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Best Essay Writing Software: 16 Apps That Can Help You Write Perfect Essays

Nowadays, we have apps for almost anything. Writing apps though, are really unique and serve several practical purposes, such as essay writing for example.

Writing an essay isn’t as simple as typing a bunch of words and arranging them as paragraphs. Writing a perfect essay entails planning, maintaining structure, writing clear and impactful sentences, and using good grammar.

That’s why we have writing apps. So in this post, I’m going to cover all the best essay writing software tools that are available now.

Okay, let’s get into it!

best essay writing software 16 apps that can help you write perfect essays

Our Top 3 Essay Writing Software at a Glance

The 16 Best Essay Writing Apps

Scrivener

Best Book Writing Software.

scrivener overview

Scrivener is a book-writing software program developed—13 years ago—by an aspiring writer Keith Blount.

Scrivener is what you get when you combine a typewriter, ring binder, and a scrapbook and make a book writing software tool.

It has so many useful features that take your book or any other writing project from the outline to a finished draft. We’re talking of features like corkboards, pre-set formatting, templates, file importing, metatags, automated document listing, and a bunch of other important capabilities.

Scrivener can be used by novelists, scriptwriters, academics, lawyers, translators, journalists, and students.

Pricing: Scrivener for macOS costs $49, iOS is $19.99, and Scrivener for Windows costs $45.


Grammarly

Best Grammar Checker.

grammarly free

As far as grammar checkers go, there’s no app better than this.

It’s perfect for checking your text for typos, punctuation, and spelling mistakes. 

But it goes further than that; it has several editing features that tackle issues such as passive voice, lengthy or complex sentences, offers broader vocabulary options, et cetera. It also has a plagiarism checker and furnishes you with writing stats and readability scores.

Grammarly has a free version but reserves the best features for its premium plans.

Pricing: Free and Paid. Grammarly Premium starts at $11.66, and Grammarly Business starts at $12.50.


ProWritingAid

Excellent Tool for Self-editing

prowritingaid

ProWritingAid is one of Grammarly’s fiercest competitors and pretty much gives you what Grammarly gives you.

Just itty-bitty shallower, BUT way more affordable.

If you want a proofreading and grammar checker writing app that has the potential of helping you improve the overall quality of your writing, this is it!

ProWritingAid refines your writing by checking important elements of your writing such as ambiguous sentences, grammar, transitions, abstract words, overused words, etc.

Over time, you start to notice improvements in your writing, especially the way it flows.

Pricing: Free and Paid.

  • Monthly – $20
  • Yearly – $79
  • Lifetime – $399 

Evernote

Best note-taking tool for Students

evernote

Evernote is a simple but excellent writing app that uses the idea of virtual notes. The virtual notes can be used in several ways: making book shopping lists, writing down essay ideas, and making notes on researched information.

The notes are backed up on Evernote’s servers, and you get about 60MB of storage space per account.

Pricing:  Free and Paid. The Premium plan costs $7.99 / month, and the Business costs $14.99/person/month.


Focus Writer

Free Alternative to MS Word.

focus writer

I haven’t used this free word-processing app yet, but I’d seriously consider replacing my beloved MS Word with it.

It’s a very good alternative to MS Word; in fact, not only is it free and sufficient, it is available on almost all major platforms— Windows, Mac, and Android.

If you’re a student, I’d recommend this software, and you won’t have problems using the documents from this app because they’re saved in Rich Text Format so that most word processors can read them.

Pricing: Free.


Coggle

Excellent for the Creative Stage of Writing

coggle

Before you write a good essay, you need to build the idea behind the essay first.

You need to add fresh to the bones before bringing the beast (of an essay) to life.

This tool helps you expand your original ideas into sub-ideas and construct full-fledged essays by using expressive, powerful flowcharts, process maps, and other diagrams.

Pricing: Free and Paid. The Awesome Plan costs $5/month, and the Organisation Plan is at $8/member/month.


