Student in front of a laptop with many books and papers open

5 Sites To Help Make College Students Lives Easier

On top of having to keep up a CGPA, a social life and familiar expectations, students also have to be fully-functioning human beings who emote. Seems like a whole lot of multitasking but if there’s one thing technology has helped with, it’s allowing folks to create useful apps and sites! We all know how tough it is to get a 17/30 or even less, a full-mark for an assignment these days. However, even studious students can use these handy shortcuts to help nudge their grades a bit. Hence, here are some effective tools for the everyday student!


1. Cite This For Me

Do you ever just go “UGH” when you get back your graded assignment, and realize that you lost marks over very minor citation mistakes? Well, Cite This For Me is one helpful generator you should add to your toolbelt.

Sites for college students - Cite This For Me

The common denominator of all student frustrations is having to tediously check if their citations are correct! At Cite This For Me, there are 2 versions: you can utilize the free version to crack quick citations for you whilst the premium version enables you to do more like checking your paper for plagiarism.

One can choose to cite from anything like books, websites and journals in different citation formats such as Harvard, MLA, APA and more! Firstly, click on what citation format you intend to use. Then pick if you’re citing from a website or a book. If you can’t find what you need just click ‘more’ to view the full drop-down list. 

Next, you can choose to either generate a quick citation or manually input it. For the former, an example would be if you want to cite a website, insert the article’s link for a quick citation to be whipped up! For the latter, just fill in the information accordingly such as title, author and etcetera then you’d be good to go! 


Pro tip: Generating quick citations saves time, but after you’ve compiled your reference list, double-check if the generator had any glitches and caused a mistake. Rarely happens, but better to be safe! 


2. ResearchGate

Asian student researching with books and a laptop

The best thing about higher education is that you’d get full online access to a digital library. However, sometimes you can’t always find what you’re looking for. One can always then turn to ResearchGate for help!


ResearchGate is an online search portal where there are over 135 million publication pages in its database! The landing page may make you think it’s just for STEM research, but it has a good running server for the arts & humanities too. It’s also perfect for anyone who needs access to research or studies for their work or personal benefit, but isn’t in college or university!

If you can’t find a certain study or research paper in your school library, try here as there’s also more access to local Malaysian studies too! It’s free to create an account with them and there are not many ads that will distract you. Every user who enters ResearchGate will be happily surprised that they can view the papers online or download it offline for free too at no additional cost!


3. Vecteezy

Woman working on a laptop in a cafe

Vecteezy was and still is the main reason why I always got 20/20 for the ‘creativity’ portion of my assignment! Whenever I did a presentation, my classmates would always ask how I did it. My answer: Vecteezy!


If you want to jazz up your presentation and score better in exchange for a little more effort, Vecteezy allows you to download vector art and illustrations that are of top-notch quality! One can download vectors, clip art and even character designs for free or for a small payment. Now don’t run, let me explain!

Try searching ‘house’, it’d then bring up all relevant designs to it. The left-side panel lets you pick the type of license to use! Free license designs can be used as long as you give attribution (credit the designer and Vecteezy!). Editorial use only ones are as long as it’s for any newspaper, website, etcetera as long as you’re not using it for marketing purposes or ads. If you’d like to support designers, go for the premium version as it’s worth your money.


Pro tip: Tick ‘Editor Compatible’ if you see a design you like but don’t fancy some elements to it. You can very easily delete parts of the design or even change its colour in Vecteezy’s free and built-in editor!


4. Descriptionari

Have you ever had writer’s block or even wrote a very ‘plain’ essay? Descriptionari would be perfect for you, especially for creative writing or literature students who want to level up their vocabulary game.


Descriptionari was created to inspire budding writers to further their writing abilities! On the site, if you search for anything such as ‘bakery’, you’d find paragraphs or quotes created by the founder, Angela Abraham. An example would be like this, “The bakery took the golden ears of summer fields and let them speak of those sun-fed days in great and hearty bloomers.” Sounds more elaborate than saying the bakery was bright right?

The site used to be contributed by netizens who had a penchant for writing, but one can still learn something from the site! Anyone can also paraphrase or utilize wording styles suggestions that are listed here. Descriptionari is a tiny pot of gold you should always have closeby!


5. Grammarly

This AI-powered assistant may not need much explanation, but if you don’t have Grammarly yet, this is the sign you’ve been looking for to add the extension to your browser!

Sites for college students - Grammarly

Source: Grammarly


Grammarly doesn’t heavily invest in advertising just for show, they’re actually professionals at what they do – checking your grammar! This is the most elaborate extension to check your paper for plagiarism, grammatical errors, and more. It can also help suggest how to paraphrase or word your sentences better. Why invest in Grammarly? It can run a grammar check on anything you’re on! You could be writing on a Google Document, Microsoft Word or Notes, and even design pages like Canva, it’ll do its job!

It has both free and premium packages, with cheaper student packages too! If you’re a student, do check with your school or university if they have prepaid for Grammarly for your use. If there’s none at your place of education, time to slip a note in the suggestion box!


After going through a test trial for each of the options above, hopefully, you have settled on one or two that you think can aid you! Not every app listed will help you all at the same time, but it’s good to know that when the time comes, you know what options you have got.

A realism artist and an aspiring filmmaker. She’s also a devotee to R&B music and an advocate for racial equality.

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