Academic Writing Tools and Research Software – A Comprehensive Guide

Overview | Writing Software Reference Management Software | Research Tools | Grammar Checking Tools

In this blog, we review academic writing tools and software that students, academics, researchers and PhD students can benefit from.  We have categorised the tools into four broad areas: writing tools, referencing tools, research tools and grammar checking tools.  The motivation behind this blog is to provide readers with a snapshot of popular tools in each category.

1. Writing Tools and Software

Whether you are writing an article, research paper, essay, blog, and dissertation or PhD thesis, it is important to choose an appropriate writing software tool for your work. The choice of writing software comes down to your personal taste. Everyday users are happy to shed a few dollars to purchase a well-known writing tool such as MS Word. Tech savvies welcome open source projects such as OpenOffice and LibreOffice. Whereas, the research community is much more adventurous and has embraced the type-setting system, Latex as their writing medium. Blog writers and journalists use online writing tools such as GoogleDocs and DropBox Paper as they find these tools perfect for collaborating with others. Novel writers use more fancy writing tools such as Scrivener to organize their ideas and create a storyboard to help them write.  In this blog, we review some of the common writing tools and software used by writers.

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2. Referencing Tools and Reference Management Software

Referencing tools are handy to organize and format references so that you can easily incorporate them in your essays, research papers, dissertations and PhD thesis. There are many terms used for such tools such as referencing software, referencing tool, reference management software, citation software, citation app, paper software, citation manager, research paper management tool, bibliography software, literature review software, literature management software and research paper organizer.  These all refer to a piece of software or an online tool that allows you to store and format references. It is very important that you choose a right tool for your research and stick to it. We have reviewed some of the popular referencing tools used in the scientific community below from an academic writing perspective.

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3. Research Tools and Software

If you are conducting research, it is very important that you have appropriate methods and tools to carry out your research. If you are a non-native English speaker, then you need a research tool to help you with your written language. If your research involves data analysis, then you need a good statistical research tool for your work.  It is also important that you keep tabs on what other people in your research arena are doing, so you need research tools such as Google Scholar and ResearchGate to collaborate with your peers. You also need a good plagiarism checking software to avoid academic misconduct. Finally, you need a research project management software to stay on top of the deadlines. In this blog, we review some of the useful tools for research that researchers can use to be more productive.

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4. Grammar Checkers and Sentence Correction Tools

When you are writing your paper or essay, it is very important to ensure that your document does not contain typos, grammatical errors, and bad sentence structure. Your work will be badly judged if English is bad despite the good content. For non-native English speakers, it presents a particular challenge because of the difficulties in mastering English, vocabulary, grammar, and usage. A brief review of grammar checking software, grammar correction apps, online grammar checking sites, punctuation checker, sentence structure and construction checkers are given in this blog.

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