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I am currently writing my bachelor's thesis in Computer Science with LaTeX. The thesis is written in English. I use aspell for spell checking, but I think there is more that could automatically be checked:

  • Writing "style" (e.g. warnings for "I", "me", ...)
  • Grammar checking.
  • Wrong citations (I use bibtex)
  • Missing figures or tables
  • Duplicate lables

Is there a program that checks writing style for academic work?

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I use a Academic Writing Check for most of my academic writing, including my thesis. It checks for:

  • passive voice: don't use the passive voice if you can help it.
  • duplicate words ("the the"): this has saved me many times.
  • wrong abbreviations: for example, i.e (no second period)
  • bad typography
  • and some others

To check missing or duplicate labels, I use pdflatex (with this very cool Makefile). It prints a warning message anytime some of the above occur.

I'm not sure how you would check for wrong citations, but pdflatex will tell you about undefined references. For certain words you don't ever want to occur, just use grep.

The last check I do is for overfull hboxes, you can visualize them in your document by setting this in your preamble:

\overfullrule=5pt

I found that on the LaTeX stack exchange, you will no doubt find the answers there a great resource as your write your document. Good luck!

  • Do I understand it correctly that I have to use it with vim? Or is there a possibility to use it as a standalone command line tool like aspell? – Martin Thoma Oct 31 '14 at 9:48
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    From the README: "The script can be called in multiple ways: ./checkwriting <files>". I just call it from the command line. – Felix Oct 31 '14 at 13:28

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