8 Most important Productivity Tools for Academic Writing

Academic writing is a major employer in Kenya. Tens of thousands of university students and graduates who are victims of the unfavorable employment landscape in the country turn to academic writing to put food on the table.

Among them, some put in the work for years until they reach a level of financial independence that even their employed colleagues can only imagine.

While hard work contributes a lot to this growth, little attention is paid to the tools that empower these writers to be highly successful, yet these tools play a major role in their success.

This article will take you through 8 of the most important productivity tools for academic writing.

Let’s dive in!

1. Quillbot

A skill you must master when working on academic writing projects is the art of paraphrasing. That’s if you’re serious about finishing tasks before deadlines. 

When you’re gathering information, especially on topics you have little exposure to, understanding the context will not be a priority as much as paraphrasing so you can garner the required number of words.

That’s where Quillbot comes in. Quillbot is an AI-powered tool that helps writers rewrite sentences while maintaining their meaning and summarizing context. 

It is arguably the industry leader since it has attracted millions of writers across the globe who use it as a daily tool for their writing projects.

2. Turnitin

Plagiarism is unacceptable in academic writing, and institutions employ advanced detection tools to fight it. Content mills also have a strict policy to ensure no work submitted is plagiarized.

Academic assignments ought to be original or at least considered personal work to be accepted.

Turnitin is your go-to tool to ensure your work isn’t plagiarized before submission. It is the most advanced plagiarism detector in the market, which can scan through billions of web pages to detect the slightest form of plagiarism.

Considering it will always be checked before submission to clients, you need this tool to ensure you eliminate any copied phrases from your work.

3. Scribd

You can get any answers you want on the internet. But academic institutions often want you to refer to publications and books as they are considered more reliable than blogs written by anyone. 

Books and journals take years of research by academics and professionals and involve reputable publishers before they are distributed.

Some academic assignments might require you to use these books to answer questions. Ideally, you might be forced to buy some of these books, which are often put behind a paywall.

However, with Scribd, you can access millions of books and journals at a fraction of the cost. Scribd is an online library containing tens of millions of academic books and journals. With an affordable monthly subscription, you can borrow digital books and use them to tackle the assignments.

4. Course Hero

As an academic writer, you often encounter questions that you don’t quite get. Most of these questions have been asked of students before.

Instead of cracking your wits to come up with a solution, wouldn’t it be easier to find the solution online and simply personalize your answer, especially if you’re short of time?

Course Hero is an academic platform built by former Cornell University students. It provides access to old tests, homework problems, textbook answers, and class notes, most of the tools you need to tackle assignments.

It also provides a platform where you can form a study group to exchange files and ideas.

If you encounter challenging questions when working on academic writing jobs, consider CourseHero to find quick solutions.

5. Chegg

Another major learning platform for academic writers is Chegg. It started as a digital library where students could buy or rent books. After its acquisition by InstaEDU in 2014, it went all-in on tutoring and is currently considered the industry leader in that section.

Besides that, Chegg also lists internships and scholarships for students besides financial advice.

As an academic writer, you benefit from Chegg by getting access to books that might not be available on other learning platforms. In addition, you can seek tutoring for assignments questions that are beyond your scope, but this route might turn out expensive considering you are charged per minute.

The Chegg Math Solver elucidates mathematical solutions step by step, while Chegg Writing contains a plagiarism checker, proofreader, grammar checker, and citation assistant.

6. Grammarly

We can agree that writing does come with many imperfections. Your writing will not be perfect no matter how well you have mastered the English language and how articulate you are. 

Those little spelling mistakes, erroneous phrases, redundant words, and punctuation slips will pester you ceaselessly.

But you’ll have nothing to worry about if you have Grammarly as part of your writing arsenal. Grammarly is the industry leader when it comes to correcting writing mistakes.

It scans a piece of writing and uses artificial intelligence to identify writing mistakes and suggest corrections. I have used Grammarly since I started actively writing in 2015, and honestly, it’s indispensable even today. The premium version picks up on errors you wouldn’t see even with a whole week to proofread your work.

Its well-crafted interface makes it a darling to use. Also, it’s available for the most common devices, browsers, and writing software.

7. Bartleby

You know how great it feels to have a single platform where you can do all your work, right! It’s comfortable. We, as writers, yearn for such tools that offer seamless navigation because little interruptions mean more productivity.

Bartleby is a student hub with products and services designed to improve students’ success. It has three major features which make it a great tool for learning. Bartleby Learn is an online library containing millions of step-by-step textbook solutions, a vast searchable library, and experts on standby ready to offer solutions.

Secondly, Bartleby Write is a virtual writing center where you can build better writing habits, eliminate grammar and punctuation errors in your writing, detect plagiarism and improve your citation.

Lastly, Bartleby Research gives you access to thousands of student-penned essays to help you jumpstart your essay writing.

8. Ebscohost

Academic writing assignments, especially in social, historical, and scientific fields, often require you to cite journals published in the past. Most of these journals are pub behind paywalls and have to be bought or paid for to be accessed.

The Ebscohost databases are perhaps the biggest and most popular libraries of resources on the internet. The company behind the online library was founded in 1930 by Elton Bryson, who sold magazines door to door.

Today, it boasts of the largest internet collection of publications and journals.

For academic writers, Ebscohost is a goldmine. If you need access to any premium journal, you’ll most likely find it in the Ebscohost databases.


These are just some of the most useful tools for academic writers and other writers. Notably, these tools try to streamline the writing process by giving access to resources and improving the quality of writing.

Academic writers face the challenge of producing high-quality solutions to assignments under limited time. To tackle these challenges consistently, you should use the tools we’ve gone through.

Which tool do you find most useful?

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