Monday, February 17, 2014

Improving Your Writing

If you write English language content intended for someone else to read (blogs, web articles, reports, novels, etc.), then there are some very useful and free, online tools available…

Hemingway - A free, online application that helps make your writing bold and clear by:
  • highlighting long, complex sentences and common errors 
  • highlighting adverbs - pick verbs with force instead
  • showing you where a shorter word will do
  • Highlighting phrases in the passive voice
Expresso - A little tool to edit texts and improve your writing style. It will teach you to express yourself through writing more efficiently and help make your texts more readable, precise, and engaging. - An online app that can check text or URLs for readability, based on the Flesch-Kincaid tests. Also shows text stats and readbility scores based on the Gunning-Fog Index, Coleman-Liau Index, SMOG Index and the Automated Readability Index (ARI). A premium account will let you do batch runs and upload documents for checking.

WordsCount - A free, online readability checker that handles up about 15,000 words and uses the CLEAR method as well as the SMOG, Gunning-Fog and ARI tests.

Slick Write - a free online tool that checks your writing for potential stylistic mistakes and other features of interest. It also has extensions for LibreOffice, Open Office, Chrome, Firefox and WordPress.

The Readability Test Tool - An online app that can check text or URLs against the Flesch-Kincaid, Gunning-Fog, Coleman-Liau and ARI tests.

Some other useful resources are:
NB: Microsoft Office now has built-in readability statistics for Flesch Reading Ease and Flesch-Kincaid Grade Level but these have to be enabled in the Proofing preferences.