Utilise these online tools to improve your academic writing skill

calendarOct 11, 2023 |clock12 Mins Read

In the current digital age, academic writing has undoubtedly been transformed from what it once was. The internet has brought a new era of convenience and efficiency for students and scholars alike. Academic writing is a writing style that demands a clear tone and formal language, finding the balance between the two can be challenging. As a result, online academic writing tools have emerged, offering resources and assistance to streamline the writing and citation processes. In this blog, we explore online tools that can help you conquer academic writing challenges, boost your productivity, and elevate the quality of your scholarly work. 

Writing Tools

The chosen writing platform can impact the quality of an academic essay, however, this is dependent on personal preferences. A well-known universally adopted writing platform is Microsoft Word, which is very versatile and caters to a variety of writing projects. Platforms specifically geared towards academic writing usually host citation managers and other formatting specialities. Listed below are a few writing platforms that Zendy recommends. 

Microsoft WordA versatile tool that is user-friendly, provides formatting options, collaboration and sharing tools, citation features, templates, spell and grammar check, and auto-save.
LaTeXMost used by academics as the platform is designed to smoothly manage heavy files including data in the form of text, visuals and equations. Provides writers with professional typesetting tools to easily meet institutional or journal requirements easily. 
LibreOfficeLibreOffice Writer provides an array of writing tools ranging from advanced formatting options to spell-checking, in terms of academic writing, this can be a good platform to conduct final touches on an academic paper. 
ScrivenerFor academic writers, Scrivener is best used as a note-making tool as it efficiently stores and organizes all the notes, sources and citations. 
Google DocsGoogle Docs works best for researchers who are collaborating on an academic paper, it conveniently tracks everybody’s contributions ensuring equal participation and smooth workflow. 
Dropbox PaperDropbox paper can be considered a slightly advanced version of Google Docs as the platform is designed to assign tasks, organize documents and create to-do lists to ensure researchers collaborate efficiently. 

Citation Management Tools

In academic writing, referencing and citations are arguably the most time-consuming tasks. Online citation tools are designed to generate accurate citations and curate specifically formatted referencing lists to ensure productivity in research. Citation managers generate both in-text citations and list versions to ensure the source is being used correctly to avoid plagiarism, furthermore, some citation tools also evaluate sources and rule out or alert the writer about the non-academic ones. Listed below are a few citation management tools that Zendy recommends. 

ZoteroZotero is an efficient citation management tool that generates citations by dragging the link of the source to a dropbox. A unique feature is that Zotero also allows academic writers to annotate PDFs on the app to highlight key concepts within a research paper. 
Mendeleygenerates citations and bibliographies of multiple mediums and allows users to collaborate with other researchers online. 
EndNoteEndNote is a great way to organise citations by research paper. It hosts interesting features such as PDF annotation and allows users to generate citations from over 7000 referencing styles. This platform also allows researchers to share reference lists with other authorised collaborators. 
PaperpilePaperpile allows users to access their libraries across multiple devices and also functions as a plug-in to collaborate on Google Docs. It also secures bibliographies as it is a cloud-based reference manager.
RefWorksRefWorks allows users to simply share citations and documents with other collaborators and efficiently manages multiple formats, including webpages. 

Grammar and Spell-Check Tools

In academic writing, it is important to ensure there are no spelling or grammatical errors and that all sentences are structured in a formal and objective manner. The core of academic writing is to clearly and accurately convey information and findings, any grammatical or spelling errors have the potential to misinform readers. Listed below are a few grammar and spell-check tools that Zendy recommends. 

GrammarlyGrammarly is a universal plug-in that enhances clarity and readability while also highlighting errors. This platform can be optimized to cater to any writing platform and tone. Allowing researchers to work on different projects error-free
ProWritingAidThis tool assesses an array of writing mistakes like sentences that interrupt the flow, word choices, consistency of tense usage, and readability. 
MS Word Spelling and Grammar CheckerEfficient for writers who primarily utilise MS Word, as it is an efficient tool that saves time in the proofreading stage. 

