20 FREE Apps for English Teachers to Support the Writing Process

There are hundreds of great Apps out there that support the writing process.  This list contains 20 FREE Apps that you can use with your students throughout the writing process, ranging from research support, to editing/ revising, to citing evidence, and to increasing productivity.  Note that I have not included any Apps for note taking or collaboration.  I will include those in a separate list.  While there are other Apps out there that may be better than these, I narrowed the focus to FREE Apps that teachers would be able to use with their students without needing to procure any funding.

So… here’s the list!  20 FREE Apps That Support the Writing Process!


Dragon Dictation

Features & Benefits:  

  • Writes what you dictate
  • Fairly accurate
  • Movement (walking and talking while speaking) can tap the whole brain by activating both hemispheres of the brain.
  • Can dictate ideas for writing anywhere at anytime

Uses for English Class:

  • Helps reluctant writers breakthrough writer’s block & develop fluency
  • Excellent tool for differentiation

Features & Benefits:  

  • Has a paid-for desktop app, but you can use the website for free
  • Edits text for confusing sentences and phrases, adverbs, and passive voice
  • Highlights problem areas for you to edit but won’t actually fix them
  • Enables students to hone their writing skills by editing trouble spots in their writing

Uses for English Class:

  • Excellent for editing/ revising writing throughout the writing process

Features & Benefits:

  • Similar to Hemingway
  • Labels & highlights potential issues with writing
  • Analyzes your style so that you can make changes as needed
  • Points out weak words in your writing

Uses for English Class:

  • Excellent for editing/ revising writing throughout the writing process

LibreOffice Writer

Features & Benefits:

  • A free, open source alternative to Microsoft Word
  • Has many Microsoft Word features at no cost
  • One of the most useful features is the template center

Uses for English Class:

  • Excellent resource for students who do not have Microsoft Word

Mindly

Features & Benefits:

  • Simple brainstorming App
  • Creates bubble maps of ideas
  • Allows you to take notes, add images, and export to other formats as needed

Uses for English Class:

  • Great tool for mapping out ideas for writing and/or speeches & presentations

Features & Benefits:

  • Free mind-mapping App
  • Creates beautiful and useful maps of your writing
  • Excellent for all types of writing

Uses for English Class:

  • Great tool for mapping out & outlining ideas for writing and/or speeches & presentations

Essay Checklist

Features & Benefits:

  • Provides an editing and revision checklist for essay writing
  • Does not give any lessons or instructions

Uses for English Class:

  • Useful for reinforcing writing lessons
  • Useful guide for editing and revision

Research Organizer

Features & Benefits:

  • Let’s you create notecards with topic sentences, notes, images, videos, citations, & explanations
  • You can color-code cards and drag/drop them to organize your research
  • The app will also create an outline & essay draft once the cards are put into place!!

Uses for English Class:

  • reat resource for the research process!

Features & Benefits:

  • A place to keep your research & network/ collaborate with other researchers in your field
  • Allows you to highlight & annotate sources online & offline
  • Generates citations for your resources
  • Tracks the impact of your work– who’s reading it

Uses for English Class:

  • Great resource for the research process!
  • Gives research a purpose and place to be published
  • Students can track the impact of the research they’re doing

RefMe

Features & Benefits:

  • Automates the citation process for all citation styles
  • Quickest way to cite sources and create a Works Cited or Bibliography
  • You can even scan barcodes of books to create quick citations!
  • Easily integrated with Word & Evernote etc.

Uses for English Class:

  • Great resource for the research process!
  • Helps students generate citations quickly, easily, and accurately
  • Helps students organize their sources and create citation pages

Do these icons ever distract you while you are trying to write?

Do these icons ever distract you while you are trying to write?

Features & Benefits:

  • Today’s technology can be a huge distraction and prevent us from writing, so Self Control puts your Internet on lockdown for a period of time, so you cannot click around on Facebook and get distracted.
  • Locks down the Internet and social media for a period of time to increase writing productivity

Uses for English Class:

  • Excellent tool for distracted students

Write or DIE

Features & Benefits:

  • An App designed to keep you on task
  • Allows you to set punishments for yourself
  • Example-- pausing too long will begin to delete what you’ve written
  • The goal is to prevent you from being too critical during the drafting process

Uses for English Class:

  • Excellent tool for students who get distracted easily
  • Students will have fun setting their own punishments and trying to stop them by producing writing

Written? Kitten!

Features & Benefits:

  • Rewards you with pics of cute kittens for every 100 words that you write!
  • LOL

Uses for English Class:

  • FUN tool for increasing student writing productivity… that is, if they LOVE cats!

Daily Page

Features & Benefits:

  • Sends you a writing prompt each day

Uses for English Class:

  • Excellent tool for developing a writing habit and coming up with unique ideas for writing

CeltX

Trelby

Features & Benefits:

  • Free scriptwriting Apps
  • Great substitutes for Final Draft (the industry standard for screenwriting)
  • Trelby has more free features than Celtx such as a character name database, exports in all formats including .pdf, and you can create character/ location reports
  • CeltX has a basic, free scriptwriting platform

Uses for English Class:

  • Great tool for students to create their own scripts for film projects

Features & Benefits:

  • Operates as a sketchbook for mapping out a novel
  • Provides tools for organizing chapters and scenes
  • A great tool for first-time writers

Uses for English Class:

  • Great tool for longer writing projects such as                                                                     novels, extended memoirs, biographies,                                                                             and autobiographies

Plotagon

Features & Benefits:

  • This App allows you to create a short, animated movie of your work– puts it in action
  • Allows students to script a story & then select locations, characters, dialogue, emotions, etc. to bring your writing to life

Uses for English Class:

  • Students can create animated poems, short films, literary interpretations, etc.
  • They can also use Plotagon for animated debates and/or speeches

Features & Benefits:

  • Created by actor Tom Hanks
  • An old-school themed App that makes your computer sound like a real typewriter
  • It also removes the modern functions of your computer

Uses for English Class:

  • Fun for recreating an old-school writing experience

Features & Benefits:

  • Generates the background noise of a coffee shop
  • Helps you focus on your work

Uses for English Class:

  • Fun recreating a coffee shop atmosphere within your classroom

There are many more writing Apps where these came from!  If you have suggestions for any other FREE Writing Apps, leave a comment below!  I’d love to hear from you!