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21 Online Tools and Resources For Academic Essay Writing

21 Online Tools and Resources For Academic Essay Writing

Everyone could use a little help now and then and, for students, when the mountain of work becomes impossible to climb, it’s probably time to seek out some assistance. Fortunately for them, students have so many resources to turn to online, from offering them help with grammar to organization and even complete essay writing services.

There are so many out there, that it can be overwhelming to try to sift through all such options. So, here’s a list of the best online resources around – keep this handy throughout the school year, for whenever you need help in any form.

  1. Essayroo

    EssayRoo

    You may want to get all your essays written on time, but sometimes it’s just not going to happen. Real life gets in the way, and you can’t commit to doing several assignments at once. This writing service can step in and help you out. Send them your assignments and they’ll write you an essay you can be proud of. They can do it, no matter how tight you deadlines are.

    1. Thesis Builder

    Thesis Builder

      Struggling to start your essay? These tools can help. There’s the Thesis Builder that helps you create and outline the ideas for your essay, or the Topic-O-Rama tool, that helps you come up with a good topic for your assignment.

      1. 3D Writer

      3D Writing

        Need a good writing tool for writing your essays? Originally designed for schools to encourage writing in hypertext, this tool could be the right one for you.

        1. RefMe: Admission Essay Writing Resources

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        RefMe Resources

          This post will give you a lot of tools if you’re struggling with your admissions essay for the university. There are essay builders, writing services, and tips all included.

          1. Essaypunch

          EssayPunch

            Feel like your essay skills aren’t up to the task, but your teachers don’t have the time to help you? This tool can step in. Use its online tutorials to build up your skills and start writing brilliant essays.

            1. BibMe

            BibMe

              Building your bibliographies and reference lists can be a real hassle. This online tool makes it a whole lot easier. When you use a book or source, use this tool to keep track of it. When you’re done, download an automatically generated list in your choice of referencing style. It’s as easy as that.

              1. The Yellow: Dissertation Writing Help and Tips

              Yellow How To - Dissertation Writing Tips

                This guide is perfect for anyone worrying about their dissertation this year. Use its advice to get started and get that dissertation written.

                1. Lifehack: Write My Essay Tips

                Lifehack_Write My Essay Tips

                  If you struggle with getting started, the advice in this article can help you. It talks about using brainstorming to get all your ideas down first, and not worrying too much about your structure during your first draft.

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                  1. Memonic

                  Memonic

                    It’s easy to find great ideas online. However, it’s much harder to find those ideas again when you need them for an essay. This tool lets you collect them all in one place, making it much easier to reference them when needed.

                    1. Thesis Generator

                    Ashford University Thesis Generator

                      Building your essay is easier said than done. This tool will give you an outline and guidance on writing it with very little input from you. All you have to do is answer a few questions with short statements, and you’ll get a full outline for your essay.

                      1. HuffingtonPost: Write My Essay Business Model Review

                      HuffingtonPost Essay Review

                        With an increasing number of students turning to writing services to help them get their essays done, it’s interesting to see things from a different perspective – from that of the professional essay writer.

                        1. Hemingway Editor

                        Hemingway

                          This tool is great for improving your proofreading and grammar skills. Paste your written work in and it will highlight any errors it finds. These can include too long sentences, too many adverbs, or words that have better alternatives. It even highlights different errors in different colours, making it even easier to see where you need to improve.

                          1. Back to School: Tips and Tools 

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                          Peterson's Tips

                            Starting your new life as a college student is both exciting and terrifying, all at the same time. This guide helps you get prepared to head out and begin your first year of college, providing you with lots of practical tips, as well as lots of writing tools for you to try out.

                            1. Guide to Writing a Basic Essay

                            Guide to Writing a Basic Essay

                              This is the ultimate essay writing guide. Look through their database to find help on everything from outlining to proofreading your essay.

                              1. HuffingtonPost: 8 MBA Writing Mistakes You Should Be Aware Of

                              HuffingtonPost_8 MBA Essay Writing Mistakes

                                Applying for an MBA can be stressful, but this guide makes it easier. Follow their rules for writing admissions, essays, and you’ll get that MBA seat easily.

                                1. Times of Israel: Essay Writing Resources for College Admissions

                                The Times of Israel Essay Writing Resources

                                  This guide collects together resources that you can use if you’re writing your college admissions essay. If you’re stuck, this is the best place to go.

