Students, bloggers, and writers of other genres can make use of tools for online editing. They are the best line of defense when you cannot have a secondary person glance over your writing before submitting, since they may catch things you cannot. Here are some of the tools that you should keep in your editing arsenal.
- #1: Spelling Checker
- #2: Grammar Checker
- #3: Multi-Lingual Spelling and Grammar Checker
- #4: Readability Checker
- #5: Plagiarism Checker
- #6: Advanced Style Checker
- #7: Passive Voice Checker
One of the most basic things to check as you start your academic editing job is spelling errors. A good spell checker will catch any errors that may have been overlooked. The major benefit of using an online checker instead of software is that it can easily be updated to include new words that may not be listed yet.
Another common area to review as you edit papers is the grammar. A quality grammar will check for punctuation errors, improperly used words, subject-verb agreement, and other grammar elements. Be sure the grammar checker you use also checks for words that are out of place. For example, it should detect if you typed ‘for’ or ‘from’ instead of the word ‘form.’
If you speak English as a second language or have editing jobs to complete on other languages, look for spelling and grammar checkers especially for different languages. You may be surprised to find that your favorite software already has a multi-lingual option.
Readability is important, especially in academic writing. For an effective paper, you must clearly convey your ideas. Part of this is avoiding jargon (unless you include the definition) and using clear, concise sentences. There are several online apps that will check for readability. Some of the features include testing for use of adverbs and passive voice, sentence length, and sentence style.
Plagiarism is a huge mistake. It can result in needing to re-do the assignment, a zero on your paper, or even expulsion once you are a college student. For this reason, you should always check for plagiarism during the course of your review. You may find that your school offers a checker for plagiarism prevention. You can take advantage of this or choose to look one up online.
An advanced style checker can tell you more than just the basics. It offers suggestions on how to improve sentence structure. Often, a style checker for academic use will address overuse of descriptive words, wordy sentences, lack of conciseness, and confusing sentences.
Passive voice affects the flow of a piece of writing (in a negative way). Passive terms are wordy. They are longer than necessary and can also make sentences harder to understand. When you look for online tools to make your editing jobs easier, make sure this is one on your list. Not all readability tools will check for this, so know what it is yourself so you can be sure the program is checking your errors.
Students and writers in need of editing help can easily rely on different online writing tools. Ideally, you will find 1-2 that will do several or all the editing functions listed above. People who still would like a second pair of eyes can also consider sites offering writers for editing jobs to look over their work.