Plagiarism Detecting Tools

To be a credible academic, your record must be free of plagiarism as it can quickly taint your career and reputation. Plagiarism detectors ensure that all the content in a research paper is original and cited correctly, some detectors also evaluate how credible a source is and if it can be utilised in an academic paper and then highlight the problem areas. Regularly using plagiarism detectors helps researchers adhere to ethical guidelines to disseminate credible academic research. Listed below are two plagiarism detectors that Zendy recommends.

Platform Benefits
TurnitinThis platform educates students on identifying and crediting other authors’ works, using appropriate referencing techniques, and detecting plagiarised parts for students to efficiently paraphrase. 
CopyscapeCopyscape helps identify plagiarism and the exact source from where content has been plagiarised, this helps students understand the context of the information while correcting the plagiarism. 

In the fast-paced world of academia, where the pursuit of excellence is paramount, these online tools have proven to be indispensable for students and scholars alike. From harnessing the power of plagiarism detection to ensuring impeccable grammar and streamlining the tedious task of citation management, these digital aids have transformed our approach to academic writing. As we conclude our exploration of these tools, it's worth noting that while they provide invaluable assistance, they are no substitute for the core skills of critical thinking, research, and writing. Instead, they serve as enablers, freeing up time and mental bandwidth, and allowing us to focus on the true essence of scholarship: the pursuit of knowledge and the articulation of innovative ideas. 

Use Zendy to conduct your research through quality scholarly papers and easily consume the content with our AI-based summarisation and keyphrase highlighting features.

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Discover and avoid these types of plagiarism in your next academic paper

calendarNov 27, 2023 |clock10 Mins Read

Originality is crucial in academic research. The initial approval process to conduct research relies on the originality of the idea and the new contribution the paper would make to the area of study. Academic research papers should be varied but rather drive the development of an idea or concept. This acceleration of new knowledge is hindered when plagiarism takes place. What is plagiarism? Plagiarism is the practice of presenting another person’s work or idea as your own. In the world of academia, this is a serious offense that can negatively impact a researcher’s career as their papers are usually retracted and they lose their credibility. Educational institutions like universities and colleges can expel and bar students from being admitted to other institutions as this ethical offense is reflected on their record. Common types of plagiarism Type DefinitionHow to avoid Direct PlagiarismWord-for-word duplication of somebody else’s content- Acknowledge and cite the source.- Paraphrase the content by changing sentence voice (active to passive or vice versa) - Include quotation marks in direct qoutes.Paraphrasing PlagiarismOriginal author’s work is restructured very similarly without citing them and their research.- Use synonyms for non-generic words.- Paraphrase by changing sentence voice and change clauses to phrases.Mosaic PlagiarismOccurs when phrases are taken from the original author without quotation marks and citations.- Appropriately cite sources using quotation marks and footnotes.Self-plagiarismUtilising your own sentence structures and ideas from previously submitted work without citing the source.- Ensure there is sufficient material to justify the new paper. - Appropriately cite the original source.Patchwork PlagiarismOccurs when material is copied from several sources and rearranged to create their own flow on a new paper without crediting any new sources.- Paraphrase material into your own words.- Enclose verbatim content in quotation marks and cite.Accidental PlagiarismOccurs when the author inaccurately cites sources, misquotes information or unintentionally paraphrases too similarly without the intent to present ideas as their own.- Proofread research paper multiple times before submitting. - Cite everything that was not discovered by you, including widely-known information. How to avoid plagiarism When working on a research paper, you can try and apply the following strategies to avoid committing plagiarism: Cite your sources When stating an idea or presenting information that you have found through a different source, add the proper in-text citation to indicate that this material is “borrowed”. Include quotation marks When quoting a source verbatim, using quotation marks helps avoid plagiarism and indicates that these words are relevant but not yours. The quote should also include it’s source. Paraphrase Paraphrasing can be tricky as it is a thin line between itself and plagiarism, it involves restructuring ideas into your own words without changing their meaning and intent. This also needs to be appropriately cited. Present your ideas Your research paper should constructively explain your perspective on the information that is cited. Touch on how this is relevant to your findings or argument. Use plagiarism tracker Utilising plagiarism detection tools can help avoid accidental plagiarism. These tools highlight plagiarised content and provide an overall percentage to help users understand their paper’s problem areas. Ethical writing practices In academic writing, ethical guidelines demand authors to avoid weaknesses of bias and exclusive language, while encouraging authors to write on a range of perspectives that are relevant to the area of study and clearly indicate through citations where external material has been incorporated into the paper. The infographic below describes 3 strategies to make sure your academic writing skills are in line with ethical guidelines. Plagiarism detection tools These detection tools ensure that academic research papers are original. They compare the material to a vast database of existing information and highlight any duplicated material, this helps maintain the author’s credibility and authenticity while avoiding certain legal issues. Here are a few detectors that Zendy recommends: Copyscape Turnitin Grammarly iThenticate Scribbr In conclusion, plagiarism is a serious academic offense that taints a researcher or student’s career by taking away their credibility and authenticity. Which is why the approval process of academic research is a rigorous one, to ensure the author and researchers have sufficient new contributions and perspectives within a specific area of study. Furthermore, establishing a practice of scanning lengthy research papers against recommended detection tools benefits researchers in citing all content appropriately and even avoids accidental plagiarism. ul { margin: 0 !important; } li a { color: rgb(244 178 35); }