                                  1. Essay Writing Checklist

                                  Essay Writing Checklist

                                    Do you never know how to proofread? This tool is for you. It walks you through the process, making sure you don’t miss anything.

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                                    1. Paper Writing Help: Essential Editing Tips for Students

                                    Stanford_Paper Editing and Proofreading Help

                                      Proofreading is a process, but it doesn’t have to be a lengthy one. This guide tells you exactly how to proofread effectively, saving time when you’re close to the deadline.

                                      1. Readability Score

                                      Readability Score

                                        You may have a lot of ideas that you want to get down on paper, but if no one can understand them then what’s the point? This tool will tell you just how easy it is to follow your writing. Paste it in, and it will score your writing against several grading scales. When it’s done, you’ll have the average reading age needed to understand your work.

                                        1. RatedWriting

                                        ratedwriting

                                          Don’t know where to start? Visit RatedWriting website and get a wide range of writing advice and service. The company hires professional writers and tutors who regularly update the website with new reviews to help students succeed in college.

                                          1. 6 Editing and Proofreading Tools for Essay Writer

                                          Admitsee

                                            This blog points out that it’s hard to get proofreading right if you’re the only one who’s proofreading your work. It lists several helpful tools that can help you get it right the first time before you hand that essay in.

                                            Try these tools out this term, and see just how much your essay writing will improve. Online tools are great for helping students write great essays, so take advantage of them. You’ll be glad you did when you start getting those improved grades.

                                            Featured photo credit: StockSnap via pixabay.com

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                                            Last Updated on November 27, 2020

                                            15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

                                            15 Office Design Tricks That Will Increase Your Productivity at Work

                                            Where you work has an enormous impact on how you work – on your ability to focus (and stay focused) and your overall ability to be productive. That means the design of your office, whether you work at home or in a larger company environment, is of supreme importance. This isn’t just about Feng Shui, this is about producing results and getting things done.

                                            According to studies done on workplace and productivity, the most significant factor in determining an employee’s ability to focus is their physical environment. In fact, it’s been said that a well-designed office can increase your productivity about 20%. However, despite the studies and statistics, nearly half of the employers interviewed don’t consider workplace design a good business investment.

                                            So what is a productivity hack to do? What if you work in an environment that doesn’t promote focus?

                                            Check these 15 factors and make changes where you can. A little adjustment can produce a lot of impact.

                                            Lighting

                                            Lighting is one of the most important factors in staying focused and feeling inspired to create, yet it’s one of the most overlooked and least invested in. Bad lighting can cause fatigue, eyestrain, headaches and overall irritability. Dark spaces can actually produce depression.

                                            If you work in a company office:
                                            You probably have no control over your general lighting so bring in your own, if need be. Consider using natural light bulbs or a light therapy device.

                                            If you work from a home office:
                                            Open the windows and doors and let natural light in. Using lamps in a variety of areas for cloudy days or when it’s dark.

                                            Chair and Table

                                            If you’ve ever sat at a desk to do work but found yourself adjusting, stretching and moving too often to actually stay focused, then you’re aware of the importance of having a correctly fitted table and chair. In today’s work environment where so many of us are sitting for most of our day, it is critical that your throne fits your body probably.

                                            Consider these quick ergonomic checks:

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                                            • Eyes 24-36 inches from the computer screen. The top of the monitor should be below or at eye-level.
                                            • Feet should be on a foot rest or resting on the floor.
                                            • A slightly reclined chair posture is best to reduce pressure on your spine and minimize lower back pain.

                                            If you work in a company office:
                                            Ask for an adjustable chair. Add pillows for your lower back or bum, if you need it. Many companies will also provide risers for computers to adjust the height of your computer screen (and a separate keyboard to keep your hands and wrists in the ideal position)

                                            If you work from a home office:
                                            Invest in a decent chair or at least use a few pillows to make the chair more comfortable. If the table is too high, add pillows to your chair. If it is too low, consider buying leg risers from your local hardware store and using books beneath your computer to raise the screen. Use a separate keyboard.

                                            Clutter

                                            Your mama was right, it’s important to clean up your room. Clutter may help the creative mind create, but it isn’t necessarily helpful for focus and productivity.

