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.
WRITING WITH FREE ONLINE TOOLS
Online mind mapping tool (requires free account creation).
Free online word processing. Create and share documents on the web and access them from any computer or smartphone. The familiar desktop feel makes collaborative editing easy.
WRITING WITH MS WORD
Adding Headers and Footers in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft Support)
Explains how to insert and edit content in headers and footers.
Creating Specific Documents in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft 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.
Inserting Page Breaks and Section Breaks in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft Support)
Information on adding and deleting section and page breaks.
Inserting Page Numbers in MS Word 2010 (Microsoft Support)
A guide for adding and formatting page numbers.
MLA Format in Word 2007 (Posted by DB Brewington) (Video)
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.”
Set Up MLA Style Outlines in MS Word (Lake-Sumter State College Libraries)
Posted on Youtube | length: 2:52
“Use the instructions in this tutorial to format correct MLA style outlines in Microsoft Word.”
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)
Directions on how to use the story manuscript and term paper templates in Word.
Tracking Changes and Comments in MS Word 2007 (Microsoft 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 and 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.
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) (Video)
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.
The Top Ten Things You Can Do To Improve Your Next PowerPoint Presentation (Dave Paradi, Think Outside the Slide)
Article on some of the common mistakes presenters make when using PowerPoint for visuals.
Tips for Making Effective Powerpoint Presentations (National Conference of State Legislatures)
“Slideshows are quick to produce, easy to update and effective to inject visual interest into the presentation. However, slideshows can also spell disaster even for experienced presenters. The key to success is to make certain your slideshow is a visual aid and not a visual distraction.”
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 incredibly 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 and 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, Adweek)
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 and 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 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 a bunch of other applications as the one elegant app.”
Documents (Office Docs) (Mobile Office Suite) (iTunes)
“iPhone and iPad’s lightweight mobile office suite. This essential application allows you to edit and manage spreadsheet AND 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 (EasyBib) “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.”
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.”
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.”
LearnEnglish Grammar (iTunes)
LearnEnglish Grammar (US edition) is a top interactive grammar practice app designed to help improve English grammar accuracy. The app offers 1000s of questions to help practice and reinforce your English grammar skills.
Prompts For Writing (iTunes)
“Get more than 1,000 starting lines and creative writing prompts to inspire you and give you ideas and improve your writing.”
Write and Cite (Google Play)
“The Write and Cite App is a reliable and easy to use writing, research, and citation reference tool that will help you with all your writing needs including essays, research papers, reports, resumes and more.”
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 fingertips, online or off!”