January 12, 2015
Grammarly is a new startup that seems to be gaining some traction amongst online writers. Typos, punctuation errors, grammar errors, and more have always been a source of anxiety for writers as well as general email users or business owners. Spell-check programs don’t always catch everything (or they make wrong suggestions), so there has been a need for a new option. Grammarly, found here, just might be the easiest and best, so I reviewed the premium account. Check out my findings below.
As discussed above Grammarly is a proofreading web application that finds and explains in-depth grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes online. Below examples the four biggest things the tool can do for you along with screenshots to help:
The extension will help make sure that you’re not making any spelling or grammar mistakes in your Gmail emails, Facebook, WordPress, Tumblr, LinkedIn, and anywhere else you write on the web. Below is an example of what will show up on your Facebook if you enable the extension.
You can use the system to write or upload a document, and it will instantly be checked for grammar, punctuation, etc. Below is an example of what the dashboard looks like. As you can see, you can easily add/ upload a new document right there on the dashboard as well as search for documents.
Your text is checked automatically as you type or work with an uploaded document. Below is a demo document that shows you what a document looks like as a whole with corrections on the right-hand side (next section):
You can make corrections with just one click. There will be a correction card on the right of the text where you can accept the correction, add to your dictionary, or ignore.
Aside from the main features listed above, there are several other more advanced items that you can (and should) take advantage of when using the tool. Most of these different options can be found on the left-hand side of the webpage. This includes:
At the bottom of all of your documents you will have a score that lets you know how well you’re doing in terms of punctuation, spelling errors, etc. The less you make the better the score, so it’s a great option for those looking to improve their writing and/or computer skills.
The tool helps you with contextual spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, and style. You also have options for vocabulary enhancement and plagiarism, which are the two icons show below the icon that you see in the below screenshot. As you can see, you can turn these on and off whenever you’d like:
You can get incredibly customized with Grammarly by letting them know what type of document you are writing or uploading. For example, if you are writing a business letter, you might have a different style and format than if you were writing an essay. By letting Grammarly know that, the tool can help you even further.
This is the coolest part of the tool in my opinion. If you click the wand icon on the left hand side of the page you can choose to send your piece to be proofread professionally. This will cost you, but it’s a great way another set of eyes on a document that’s very important to you.
I found that using Grammarly was most useful after writing a first draft of a blog post. I preferred uploading my articles instead of writing in Grammarly directly, but that worked well. What surprised me most was that even though I use Microsoft Word, there were so many errors that weren’t caught. I could change them instantly which was easy, and I was given advice that I wouldn’t have heard otherwise.
For example, the tool often said my piece had “wordiness,” or it caught typos that weren’t necessarily typos, for example in one instance it said “possibly confused word: ‘ere.’” I even got an “unclear antecedent” a few times, which is something I never would have considered initially.
What could be improved: Of course, there is always room for improvement. One thing I didn’t love about the tool was that once I made all of the corrections I could save them, which is great, but it’s not easy to copy the corrected version into a document I can send to editors. I can copy and paste, but it copies into a different format that I uploaded initially, so that’s a little bit of extra work that could probably be improved.
I also don’t know if the browser extension is the ideal way to use the tool. For those who make a lot of spelling errors this might be great, but I personally see it as more of a beneficial tool for writing and uploading documents as opposed to correcting spelling on Facebook (although correcting Gmail emails could be helpful). Ultimately, I think the tool is great, but how you use it will depend upon the mistakes you’re prone to make.
Once again, you can find the tool here and it’s completely free. Try it out and let us know what you think in the comments below.
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