Writing’s no cup of coffee, everybody knows that. It’s not just scribbling that makes your writing a perfect piece, but the other nitty-gritty (choice of words, editing, proofreading, writing style, etc.) that will make your write-up a perfect one. Ask a scholar what is the toughest job in writing projects; he would end up saying, “Oh, it’s editing and proofreading.”
Editing and proofreading took hours (even days on bigger projects) until the time tech-savvy language experts came to writers help by building automated editing programs. Most of the word processors were embedded with editing tools; even websites were build to help the writers and scholars with the same. But they could not provide what actually was needed, the reason being the complexity of the English Language (I guess). Many other programs promised something else and ended up giving something else. And there were many others which cost writers huge amount of money and yet the result wasn’t satisfactory.
And after all these years Grammarly.com was founded in 2009 by Alex Shevchenko and Max Lytvyn to reduce the pain of editing that writers underwent. Its mission was improving lives by improving communications. The builders of Grammarly were linguists and language lovers. The tools have been licensed by more than 600 leading universities and corporations.
Grammarly is claimed to be the world’s smartest editing tool. It is said to know around 250 grammar rules (which is huge). It not only helps you fix hundreds of basic and complex language errors but also suggests you with other appropriate options which would best fit among your particular set of words or sentence.
But how would you know if it is the tool that you need or not? Trust but Verify, no? Let’s dive into the world of Grammarly and see how useful the tool is if it is.
Overview: To start using Grammarly you need to go to the website. It also comes with an extension for the web browsers. You can embed the extension with your browser for the real-time checking and correction of the errors. Above that Grammarly now also comes as a desktop application which embeds with the word processors you use and helps you create linguistically sound projects from your desktop right on the first go. You can get it for free, here.
The second step you need to follow is to create an account for yourself with your email. Now, Grammarly offers you two types of accounts: A Free Account and A Premium Account. You can choose for any one of them. Both of them are great.
But obviously, the free account gives you access to the basic features of the tool (It helps you resolve basic grammatical errors). On the other hand, the premium account gives you the access to the smarter and exclusive features of Grammarly — ranging from editing critical grammar errors to checking the plagiarism of the content of your project. Before we study the accounts and features in details; let’s have a look at what features the tool claims to offer us.
Features of Grammarly: Grammarly promises to help the writers with multiple things from the single interface. Most of them include – Contextual Spelling Checker, Grammar Checker, Punctuation Checker, Sentence Structure Checker, Style Checker. The additional features it promises the wordsmiths with are Plagiarism Checker, Vocabulary Enhancement, Genre Specific Writing and Professional Proofreading. Needless saying that the first set of features are offered with the free account, and you need to have a premium account to get access to the second set of features. Grammarly even allows you to switch off a particular feature/ checker if you feel the need to (user-friendly, eh?)
Let’s look into every feature with details.
Contextual Spelling Checker: Spelling mistakes, typos are the real pain every writer goes through. The worst part is that it never comes to a halt. The Contextual Spelling Checker looks in for the spelling mistakes you might make while typing your project. More than that it also keeps an eye on the correct spellings used in the wrong context. The most commonly mistaken uses are of words like their/ they’re/ there, your/ you’re, die/ dye, etc.
Example: I have a paralysis.
If you type the above sentence in the editor of Grammarly or of any application embedded with its extension, it will notify you of the spelling mistake by underlining it with red color, and when you scroll to that word, it will suggest you of the correct spelling of that particular word. In the example, paralysis is apparently the misspelled word. And the tool suggested me with three spellings- paralysis, paralyzed and paralytic. Paralysis was the correct one, no doubt.
Example: If you type “They took there book with them.”
The tool will simply notify you of a possibly confused word. It also asks you if you mean ‘their’ so that your confusion can be cleared. And when you commit a spelling mistake; the tool gives you options to choose the correct spelling you might want to use.
Grammar Checker: As it says, the Grammar Checker looks for more than hundreds of the grammatical errors. In the free accounts, it checks for the subject-verb agreement, misused articles, verb forms, tenses and many other grammatic rules. For premium users, it checks for even more critical errors that might be there. Let’s use a sentence that is grammatically wrong and see what the tool can find out.Example: People go there. You can install Grammarly plugin on your Desktop from, here.
For this, the tool notifies us of incorrect verb form. The alternates, it suggests is ‘people go there’ or ‘people went there.’He doesn’t work for them.
Errors found here are (1) H isn’t capitalized in ‘he’ (2) incorrect verb form for do or does. The correct sentence should be “He doesn’t work for them.”
