by Lillian Csernica on July 25, 2013
Grammarly is a writing-enhancement platform developed by Grammarly, Inc., and launched in 2009. Grammarly’s proofreading and plagiarism-detection capabilities check for a writer’s adherence to more than 250 grammar rules.
During its text review, Grammarly presents potential errors one at a time, with commonly confused words or faulty sentences highlighted in light red and a text box below offering an explanation that provides good and bad examples and suggests corrections. Grammarly also provides citations when it detects plagiarism. Users can click on a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down” icon to let Grammarly know if the result was helpful.
Other features of Grammarly include:
- A grammar checker that can analyze general, business, academic, technical, creative and casual writings.
- A contextual spell checker that determines the appropriate spelling of a word as it is used in a sentence; thus, it finds misspelled words and also identifies correctly spelled yet incorrectly used words.
- Grammarly Plug-in for Microsoft Office, which adds Grammarly to Microsoft Word and Outlook.
- A thesaurus that suggests synonyms or words with similar meanings.
- Grammarly Answers, in which users can ask questions and post “error cards” from their scanned writings.
- Grammarly Handbook, which covers grammar, writing style and word choice.
My Experience with Grammarly:
I have the free one month trial version of Grammarly. I uploaded a short story to the text editor, waited maybe two minutes, and received an analysis of my story. Much to my surprise, what I thought was a clean manuscript scored only 86 out of 100. I read through the item by item explanation of the errors that were tagged by the program. Grammarly gives you a choice of Ignoring the error or correcting it. I read through the analysis the first time just to see what it said. On the second pass I Ignored the deliberate errors that appeared in character dialog. That resulted in an adjusted score of 96 out of 100. There were indeed two grammar errors in the narrative that I had missed. Once those were corrected, that left me with a score of 98 out of 100 due to stylistic disagreement on my part with the placement of two commas.
What I found most valuable about Grammarly’s analysis was the explanation that came with each error it tagged. I run OpenOffice, and the grammar checker only tags the error, it doesn’t tell me why it’s wrong. Understanding why a standard of perfect grammar rejects the choices I make helps me reconsider those choices in the overall context of what I want the sentence and the paragraph to say. Fine-tuning the reader’s perception of my text on the page is a lot like fine-tuning the notes written on a musical score. For the educated reader or musician, a wrong note is a wrong note. I was aghast to discover one error. I know better than to commit that one, and it got right past me. Grammarly pointed it out, so now it’s fixed.
Monthly — $29.95
Quarterly — $59.95
Annual — $139.95
Is Grammarly worth it? I think so!