If you’re a student, you can’t get by with books alone. In person or online, students always end up with many favorite websites. Browser apps are great because you can use them anywhere, anytime. After all, why stop at cloud storage for files when you can also keep your tools online?
Here are the five browser-based resources every college student should bookmark.
1. Copywriting and Editing: Draftin
Most projects have a writing component, so a good writing tool is essential. If you write in a word processor, it’s easy to get distracted by the editing features and tools. For many students, writing is also stressful. A quiet, streamlined writing space can also help.
For focused writing, save Draft as an online writing tool. The draft helps you focus and let ideas flow. It does this by offering a minimalist view, with menus as far as the eye can see. But it still has all the features you need, including autosave.
Draft contains specialized writing modes for transcription and presentations. For transcription, you can even attach the video or audio resource. You can also compare old and new versions of a draft. It uses the Hemingway editor for spell checking, but that’s disabled by default, so you can focus on writing.
For organization, you can put your projects in folders, or keep them in a big list. When done, export your document to PDF, Google Docs, or Word. You can also import an existing document.
Honorable Mention: write or die
Ideally, you will always have time to use Draft’s quiet space. But last-minute drafts come sooner or later to everyone. Avoid this situation as best you can. But if that happens, bookmark Write or Die.
Write or Die 2.0 is a motivational web tool that helps you finish a draft quickly. Set a word and time goal, then choose your motivation. There are Awards wait with impatience, Consequences if you stop typing for too long, or Stimulus to stay focused.
It’s frustrating to get a bad grade because of small issues like spelling mistakes. Avoid this by running every written project through a good editing tool.
Our go-to web editor is Hemingway. Hemingway not only corrects your mistakes, he also develops your skills. It highlights parts of your draft that are hard to read. This may be due to grammar issues or the fact that you did not use plain language. But it lets you decide your own way to solve these problems.
Hemingway also points out misspellings, repetition, adverbs, and passive voice. But the goal is to help you learn to write in a way that anyone can understand. This is a valuable communication skill that will serve you well in any discipline.
Honorable Mention: LanguageTool
Hemingway’s emphasis on clarity and plain language is great, but grammar still matters. For best results, use Hemingway with a dedicated spell checker extension like LanguageTool.
LanguageTool lets you select your language, dialect, and specific spell checking needs. You can also add new words to your personal dictionary if needed. Additionally, errors are color coded for faster recognition.
Even better, when you left-click on an error, it explains what’s wrong, rather than just telling you what to do. This helps you develop your own proofreading skills. This feature is crucial because the grammar is complex, full of exceptions. You can’t completely depend on spell check apps to create high-quality writing.
3. Compulsory readings: Spreader
Even though we no longer rely solely on books, students still do a ton of reading. It may seem like there’s nothing else to do but settle down and spend hours reading. But there is a better way.
Speed reading software can help you absorb the main ideas of a reading assignment. It’s like skimming, but even faster! You can’t use it for deep, thoughtful reading, but it’s great for revision. You can also use it to preview a difficult book before reading it normally.
Spreeder is a speed reading app that takes advantage of your brain’s visual processing. Images can be processed very quickly, but sounds are slower. For example, the internal voice when you read. Spreeder cuts off that slow voice, showing one word at a time.
Simply copy any selectable text and paste it into the free browser app. The result looks like a roller coaster. You can customize your reading speed, gradually increasing as you get used to it. You can also choose whether you want it to split long words into syllables.
4. Oral presentations: power point
Public speaking is the most common phobia in the world, even above the fear of falling or spiders. Even confident, outgoing people often feel nervous when speaking in front of the class. Having good bookmarked resources can help you feel prepared.
To make a successful presentation, you have to practice. Microsoft PowerPoint has a great practice tool in its presentation trainer. Just select Rehearse with the coach from Gift drop down and start presenting. PowerPoint will listen to your mic and give you live feedback as you go. It also provides a report of your overall presentation.
The report includes things you do well, which is great! It helps you build your confidence and develop your skills while improving your weaknesses. Commentary covers all audio parts of the presentation, from pacing to word choice. It also gives simple suggestions on how to improve your problems.
Even better, PowerPoint is free to use online. Just sign in with your Microsoft account.
Honorable Mention: Toastmasters International
For the visual aspects of your presentation, we recommend checking out Toastmasters. Toastmasters are experts in public speaking education. They have helped thousands of people overcome their fear of public speaking. See if your school has a Toastmasters club you can practice with!
Toastmasters also offers many free tutorials and presentation tips. Check out their Tips for Public Speaking page. You’ll find tips and examples for body language, posture, tone, movement, and more.
5. Research projects: Mendelay
From short essays to master’s theses, research is an essential component of the school. Having a tool to organize, annotate and cite your sources is essential!
Your school may give you access to a premium tool, but we recommend Mendelay. It’s completely free, and because it’s not tied to your school, you can retain access to your research after you graduate.
Mendelay supports all research materials including PDFs, videos, and web pages. You can also import a downloaded file. Organize your searches using tags, collections, subfolders, and more. With this tool, you never have to worry about forgetting where a quote came from or losing access to a document.
You can read, annotate, and take notes on research papers in Mendelay. It will also create the citation for your references or bibliography page.
Save time and effort with web resources
As a student, it’s important to focus on developing your skills, not just passing tests. Switching between tools and working from scratch is a waste of time. They consume time that you could otherwise use to consolidate your knowledge and develop your skills.
Instead, use a shortlist of reliable tools and work smarter, not harder. Not only does this make homework easier, but it can improve your school experience overall!
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