Punctuation Checker: The Punctuation Checker checks for the redundancy or missing or repetition of the punctuation marks like comma, periods, colons and semicolons. It also checks for incorrect spacing along with other punctuation rules. Let’s check this out -Example: My wife and her brother are mad.
In this sentence, Grammarly notifies me of incorrect use of the comma. And that is correct; There has to be no comma between wife and and. Albeit like Grammar Checker, the Punctuation Checker finds out more complex errors if you’re a premium user.
Sentence Structure: Sentence Structure tool checks for the errors you might commit in the formation of the sentence. The basic checks include misplaced words, faulty word order and other sentence formation rules. Trust me; sentence formation is one of the most common challenges, writers face.Example: Let’s have a look at the explanation of the previous example.
I had used ‘and’ for two times while explaining the example in Punctuation Checker (wife and and), the tool notified me that I had repeated the word. And I must use a hyphen if I want to use it as a compound word. But that was intentional, so we can ignore it. It also allows us to ignore the suggestions and corrections. There may be times when we need to use certain things intentionally.For free accounts, Grammarly just finds out the basic errors. But if you are a premium user it will help you correct the mistakes of faulty modifiers, subjunctive issues and if you use very long sentences, it suggests you slice your sentences into shorter ones. Short sentences are easy and more effective, experts say.
Style Checker: Style Checker looks for faults in the writing style you’ve chosen. The aspects examined are wordiness and redundancy. It also helps you choose if you want to write in British English or American English. And if you slip from your chosen writing style, Grammarly points it out instantly. The feature of choosing between American or British English is also limited to the premium users.
Certain features that I have described above may only be available with the Premium Account. But most of them work with the Free Account. The features, I am going to discuss below are limited to the Premium Account only.
Plagiarism Checker: Grammarly inspects for the plagiarisation (copied content) in your text by digging into a database of over 8 billion pages on the Internet. And it not only checks for the unoriginal content but also suggests you with the replacements that might be appropriate for you.Example: When it does, I can see that even among all the bad things happening in the world, there are good things happening now that we would never have imagined before: cross-disciplinary action groups forming among people who never used to sit in the same room; all sorts of uncomfortable but necessary discussions in boardrooms and neighborhoods and schools; and a lot more healthy questioning of what’s true and what’s right.
I have copied the above text from a blog. And the Plagiarism detected that 100% of this text had been copied. The tool suggested me the replacement of certain words such as ‘cross-disciplinary,’ ‘boardrooms’ and many others. I replaced them, and the plagiarism percentage was reduced to 90. And this went on and on.
Vocabulary Enhancement: Vocabulary enhancement tool suggests you the words that might be more effective for your text based on the genre of the writing you’ve chosen. It gives you several synonyms for words, and you can choose the aptest one.
Genre Specific Writing: The Genre Specific Writing tool helps you to choose the vocabulary according to the genre of writing you’ve chosen. The specific genres that Grammarly has are General, Research Proposal, Business Letter, End-User Assistance, etc.
To understand this tool better one has to write a certain text in the editor of Grammarly and see it’s replacements based on the genres he chooses. This is the most intriguing and effective tool of the Grammarly.
Professional Proofreading: Last but not the least, Professional Proofreader is always ready to check any of your documents and up with all the edits your text might be needing. And we all are aware of the fact if for one time there instead of their was right in our eyes, then during the proofreading its most probably going to be right unless notified otherwise. And the Grammarly Proofreader is very efficiently designed, it finds the error when it sees one.
Acclamation: In 2013, Grammarly claimed the TopTen Reviews Gold Award in Best Online Grammar Checker Comparisons And Reviews. Its rating was 8.88.
WP’s Conclusion: After all the experimentation and analysis, the Word Pinnacle team thinks that Grammarly is a must-have tool for all the writers, bloggers and scholars. It’s unique features enhance your documents and projects. It also teaches you better writing techniques. Once you know what errors you’re making you apparently don’t repeat them, do you?
Though, it has all that a writer must need; we think it’s missing something. Grammarly can still not be used from mobiles and tabs. With all the world shifting to mobile and tabs for everything from entertainment to business, we think it should launch it’s application for all mobile operating systems too. Getting the texts edited and proofread on the go, we think that’s the innovation every writer, blogger, scholar awaits.
The Social Media pages of Grammarly are full of hilarious Language and Grammar-based memes. This tells us that the people in the background are not just language and technical geeks but humorous, too. They’re true lovers of the Language.
The wait is over, Grammarly free & premium accounts can be accessed, here. This is the first step towards creating awesome content for social media, clients and for your loyal readers.
We are on Facebook too and we are constantly making efforts to put up the best info for writers and scholars.