Manuskript

Top-Notch Open-Source Tool

manuskript writing app

Manuskript is a tool perfect for organizing and planning stages of writing. It’s an open-source tool—for writers including novelists, journos, and academicians—that uses the snowflake method of writing to help you build your idea into a finished book; by helping you create the story step by step.

It has features for helping you keep track of notes on characters, plot, event,  and place in your story. Manuskript’s features include:

  • The Outliner, which lets you organize your ideas and little pieces of your story hierarchically; 
  • The Distraction-free mode gets rid of all distractions; 
  • Personal goal-setting features;
  • The Novel assistant utilizes the snowflake method to help you develop your basic ideas into a coherent plotline or a full-fledged story.

Pricing: Free


LivingWriter

Fast Developing Tool

livingwriter

This is a different writing app altogether. It has a lot of features that are excellent for both fiction nonfiction writers. It has features that help with story elements, general notes, goals and targets, doc sharing, and stats.

Plus, you can also switch LivingWriter in and out of Dark Mode and focus mode.

One thing I like about LivingWriter is that it started with a single platform (web) but is now expanding rapidly.

It has iOS and Android applications, Full integration with Grammarly, Canva integration, and its desktop apps are 90% complete (according to the Living Writer Roadmap)

Pricing:

Yearly Plan – $96 billed once a year

Monthly Plan – $9.99 per month


Ulysses

Best Writing Tool for Apple Products

ulysses writing app

I don’t know about now, but Ulysses was big back then (like a dozen years ago or so).

The app is rich with features similar to the other word processing software. It comes with a Markup-Based Text Editor, a library for organizing notes and documents, features for setting writing goals, publishing capabilities, and many others.

Ulysses is perfect for both small essays and large academic ones.

Pricing: Ulysses has different pricing options for different regions but using the US plan, it costs $5.99 per month and $49.99 per year.


Hemingway Editor

An App Most Impactful Writing

hemingway

The Hemingway Editor AKA Hemingway App is a simple tool for writers who want to write content that is easier to read but bold.

Hemingway does this by looking at elements of your writing such as adverbs, passive voice, phrases and words with simpler alternatives, hard-to-read sentences, very-hard-to-read sentences, and other “lexical atrocities.”

The web-based version is free, but the downloadable version (for Mac and Windows) is a paid tool.

Pricing: $19.99


Ayoa

Excellent Mind Mapping Tool

ayoa

They used to call this app IMindMap. Ayoa is an essential tool in the planning stages of your essay writing.

You can create mind maps for your essays which help give direction when you start fleshing out your essay.

This mapping tool helps increase productivity because everything you need to write is already outlined. The fact every step is already planned and you know exactly what to write can also increase your daily word count.

Pricing: The Ayoa PRO plan costs $10/month and is billed annually. The Ultimate Plan costs $13/month and is also billed annually.


Ginger

Best App for Multi-Lingual Essays

ginger

This is another incredible alternative to Grammarly.

For non-native English speakers, this is a pot of gold right here. It can check your text for grammar errors and translate Spanish, French, German. And many other languages.

As a grammar checker, the tool mainly looks at aspects such as verbs, adverbs, confused words, commonly misspelled words, etc.

Here’s a funny story about Ginger (Just happened today.) As I was using the web-based editor, I copied some texts on Ginger’s website and pasted them into the editor and the tool found one misspelled word. Their content writers must not have used Ginger.

I felt like Ginger’s content writers were like Drug dealers, you know, they followed rule number one of drug dealing. “never get high on your own product.”  

Ha-ha.

Pricing:

  • Monthly Plan – $9.99
  • Yearly Plan – $74.88
  • Two-Year Plan: $119.76

Write Or Die

Best for Productivity Purposes.

write or die

This app has a name that sums up life for some of us.

Write or Die!

Write Or Die gives rewards, stimuli, and punishments if users set goals. This is what you need if you are a sloth like myself.

It gives you that needed push because the punishments—which include erasing current texts—can really scare the hell out of you and make you put an extra gear.

