For probably most students it is that time of the year: exam period! Whether you have to prep for a written (Q&A) exam, an oral exam or do research for a paper it is time to buckle down. After almost eight years of studying, and for most courses I had to write at least one paper, I guess you can say I developed my own ‘playbook’. My playbook includes some handy tools, to make my paper writing process a little easier and more efficient. In this week’s blog post I will share a couple of my go to online tools.
Titles may not be the core of a paper, but they are still important. They can add another dimension to the whole text. Titles give your text structure and often it is a tool to grab the reader’s attention. The way you present the title, this is also part of your layout, is also something you should keep in mind. Some professors care more than others, but regardless of your prof’s opinion, presenting your titles in the appropriate style really cleans your text up. The thing is every field, at least in the English language, has its own style. It is not like there are a lot of rules to keep in mind when it comes to writing your titles in the appropriate way, however, I find this tool to be helpful and efficient.
Every student knows that citing your sources, in the text as well as in a bibliography, is a crucial part of any (research) paper. Whether your source is hardcopy or online material, this tool does all the work for you. You can select the right style (Harvard, APA, etc.), look for your sources and select the right ones. If the information the tool comes up with is not complete you can add the missing information it in the right boxes. This tool spits out your citations, both the in-text ones and the long versions for your bibliography, in alphabetical order, of course.
I think it is fair to say that most people, students, use Microsoft Word to write their papers. Regardless of the program, you are using, chances are there is a built in spell checker you can use to eliminate most spelling and grammatical mistakes. However, I find Grammarly to be more effective when it comes to checking my texts for mistakes. And I’m currently just using the basic and free version. The paid version offers even more in terms of service.
Plagiarism is a huge NO NO, in every school and academic field. If you write your text on your own and without ill intentions, there usually is not much you have to worry about, however, it can’t hurt to make sure your text is not (too) similar to another text out there. I find this particular checker very easy to use.