Wow, doesn’t time fly when you’re having fun? Summer’s here and it’s almost time to start that journalism internship. But what’s this? With the day of reckoning just around the corner, you haven’t written anything since you did your last exam essay.
It’s gonna be okay, young one. You just have to whip yourself back into writing shape again. Luckily, there are a ton of neat little apps out there to help you do just that. Here are just a few:
It’s important to remember simplicity is the key to good journalism. When writing a piece, you can sometimes overreach with your vocabulary and succeed only in befuddling your readership (whoops, sorry). Cleartext is a neat little text editor that only lets you use the one thousand most common words in the English language to express your points. It’ll help you find synonyms for those fancy long words and make your writing way more accessible.
A truly dangerous writing app. For those who need a nuclear option to ensure they stay focused on whatever they’re writing. Flowstate has no option to save your work and, horrifyingly, it deletes all your text if you stop typing for whatever reason. A deadly focus is crucial on a journalism internship. Here, you’ll learn it the hard way.
Ah, robots. Is there anything they can’t do? Gradeproof is a must-have browser extension that uses artificial intelligence to check the spelling, grammar, and readability of anything you write. And get this: the more you type, the better the advice it gives you. You might not want to rely on it too much for article writing, but truly a life-saver when you’re working on that crucial cover letter.
Ever have second thoughts about your work and then have third thoughts? Ever rewrite something from an essay and then realise you were right the first time? First Draft is the app for you. In their words, ‘it makes editing difficult so it can make writing easy’. What that means is they make it impossible to delete your mistake – just to strike through them. It gets you out of that mindset of it being a final version and lets your ideas flow freely. And if you end up liking it, you can take the mistakes out with one click.
Refly might just be the ultimate app for any would-be web journalist out there, but it’s only available on Macs sadly. It’s a little advanced but if you’re looking to create some serious content, it’s your guardian angel. It’ll improve your productivity, your tone of voice, help you with search engine optimisation and more.
Little and often. That’s the key to building up skills for a journalism internship, right? Well, Writeometer is here to hold you to that. Set the amount that you want to write (up to 1,000 words) and it’ll encourage you to write that much every day. It’s how good writers get better. It’ll even reward you with virtual pieces of guava! Yum.