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Zendy Announces a New Global Subscription Plan at Frankfurt Book Fair 2023

calendarOct 27, 2023 |clock3 Mins Read

Frankfurt, Germany – October 19 2023 - Zendy, the AI-powered research library, announced the launch of its global subscription plan at the 75th annual Frankfurt Book Fair event in Germany. This launch enables students, researchers, and professionals around the world to access leading journals, e-books, and research papers on one intuitive platform. Founded in 2019, Zendy has introduced an ‘affordable access’ model and is committed to fostering a more affordable and inclusive ecosystem for individuals to read and download scholarly material. Despite progress with open science initiatives, the majority of published scientific findings — and the vast majority of prestigious new research is hidden behind paywalls. Given the global disparity in current access models, affordable and accessible solutions are required to facilitate the future of research. This global subscription plan gives individuals unlimited access to paywalled research for the monthly price of a single research paper. Zendy also offers a free Open Access plan. Both plans come with a host of features including AI summarisation and keyphrase highlighting and more. “Research should be accessible to everyone and it must be affordable. The only way we can address these issues is to shift our perspective on the economics of the publishing industry. Our affordable access solution with Zendy Plus helps publishers increase visibility and proceeds in emerging markets, and most importantly, gives individuals an affordable alternative. It’s taken us years of conversations and collaboration to reach this milestone so we thank our community for their unwavering support,” said Zendy co-founder Kamran Kardan. Zendy partners with leading providers and publishers including Bristol University Press, De Gruyter, EBSCO, Emerald Publishing, IEEE, Taylor & Francis, Wiley, and more. To find out more, visit:  About Zendy Zendy is a product of Knowledge E. Since its inception in 2019, Zendy has introduced over 350,000 users to a better way to research. Zendy’s intuitive AI-powered research library features millions of journals, articles, e-books, and more; allowing users to access unlimited content for an affordable monthly subscription. Zendy also offers a free open access plan. Press contact:Monica ChinsamiHead of Marketing

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The Literature Review Formula: Key Steps for Academic Excellence

