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Online resources students can use to improve their essay-writing

Trinity College Foundation Studies

Tue Dec 22 2015


WRITING essays can be one of the most challenging tasks for students, but there are online tools available to make the task much easier. Trinity College Foundation Studies students Eve Zhang, Yiran Sun and George Jiang have compiled the best online resources you can use to write stronger and sharper essays. 


For many students, essay writing can be one of the most stressful aspects of their studies. It’s even trickier when English isn’t your first language. Such is the case for most international students, who have to write in a language that isn’t native to them.

Using the correct tense, referencing properly, making sure their teachers can understand the point they’re trying to make… These experiences and more can lead to pure frustration for students.

However, help is available: There are a range of online tools that international students can use to improve their essay writing skills.

To assist students with future essays, we’ve compiled a list of online resources for you to fall back on when you need to make your essays look the best they can be.

For stronger sentences…

Hemingway Editor

Students afraid of overwriting and overdescribing should look to the Hemingway Editor. This helpful online tool helps you identify sentences that are hard to read, sentences written in the passive tense, words or sentences that can be replaced or better written and more!

The Hemingway Editor can give an overall rating to your essay based on readbility. The lower your score, the better it is to understand for the reader.


If you like your information displayed in a visual mind-map, consider using Visuwords – a type of online thesaurus which graphically maps out the many variations and relationships one word can have through word chains.

Those looking to find new ways of communicating information can use this intelligently designed online tool as a means of understanding the many uses one word can have.

Labs | Foxtype

Labs | Foxtype allows you to identify the most formal and informal way of writing sentences. Simply copy and paste your sentences and the tool will let you know how “polite” you sound.

This tool is also extra useful for students who need to send emails to their teachers, in case they’re afraid to come across as too direct.

For a wider range of academic resources…

Google Scholar

Everyone’s favourite search engine, Google, also comes in an academic variation.

Google Scholar works the same as the regular search engine you know and love, except it specifically filters your search to find articles and books that students can reference in their essays.


Developed by Bielefeld University’s library in Germany, the Bielefeld Academic Search Engine (BASE) is one of the largest search engines to house a huge collection of academic resources.

Providing more than 80 million documents from more than 3,000 sources, full texts can be accessed from many of its intelligently curated selection of academic resources.

For better grammar…


One of the best resources to check your grammar is Grammarly – the service is free and is accurate in its assessment. Grammarly can correct mistakes in grammar, structure, spelling, punctuation and form. It can also identify uses of the passive voice, any informal words and signs of potential plagiarism.

This story was produced by Media and Communication students at Trinity College Foundation Studies as part of Meld’s community newsroom collaboration. Education institutions, student clubs/societies and community groups interested in being involved can get in touch with us via