Digital Tools in Academic Writing?

Miriam Schcolnik


The process of writing has changed due to the increased availability of digital tools that can facilitate the task of writing in one’s first language (L1) or second language (L2). There has been research on the use of tools by students writing in a foreign language, on the impact of digital tools on student writing, and on the use of digital tools for K-12 writing instruction. However, it seems no studies have investigated the use of digital tools by writing professionals. The aim of this exploratory study was to learn about the use of digital tools by writing professionals – researchers and instructors – when writing in first or second language. The results showed that some writing professionals use a variety of tools throughout the writing process, whereas others use very few tools, and that the patterns of use appear to be similar when writing in L1 or L2. The results informed a new categorization of tools, the various types and subtypes classified by purpose. The study offers a fresh perspective on the use of digital tools for writing by writing professionals.


We invite responses to this study with examples of the use of digital tools for writing and writing instruction. Case studies, short investigative papers and provocations will be collated and published in a future issue of the Journal of Academic Writing, as outlined in the submissions section of the journal. A fuller invitation is framed at the end of this article.


digital tools for writing; writing professionals; academic writing; dialogue

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