Being able to write well in English is an incredible skill.
This is true for both English language learners and even for native speakers!
It goes without saying that writing in English is a key ability for the future. It helps you think and communicate in a clear way. It improves the way you structure ideas. And, of course, there are extra benefits such as jobs, careers and travel.
But sometimes, we all need help. Writing in any language is tough. Even some of the most famous and creative writers in English faced their own setbacks and problems.
That’s why we’re going to look at some of the top online resources to perfect the skill of writing in English.
Being able to write well in English means you’ll stand out and be able to take on more opportunities. Because of this, we want to use all the excellent resources at our disposal—in order to become the best writers that we can be.
Types of English Writing Websites
Choosing the right resources is the most important step. But to do this, you need to consider what exactly you need help with! Is it some basic grammar and spelling? Or more of an in-depth course and introduction to English writing in general?
Let’s take a look at some of the key categories that you need to consider.
- Spelling and Grammar Checkers: Spelling and grammar checkers are a great way to make sure that your writing is clear, grammatically correct and accurate. These websites would be best suited to an advanced writer who writes large amounts or writes frequently. The reason they aren’t recommended for a beginning learner is that it’s important to develop the skill of checking and editing your own writing first.
- Lessons and classes: If you’re a new learner or are looking to focus on a particular area of writing, then taking an English writing class might be a good option. They’re a great way to get a general introduction to English writing. You can also go deeper on a particular topic.
- Writing advice: Blogs and websites are fantastic sources of information regarding English writing. You can find helpful tips, advice from writers and general information regarding spelling and grammar. Websites like YouTube are also useful resources to find specific information.
- Creative Writing and Prompts: Sites that provide tips on creative writing and prompts can be a great source of inspiration. Creative writing is an excellent way to practice new vocabulary and different writing styles. It can also be more fun than academic writing!
- Journaling and Habit-forming: There are many services that focus on helping you reach a writing goal of a particular number of words or a streak of days. Sometimes simply sitting down and doing the writing itself can be a difficult challenge! Journaling and freewriting websites can help maintain your motivation. They can also keep you on track and show you important information regarding your work rate.
In this post, we’ll be looking at the top websites from all these categories. This is to give you a nice selection and variety of websites to choose from.
How to Use Writing Websites Effectively
To make the most of these writing resources, there are a couple of things you can do. First, you should be consistent with your writing—that is, do it regularly. This means that you should be writing every day. You can also plan out your schedule to include writing as part of your daily tasks.
You should also consider joining a community or writing club. This can either be online or an in-person writing club.
Writing clubs are an excellent way to motivate yourself as well as introduce yourself to new ideas. Best of all, they’re the perfect support for writing resources. They offer the opportunity to expand and grow your skills in a helpful environment. You can ask questions, request feedback or even seek advice about particular websites that other writers use.
You should also be using resources that actually help you to develop your English writing skills. This is a very important step. You need to think of online writing websites as a way to improve your writing quality and your skill. But it should always start with you! For example, if you’re at a beginner level, then a resource that automatically corrects your spelling isn’t going to help you learn much, since you need to learn how to fix errors on your own before using an app.
On that note, learn how to edit your own writing. Editing—or looking at your writing for mistakes and correcting errors—is a critical step in the writing process. After you complete your work, take a step back. This means you need to leave your work for a day or two before reading it over. Then, you can look for mistakes with a fresh look. Read your writing, keeping an eye out for errors like incorrect spelling, punctuation mistakes or poor grammar.
If you’re a more advanced writer, you can also consider changes to the voice such as active and passive sentences and the structure. Learning how to edit your writing is one of the best steps you can take towards improving your writing proficiency.
Now, let’s take a look at some useful online resources for improving your writing. If you want to start writing English like a professional, then you should consider some of these options!
10 English Writing Websites That’ll Have You Writing Like a Professional
Grammarly is a free website and app that fixes your writing. You have the option of typing directly into the platform or copying large blocks of text (such as an essay) for correction. There’s also an extension that works with a number of platforms such as WordPress, Gmail, Facebook and many other online writing websites.
Grammarly is like having a personal editor read your English writing. The corrections are always offered as suggestions, instead of auto-corrections, so you’ll have a chance to review your mistakes before changing them.
However, because the app is aimed toward English natives I’d recommend Grammarly to an intermediate to advanced level writer. This is because the app looks to correct errors that native writers would make and isn’t designed specifically with English learners in mind.
For example, a native speaker will be using Grammarly to check for common errors such as a lack of apostrophes in contractions or using too much passive voice. It might offer suggestions if you’re using one word too often and it can even make a database check for plagiarism.
If you’re a beginner ESL writer, you may find this feedback helpful. However, feedback on word choice, formality, structure and staying on the topic question or essay question may be more beneficial. For this, you may need a writing instructor or English teacher to give in-person feedback in these earlier stages.
