PaperSmith: Academic Writing Assistant for ESL Writers Pervasive HCI Lab, Tsinghua University | Winter-Spring 2018

Academic writing can be difficult, especially for English as second language (ESL) writers. In China, thousands of students and researchers face this challenging task. As the Chinese language is vastly different from English, awkward expressions arise when writers attempt to convey their ideas in English with literal translation.

PaperSmith aims to solve this problem by utilizing the language knowledge gathered from millions of high-quality research papers/articles. In addition to a rule-based suggestion system similar to that of Grammarly, we extracted feature vectors from common expressions, and constructed grammar trees for common sentence structures. Based on the frequency of use and similarity in meaning, our system identifies awkward expressions, and generates suggestions of more natural expressions.


  • Grand Prize, 36th Tsinghua Challenge Cup, 2018. (Top 1%).
  • Evernote Innovation Award (China).


  • Led a team of six to design and develop the Writing Assistant system
  • Designed and implemented the system architecture for the project