5 online platforms to help students with essay writing

Online essay tools can help students write better essays
International students can use essay writing tools as guide to improve their academic writing abilities. Source: Patrick Smith/AFP

When a student enrols in college or university, an essential aspect of their student experience is marked by their involvement in essay writing for academic purposes.

For many international students who further their education in an English-speaking university, essay writing may be challenging as they are required to adapt to a new curriculum and write content using the right grammar, vocabulary and context in a language they haven’t quite mastered yet.

Luckily, there are a number of essay writing tools that are accessible for free or for a small fee online. These online resources are a haven for students to refer to when brushing up on their comprehension, grammar and vocabulary.

Do note that essay writing tools are not the same as essay writing services.

It is unethical to enlist the help of an online provider to write the assignment on behalf of the student as it defeats the purpose of the journey and learning processes taken to complete the assignment. Students are meant to spend time researching, checking resources and consulting their lecturers for feedback to come up with a high-quality assignment.

Online essay writing tools are meant to guide and facilitate students with their learning process. With that being said, here are five platforms to help students with their essay writing.

Platforms to help students with essay writing



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Students who struggle with grammar and spelling will find Grammarly ideal. Grammarly is the go-to online platform to ensure content does not contain many errors, including grammatical, spelling and punctuation errors.

Besides being an excellent proofreading platform, Grammarly offers suggestions to improve the clarity of their content to make it more easily understood to their audience. Synonym suggestions help readers to apply different words to their sentence to make it more readable and precise. 

Additionally, Grammarly provides a plagiarism checking service to ensure that their content is unique. 

Grammarly is mostly free, however, additional features can be accessed by paying a premium which can go up to 30 US dollars a month.

Hemingway Editor

The Hemingway Editor App helps students to make their writing bold and clear. Whether they are a beginner or a professional writer, this word processor helps writers to create simple, concise and engaging content. Amendments to sentences created by the writer is colour coded.

Hemingway Editor can be accessed for free online. However, the desktop version on Mac and PC costs a one-time payment of US$19.99.

A Research Guide

Essay writing made better with A Research Guide

A Research Guide provides students with essential guidelines on how hone their academic writing skills. Source: A Research Guide

If students are looking for a one-stop centre to learn all things related to writing a research paper for academic purposes, A Research Guide is an information haven for students to refer to.

From learning how to get started with a research paper, including content that fulfils the requirements of the assignment brief all the way to coming up with a strong conclusion, A Research Guide gives you the tools to guide you in writing your research paper every step of the way.

Among the writing guides provided by the platform include how to use search engines, using the correct format and quote passages and how to write a bibliography. Samples of essays in different categories are also available to give students an idea of what a well written essay looks like.

A Research Guide is free and can be accessed here.


Students who struggle to find content that have been cited or provided in an academic context may flock to JSTOR, which is an online archive containing lots of different academic journals and books.

Navigating the JSTOR archive is straightforward, as students can search a database of journals, books, research reports, pamphlets and other learning resources by simply keying in the author, subject (keyword) or title.

JSTOR may require a fee to access most of its contents. However, students can still access public domain resources on JSTOR for free, with an additional six articles per month that are free to access.

Should this not be possible, students may pay for a JPASS which costs U$19.50 a month. However, it is possible for students to login to JSTOR and access materials for free using their university credentials as most universities have a paid subscription to it.

Small SEO Tools 


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Occasionally, students may feel overwhelmed by the need to rephrase or formulate a sentence using their own words, resorting to copying word-for-word what the original author or site mentions in their article.

This is a cardinal sin as plagiarism is frowned upon and may have dire consequences. This includes failing the course to getting expelled.

Plagiarism checkers such as Small SEO Tools helps students to avoid making this mistake. Small SEO tools is free if the content checked is under 1,000 words. More words can be checked for a higher fee.