calendarOct 5, 2023 |clock16 Mins Read

The literature review within an academic research paper stands to provide an understanding of existing literature and discourse within an area of study, this knowledge and information is presented as a comprehensive report. The relevant research is collected and summarised, this gives the author the opportunity to identify prior research, avoid plagiarism, identify the gaps in research and conflicts of previous studies, and justify the author’s research question and statement. This critical evaluation of existing research and debate dictates the researcher’s reviewing stance on their own research question. In this blog, we dissect how to write a compelling and comprehensive literature review for your next academic paper. How to identify relevant resources for the literature review? The first step to locating relevant academic resources for your literature review is to identify the key terminologies and concepts within your research question or statement. One of the most simple methods of finding relevant resources is to use boolean operators which are simple words like AND, OR, NOT etc. These produce more focused search results. It is also important to limit your searches to credible academic databases like: Zendy Google Scholar OAPEN There are criteria to decide whether a source is relevant and credible enough to be included in a literature review, the P.R.O.V.E.N. method serves as a guide for researchers on what to assess when locating sources. P - Purpose: Why was the source created? Does the information exist to inform, entertain, persuade or sell? Are the authors stating the purpose or attempting to disguise it? Why is the information published in this medium? (Book, journal article etc.) Who is the target audience? R - Relevance: The value of the source Is the source appropriate to utilise within your assignment? How beneficial is this source? Does it add new information or support your argument? O - Objectivity: How reasonable is the information? What kind of language are the authors utilising? Is it offensive, emotional or strong? Are the authors influenced by their opinions or perspectives? Do they state this clearly or attempt to disguise this? Does the piece offer multiple perspectives? Are the authors critiquing these perspectives constructively? V - Verifiability: Accuracy of the information Is the information supported with facts? Does it cite other sources and are they credible? What do experts state about this topic? Is this information found in other sources as well? Does the material misinterpret other sources or present false evidence? E - Expertise: Authority of authors and source Are the authors credible? Do they have educational credentials related to the topic, and are they affiliated with institutions? Is their expertise recognised by other authors? Is the source peer-reviewed? N - Newness: Age of information Is your topic within an area that requires current research? Or are older sources still relevant and valid? When was the source first published? Are there newer sources that add new information? How to analyse and critique sources for a literature review? To utilise a specific source in a literature review, it has to be thoroughly analysed and critiqued. The academic paper would need to be checked for accuracy, reliability, and credibility; to effectively do so, there are 4 simple steps that compare certain sections of an academic paper with specific questions. Look at the abstract, then the discussion sections What is the significance of the conclusions and are they accurate? Have the authors stated the limitations of the study? Is the design appropriate for the research question? Go through the methods section Do the methods address potential bias? Are there appropriate “controls” within the study? Were the methods cited and described in detail? Do the authors state the limitations of the selected methods? Go through the results section Were the results expected or anticipated by the authors and researchers? Does the data support the outcome? Has the author accurately presented the data? Evaluate the discussion and conclusion sections Is there a clear explanation of the hypothesis being supported or refuted? Are the limitations of the study accurately addressed? Other points to consider: Are there any ethical concerns? Have the authors cited themselves? Are there any financial or ethical conflicts of interest associated with the industry? How to organise a literature review? The organisation of a literature review is dependent on the area of study and scope that the academic paper will be covering. There are 3 approaches to organise a literature review which are thematic, chronological, and methodological as depicted in the infographic below. Common mistakes to avoid in a literature review Literature reviews often come with their fair share of pitfalls and common mistakes. Whether you're a seasoned scholar or beginning to navigate the world of academic writing, it's important to understand the strategies to steer clear of these pitfalls and create literature reviews that stand out for their clarity, depth, and impact. Relying on low-quality sources Avoid using non-academic sources like blog posts, opinion pieces, and publications by advocacy groups. These sources should only be included if they are of significance as they are not objective or research-based. Lack of seminal literature Seminal literature is essentially the research paper that previously highlighted and elevated the area of study and serves as the theoretical foundation of a strong literature review. Most students and authors focus on including timely research rather than crediting the origin, furthermore, seminal literature can be easily found on Google Scholar. Lack of current literature A strong literature review is a balanced comparison of seminal and current scholarly research, this comparison thoroughly evaluates the timeline, discoveries and discrepancies between the time periods. Focus on descriptions A good literature review evaluates and synthesises research papers instead of providing brief descriptions. Writing the conclusion of a literature review The conclusion of a literature review section should summarise key findings, concepts and debates in the area of study. Since the conclusion of the literature review does not conclude the entire research paper, it is beneficial to include opportunities for future studies to further explore and dissect existing literature or gaps. You can also use this section to highlight your own research question to smoothly lead to the next section of your academic paper. FAQs What is the purpose of a literature review? The purpose of a literature review is to collect, evaluate and synthesise existing research and information within a specific area of study to support, argue or evaluate a thesis statement while also identifying the gaps in existing research. What citation style to use for a literature review? Literature reviews should contain in-text citations which should be referenced in the paper’s bibliography section. As for the citation style, this is dependent on the discipline and institution as it varies. What is the significance of critiquing literature? Critiquing literature is important because not all published research can be considered reliable. Arguments and the interpretation of data can be biased or justified inefficiently. ul li, ol li { margin: 0 0 0 40px; } ul li a{ --tw-text-opacity: 1; color: rgb(234 170 0); } ol { list-style: auto; } ul { list-style: disc; }