Academic writing might be a challenge because you must spend much time for research, reading, reviewing papers and organizing citations. If you start writing an academic paper and don’t determine what software to use, start with the simplest and widely spread. Last week we wrote about some apps and tools which can help you in academic writing (see our post “Apps and tools which help in academic writing”) and today we have prepared for you a list with software tools which can help you to deal with your task. So, let`s start:
Google Docs, Google Sheets and Slides
Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS
Google Docs is a powerful tool which main advantage is creating and editing files in cloud. You can work with your paper both on PC and on the phone. It is easy to use, easy to share and has more chances to survive if something crashes. You can organize information by blocks and make complex, large documents easier to navigate. Some Excel features also exist in Google Sheets.
Cost: $69.99-149.99 (for home)
These software tools are the most widely used when you have deal with writing and different tables. As most of us are familiar with the Word processor, it would be no problem to use it. One more pros of Word is its prevalence: Microsoft Windows is still the most dominant operating system, you will meet it more often than other processors. Microsoft Excel will help you to deal with the things that Word cannot do. Here you can create and calculate various tables, graphics, etc. The disadvantage of Microsoft Word/Excel is the synchronization: if you open it in another device, you need to use different cloud/device.
Windows, Mac OS X, Linux/Unix
LaTeX (pronounced “Lah-tech”) is not a Word processor, but it is very popular as a tool for academic writing. It is most often used for medium-to-large technical or scientific documents but it can be used for almost any form of publishing. It allows to integrate complex formulas and to focus on the content and not on its design. Because of using series of code instead of simple writing the text, it might be more suitable for those, who work with mathematics, statistics, computer science, engineering, chemistry, physics, economics, etc. Also, it supports non-Latin scripts, such as Arabic, Sanskrit and Chinese, this can be very useful for linguistics. There will be a PDF file in output, so it would be easy to read it in another place. In addition, a user is supposed to use a LaTeX Editor to type documents. There are various of Editors either free or commercial with different features. As Microsoft Word it cannot sync across the devices.
Mac OS X, Windows, iOS
Cost: $38-45 (free 30-day trial)
Scrivener is a useful tool for writing. It is developed for working with long and complex documents and related files. The main feature of Scrivener is the Corkboard. You can save fragmented ideas separately and use them at any moment. Furthermore, you can keep PDF files and web pages there. Scrivener works on both Max and Windows, and on iOS. The disadvantage of Scrivener is a rather complex software. You will need some time to explore the program.
Cost: $37 (free 15-day trial)
Ref-n-Write is a Microsoft Word Add-in which can help non-native English speakers to complete their papers. It will search and modify the text to appropriate writing style and tone, show statements and sentence templates with similar meaning from previous papers.
Mac OS X, Windows, Linux, Android, iOS
Evernote is a cross-platform app which is designed for note taking, organizing, task lists and archiving. It is a good place for keeping all your files. You can save necessary web-pages as articles. It is even possible to set a reminder in the app.
Mac OS X, Windows
Cost: $99.95-219.95 (free 30-day trial)
EndNote is a tool for managing references. It stores, manages and searches references, builds a list of references at the end and imports references from other databases into the EndNote library. It can sync your references between up to three of your personal computers. It is powerful, when you must work with a big amount of information.