Pricing: Free and paid. $10 for macOS and Windows, and $1 for iOS.


IA Writer

Simplest Writing App

ia writer

IA Writer is a distraction-free writing app that is more than perfect for writing short essays.

It has a very basic interface and uses plain text. As I said, there are no distractions because the IA writer also has a full-screen mode that fades out everything else but the line you are currently typing.

This minimalist writing app is available on Windows, Android, iOS, iPadOS, and macOS.

Pricing: Paid (offers free trials).

macOS- $29.99. has a 14-day trial

iOS &iPadOS – $29.99. No Free Trial.

Android – $4.99 /year or $29.99 once. Has a 30-day trial.

Windows – $29.99. Has a 14-day trial.


Hubspot Topic Generator

Best for Generating Topic Ideas.

hubspot

This is a whole different menu right here.

It’s very different from the tools that I’ve listed in this post. This is why… you’re not going to use it to write. Instead, you use it to automatically generate writing ideas.

It’s a very simple tool; you input three words, and it provides you with nouns to generate a topic idea that you can use on your next writing project.

If you’re going to use this tool, it’s going to be during the very first stages of your writing project.

Pricing:


Manuscripts

Best App for Academic Assignments

manuscripts

Manuscript (not to be confused with Manuskript from above) is an app for students and academics. This is a convenient tool that works with popular word processing apps, including Microsoft Word.

The reason why it’s perfect for academic writing is it excels at the referencing aspect of writing—citations, abbreviations, etc.

So, for class writing assignments and larger tasks like dissertations, this is the tool I’d recommend.

Pricing: Free


Bonus Tool

Simplenote

simplenote

Simplenote is a note-taking tool that helps you keep all your notes in one place but accessible everywhere.

You can back up your notes, add tags, share the notes with collaborators, and publish your notes in Markdown format.

Supported Systems: Android, iOS, Windows, macOS, Linux.

Pricing: Free


Guide to the Best Essay Writing Apps in 2021

Things to Consider When Choosing Essay Writing Software

A good essay writing software has to do things that make your essay look delectable and sound convincing.

Here are some of the things that an essay writing software need to be able to help you with:

Organization

I already talked about organization at the beginning, so you already know how important it is. The essay writing app has to help you arrange your essay and ensure that it flows nicely. It needs to clear the chaos that would have existed had you not used that specific tool.

Grammatical correctness

This is crucial in any writing project. The essay writing software has to help you correct your grammatical and spelling errors.

Proofreading

The proofreading capabilities of a good essay writing app go beyond checking for grammar and spelling mistakes. It also has to excel at checking other aspects like overuse of adverbs, passive voice, run-on sentences, weak writing, and readability.

Price

Writing software doesn’t have to cost an arm. Most of these apps have similar features and pretty much do the same things. A higher price doesn’t necessarily mean the app is good but in some circumstances, apps are pricey for a good reason.

What Features Should an Essay Writing App Have

So, to achieve the above requirements, what features does a writing software need to have?

Below are the most important features that a good essay writing software program MUST have.

Grammar and Spelling checker

ginger grammar checker

To achieve the overall grammatical correctness of your essay, a writing app needs to have a grammar checking feature. If it doesn’t, being integrable with an efficient grammar checking tool is also convenient.

Sentence structure and flow reports

Again, I cannot overemphasize the importance of structure in essay writing. The structure should start from your sentences to your paragraphs and the whole essay. A good essay writing app needs to have features that check aspects of structure and flow.

Punctuation checker

We can’t have an essay littered with semicolons, commas, and hyphens looking like they’re lost. Punctuation might be one of the most underrated features but make no mistake, it’s essential for professional writing.

Plagiarism checker

grammarlys plagiarism checker

A good essay has to be unique and original. Therefore, essay writing software has to make sure that the body of the essay does not contain any plagiarized content.

Writing Metrics

Stats like word count, words per minute, or the number of pages are important for tracking progress. School essays usually have a word or page count requirements, and writing software must be equipped with writing metrics so that the user is kept abreast of the distance covered.

