College Writing Toolbox for A+ Marks

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Today’s guest post is by Kenneth Waldman. He is a passionate Freelance Writer and also an Editorial Assistant at The areas of his interest include the latest education trends and technologies, social media, self-improvement.


One of the most challenging tasks art and design majors will have to complete is putting together their art portfolio for college. Getting accepted into an art or design college hinges on the quality of their art portfolio, which is why it’s perfectly understandable that students will focus all of their efforts into creating the best one possible, thus maximizing their chances of getting accepted.


However, while you should do that, you shouldn’t make the same mistake everybody else does and concentrate all your efforts into crafting your art portfolio. Why? Because the quality of your writing will also play a crucial role and will count toward your overall score, even if you are trying to get into an arts program. Moreover, you will be requires to write essays, as well, which is always an intimidating prospect, especially if you are an arts student.


While you may be worried that your writing skills aren’t on the same level as your artistic and design skills, you shouldn’t worry because, not only are you not alone in this, but there is a whole variety of tools and techniques you can use to improve your writing. The following list contains helpful tools and resources for art and design student looking to improve their writing chops and excel in courses which are more focused on their writing skills.


Ideas & Research


Evernote – allows the student to develop story ideas, collect web pages, take notes, comments, save images, and organize all of that in one place. Content may be shared among groups. Keeps tasks organized and up to date for presentations. An additional advantage of this app is that you can access it from any platform you deem fit, including your laptop, desktop, tablet, or smartphone.


Hubspot – a free content idea generator. Choose your topic and place three keywords most associated with the topic into the search box. This tool generates ideas for storylines, headlines, characters and other helpful hints that will help you get your story off the ground.

Mindnode – uses mind mapping techniques to help student generate ideas. It allows you to write ideas freely without having to worry about formatting. It shifts the focus toward the content, which saves time and enables your creative capacities to take center stage.

Organization & Productivity


Mendeley – organizes student keywords searches and places subsets of information into the database. Peers may share content and reference materials with each other, because Mendeley function as an academic network. The price for the software is $99-249.00 depending on the amount of searches conducted.


Penultimate – a free app available for iPad only. Students can benefit from its association with Evernote. It captures hand-written notes and stores them in an easily readable format.


Producteev – creates papers, organizes documents, tracks individual progress and ranks tasks according to priority and deadlines. Students can use this free app to track progress on a group project/paper.


Editing & Writing


Hemingway – a free text editor. All you have to do is copy and paste the words into the app, and the editor will highlight problem areas such as sentence structure, sentence clarification, overuse of words and adverbs. Overall, it makes your writing more concise, dense, and free of any excess words.


Scrivener – this app is available on Mac only and costs $49.95. It uses keywords to organize topics and reference material. Writers can create drafts and save papers. The app is also a favorite among professional writers which use it to create longer literary forms, such as novels, books, and screenplays.


Self Control – a free anti-distraction tool. It allows students to pick and choose certain websites to block or allow during the writing process. This increases their productivity and prevents them from giving into the urge of surfing distracting content.


Proofreading & Plagiarism


Plagiarism.Org – this website is a resource any student can benefit from. It contains a wealth of information including how to properly site references, avoid plagiarizing someone else’s work, examples of bibliographies and proper referencing, and offers numerous videos and educational resources. For $7.95, students can submit their papers to be checked for plagiarism by professional editors.


Essaymama – this reputable writing service is made up of professional writers and editors who can help college students with any writing assignment, every step of the way. Use their one-on-one service to obtain proofreading help, structure advice and more. They even offer access to a free writing guide and a students blog where you can find plenty of inspiration and advice for your future writing tasks.


Help.Plagtracker – of course, it is a well-known fact that plagiarism is a serious academic offense. It’s unethical and you risk being expelled and therefore ruining your college career and professional reputation. It’s simply not worth it. Double check your writing with Plagtracker’s unique checking algorithm and make sure your work is always 100% original.


References & Citation


Ref Works – this free tool generates and stores all your references and bibliography materials.


Son of Citation – this tool automatically creates a bibliography using a format that was required by your professor. For an additional fee, the app can check your paper for plagiarism. Cost ranges from $10-30 per month.



Maybe you need help with proper citation, or perhaps your spelling skills are lacking. No matter where you struggle during the writing process, there’s a resource available which you can rely on. First assess your own strengths and weaknesses, and then check out the tools listed above as a starting point.


Find what works best for your specific needs and stick with it. Remember to stay motivated and consistent, and never be afraid to seek out assistance you need. You can always improve your writing skills and add some tools and skills to your trusted toolbox.



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