So how should you use Grammarly? To use Grammarly efficiently as an English learner you should consider it a final step in your writing process. Copy your text into the platform to do a final edit. But, always attempt to edit your own writing first as we discussed earlier in this post.
As an added bonus, the website has a very useful and frequently updated blog that covers various topics related to writing and grammar, as well as work and careers.
Ernest Hemingway was an American author known for his simple and direct writing style. He wrote with limited adverbs and in short sentences.
This is a great style to practice especially for business English and professional English purposes because it’s important to be able to explain complex ideas in a basic manner.
That’s the central idea behind the Hemingway Editor.
The Hemingway App website works in a similar way to the previously mentioned Grammarly app: It offers suggestions to help improve your writing.
That being said, there are some key differences.
The Hemingway Editor is best used for overall “stylistic” purposes. It helps your writing feel less complex and cluttered. It’s also important to note that it doesn’t correct spelling.
To use the website, copy your text and paste it into the editor. The editor will then provide you with a score and suggestions on how to improve the clarity of the writing, active/passive voice, how hard or easy your writing is to read and more. Everything is color-coded so you can easily see what needs to be updated.
You can make edits to your text right on the website and watch your readability score increase as you do! The more you use this website, the more aware you’ll become of the clarity and simplicity of your writing as you write.
It’s worth noting that this isn’t the only way to write—you may prefer to write with more flowing, flowery language, and that’s absolutely something you can do! The Hemingway App is a good option for you, though, if your writing is difficult for others to understand, more lengthy than you’d like or if you just want to write in a simpler style.
The app is free however you can choose for a paid service that offers additional features.
Quick and Dirty Tips from Grammar Girl
Mignon Fogarty, also known as the Grammar Girl, is the founder of the blog and website “Quick and Dirty Tips.” She’s an award-winning writer and podcast host, and has a number of other accolades.
And there’s a good reason for that: Her webpage is a goldmine (full of useful information) of grammar advice and writing tips for native and non-native speakers alike!
You can find articles that cover basic grammar rules all the way up to more specific issues such as when to use specific words, like in the case of historic vs historical.
There are two ways that you can make the most of this resource as an English learner. The first is to search for a specific answer to a question that you have in mind. Grammar Girls has the answers to many of the most common grammar questions. If you have a question about how to use a word or how to apply a grammar rule, there’s a good chance it’s been covered on the website.
The second (which is my favorite) is to simply scroll through the website, diving deep into all the interesting and funny articles. You’ll learn the interesting history of some words, incredible tips and of course plenty of writing-related advice.
It’s a great way to learn while having fun!
Having a strong vocabulary is one of the key steps toward writing well in English. After all, how can you write about something if you don’t have the words for it?
Growing your vocabulary can be difficult since it requires you to learn, actually remember and know how to correctly use the words in your writing. That’s where FluentU comes in.
Unlike traditional language learning sites, FluentU uses a natural approach that helps you ease into the English language and culture over time. You’ll learn English as it’s spoken in real life.
FluentU has a variety of engaging content from popular talk shows, nature documentaries and funny commercials, as you can see here:
FluentU makes it really easy to watch English videos. There are captions that are interactive. That means you can tap on any word to see an image, definition and useful examples.
For example, when you tap on the word "searching," you'll see this:
Learn all the vocabulary in any video with quizzes. Swipe left or right to see more examples for the word you’re learning.
The best part is that FluentU keeps track of the vocabulary that you’re learning and gives you extra practice with difficult words. It even reminds you when it’s time to review! Every learner has a truly personalized experience, even if they’re learning with the same video.
You can start using the FluentU website on your computer or tablet or, better yet, by downloading the app from the iTunes or Google Play stores.
Udemy is an online education platform. It offers courses in pretty much anything! That means that there’s a full range of English writing courses for you to choose from, ranging in price, level of difficulty and area of specialty.
This is the perfect resource for a person who’s new to writing in English or for a learner who wants to focus on a particular type of writing, like creative or business writing. Basically, you’ll be able to find something valuable to your writing goals at any level!
Among the courses covered is a general English writing basics course, or you can seek out more specific courses such as one on formal email writing.
To make the most of this resource, it’s very important that you carefully select the right course for your goals. This means reading the reviews, watching the course preview and reading any feedback or notes left by people who have previously taken the course.
Make sure you keep up to date with the classes and prepare materials on a schedule! Since these are mostly courses that allow you to go at your own pace, you’ll have to keep yourself on track.
Coursera is another online education platform that’s similar to Udemy and offers courses on specific topics. This means you’ll be able to find many courses offered on different styles of writing in English.