                                            If you work from a company office: While you can’t control the cleanliness of the office at large, do keep your own environment around you clean. Spend 10 minutes every morning or evening making sure things are put away, filed, organized and generally out of sight so you’re not distracted by it later.

                                            If you work from a home office: Because you work from home, the entire house or apartment is potential for distraction. If you can afford it, hire a professional cleaning service to keep your home clean. If not, schedule a specific day and time to clean your home. Commit to doing daily pickup at a specific time. And spend at least 10 minutes every day making sure your office  is organized and tidy.

                                            Room Color

                                            The colors around us all have an effect on our moods and brain function. It evokes both a physical and emotional response. So choosing the right colors for your work space has the ability to affect your productivity. For instance, blue has been said to illicit productivity. Mind you, too much of anything can be overwhelming, even color.

                                            If you work from a company office: Bring in items from home that are a certain color that inspire you and keep you focused. Use postcards, magazine cutouts, even just blocks of color will do.

                                            If you work from a home office: If you work from home, you have much more control over the colors around you. Consider repainting a wall, adding color to the table you work at, or hanging pictures that are dominated by a specific color.

                                            Room Temperature

                                            Most offices keep their temperatures around 65-68 Fahrenheit but it turns out that this might not be good for productivity. Warmer rooms actually make people more productive.

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                                            If you work from a company office: Most offices are regulated by somebody else, so bring a space heater, sweaters and blankets to your work space.

                                            If you work from a home office: Depending on the season, open the windows or adjust the heat or a/c so that you’re more comfortable and warm. Pile on the sweaters in the winter or add a space heater to your feet.

                                            Room Scents

                                            Like the color of the space you work in, our sense of smell can powerfully affect our mood, mindset and thus our productivity. Consider adding scents to your work space to jar your mind into focus when you start to notice yourself drifting off.

                                            Try using these scents to stay focused:

                                            • Pine – Increases alertness
                                            • Cinnamon – Improves focus
                                            • Lavender – Helps to relax you during a stressful work day
                                            • Peppermint – Lifts your mood
                                            • Citrus (any) – Wakes you up  and lifts your spirits

                                            If you work from a company office: Most people will not appreciate added scents to their work environment so you’ll need to keep it subtle. Keep essential oils in your bag or drawer and when you’re in need of a boost put a few drops on a handkerchief or cotton ball.

                                            If you work from a home office: Use candles, incense or essential oils. You can also simmer herbs and spices in the kitchen to fill your home with a warm scent.

                                            Noise Level

                                            The noise level in a work environment can vary greatly depending on the size of the team you work with, the office design and company culture. But make no mistake, the noise around you affects your ability to stay on task. Not only can it be distracting, it can also raise stress levels making your ability to sustain productivity far more difficult.

                                            If you work from a company office: Bring in noise cancellation headphones and use music services like Spotify or Songza and choose concentration boosting sounds, like white noise.  Find out if your office offers quiet work spaces for times when you need the utmost focus.

                                            If you work from a home office: Sometimes the complete quiet can be as distracting as an office. Use a service like Coffivity to mimic the noise of a coffee shop, which has been said to help with concentration.

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                                            Air Quality

                                            Air quality can drastically affect our ability to focus and think clearly. Get this: OSHA estimates that the total annual cost of poor air quality in office environments costs employers $15 billion “due to worker inefficiency and sick leave.” Yeah, it’s serious business.

                                            If you work from a company office: Talk to them about installing air filters. If there is a way to bring in fresh air through windows or doors, arrange to have them opened for at least a portion of the day. If nothing else, get a personal air filter to have on your desk or nearby.

                                            Also, get a plant (or better yet, have the company buy and use more plants in the office!). Plants are great at filtering the air and providing clean, purified oxygen.

                                            If you work from a home office: Open windows and doors and let in the fresh air. Install an air filter or get a portable air filter to keep near your desk. And, yes, you too should get a plant.

                                            Different Spaces

                                            If you can manage it, give yourself more than one space to work from. Putting yourself in a new space with different qualities and things to look at quite literally shifts your brain and helps you stay focused.

