The 9 Best Apps to Improve Your Writing

Whether you’re tackling a school assignment or attempting the next Great American Novel, there are some apps that can help you (or your kids) with the creative process.

When it comes to writing, William Faulkner said it best: “Get it down. Take chances. It may be bad, but it’s the only way you can do anything really good.”

With that in mind, whether you’re tackling a school assignment or attempting the next Great American Novel, there are some apps that can help you (or your kids) with the creative process.

1. Pages

What it does: A word processor that allows you to quickly write reports, resumes, and documents. Choose from over 60 Apple-designed templates or create your own. Sync with the cloud and share with others.

Why it’s cool: Advanced writing tools include change tracking, comments, highlights, footnotes, interactive charts, and of course, spellcheck. Makes your writing look good.

Details: Available for iOS 7.0 or later.

Cost: $9.99

2. Advanced English Dictionary and Thesaurus

What it does: Database of English with up to 140,000 entries and more than 1.4 million words developed by the Cognitive Science Laboratory at Princeton University.

Why it’s cool: AppCrawlr calls this app lightning fast with an intuitive user-interface. Fuzzy search technology lets you look for words when you’re not sure of the spelling. High-quality audio pronunciation will help you avoid embarrassing mistakes.

Details: Available for Android, Windows phone, and iOS 4.3 or later.

Cost: $2.99

3. The Right Word

What it does: If you often use the wrong words (for example: “you’re” instead of “your”), this app will help you learn how and when to use them properly.

Why it’s cool: The app uses four games to teach proper diction (Picker, Definer, Spotter, and Slider) with two game modes: WordFlow and Mad Dash. It’s a fun way to practice correct English usage in a game setting.

Details: Available for iOS 7.0 or later.

Cost: $1.99

4. Lists for Writers

What it does: Provides lists of prompts and ideas to get you started on your writing assignments or even a novel.

Why it’s cool: The lists range the gamut and prompts include clothing, occupations, obsessions, conflicts, and even rhyming words. A notepad feature means you can save interesting lists, edit them, and email or print out your notes.

Details: Available for Android, Windows phone, and iOS 4.3 or later.

Cost: $1.99

5. Essay Czar

What it does: An ebook app that explains over 40 types of essays (including book report, business cover letter, college admission) in detail.

Why it’s cool: The instructions look clear and easy to follow, with step-by-step writing instructions for each example.

Details: Available for Android, Windows phone, iOS 3.1.3 or later.

Cost: $18.99

6. Phraseology – Text Editor with Writing Tools

What it does: A writing app with tools to help you improve.

Why it’s cool: The app’s simple writing environment will enable you to focus. It will identify problematic areas in your text, and even point out overused words.

Details: Available for Android, Windows phone, and iOS 7.0 or later.

Cost: $2.99

7. Write About This

What it does: A database of writing prompts for elementary age students with 125 categorized images and 375 text and voice prompts.

Why it’s cool: One review says the pictures are engaging and show diversity. Another says this app works for a wide range of ages and abilities. There’s easy digital publishing and sharing, and your own photos and ideas can be used to create custom prompts.

Details: Available for iOS 6.0 or later.

Cost: $3.99

8. SentenceBuilder

What it does: Helps elementary-aged children learn how to build grammatically correct sentences with a focus on connector words.

Why it’s cool: It uses interactive features such as three levels of play, encouragement animations and audio clips, and statistics to track progress. There’s even two “teenager modules” available.

Details: Available for iOS 5.1 or later.

Cost: $5.99

9. StoryBuilder

What it does: Helps children create narratives. They’ll work on improving paragraphs and integrating ideas.

Why it’s cool: A record feature allows students to record narratives in their own voices. These recorded stories can then be emailed. Could benefit adults too.

Details: Available for iOS 4.1 or later.

Cost: $5.99

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