Writing with Technology
- Free Online Writing Tools
- Writing with MS Word
- Writing with MS PowerPoint
- Writing with Apps
Learn to use technology to help you write more efficiently and effectively! In this section, you'll find a wealth of resources for using common software, as well as various free online tools, to help you with your writing.
National Writing Project: Technology Initiative "The NWP Technology Initiative (TI) provides opportunities for writing project sites to better understand the impact of new digital tools and information/communication technology on the teaching of writing and literacy learning."
Voice of the Shuttle: Technology of Writing (U of California, Santa Barbara - Alan Liu) The mission of Voice of the Shuttle is "to provide a structured and briefly annotated guide to online resources that at once respects the established humanities disciplines in their professional organization and points toward the transformation of those disciplines as they interact with the sciences and social sciences and with new digital media."
Online mapping tool (requires free account creation)
Free online word processing. "Create and share documents on the web and access them from any computer or smart phone. The familiar desktop feel makes collaborative editing easy."
Brainstorming/warmup tool that creates "wordclouds"
Adding Headers and Footers in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft Word Support) Explains how to insert and edit content in headers and footers.
Creating Specific Documents in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft Word Support) Discusses the differences between Word and Publisher, how to scan/edit/set up a Word document, how to blog using Word, and how to use AutoSummarize.
Designing Documents with a Word Processor (Re:Writing from Bedford/St. Martin's) "This tutorial presents a brief overview of how to achieve interesting, effective designs for your pages using the basic features of your word processor. Specifically, it introduces you to important design principles to consider as you design a document and helps you analyze the design of sample documents."
Formatting a Document in MS Word 2007 (Microsoft Word Support) Covers a wide range of topics related to formatting, from using themes, fonts, and toolbars to working with hyperlinks.
How to Create an MLA Outline in Word 2007(eHow) "The outline-creating function can be confusing to navigate, but by following these steps, you'll have an MLA outline in no time."
Inserting Page Breaks and Section Breaks in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft Word Support) Information on adding and deleting section and page breaks.
Inserting Page Numbers in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft Word Support) A guide for adding and formatting page numbers.
MLA Essay Format in MS Word 2007 (Suite101.com) A guide for using Word to format an essay in MLA style.
MLA Format in Word 2007 (Posted by D Brewington)
Posted on YouTube | length: 3:33 " This is a short how-to video on the basics of page layout in MLA format using Word 2007; this video does not contain info on citations or works-cited pages."
Setting Your Essay to MLA Format in Word 2007 and 2010 (smartpoints)
Posted on YouTube | length: 5:46 This video covers "how to set your essay to MLA format as well as how to set MLA to the default word format so that you will not have to set your documents to MLA again."
Templates from MS Office (Microsoft Office) Directions on how to use the story manuscript and term paper templates in Word.
Tips for Writing in MS Word 2007 (Microsoft Word Support) Information on composing in Word, from inserting/removing hyphens to using automatic formatting and special characters.
Tracking Changes & Comments in MS Word 2007 (Microsoft Word Support) Guides for using Track Changes and Comments to revise and/or provide feedback on writing.
WRITING WITH MS POWERPOINT
Also see: Considering Rhetoric in Your Writing & Design for more information on creating effective visuals in your PowerPoint presentation.
The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint: Pitching Out Corrupts Within (Edward Tufte)
Design expert Edward Tufte argues that presentation graphics are often used in presentations and reports at the expense of well researched and documented content.
Creating Effective PowerPoint Presentations (Elke Kleisch, Kaplan University Writing Center) (PDF) This PDF contains slides from a Kaplan workshop that discusses effective PowerPoints, with a focus on visual appeal, audience, content, and organization. PowerPoint tools and presentation tips are also covered briefly.
Designing an Effective PowerPoint Presentation (Purdue OWL)
"This is a PowerPoint providing an overview on how to design effective PowerPoint presentations."
Don McMillan: Life After Death by PowerPoint (Don McMillan)
Posted on YouTube: September 14, 2008 | length 4:25
A humorous video of Don McMillan speaking about what not to do in a PowerPoint presentation.
How to Avoid "Death by PowerPoint": Solving the Five Most Common Problems With PowerPoint Presentations (Dave Paradi, MBA, co-author of "Guide to PowerPoint")
Article on some of the common mistakes presenters make when using PowerPoint for visuals.
WRITING WITH APPS
8 iPad Apps for Brilliant Writing (Shane Ketterman, Copyblogger Media) Ketterman describes how you can “use the iPad to get your writing mojo back” with eight apps “that make it incredible easy to write on the go.”
10 Awesome iPad Writing Apps (Med Kharbach, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning) Here you’ll find the names of 10 iPad apps you can use for writing along with links to access them in iTunes.
