Apps To Help Write Essays


Whether you’ve got a thesis, dissertation or just a simple report to write, these student apps will help to maximise your productivity, reduce procrastination and even improve the eloquence of your writing.

Do you ponder on eloquently written prose with wonder and fantasy, pining for the linguistic prowess to reciprocate it’s meaning in your own enchanting words?
Well, the folks at Renkara have designed a great app to help you construct a thesaurus in your mind. AccelaStudy is a vocabulary app which introduces synonyms, suggests practical examples and tests you on your progress towards literary domination; and it’s available in 18 languages.

  • App: AccelaStudy
  • App Type: Academic vocabulary builder
  • Operating Systems:iOS
  • Price: Free

If you ever struggle to get your thoughts down in words, or think of a beautifully succinct sentence only to forget the wording halfway through typing, this next app could be for you.

Dragon Dictation is a voice recognition app that listens to you speak and automatically converts those words into digital written text; saving lost sentences and reducing the time spent on essay-writing up to 5 times. Imagine, you could get a degree without ever typing a single word! Dragon even familiarises itself with your voice to improve in accuracy over time so that the more you use it, the better it gets.

  • App: Dragon Dictation
  • App Type: Voice recognition
  • Operating Systems:iOS
  • Price: Free

When you’re bursting with magical new vocabulary and you’re all set up with your hands-free typing-tool (keyboard in the bin, ‘cause who needs it anyway?), you’ll need to get started on writing! However, especially with big projects, it can be hard to break down the mountain of work into smaller chunks and know where to start – that’s where Trello comes in.

Trello is a productivity app with a bunch of great features that works like a big interactive to-do list. You can use it to create lists of different lines of work and different tasks under each one. That might not sound incredibly innovative but it’s a really great tool to simplify and break down your workload into manageable chunks whilst ensuring that you don’t forget to add in that great source you found, or to go back and put your bibliography into alphabetical order.

  • App: Trello
  • App Type: Productivity
  • Operating Systems:iOS & Android
  • Price: Free

An example list could look like this:

Your essay plan is done, your headphones are on, and you’ve got your study snacks at the ready; but you still find yourself on Facebook and Instagram watching cat videos and accidentally liking your classmate’s photos from 18 months ago.

If that’s you, then you should try out Freedom: it blocks apps and websites for a specified time so that you can remove the distractions and really get down to some research. Whether it’s putting a stop to the your uncontrollable temptation to check who just RT’d your latest Tweet or silencing the endless WhatsApp messages you’ve been getting ever since you introduced your gran to Emojis – it works across all your devices for a complete distraction blackout.

  • App: Freedom
  • App Type: Productivity
  • Operating Systems:iOS & Android
  • Price: The basic version is free, version Plus @ $24.00/yr

With these apps in your pocket, you’ll be able to quickly, easily and peacefully write your essays with a heightened air of linguistic grandeur.

Good luck with your studies in 2016.


These citations were created using Cite This For Me. Check out our reference and citation generator in Harvard style, APA format, MLA format and over 1,000 more at Cite This For Me.

  • Anglia Ruskin University. TEL-ve days of Christmas. TEL-ve Days of Christmas, 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
  • Boylan, Frances, and Trevor Boland. The 12 Apps of Christmas. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
  • Digital Library Services Team. Guides: 12 Apps of Christmas: The 12 Apps of Christmas. 12 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
  • Eadicicco, Lisa. Apple’s 25 best iPhone Apps of the year., 9 Dec. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
  • Piatt, Katie, et al. 12 Apps of Christmas 2015. 8 Dec. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
  • Renkara Media Group. FREE exam vocabulary builder by AccelaStudy® on the App store. App Store, 24 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
  • Rowell, Chris. 12 Apps of Christmas. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.
  • The University of West London. The 12 Apps of Christmas. 17 Nov. 2015. Web. 19 Jan. 2016.

*Based on 6 independent ‘12 Apps of Christmas’ lists by The University of West London, Dublin Institute of Technology, Brighton University, Manchester Metropolitan University, Regents University London and Anglia Ruskin University.


The American journalist Gene Fowler once remarked,

“Writing is easy. All you do is stare at a blank sheet of paper until drops of blood form on your forehead.”

Make no mistake, though – Fowler was totally lying, and writing is really hard. So let’s enlist the help of our robot overlords in order to make it a little easier.

Today I’ll share 15 apps and websites that might help you become a better writer. Some are huge, multi-faceted programs, while others are more single-purpose and can help with organizing research, planning, gaining motivation, or editing.

If you’d like even more resources to help with other aspects of your education, you’ll find even more websites, apps, and tools over at the Resources page.

If you’re unable to see the video above, you can view it on YouTube.

  • Coggle – a free mind-mapping tool that can help you organize ideas.
  • Storyline Creator – a mapping tool that’s built around individual characters and the flow of events in a story.
  • Evernote – my second brain. Pretty much everything I write starts out as a note here. Here’s another article I wrote with additional Evernote tips.
  • Scrivener – a full-fledged application for writing a novel. This is what I finished writing 10 Steps to Earning Awesome Gradeswith.
  • Novlr – a new alternative to Scrivener. It seems like it has a nicer design, but fewer features. I found some recommendations for it on the NaNoWriMo forums.
  • Byword – a minimalist Markdown editor for OS X. You don’t need to know Markdown to use it… but Markdown is really easy to learn.
  • Twinword Writer – a tool with a built-in thesaurus that suggests alternative words when you pause in your writing.
  • Write or Die – an app that will punish you if you don’t keep writing. Punishments can range from annoying noises to “Kamikaze Mode”, which starts erasing your writing!
  • Written? Kitten! – a more positive take on the Write or Die concept; instead of punishing you, it rewards you with pictures of kittens every 100 words.
  • 750words – the name describes it pretty well; this is a site that can help you build a daily writing habit. It’s got pretty cool stat-tracking as well.
  • DailyPage – a site that gives you a different writing prompt (e.g. Write about your favorite leader) every day.
  • Mendeley – I’m not a grad student, but I’d use this if I was. It’s a free tool that can help you manage research documents and PDFs.
  • editMinion – a tool that can analyze your writing and pick out weak and over-used words. It can also tell you if your sentences are too short or long.
  • Coffitivity – plays coffee shop noises to give you a nice working atmosphere – a good alternative to white noise generators.
  • – a web app that uses AI to generate music that’s supposed to help you increase your focus and attention. The site even has research to back up their claims. I’ve tested it a few times, and while I’m not sure if the music is truly working or just providing a placebo effect yet, I will way that it’s pretty darn good music for working.

By the way, if’s style of music isn’t for you, then you might enjoy my Ultimate Study Music Playlist on YouTube. I add new songs to it often.

Lastly, if you haven’t heard it, you might enjoy the CIG podcast episode where I break down how I wrote my 27,000 word book.

Got other recommendations that I didn’t include here? Share them in the comments!

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