Plus, there’s an extra benefit to using Coursera: The courses come from authorized universities and institutions. As a result, many of the courses are more academic and similar to something you’d find in an actual college course. By taking one of these courses, you’ll be getting expert advice for much cheaper than the cost of a university class, or even for free!
Coursera suits learners looking to achieve a professional level of writing. In fact, if you scroll through the offerings, you’ll notice that many (but not all) of the courses on English are business or professionally focused.
If you’re learning English for business, you might find it useful to take this course on “Better Business Writing in English” from the Georgia Institute of Technology. Or, if you’re just trying to improve your overall writing skills, this course on grammar and punctuation from the University of California can help you out.
You also have the option of paying to receive a certificate of completion at the end of the course. This makes Coursera an excellent option if you’d like to put your English studies on your resume!
Cambridge English Write & Improve
Cambridge English is considered the “gold star” of English learning and teaching. In fact, the Cambridge Exams are known around the world and are very sought after by English learners. Over five million Cambridge English exams are taken every year!
Because of this, the resources that they produce are highly professional and educational, like their great service called “Write and Improve.”
Once you set up your profile and current writing level, you’ll be taken to your dashboard. Here, you can start writing either in a “free writing style” or with a given topic. Once you’ve completed your writing, it’s assessed and leveled based on your spelling, grammar and vocabulary. It’s then checked against the Common European Framework Reference for Languages (CEFR).
“Write and Improve” is a great resource to give you an idea of what level your current writing skills are, as well as to discover some areas for improvement. This is also a very useful resource for anyone planning to take an accredited English exam, especially if you’ll be taking a Cambridge exam.
As an added benefit, you can set goals with this resource and take comfort in knowing that the feedback is based on the Cambridge system, including having your spelling checked against the Cambridge dictionary.
Project Gutenburg is an open-source (legally allowed to be shared for free) library with over 60,000 titles! Generally, the titles you’ll find here are a bit old, as many of the books are no longer protected by copyright.
You may be wondering how exactly an online library can help perfect your writing skills. Well, by allowing you to read great books for free, of course!
But you can’t just read—to really learn from this resource, you need to read actively and closely. Take your time and read passages slowly. Write notes in a journal so you can get a better feel for the language. Take note of new phrases and words, unfamiliar grammar structures and anything else that stands out to you.
Start by scrolling through the top 100. Most of these books are still very relevant today in English culture! Project Gutenberg is an excellent introduction to the long history of English writing and culture.
It’s important to note that many of these books may use older or more traditional types of English, so be sure to check words and grammar rules for their modern usage.
The British council is another organization that focuses on the English language and culture. Like Cambridge English, the British Council offers services related to English learning and exam preparation.
Their writing section is a great mix of English writing resources and activities. These would suit any type of learner since they’re clearly arranged by difficulty and are designed for self-study. This means you can set your own schedule and focus on areas of interest that are relevant to you.
To begin, choose your appropriate level. To really make the most of the resource, you should be completing all the activities as well as interacting in the comments section. You may find some tips and feedback you wouldn’t otherwise get!
If you like the free content, there’s an option to continue with a paid course This is a good choice for anyone who wants to prepare for an exam or get a more structured learning experience.
“I don’t want to write today.”
“I don’t know what to write about!”
“It’s too late, I’ll write tomorrow.”
Do you ever find yourself making excuses like these? I know I do! It isn’t always easy to get yourself to sit down and write.
This is where the psychology of forming a habit is so important.
So far we’ve looked at resources that help our skills or give us pointers for our English writing capabilities.
But what about the act of writing, itself? Forget complex grammar and spelling issues. Sometimes, sitting down and practicing the writing is the hardest part of all!
750 Words tracks your writing and encourages you to write every day. The goal of the website is to get you to write 750 words—about three pages worth of writing—per day.
In addition to being a minimal and beautifully designed writing program, 750 Words provides feedback on the time you’ve spent writing, the number of words you wrote and the language you used. It also gives you a report on your writing output (how much you achieve).
There’s a big focus on habit building on the platform, which is an often forgotten but very important step! It can take anywhere from 18-254 days to form a habit, and 750 Words provides the motivation to write every day.
This is a “free-writing” or journaling website, which means you should be writing without any goal or task in mind. If you find yourself struggling to think of something to write about, Journaling Buddies has a great list of 49 writing prompts for English learners.
750 Words doesn’t check your spelling or grammar, so you can use it with some of the other resources in this list, like Grammarly.
Being able to write in English is a gateway to many incredible things, whether you’re working toward a personal goal to be more creative or a global skill for business! With these 10 incredible English writing websites, you’ll soon be able to develop this skill and write in English without fear!
If you liked this post, something tells me that you'll love FluentU, the best way to learn English with real-world videos.