We could all learn a lesson in self-editing from this great American author. The Hemingway Editor helps you make your writing “bold and clear” by scanning your text. The app looks for adverbs, the passive voice, complicated phrasing and long sentences. It then assigns your work a readability score. You’ll need to think (and edit) like Hemingway to increase your score.

This took us from a Grade 12 reading level to Grade 7. Is that really better? Depends on the context. It definitely makes you think about the overall readability of your text! A good rule of thumb is to have at least one Hemingway-style sentence for every couple longer ones.

Grammarly

URL: grammarly.com

What it offers: A web browser extension that instantly checks your grammar as you type. This is the perfect tool for social media, blogging, emails and any other type of written communication that isn’t going to be heavily proofread and edited. Grammarly looks for over 250 types of grammatical errors, far more than your word processor will. It’s incredibly highly rated with users, and it’s free. A must for every online writer!

OneLookReverse Dictionary

URL: onelook.com/reverse-dictionary

What it offers: Have you ever been unable write not due to writer’s block but because you simply can’t come up with a specific word? The OneLookReverse Dictionary is designed for these sorts of situations. Instead of entering a word and getting a definition, you start with the definition and work backward. Simply type in a keyword (or phrase) to help the dictionary find the entries that are closest to what you are trying to say. It can also help you explore related concepts, create word lists and solve a tough crossword clue.

About Paperblanks: 25 years ago, we created Paperblanks to help keep book heritage alive and vital in our modern age, and to offer an inspiring space for people to express themselves. Thanks for joining us on this journey! For more about Paperblanks, go to our website at paperblanks.com.

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