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Middle School Writing Apps and Websites

These top-rated middle school apps and websites can help you and your students address some key writing skills. More importantly, many of the selections offer students an authentic community that can get them writing about high-interest topics and sharing their writing with others. From academic skills such as argumentative writing and writing research papers to more interest-driven writing activities and online social networks for creative writing, you'll find it all here. There's even some help for better organizing and structuring writing as well as improving grammar.

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Writing Platforms and Creation Tools

Pages

Writing and publishing tool is an increasingly satisfying option

Bottom line: With useful new book creation features, Pages is a much-improved publishing tool for Apple-oriented classrooms.

NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program

Wildly engaging contest turns students into novelists in 30 days

Bottom line: A thoughtful adaptation of the famous and fun grown-up novel writing contest, NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program is brimming with advice and encouragement as well as classroom support.

Evernote

Impressive organizational tool has limitless uses

Bottom line: This free information-management tool can help kids become tech-savvy and learn to better organize their digital lives.

NoodleTools

Expansive research tool uniquely melds learning and productivity

Bottom line: While the complex, old-school design isn't ideal, NoodleTools gives students specific assistance where they need it the most -- with citations, paraphrasing, elaboration, and organization.

Notability

Flexible note-taking tool empowers learners of all abilities

Bottom line: An excellent tool that lets students make their notes thorough and useful in the way that best suits their learning styles and abilities.

Writing Instruction for the Classroom

Quill

Let students do the writing to make grammar lessons more meaningful

Bottom line: Excellent opportunities for grammar and writing practice; teachers may need to tailor lessons to best fit into their own curriculum.

826 Digital

Popular after-school program shares its resources with teachers

Bottom line: This is a worth-bookmarking resource thanks to relatable writing lessons and motivating examples of actual student writing.

Citelighter

Substantial all-in-one tool scaffolds the research and writing process

Bottom line: This smart, intuitive system supports students in every step of the writing process.

Writable

Smart writing platform places focus on feedback and revision

Bottom line: While there's some room for improvement, this tool is rock-solid pedagogically and can be the engine of your classroom's writing process.

StudySync

Superb ELA resource has comprehensive coverage, tons of supports

Bottom line: StudySync offers a complete core literacy program for secondary schools, making it easy to recommend, especially for teachers new to digital platforms.

ThinkCERCA

Well-structured lessons encourage deep analysis, thoughtful writing

Bottom line: This is a ready-to-go, research-backed resource that focuses intently on CCSS-aligned and AP-level critical reading and writing skills.

Mars Gen One: Argubot Academy

Hone powerful persuasive skills on a red-planet adventure

Bottom line: A visually appealing, pedagogically sound exploration of what makes a valid argument.

Drafting Board

Students get persuasive skills with delightful civics-based essay tool

Bottom line: It's a fantastically detailed tool that helps kids through every step of persuasive essay writing.

Grammarly

Helpful tips support the writing process and build confidence

Bottom line: A helpful site to check grammar and plagiarism, and a good tool for understanding errors and how to fix them.

WriteLab

Nifty site gives automatic writing feedback, helps teachers comment

Bottom line: With potentially best-in-class automated feedback and useful teacher features, WriteLab, if used well, offers a compelling proposition for writing instruction.

Kaizena

Nifty add-on enables audio and text feedback in Google Docs

Bottom line: If your classroom relies a lot on Google Docs, this might just be the feedback tool you're looking for.

Online Networks and Social Platforms for Writing

Storybird

Social storytelling site helps kids create, publish storybooks

Bottom line: A great fit for teachers looking to develop students' writing and digital citizenship skills through storybook creation.

BoomWriter

Collaborative writing platform has the potential to motivate

Bottom line: There's creativity possibility in this tool's unique brand of collaborative and competitive writing, but teachers should take care to keep things positive, especially for less confident students.

Edublogs

Customizable classroom blogs get students writing and collaborating

Bottom line: This rich and safe blogging tool makes it easy for teachers and students to extend the classroom into a wider community.

Weebly

Impressively easy-to-use website-creation tool

Bottom line: Helpfully walks students through each step of website creation, and teachers can control access and monitor progress.

Story Wars

Read, write, and vote on engaging collaborative storytelling site

Bottom line: A cool, competitive approach to online storytelling with a lot of learning potential -- just be aware of the iffy content and licensing risks.

Youth Voices

Vibrant online community hosts authentic student writing

Bottom line: Supported student writing, collaboration, and communication make this a healthy space for kids to express themselves.

Teen Ink

Get kids writing, publishing, critiquing in this valuable network

Bottom line: Teens will find a wealth of information and many opportunities to further interest in writing and the creative arts.

Write the World

Global community helps young writers write, revise, think, and grow

Bottom line: With interest-based writing prompts and thoughtful feedback from peers and pros, this is a great tool for writing for authentic audiences.

Textadventures.co.uk

Play or design text adventures, but creation can get technical

Bottom line: Text adventures can be a blast to play and make, but the Quest game-making tool, while offering some decent support, can be tough to use effectively without coding experience.

Other Helpful and Engaging Resources for Writing

ReadWriteThink

Excellent free resource for all things reading and writing

Bottom line: A language arts teacher's dream; lesson plans, professional development, and all-around quality support.

Read&Write

Useful text-to-speech app and extension unlocks the written word

Bottom line: A valuable tool to make classroom use of websites and digital documents more accessible to all students.

Write About

Engaging prompts, flexible collaboration options empower young writers

Bottom line: A solid choice for helping students grow as writers and editors.

Turnitin

Encourage original work and give feedback with this valuable tool

Bottom line: Beyond the convenience factor, it's almost a necessity for the teaching of writing in today's digital world.

Elegy for a Dead World

Compelling sci-fi world imagined -- and written -- by its players

Bottom line: With some teacher guidance, Elegy offers an opportunity unlike anything else to get students to write stories and stretch their creative muscles.

ZoteroBib

Fewer clicks and less clutter equal a new go-to site for citing sources

Bottom line: An intuitive site that takes the stress out of citing sources, but students will still need instruction to tweak auto-generated citations.

KQED Education

Great news and classroom resources support both teachers and students

Bottom line: With some organizational adjustments, the site could be an exceptional place for both kids and teachers to find educational inspiration.

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