There are many apps and tools available to help freelance writers create better content. Here are some recommendations we’ve put together:
Grammarly’s free writing app – available for Firefox, Chrome and Safari browsers — makes sure everything you type is easy to read and mistake-free. The add-in enables you to check spelling and grammar on Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, Linkedin, Tumblr, and nearly everywhere else you write on the web. Key features include:
- Contextual spelling checker: Detects correctly spelled words used in the wrong context. You can stop worrying about misusing homophones like lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, there/their/they’re, and many other commonly confused words.
- Grammar checker: Grammarly can fix hundreds of complex grammatical errors, including subject-verb agreement, article use, and modifier placement, to name just a few.
The basic browser-based add-in is free. The premium app, $12-$30 per month, has many advanced features.
The AP Stylebook is an English guide for grammar, punctuation and principles of reporting, including many definitions and rules for usage as well as styles for capitalization, abbreviation, spelling and numerals. Tempesta Media uses AP style for all BrandBuilder and Ghostwritten content.
You can buy the book for $20.95 or get an online subscription for $26 per year.
Tips and Training
The Poynter Institute is a global leader in journalism training. Its website features a very helpful blog filled with writing, grammar and style tips, and it offers a variety of free and paid online courses that you can take at your own pace.
The Hemingway Editor desktop application highlights common problems that get in the way of clear writing – complex words or phrases, overly long sentences, too many adverbs, passive voice – and offers suggestion for solving them. It also allows you to measure readability of your text and to import and export from .docx files. Finally, it contains a set of easy-to-use web formatting tools, including HTML headings, formatting and links.
Readability Test Tool
The Readability Test Tool provides a quick and easy way to test the readability of your work using a variety of readability formulas. You can test all or part of a web page, or simply type in or paste your text for analysis. You’ll get a score for the most used readability indicators: Flesch Kincaid Reading Ease, Flesch Kincaid Grade Level, Gunning Fog Score, Coleman Liau Index, and Automated Readability Index (ARI).
These free grammar tips from the venerable Oxford English Dictionary (OED) provide straightforward advice on some of the trickier points of English grammar, from dangling participles and double negatives to comma splices and the subjunctive case.
Grammar Girl’s Quick and Dirty Tips
Grammar Girl Mignon Fogarty, a former science writer who produces an educational blog and podcast, provides this “friendly guide to the world of grammar, punctuation, usage, and fun developments in the English language.”
The Elements of Style
Asserting that one must first know the rules to break them, this classic reference book is a must-have for any conscientious writer. It offers concise explanations of the principal requirements of plain English style and focuses on the rules of usage that are most commonly violated.
Purdue University’s Online Writing Lab
The Online Writing Lab (OWL) at Purdue University provides writing resources and instructional material on grammar and writing style as a free service of the Writing Lab at Purdue. The online service can be used by anyone who needs guidance on the finer points of writing.
Common Errors in English Usage
This guide (and accompanying book) by Paul Brians, Emeritus Professor of English at Washington State University, is a useful and fun guide to mixed-up, mangled expressions, foreign language faux pas, confusing terms, and commonly misused words.
Tempesta Media’s editors edit the writing before customers take the first look. Writers with the best quality are offered more paid freelance writing opportunities and can be part of more of our client’s expert writer teams. Apply to write for Tempesta Media.