Five useful sites for academic writing

Kyra Smith-Cullen

14052007454i7wxI know what it’s like to be staring at a blank page, trying to start that essay. Or to be in the middle of a paragraph, only to completely forget what word you wanted to write. But there are several helpful sites to aid your journey.


A free downloadable program, Mendeley is a library for your citations and research. Found an article? Add it to Mendeley, which allows you to highlight or make notes on your addition. It also generates citations and bibliographies in whatever style you need – Which means no more struggling between MLA or APA or whatever citation style your professor has demanded of you.


Are you trying to avoid using passive voice or clichés? is a great site because you can paste your text and select specific things for it to search for and it will point it out so you can correct it. The only downside is that it does act up with larger amounts of texts involved.

3. Reverse Dictionary

Do you know the meaning of a word, but can’t think of the right word? The Reverse Dictionary is perfect for that because it allows you to search the definition and then brings up words that fit that. It’s still in the Beta version, so it may have a few bugs, but it’s still useful. Find it at


It’s a very simple timer that breaks things down into increments of twenty five minutes of writing, followed by five minutes of rest. It gives you the surge of working against a timer, plus it lets you enter your word count so that you can track your progress.


A great site for your cute fix and motivational needs.. Written Kitten lets you enter a word count goal, and every time you meet that goal it rewards you with a picture of a cute adorable kitten to motivate you to do it again! The only downside is that you have to type directly on the website, but KITTENS!

Good luck with your works, especially as the semester dwindles down and the professors start demanding papers.


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