ETS’s Writing Mentor® app, a Google Docs Add-on, Helps You to Develop Your Academic Writing Skill

The Writing Mentor application offers two writing modes. In Paragraph Writing Practice, get more comfortable writing by working with "Sam", using Writing Help, proofreading, and earning badges! In Extended Writing, review the feedback. Feedback is not only about correcting errors! The feedback is intended to help you to reflect on, and revise your writing to make it well-developed, coherent, well-edited, and more convincing!

Writing Mentor® uses writing prompts from New York Times resources.

How it works - Paragraph Writing Practice

Let Sam help you write paragraphs and get more comfortable with your writing skills!

1. user
Install Writing Mentor!
Install in Chrome
2. user
Practice writing paragraphs by automatically generating our prompt suggestions, and using the Writing Help templates!
Image showcasing the app 1 Image showcasing the app 2
3. user
Get feedback for your paragraph!
feedback
4. user
Get a Feedback Report to share with your instructor!
report

How it works - Extended Writing

Let Sam help you revise your school and college assignments so that they are in good shape for your reader!

1. user
Install Writing Mentor!
Install in Chrome
2. user
Get feedback about important aspects of your writing!
Image showcasing the app 1 Image showcasing the app 2
3. user
Get a Feedback Report to share with your instructor!
report

FAQ

1

What is the Writing Mentor® application?

The app is a Google Docs Add-on that provides writing feedback for academic writing. Users have the option to practice paragraph writing, or get feedback about extended writing, such as essays. The app uses natural language processing (NLP) to automatically provide feedback to help users improve the quality of their writing.

Writing Mentor will run on a laptop or desktop computer. Google Docs Add-ons are not supported on smartphones and tablets. Depending on your computer display resolution, you may need to use the scrolling function on the Writing Mentor screen to see the full screen. For the best experience and ease of use, we recommend 1920x1080 display resolution or higher. We're constantly working on providing the best experience for users with lower resolutions!

2

Is my data secure with Writing Mentor? What kinds of permissions does it need to run?

Writing Mentor does not collect any personally identifiable information on its users. Writing Mentor does log how its users interact with it; however, it does so in an anonymized fashion. Specifically, we know that some user (identified only by a randomly generated ID) wrote a given essay and clicked on a given set of buttons. We do not know the user’s name, email address, or location.

To run successfully, Writing Mentor requires access to your Google Drive because that’s where Google Docs stores its documents. The backend that powers Writing Mentor runs on a powerful server hosted in the cloud, but all data sent between the app on your computer and the backend is fully encrypted.

3

Is this the final release of Writing Mentor?

No way! The app is still being tested and is under extensive development. While we continue to develop, there is no charge to use it. We appreciate any feedback you can provide to help us to improve!

4

For what kinds of writing does Writing Mentor perform best?

Good question! The app will process any type of text written in English. While Writing Mentor accepts any English text, it will provide the most accurate feedback on academic and college writing. Note that texts that are written in any language other than English will receive unreliable feedback.

5

Is there a length limit on the text that I can submit?

Yup! The app will provide feedback on texts up to 5000 words.

6

How long will it take for Writing Mentor to give me feedback about my document?

Not too long! Documents under 2500 words usually take about 10-15 seconds to process. For longer texts, consider taking a short break, and returning after a few minutes to review the feedback. The app is doing a lot of processing so that it can provide a lot of feedback on your document. This takes Writing Mentor some time; please be patient.

7

Will Writing Mentor process texts that contain non-text objects, such as tables, charts, graphs, and images?

Sorry, not in this version. The app cannot deal with non-text elements. All non-text elements must be removed from the document before using the app. We hope to support these elements in a future release. Note that the line above footnotes may be interpreted as an image.

8

Is it ok to copy and paste the content of a Microsoft Word document into Google Docs, and then use Writing Mentor?

Sure! But, if you do this, it’s important to import the MS Word document into Google Docs using the instructions below. If you do not follow these instructions, you may get inaccurate feedback.

i)
Save your MS Word document on your Google Drive.
ii)
Once your document is saved on your Google Drive, click on that document.
iii)
Use the “Open With” option to open your document in Google Docs.
iv)
Continue writing in Google Docs

Please also note that, in some rare cases, Writing Mentor either may not work or its highlighting may be less accurate. For instance, if there are Endnotes in the original Microsoft Word document, some sources may be incorrectly highlighted in your document. In addition, if there are footnotes in the original Word document, pasting them in may result in Google Docs representing the line above the footnotes as an image.

9

Why do my footnotes not appear in Writing Mentor?

Don't worry! If you have used Google Docs "Insert" toolbar function to insert a footnote, the footnote will remain in your document. But, you will not see the footnote while working in Writing Mentor.

10

Will Writing Mentor feedback change when I revise a text and click "Apply Changes"?

Most likely! If you revise any text in your document, the app may provide different feedback. Different feedback reflects any new text that you added as part of your revision. Your revised text may include new ideas (topics). In Extended Feedback mode, topics from the original version of your text may 'hang around' in the Well-Developed section of the app. You may need to remove those topics manually if you feel that they are not relevant anymore.

11

Where do my revisions get saved?

Good question! If have been working in Paragraph Writing Practice mode, your final revision will appear on the Feedback Report. Feedback Reports for all of your writing submissions will be saved in your User Profile. If you would like to continue to work on a particular paragraph, go to your User Profile, and find the Feedback Report with the paragraph you want to revise. Then, copy the text from the Final Feedback Report. If you want to continue working on it in Paragraph Writing Practice, you can go into the Paragraph Writing Practice space, paste in your text and continue working. If you want to build your paragraph into an essay, paste the paragraph into a new Google Docs document. Start Writing Mentor, and select the Extended Writing Mode. You can continue to work on your paragraph there. If you have been using Extended Writing mode, your writing will continue to be saved in Google Docs. Since writing in this mode tends to be longer, it is not printed out on your Feedback Report. You can print or share that document directly from Google Docs.

12

Can I use Writing Mentor with any device?

No, sorry. Google Docs Add-ons are not supported on smartphones and tablets. Writing Mentor will run on a laptop or desktop computer. Depending on your computer display resolution, you may need to use the scrolling function on the Writing Mentor screen to see the full screen. We are working to improve this!