Writing made easy


Developed by educators Dr Lindy Ledohowski (left) and Dr Rueban Balasubramaniam, EssayJack aims to reduce writing anxiety. — SYED AZAMUDDEN/The Star

WRITER’S block is the worst especially when there is a deadline to meet. Coming to the rescue is EssayJack, an interactive web platform designed to reduce writing stress among students.

Developed by educators Dr Lindy Ledohowski and Dr Rueban Balasubramaniam, EssayJack aims to reduce writing anxiety, which they realise is a persistent problem among students.

“We wanted to build a framework for students to make it easier for them to write. They have content and ideas but they don’t know how to organise it correctly,” said Rueban, a tenured law professor in Canada and serves as EssayJack’s senior vice president of business development.

EssayJack can be customised for any writing task for students be it in secondary school, college or university, and can also be utilised by educators to help their students write better.

“We want to make the teaching of English for academic purposes, scholarly writing, and any kind of communicative act more straightforward. So it doesn’t matter if you’re from Melaka or Toronto or Hong Kong, you can have the same quality of education with EssayJack,” added Ledohowski, an English professor and currently EssayJack’s chief operating officer.

EssayJack was launched in 2015 and within six months was chosen by British Council and Cambridge English as one of the world’s best English Language Teaching digital innovations. In 2016, EssayJack partnered with Nelson, a Canadian educational publishing company, to bring the web service into schools, colleges and universities across Canada, and in 2017 the initiative was launched globally.

On its website, EssayJack states that it doesn’t provide content and using the service isn’t considered cheating. It can help students get ahead or fill gaps in their own knowledge about what constitutes good writing, it says.

EssayJack has an easy to follow pre-structured text boxes, tips and prompts that guides the student through the thinking and structure of writing an essay. The platform was also designed to be interactive, allowing teachers to monitor their students and give input where necessary. Educators can customise templates on the platform, and students can also collaborate and share essays when needed.

EssayJack’s service is priced at US$9.99 (RM40) per month or US$99.99 (RM400) per year for individual use. Prices start at US$119 (RM480) for bulk purchases.

 

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