If you are a student, there is no way you can get by with books on your own. In person or online, students always end up with many bookmarked websites. Browser apps are great because you can use them anywhere, anytime. After all, why stop at cloud storage for files when you can keep your tools online as well?
Here are the five browser-based resources that every student should bookmark.
1. Writing and writing: DraftIn
Most projects have an editorial component, so a good writing tool is essential. If you’re writing in a word processor, it’s easy to get distracted by the features and editing tools. For many students, writing is also stressful. A calm, streamlined writing space can also help.
For focused writing, save Draft as an online writing tool. Drafting helps you focus and let ideas flow. It does this by offering a minimalist view, with menus out of sight. But it still has all the features you need, including automatic backup.
Draft contains specialized writing methods 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 Hemingway Editor for spell checking, but it is off 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 finished, 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 the quiet Draft space. But last minute drafts get to everyone sooner or later. 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 fast. Set a goal in terms of words and time, then choose your motivator. There are Awards to wait impatiently, Consequences if you stop typing for too long, or Stimulus to keep you focused.
It’s frustrating to get a bad grade because of little issues like spelling mistakes. Prevent this by running every project written through a good editing tool.
Our web editor of choice is Hemingway. Hemingway not only corrects your mistakes, he develops your skills as well. It highlights the parts of your draft that are difficult to read. This could be due to grammar issues or the fact that you didn’t use plain language. But it allows you to decide on your own how to resolve these issues.
Hemingway also points out misspellings, repetitions, adverbs, and passive voice. But the goal is to help you learn to write in a way that everyone can understand. This is a valuable communication skill that will come in handy 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-checking extension like LanguageTool.
LanguageTool allows you to select your language, dialect, and specific spell checking needs. You can also add new words to your personal dictionary if needed. In addition, errors are color coded for faster recognition.
Better yet, when you left click on an error, it explains what is wrong, rather than just telling you what to do. It helps you develop your own proofreading skills. This functionality is crucial because the grammar is complex, full of exceptions. You cannot completely depend on spell-checking apps to create high-quality writing.
To download: Grammar and spell checker — LanguageTool for Google Chrome | Firefox (free)
Mandatory reading: Spreeder
Even though we don’t rely on books anymore, students still read a ton. It may seem like there is nothing else to do but sit back and burn hours reading. But there is a better way.
Speed reading software can help you pick up the main ideas of a reading assignment. It’s like skimming, but even faster! You can’t use it for in-depth, thoughtful reading, but it’s great for review. 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. We can process the images very quickly, but the sounds are slower. For example, the internal voice when you read. Spreeder cuts off that slow voice, showing one word at a time.
Just 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.
Public speaking is the most common phobia in the world, even over fear of falling or spiders. Even confident and outgoing people often feel nervous when speaking in front of the class. Having good resources in your favorites can help you feel prepared.
To give a good presentation, you need to practice. Microsoft PowerPoint has a great practice tool in its Presentation Coach. Just select Rehearse with the coach of Here drop down and start the presentation. PowerPoint will listen to your microphone and give you live commentary as you go. It also provides a report of your overall presentation.
The report includes the things you do well, which is great! It helps you build your confidence and develop your skills while improving your weaknesses. Commentaries cover all audio parts of the presentation, from the rhythm to the choice of words. It also gives simple suggestions on how to improve your problem areas.
Best of all, 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 that you consult Toastmasters. Toastmasters are experts in public speaking education. They have helped thousands of people overcome their fear of public speaking. Check if your school has a Toastmasters Club that you can train with!
Toastmasters also offer many free tutorials and tips for presenting. Check out their Public Speaking Tips page. There you will find tips and examples of body language, posture, tone, movement, and more.
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 since it’s unrelated to your school, you can retain access to your research after you graduate.
Mendelay supports all research material including PDFs, videos, and web pages. You can also import a downloaded file. Organize your search using tags, collections, subfolders, etc. 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 the tests. Switching between tools and working from scratch are both a waste of time. They eat up time that you might otherwise be using 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 as a whole!
Chrome helps you find your homework. But did you know those extensions that also help you plan and complete your schoolwork?
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