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Academic writing: a practical guide


Tools for writing

Useful software and apps for academic writing.

Creating documents

If you're going to write, you'll need a document to do it in!

At York we support Microsoft Word and Google Docs as text-processing applications. Both have lots of features to help you set up and format your documents effectively. This will help your documents look good, and can also help to save you time.

Find loads of tips and tricks in our dedicated guide:

Tools for finding sources

There are lots of tools you can use to find sources for your assignments.

Finding what you need with YorSearch [SlideShare]

Taking note of note-taking applications

Always losing your notes? Need an application which will work across different platforms? We showcase some online note taking applications, looking at how you can annotate PDFs and other online documents to be efficient with you note taking.

View full Taking note of note taking applications slides on Google Slides.

Accessible reading

There are simple things you can do to help make reading easier, including:

  • using simple reader apps to remove distractions, adjust text and read aloud.
  • adjusting your screen's colour & brightness.
  • listening to a text.
  • organising your reading and references.

Find out more:

Accessibility tools for reading

Accessibility tools can help everyone in some way. The University provides some tools you can use for free to make things easier, particularly for digital reading and writing.

Whether you want to listen to journal articles, change font size and background colours, or see things more comfortably on a mobile or tablet, you'll find a range of tools here that can help you.

Converting files to different formats

You can use different file formats that are more accessible for you or to help you study effectively in different situations. For example, you could convert a PDF into an audio file so you can listen to it if your eyes are tired or you're walking, or you could convert it to an e-reader file that's easier to read on a tablet or to read online.

Organise your sources: reference management software

Keeping track of your sources can be difficult, especially if you're working on a big piece of work that relies on a lot of references. 

Reference management software is really useful to organise your sources: you can group and tag sources, keep notes, and store PDFs online for easy access. You can even automatically cite your references as you write up your work. 

Find out more:

Organisational tools

Need some help getting organised? We showcase a selection of digital tools and apps that can help you keep on top of your to-do list, manage your time, and stayed focused.