iPads in Education

Innovating education with technology.

7 iPad Apps to Boost Your Students’ Writing Skills

Academic writing is one of the most frustrating challenges for students. No matter how hard you try to come up with inspiring topics, most of them will still be bored by the rigid style and form of the paper you expect. When the lack of inspiration is combined with great expectations and a short deadline, students start procrastinating. They decide to keep themselves busy with any other task just to avoid the process of writing.

Due to the fact that students locate most resources online, they are subjected to endless distractions that make the completion of the paper even more difficult. As a result, they end up submitting poorly-written work or they miss the deadlines. That’s why you need to make the essay writing process more appealing and easier for them. Of course, iPad apps can help you achieve that goal! Check out the following 7 apps that can help your students write better papers.

1. MindNode

If students create a mind map before going any further with the process of essay writing, they will have a goal that’s easy to achieve. A simple brainstorming session will guide them towards unique ideas, and the plan in form of a mind map will help them create a focused, well-structured paper.

MindNode is an iPad app that enables students to brainstorm and create intuitive, beautiful mind maps. The self-expanding canvas allows the users to create multiple mind maps, so you can suggest your students to develop at least two plans for the paper before they choose the best version.

2. Evernote

This is one of the most versatile iPad apps. Your students can use it as an organizer, so they will plan the timeline for different stages of the academic writing process. In addition, they can also use Evernote for collecting, categorizing, and managing resource materials. Finally, Evernote also works as an effective writing environment, so your students can use it to write content on their iPads on the go.

3. Dictionary.com 

Vocabulary is an important aspect of good academic writing. Essays with repetitive words and phrases lack personality, and the reader loses attention before reaching the second paragraph. If you notice such problems in your students’ papers, you should suggest them to install this dictionary and thesaurus app on their iPads. It will help them find the right words in every context and use synonyms to avoid repetitiveness.

4. Penultimate

Have you ever wondered why many contemporary authors still stick to handwriting? This classic technique of writing keeps them focused and sparks their creativity. The computer keyboard is not that powerful. You can’t make your students give up on their iPads as a writing tool, and you shouldn’t. There is an app that combines the functionality of the tablet with the natural experience of pen and paper. Recommend Penultimate to your students and they will probably find the process of planning and writing more amusing.

5. Index Card 4

This app is great for planning. It will help your students write down their ideas on a digital corkboard and combine them in the most effective outline. In addition to text, they can also add images and sound effects to the board. It doesn’t matter what kind of project you assigned; your students can always use Index Card to get more creative and come up with a focused outline. The corkboard interface is especially effective in developing short stories. The users can assign color labels to distinguish the most important scenes and plan the personalities of the main characters.

6. Oflow

Any student can get stuck during the writing process. That’s a completely natural state, and even the most talented novelists and essayists are not immune to it. Oflow is an app that has a purpose to get a writer ‘unstuck’. It contains over 150 creativity tips and prompts with proven efficiency. The students can create their own ideas and notes and share them with the community. They can set Oflow to send daily reminders for inspiration, so they will constantly remind themselves of the goals they have in mind. When the student gets stuck before the writing process even begins, a simple prompt can give them a push outside the box.

7. Byword 2

Finally, here is an actual app for writing. This is one of the most efficient text editing apps for the iPad, since it makes the process more enjoyable with Markdown. The keyboard shortcuts, word counter, and all other features make it easy to use. The plain user interface may seem overly simplistic at first, but it’s meant to be that way – the lack of flashy icons enables the writer to focus much better.

Your students can publish the papers they create in Byword directly to Blogger, WordPress, Tumblr, Scriptogram and Evernote. That’s a very useful feature – you can simply tell them to upload the papers on a particular platform by the deadline. That will add competitive spirit to the writing process, since the students will be able to see everyone’s papers and they will be inspired to be better than the rest. Plus, the grading process will be more transparent.

The iPad is an awesome device that makes planning, research, and writing more effective. When you advise your students to use the right apps, they won’t perceive essay assignments as the most frightening thing in the world.

Authors bio

Antonio is a consultant at essay writing service EduGeeksClub where he provides online assistance to students and leads them through the whole process of essay writing. When not doing that, he's biking to new exciting places. He will be super happy to connect with you on Facebook and Twitter.

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Comment by Kate Deliso on January 17, 2016 at 6:55am

Great stuff Antonio. This is exactly why I joined this forum. I want to implement iPad usage in my classes and this is what I want to learn about. Thanks. Currently I use (besides textbooks) online video lessons by a site named GED Easy (  ),but I'm looking for ways to expand and enhance my teaching methods. You provide information that's definitely useful for me.    


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