Efficient formatting including updates, available in a variety of style for different platforms.Cons
Requires some effort to learn how to use most effectively.Verdict
This is not a 'no brainer' solution to academic style writing - you need to understand what you are doing in order to use it efficiently. But once you have that sorted out, it will do a tricky and time-consuming job efficiently.
Unbiased Review of StyleEase Software for Academic Writers
Not only are the 'rules' somewhat baffling, you may find that your hard-worked-on assignments get marked down if your writing doesn't fit the style.
StyleEase software for students could help.
The software was developed by Gary Hillerson, who, when faced with writing his Master's thesis in APA (American Psychological Association) format, decided to use his software and technical writing background to develop a program to help with all those tricky citations, references and layout issues.
StyleEase has since developed to 'create a more comprehensive and intuitive product' and is now available for a range of academic formats.
Having been in the business since 1991, StyleEase promise that they have learned from their customers and continue to develop their software products so you can look forward to 'great enhancements' for many years to come.
OK, so lets look at what the software offers to novice academics.
StyleEase say that their products are 100% compliant with writing style guides, and that when a style standard gets updated then their product will be. The software automates your paper and citation formatting, 'making it easy for you to focus on the content of your paper, thesis, or dissertation.'
And it's true that there's nothing more distracting from your train of thought than thinking, 'damn... I need to put a proper citation in there, now how do you format those things...?'
There are versions of the software for APA, Chicago and MLA (Modern Language Association) styles, and you can create an unlimited number of documents, from book reports to doctoral dissertations.
You then use StyleEase to organize your paper style and necessary sections, and your text will be automatically formatted as you type. Citations, reference entries and previously cited sources can all be easily inserted - the software brings up a screen, you type in the relevant information, and the information will appear as a perfectly formatted reference in the appropriate place.
The software has versions for Word on a PC and Mac and can be 'up and running in under 10 minutes'.
Each version costs $35.
When I looked for independent reviews for this products I ran into some controversy. There were some customer reviews which reported that the software wouldn't load correctly and that the good review was posted by the seller.
However the thread is from a few years ago (2008) and more recent (and apparently genuine) customers, rate the software highly.
'I am ecstatic because I am not losing points on my written papers due to style and formatting errors,' said one.
'It is very user friendly and gives free updates with the downloaded version. When I changed computers, I was able to get a downloaded version at a reduced cost in 2009. I have recommended this program to several peers and will continue to do so,' said another.
There are some glitches for some users, which may be 'operator error' but you should be aware that you need to put a bit of time into learning how to use this program.
'Once I played around with the software for a while I was able to figure out the gist of it. But for those who are not that savvy and patient I would not recommend purchasing this product,' said another.
'You need to understand the rules of grammar first,' said one astute customer - and this is true of any style software. They are programs applying rules, not a human being reading and understanding them.
As another said, 'I think it's a matter of learning how to use the software. I have written several papers with StyleEase in APA and it formatted them correctly and did my references list.'
Once you have it worked out, StyleEase seems to do the job of formatting. 'I've been using StyleEase since undergrad and it has done me well,' said one student.
Another reported (in response to a question about the best formatting software), 'I use style ease. It does your formatting, and cover page and references. But after 2 yrs in grad school I have found out formatting is the easy part!'
There is a very low refund rate for this product (0.12%) so recent customers appear to be happy .
It would seem that early glitches have been worked out and given some patience to learn how to use it, the product does it's job efficiently.
Now you just have to get the content of your papers sorted out!
Visit the official site for StyleEase Academic Writing software
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