I use Grammarly for proofreading because it shows me error of my ways.
Have you ever noticed a glaring goof up in a post after you have published it? Or perhaps have had people point it out to you? Or maybe read a book where the syntax errors were so obtrusive that you gave up on it altogether? When I started blogging, one of my pet peeve was that I often came upon a mistake, whether it was a typo or a grammatical error, after the fact. Judging by the speed with which errors by other bloggers jumped to my attention, I could figure out that my mistakes were not going to be any exception.
When Nikolas from Grammarly contacted me a few days ago to check out their software, I jumped at the chance. Grammarly is an automated online proofreader that finds and explains those pesky grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors that are bound to find their way into our rough drafts.
Grammarly claims that it is like a ‘second pair of digital eyes that can spare you the cost of hiring a proof reader’.
I have been trying it out for a while now. I love the details that it throws up. Unlike the generic MS word indicators that give cryptic instructions such as ‘explain’ or ‘fragment, consider revising’, which contribute little to the narrative, not to forget auto spell checkers that create havoc with creativity, Grammarly zeroes in on the inconsistencies and points out the reasons in an easy to follow feedback method. It does not stop there. It goes on to offers solutions that help in learning grammar rules.
Yes, grammar rules; including the ones that I had forgotten and others that I did not even know existed. Circumlocution anyone?
It helps in finding errors with wordiness, verb form application, limiting modifiers, subject verb agreement, double negatives, run on sentences, incorrect preposition (love this one), and many more grammatical concepts; and even suggests replacement of words that may sound generic or vague. Every time it finds an error, it elaborates on it in detail explaining the grammar rules clearly, complete with examples. Now that’s exciting, isn’t it?
One other thing that I have found helpful is that it asks for the format of writing and make suggestions accordingly. For example, the errors found in Casual option of writing would be different from Academic or Creative Writing one.
Like all other computer driven programs, there are things that the software gets wrong. It does not study style, and strictly applies the rules across the board. Some suggestions might even cause you to double up with hilarity. But as a writer, chances are you will know it’s a style error, and ignore the erroneous corrections which, in any case, are few and far between.
It also searches for plagiarism. I am not quite convinced with this feature as it has failed to recognize every single ‘lifted’ piece I copy-pasted on its editor.
Barring the plagiarism part, Grammarly does a fairly good job in polishing a piece. Highly recommended for aspiring writers who work on deadlines and have difficulties in hiring expensive proofreaders. For about $140 annual membership, it is quite reasonable when compared to hundreds of dollars one has to shell out for professional proofreaders. Of course, no way does it replace a human proofreader, but then Dan Browns of this world don’t really have to count pennies either.
TheLady8Home note: I received a product sample to facilitate my review and some compensation as a thank you for writing the review. While this is a sponsored post, it has no way influenced my opinion of the product. Please refer to my Disclosure Policy.