Some tools have become so ingrained in my process that I hardly think about them anymore. Grammarly is one of those tools.
With the rise of video, Instagram, and a whole host of other quick ways to post your thoughts and information, it may seem like being able to write coherently is not as important as it used to be. I disagree. Being able to express yourself clearly, concisely, and accurately in the written word is as important as ever. First impressions do matter — in person and print.
However, if you are anything like me, high school English is not your favorite subject.
It is one thing to be able to write an article, but something else entirely to be able to write an excellent article. So before I ever publish anything, I want to make sure it is free of spelling errors, grammatically correct, and appropriate for the audience.
Hiring an editor to do this can be expensive. Moreover, it’s almost impossible to edit documents yourself.
That’s why I use Grammarly.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is an automated proofreader that corrects contextual spelling mistakes, checks for more than 250 grammar errors, and helps you enhance your vocabulary usage. While Microsoft Word does have a grammar checker, it does not provide as extensive an analysis of your writing as Grammarly.
The program allows you to identify the type of writing it should analyze. For example, in the business writing section, you can choose a business letter, business email, report, memo, or website article. Grammarly will help identify multiple types of errors in your writing including:
- Confused prepositions
- Overuse of the passive voice
- Wordy sentences
- Wrong use of the word
Grammarly also has a plagiarism-checking function to make sure you’re not misusing someone else’s content.
After using Grammarly on many articles, I have found out that I have a bad habit of ending sentences with prepositions — a grammar no-no.
I’m also guilty of using the occasional squinting modifiers. Don’t remember what that is? Grammarly provides a help window to explain the issue in detail.
Yes, these are finer points of grammar, but by highlighting my bad habits, Grammarly has helped me make my writing just a little bit better.
There are three ways you can use this editing platform:
- Upload a document onto the Grammarly website to have it analyzed.
- Install the Microsoft Word Grammarly plug-in to make editing changes right in your Microsoft Word document. This is my preferred option.
- Install the Chrome browser extension so you can use the editing advice on any website. The Chrome extension is available at no cost.
I use all three options.
Grammarly has a limited free version. A premium subscription costs $30 per month or $140 annually. I have had a premium subscription for several years. On the Grammarly website, you also have the option to send your work to a human proofreader at the cost of $0.02 a word.
Grammarly does not replace a human proofreader. However, I use it to “tune up” my writing, whether it’s an article like this one or a LinkedIn post or comment.
What other tools do you use to make sure the articles and comments you publish are grammatically correct and don’t have spelling errors?