12 Best iPad Writing Apps and Other Tools (Warner Crocker, Gotta Be Mobile) Crocker offers an overview of some of the best tools for typing, researching, drafting, and presenting with a small device.
Apps for Research & Writing (MCLA, Freel Library) “This guide will cover apps that I find useful for research, ebook reading, document storage and annotation, and organizing references and notes. Below are general apps for iPhones/iPads and Android devices recommended for students.”
Apps for Writing, Note-Taking, Citing, and Mind Mapping (MCLA, Freel Library) As the title suggests, this page contains the names and descriptions of apps that can assist you in writing, taking notes, citing sources, and creating visual representations of your ideas.
Best Writing Apps for Android Tablets (Jason Boog, Media Bistro) Here are five Android Apps that allow you to write, organize, view, and edit your documents.
Creative Writing (iTunes) “Want to be a writer? Or just love writing for fun? This app will help you develop your creative writing skills and unlock your natural creativity.” Here’s how it works: “Each day you get presented with a set of writing exercises designed by international poet and workshop leader Emmanuel Williams. You can either follow these exercises or choose from a complete list of exercises. As you follow an exercise anything you write is saved so you can easily find it later. If you like what you've written you can email it to yourself or paste it into another app such as a word processor.”
Docs To Go – Free Office Suite (Google Play) “Docs To Go 4.0 contains best-in-class document viewing & editing at no charge. Options for connecting to multiple cloud storage accounts, desktop file sync, and opening password-protected files are available via in-app purchase.”
Documents 5 by Readdle (iTunes) “Documents is the most capable application on your iOS device. It replaces a document viewer, pdf reader, download manager, music player, "read it later" and bunch of other applications as the one elegant app.”
Documents Free (Mobile Office Suite) (iTunes) “iPhone's and iPad's light weight mobile office suite. This essential application allows you to edit and manage spreadsheet & rich text files on your iPhone. Works both online and offline. You can also synchronize files to your Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, and SkyDrive accounts and open files on your PC or Mac.”
EasyBib, for iPad (iTunes) “Just like our iPhone app, you can create accurate MLA, APA, and Chicago style citations in seconds by scanning a book bar code or by typing the name of a book. Build and manage your works cited list on the larger screen of the iPad. Once done, email your citations and then export your citations to EasyBib.com's popular bibliography management service.”
Grammar Girl App (iTunes) “Grammar Girl provides short, friendly tips to improve your writing. Covering the grammar rules and word choice guidelines that can confound even the best writers, Grammar Girl makes complex grammar questions simple with memory tricks to help you recall and apply those troublesome grammar rules. Whether English is your first language or second language, Grammar Girl’s punctuation, style, and business tips will make you a better and more successful writer.” (Description from the Grammar Girl website)
iA Writer (Information Architects, Inc.) “Crowned by Apple as one of the Best iPad Apps of 2012, and one of the Mac Apps of the Year in 2011, iA Writer is the number one focused writing app in the App Store. With over 700,000 copies sold, Writer has helped students, journalists, and bestselling authors to find more pleasure in working with text. As soon as you type the title bar disappears and all you see is the clean typing sheet, distraction-free, ready for your ideas to take shape. With innovative features like Focus Mode and the famous keyboard bar for iPad and iPhone, built on exceptional typography, iA Writer lets you keep your hands on the keyboard and your mind in the text.” Purchase it here.
Index Card (iTunes) “Index Card is a corkboard writing app that makes it easy to capture, organize, and compile your ideas. Whether you are an author, screenwriter, or academic researcher, Index Card can help you become a more efficient, organized writer.”
Prompts – For Writers (iTunes) “Get more than 1,000 starting lines and creative writing prompts to inspire you and give you ideas and improve your writing.”
Quick Cite (iTunes) “Snap a picture of a book’s barcode and send a citation for the book to your email. Choose from APA, MLA, Chicago, or IEEE styles.”
The Top 9 Mindmapping and Brainstorming Apps for iPad (Med Kharbach, Educational Technology and Mobile Learning) These mindmapping and brainstorming apps can help writers as they brainstorm and prewrite.
Write (Google Play) “Write is a word processor for handwriting. In addition to all the usual features of a vector drawing application, it provides a unique set of tools for editing and navigating handwritten documents. Write is perfect for note-taking, brainstorming, and drawing. Write is available for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux.”
Writing Prompts (Google Play) “Writing.Com presents "Writing Prompts", the Android app with an endless supply of creative inspiration! Our prompt generators use scene elements, words, sketches, colors, genres and writing types, unleashing endless random bits of fantasy to fuel your muse. Plus, we've included our database of 600 creative writing prompts so you've got them right at your finger tips, online or off!”