                                            If you work from a company office: Many offices offer a variety of environments to work from: your personal space, lobbies, break out rooms, conference rooms, kitchens and eating areas and, if you’re lucky, they also provide lounge areas. Use all these spaces to vary your routine. Make sure your supervisor knows so they don’t think you’re slacking off and know tat you’re actually getting more done!

                                            If you work from a home office: If you work at a desk, add a comfortable couch or chair to the room. If your space is less flexible or ultra tiny, think about more creative ways to change your work space. Rotate the pictures on your walls every couple of days. Sit on the other side of your desk. Get a lamp and multiple colored bulbs. Or go work at a café, the library or in a park.

                                            Organization of People

                                            Most employers organize employees around job function or in specific divisions. Instead, studies show that people are more creative and productive when they are sitting with colleagues that share the same goal or client. Not only are you able to get answers and generate solutions quicker, but because you’re directly accountable to the people around you, you’re more likely to stay on task and productive.

                                            If you work from a company office: Ask your employer if you can experiment by clustering your group together in a conference room for a day or a week. Get feedback from everybody involved. Show the results. If your company won’t make permanent adjustments, perhaps they’ll allow you to work together a couple times a week when the conference room or lounge area is free.

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                                            If you work from a home office: This is a little bit more difficult because when you work at home you’re not with colleagues. You can recreate a similar space digitally, however. Create a Skype group and have everyone logged in during working hours. You can do morning accountability and check-ins while remaining available for questions, solution-finding and general banter that promotes creativity.

                                            Idea Storage

                                            Ever been working hard when you’re suddenly distracted by a great idea? At first you try to push it away, but then the next thing you know you’re 20 pages deep into an online search on the topic. Ideas should be encouraged and cultivated, but when they come right in the middle of another task it can be incredibly distracting. Instead, create a place to store your ideas that’s easily accessed from your work space.

                                            For both a company and home office: Keep pads of paper around, have a chalk wall, get a white board – when you have a spark of inspiration write it down right away to get it out of your head then return to the task at hand. Then, at the end of the day or when you have free time, collect all the ideas and review them. With a little time and space you can better decide if it’s worth pursuing or better to leave it on the back-burner.

                                            Refreshment

                                            Our brain needs nourishment to keep going, especially when we’re driving hard and staying focused. You can let a rumbling stomach go on for only so long before the brain shuts down. Assuming your different is like wanting your car to keep driving without having to stop and fill it with gas. A novel idea, but not realistic.

                                            If you work from a company office: Pre-make snacks for the day and/or week. Or, bring in prepackaged snacks. Keep in mind that junk food has properties of diminishing returns so if you’re buying your food prepackaged think nuts, fruit, unsweetened yogurts, and hummus and crackers. Likely, your company provides coffee, tea and water so you don’t have to worry about supplying that for yourself.

                                            If you work from a home office: If you work from home, this can be a key distraction. Try to reduce the number of times you walk into the kitchen each day. To do this, keep quick and   easy snacks pre-made or prepackaged ready and near your desk. Keep a water bottle nearby. And consider bringing a kettle into your office and stocking tea and coffee so you’re   not tempted to wander around the house and lose time poking through the pantry.

                                            Bring in Nature

                                            We are biological creatures, first and foremost. So we are deeply affected by our access to (or lack of) the natural world. It’s important for our psychological and physiological functioning, which directly affects our ability to be productive.

                                            If you work from a company office: If you don’t have windows in or near your work space, bring in pictures of the outdoor world. Keep a picture of something natural as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks outdoors at lunch or in between major tasks. Just a few minutes outside in the fresh air and sunshine can boost our mood and shake out the doldrums. Be sure to add a plant to your desk, too!

                                            If you work from a home office: Keep the shades open and, if you can, let in fresh air. If you can’t see anything natural out of your window, keep pictures of the natural world as your screensaver and/or desktop wallpaper. Take walks. Or, just step outside and put your feet on the ground. Put plants in your office – research shows that having live plants in your office makes you more productive, happier and less stressed.

                                            Digital Space

                                            For most people, our primary work is housed within our laptops and our physical environment simply the backdrop to our digital lives. Make sure your computer has software that helps you sculpt the digital environment that best elicits productivity. Use focus apps like this one or this to decrease distractions. Or design your day using intervals with an app like this one to keep you at your peak focus throughout the day.

                                            Featured photo credit: Phil Desforges via unsplash.com

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