As we all know, "Good writing is about finding the best words to convey your message."
Or should I say, "The best writing is choosing the most appropriate words to express one's thoughts."
Or perhaps just, "To write well, you need to use the right words."
Whatever the case, when we or our students are writing, we want to find the best tools to help us reflect on, edit, re-edit, and ultimately improve our writing.
I can remember using a giant thesaurus over thirty years ago to help find just the right word for my schoolwork. Now though we have so many other tools to assist, including an excellent resource I came across recently called Wordtune.
Wordtune is a free Chrome extension that uses artificial intelligence to suggest alternate ways to phrase your writing. This can be helpful for students to add variety to their writing, try to incorporate new words, and tune up a sentence to make it more clear.
See below for a short video on how to use this tool, as well as detailed written instructions.
Tutorial Video (6 minutes)
Here is my video on how to use the Wordtune extension to get suggestions for rewording and improving your writing.
Install the Wordtune Extension
The first thing you will need to do is install the Wordtune extension, if you do not have it installed already. This can be done through the Chrome Web Store using the link below.
- Wordtune - Chrome extension link
Once the Wordtune extension is installed be sure to pin it so it will stay visible on your toolbar in your list of extensions.
We will also get a new tab that pops open with some welcome information and details about the free versus premium version. For now you can just click "Continue with Free".
Now that we have the extension installed, the Wordtune toolbar will appear anytime we start to write in tools such as Google Docs, Gmail, and more.
If you do not want the toolbar to always be open, you can click the dot on the far left to unpin the toolbar so it will minimize when not in use.
Using the Rewrite Feature
The main feature of Wordtune is the "Rewrite" tool which uses artificial intelligence to help you reword your writing. To use this simply:
- Start by selecting one of your sentences.
- Be sure to just select one sentence, and include everything up to the end punctuation mark.
- The Rewrite toolbar will now appear over your selected sentence.
- Click the "Rewrite" button on the right side of the toolbar (the button looks like three stars).
- You will now get a drop down menu with ten new versions of your sentence.
- Scroll down through the sentences to see if there are any you like.
- If you click on one of the suggestions, it will replace your sentence with the new one.
- Or you can click the copy button to the right of the suggestion to copy it.
- Or you may just be inspired by the suggestions and want to go back and make manual changes to your original sentence.
Hopefully this tool will help you or your students to consider new ways to phrase ideas, or a different sentence structure, or alternate words that may communicate the information more clearly. This is not meant to replace you as a writer, but to be a writing assistant and strengthen your skills.
Using the Suggestions Feature
Another tool that is included with the free version of Wordtune is the "Suggestions" feature. This acts as a quick thesaurus to suggest alternate words to consider when writing. To use this feature:
- First you will need to turn on the tool by clicking on the "Suggestion" button in the app toolbar (looks like one big star).
- Once that is turned on you will now see purple underlining below key words in your writing.
- Simply hover your mouse over any of these words and you will get a pop-up selection of similar words.
- If you like any of these, you can just click on the suggestion to insert that in place of your original word.
The "Rewrite" feature and the "Suggestions" feature are part of the free version of the Wordtune extension. There is a premium paid version of Wordtune, but even if you just use the free version, you and your students can benefit greatly from it.
As for the premium version, here are the additional features that are included:
Formal and Casual Rewrite - This is similar to the regular "Rewrite" tool, but allows you to generate new sentences that are specifically more casual or more formal in their choice of words and sentence structure.
Shorten and Expand - These options are also similar to the "Rewrite" tool, but will create sentences that are a shorter paraphrased version, or a longer elaborated version of your sentence.
Examples - This is a tool that compares a selected phrase with millions of similar sentences online so you can see how other sources have used that wording.
Word Finder - This tool is especially useful for people who are still learning English. When you click the "Word Finder" button you can type in a word in your own language, and then press "Enter" and you will get suggested words in English.
And that's it! Wordtune is a helpful Chrome extension that you may want to add to your collection of writing tools. The free version has some powerful features that can assist you and your students when writing and editing to explore other words, phrases, and sentence structures to communicate your ideas more clearly and improve your writing skills.
For other writing-related tools and resources, check out some of my other documents below:
Note: This is not a sponsored post. I am just very impressed with the artificial intelligence capabilities of this extension, and am excited to see how students may benefit from this when writing.
Post by Eric Curts. Connect with me on Twitter at twitter.com/ericcurts