I came across this review article on writing tools published in 2019, and wanted to make some quick notes to come back to in this post. I’m following the usual format I use for article notes which summarizes the gist of a paper with short descriptions under respective headers. I had a few thoughts on what I thought the paper missed, which I will also describe in this post.
Carola Strobl, Emilie Ailhaud, Kalliopi Benetos, Ann Devitt, Otto Kruse, Antje Proske, Christian Rapp (2019). Digital support for academic writing: A review of technologies and pedagogies. Computers & Education 131 (33–48).
- To present a review of the technologies designed to support writing instruction in secondary and higher education.
- Writing tools collected from two sources: 1) Systematic search in literature databases and search engines, 2) Responses from the online survey sent to research communities on writing instruction.
- 44 tools selected for fine-grained analysis.
Article Writing Tool
C-SAW (Computer-Supported Argumentative Writing)
Carnegie Mellon prose style tool
Correct English (Vantage Learning)
DicSci (Dictionary of Verbs in Science)
Editor (Serenity Software)
Marking Mate (standard version)
Research Writing Tutor
SWAN (Scientific Writing Assistant)
Scribo – Research Question and Literature Search Tool
Turnitin (Revision Assistant)
- Tools intended solely for primary and secondary education, since the main focus of the paper was on higher education.
- Tools with the sole focus on features like grammar, spelling, style, or plagiarism detection were excluded.
- Technologies without an instructional focus, like pure online text editors and tools, platforms or content management systems excluded.
I have my concerns in the way tools were included for this analysis, particularly because some key tools like AWA/ AcaWriter,
Writing Mentor, Essay Critic, and Grammarly were not considered. This is one of the main limitations I found in the study. It is not clear how the tools were selected in the systematic search as there is no information about the databases and keywords used for the search. The way tools focusing on higher education were picked is not explained as well.