Sentence quality checker

In the writing profession, Quality matters.  It doesn’t matter if you have reached the minimum word count but the essay is of poor quality.

Writing apps must be able to pick out sentences that need improving or deleting due to poor quality writing.

Why Should You Use Writing Software to Write Essays?

Writing software won’t write your essay for you, but the writing process is hard to manage and that’s what these tools do.

Here are the benefits of using writing software:

1. Planning and Outlining

Planning is an important element of a good essay writing process. Writing software tools come with features that help you plan before you start writing.

For example, Scrivener has a feature called corkboard, which is a good planning tool. It’s like a set of digital index cards, and each represents a section of writing.

scrivener corkboard and outliner

With writing software, you can plan and outline before the actual writing starts, and you can go back to the outlines and notes while writing.

2. Productivity

Productivity is a big problem for most writers. Writers like myself just write without setting a lot of writing goals, so when we feel like writing, we need to be at our most productive levels.

For those that set daily goals, maintaining a daily word count is not easy.

For both kinds of writers, writing software can help increase productivity.

The software tools come with writing stats to help you keep track of your progress. They also have features for distraction-free writing.

Templates also help increase productivity. The templates make things easier and save you a lot of time (which would have been used setting things up).

3. Editing and Formatting

Writing software tools come with features that can flag spelling & grammar mistakes and other errors. They also offer solutions to these errors.

This is very important for your editing process—it makes the editing stage easier and faster.

This also helps in increasing productivity since editing is less laborious and speedy.

Usually when we write essays (especially academic ones), some formatting requirements come with them. Writing apps are furnished with most of the formatting rules and styles that essays (academic or otherwise) may require.

4. Organizing

Writing can be a messy process.

Most often than not, essays also require a lot of research. And again, we’re not saying that writing software will help you research.

But when you get all the bits of info needed for your essay, the apps will help you keep the researched content organized.

With these writing apps, you can have all of your research organized and easily accessible.

The thing about a disorganized writing process is that it is reflected in the flow and structure of the essay.

How to Effectively Use Essay Writing Software

Let me reiterate, essay writing apps won’t write your essays for you, neither will they be correct all the time.

To get the best out of them, you need to treat them as writing tutors or co-writers. If they suggest something useful, take it on board, and if you feel like the suggestion is a bit off point, disregard it.

What Is a Perfect Essay?

A perfect essay convincingly speaks to the reader. An essay is like an argument or a speech, and it has to have a readable flow or show direction.

Perfect essays must contain arguments, supporting ideas, and most importantly, evidence.  

To write a perfect essay, you need to:

  • Thoroughly plan the whole essay before you start writing.
  • Start writing your arguments using a clear structure.
  • Back up your points and refer to relevant sources if necessary.
  • Make sure that you infuse the information with creativity. There’s nothing exciting about a bunch of truths thrown into an essay using bland sentences.
  • Before you finish your draft, ensure that you’ve answered the question in your introduction and conclusion.
Best tips and tricks for writing essays.

How can I write an essay on my phone?

Well, most of the apps listed here are available as mobile apps. If you feel it’d be okay to write on your phone, try out a couple of the apps on this list and see which one works better on mobile platforms.

I’d recommend using tablet computers as they have bigger screens than regular smartphones.

Final Words

There are just so many essay writing software tools nowadays that even though Scrivener and Grammarly top the list, stumbling on the best one for you is almost 1/1000 probable.

You have to try out these tools before purchasing them.

Just to say it for the one-thousandth time, essay writing apps won’t write your essays for you; YOU WILL.

About Jessica Majewski

Jessica started off as an avid book reader. After reading one too many romance novels (really... is it ever really enough?), she decided to jump to the other side and started writing her own stories.

She now shares what she has learned (the good and the not so good) here at When You Write, hoping she can inspire more up and coming wordsmiths to take the leap and share their own stories with the world.