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Story Type Essay App

Writing isn’t always the easiest thing. Thankfully, there are all types of apps out there to help you stay organized and focused. Whether you are writing for a living or just making a grocery list, these apps will help you complete your project with ease.

1. ProWritingAid

If you haven't already added ProWritingAid to your writer's toolbox, do it now. This free online app helps you edit your work in a much faster and more efficient way. It highlights a whole range of potential writing pitfalls like overly complicated sentences, vague and abstract language, passive voice, or repetitive words and phrases (24 writing reports in total). Give it a try.

2. Bubbl.us

Getting started on an essay, novel, or any form of writing may require some brainstorming. This website allows you to quickly and easily brainstorm or create a map for your ideas. This simple, easy-to-use site makes it painless to organize ideas with the use of customization of bubble color, text size and formatting, and even hyperlinks. This site is free to use, and you don’t even need to make an account unless you want to save your data.

3. WiseMapping

WiseMapping is free and easy to register for on the internet. Input simple information, such as your name, email address, and a username and password, to become a member and gain access to this mind mapping tool. WiseMapping is fairly basic, but can really help when it comes to brainstorming or problem solving.

4. yWriter5

Designed by Simon Haynes, a writer and computer programmer, yWriter5 is a useful tool for novelists. yWriter5 breaks your novel up into scenes and chapters for you while you write, making it easier to manage. Among many other things, this software tracks your progress, and makes it easy to rearrange your novel with its drag and drop capabilities.

5. Storybook

When writing a complex story with multiple plot lines, you may need a little help keeping track of all that is going on. Storybook will be there to help you through the process of writing your book by helping you to keep track of your overview. Basic Storybook has four views to help you, along with other useful tools incorporated in those views. The four views are Chronological View, Manage Chapters and Scenes View, Book View, and Reading View.

6. Q10

It’s difficult for anyone to write when they are distracted. Luckily Q10 is there to minimize distractions and help to increase writing potential. This downloadable software is a full screen environment with all kinds of goodies to help you along. This app remembers what you worked on last and will automatically open it at start up. It also has a timer that you can set to remind you to take a bit of a break; you can even set a word count goal for yourself. One of the best elements of this software is the automatic save. You never have to worry about remembering to save your document while you write, because you can have Q10 save your work by the minute or by paragraphs written.

7. Write 2 Lite

This free iPhone app is great for any type of writing. If you’re always full of ideas and are sick of struggling to find a pen and paper before you lose your train of thought, this app will be a good fit for you. Write 2 Lite is fully customizable allowing you to change font sizes and type as well as use different themes. Don’t think of this app as simply a writing app; Write 2 Lite has an Emergency Mode that is accessed by a special pin to help you in life threatening situations.

8. Writer

When searching for a writing app for Android, be sure to give Writer a try. Writer is an uncomplicated app that lets you write without all the extra distractions. Turn to Writer to focus on writing; it’s not a place to make things look pretty. However, it does give you the ability to make lists, italicize and make words bold, as well as use headers.

9. Diaro

Your life is precious, and if you’re the documenting type, you want to remember every moment good or bad. Diaro is an advanced diary application, but it can be used for keeping a journal or simply writing notes. Use Diaro to help you keep your thoughts and memories organized and well documented. Attach photos or locations to your entries and share with others via email and social networking sites. With Diaro, you never have to worry about others stumbling across your deepest darkest secrets, because your diary will be password protected.

10. Note Everything

Are you ready for the ultimate note pad? Note Everything will allow you to do just that--note everything. Whether you want to jot something down or even leave a voice note, Note Everything has your back. Easily organize your notes or use the app to draw pictures. The possibilities are endless with this app; you’ll never have to use paper or pen again.

Guest post from Payton Price. Payton is a freelance writer and editor. She writes for several online publications.

Love technology for writers? You also might enjoy these posts from our archive:

Tell my story? Fine, but how?

The common advice to "tell your story" has probably been around as long as the admission essay itself. But since when have high school students been afforded the time and feedback to practice telling their stories? And how are you supposed to approach this advice? What parts of your story are you supposed to share in your college essay, how, and why?

When I left teaching high school English a little more than two years ago, the curriculum even then was too packed with everyday academic concerns and standardized testing preparation to invite seniors to practice personal narrative with the same level of structured feedback that they received for academic writing. I have heard from high school teachers that this condition has only intensified since the rollout of the Common Core.

The five-paragraph essays and thesis statements they are accustomed to writing for class do students little good in personal writing, including on their college applications. These are inventions designed for American students to practice national conventions of argumentation—despite the fact that expectations for academic writing change from high school to college. Yet they are what high school students have to work with when put on the spot in their college applications.

In a way the college admission game is a standardized assessment, but it differs in that students are suddenly supposed to write not academically but personally. Given this lack of training in personal writing and the stresses of college admission, it’s important that students find a structured yet creative way to tell their own stories when dealing with low word counts.

So here are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Only you, the student, can determine what is worth writing about. While family may have suggestions, it’s ultimately your story to tell and how.
  • In personal writing, there is no need to justify why you are writing about one thing or another. This is the academic habit of proving a thesis. When it seeps into personal writing, it limits the creative potential of the personal essay.
  • Choose one or two narrative moments and tell them in the moment. These moments are representative of your story.
  • It’s important to accept that any story you attempt to tell will necessarily be incomplete. Avoid the temptation of recounting your memory “exactly” as you remember it. Rather, remember that you are being assessed on the quality of your personal essay, not the quality of your memory. So use the memory as a starting point for the essay, but make sure you end up with a narrative that stands solidly and creatively on its own.
  • Try free writing without a prompt and without worrying about the word count—at least at first. A narrative will likely suit at least two of your college’s prompts.

The college personal statement is a strange beast. To my knowledge, college applicants are the only personal essayists who have to write about themselves because someone else expects them to and because big stakes are riding on it. From the birth of the personal essay—typically traced to Michel de Montaigne in the 16th century—the tradition of the genre is self-exploration and discovery, the personal somehow tied to universally human concerns, driven by the curiosity to know more about both. Yet this American rite of passage has given rise to a peculiar kind of de facto national literature.

In short, despite students’ ever-intensifying pressures, schedules, and responsibilities, I hope that by engaging with the genre of the personal essay, students can write for themselves with this sense of curiosity—first, for themselves.

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