Productivity Software

Pearson Offers Writer as Microsoft Word Add-in

A free writing app from Pearson now plugs into Microsoft Word to make its feature set available to students as they work on assignments. Pearson Writer is available as a standalone application for computers and laptops and as an app for Apple iOS and Google Android. Now similar functionality is available as an add-in that shows up in a side panel in Word 2013 and 2016 on the PC, Word 2016 on the Mac and Microsoft Office 365.

Pearson Writer has long provided "go-to" resources for seeking out help on writing, grammar and research. It also performs an automatic writing review, tracks citations to build a bibliography in the background, provides a note clipper for managing source materials and includes project management and a notebook for helping the student organize his or her work.

The Pearson Writer Add-in for Word allows the student to view and edit outlines, add citations and bibliographies and find resources in the Writer's Guide while working in the same space where they compose.

The new tool "helps students improve their writing and research skills," noted Rob Howard, director of Office 365 ecosystem marketing at Microsoft, in a prepared statement.

The basic program has already been used by at least 350,000 students at more than 500 colleges and universities nationwide, Pearson claimed. Among them is civil engineering student Nkosi Anthony James, who attends the University of Texas at San Antonio. James used Pearson Writer at the suggestion of a teacher on a specific assignment, for which he earned a 95 percent grade.

"My motivation for using Pearson Writer was learning the best way to phrase my sentences," he told the company. "Learning how to structure my essays was also an important factor for using Pearson Writer. I wanted to use a tool that would help me find all of the small errors that I usually miss when I am writing." James said he anticipates that his use of the program will "improve" his grade in any class in which he has to write essays — "and it will teach me to be a better writer."

To load Pearson Writer in Office 365 on a PC or Mac:

  1. In Office 365, click Insert | Add-in.
  2. Choose "Microsoft Store."
  3. Search for and select Pearson Writer.

For users running Word 2013 or 2016 users on PCs:

  1. Download Internet Explorer 11 if it's not already installed. (Although IE11 is required for the add-in to run, that doesn't have to be your default browser.)
  2. In Microsoft Word, click Insert | Add-in.
  3. Choose "Microsoft Store."
  4. Search for and select Pearson Writer.

For users running Word 2016 users on Macs:

  1. In Microsoft Word, click Insert | Add-in.
  2. Choose "Microsoft Store."
  3. Search for and select Pearson Writer.

About the Author

Dian Schaffhauser is a former senior contributing editor for 1105 Media's education publications THE Journal, Campus Technology and Spaces4Learning.