Course Platforms / Grammarly
The founders of Grammarly initially developed software to help Universities detect plagiarism. Sales were slow and luckily for the plagiarists, they soon abandoned the plan to help people unleash their inner Shakespeare.
Grammarly corrected its first misplaced comma in 2009 and rapidly grew to millions of users.
Is Grammarly worth your time or should language correction be left to teachers with red pens?
Read our review to find out.
Yes, it is true, Grammarly is not technically an online course provider. However, it is important not to judge a book by its colours. Grammarly can do wonders, as long as the wonders you need are for your grammar.
Grammarly is a tool that works with your browsers or writing software, such as Microsoft Office, to act as your real-time language teacher.
Here is the blurb from Grammarly themselves "Grammarly automatically detects grammar, spelling, punctuation, word choice, and style mistakes in your writing".
Who is Grammarly for
It is easy to install Grammarly from the Chrome store or download it from the website to help with your software.
Take it from someone who should know better, one makes more mistakes than one wishes to. Grammarly takes the stress out of writing so you can focus on getting out your great ideas.
There is an extremely popular free option that will handle most cases and then there is a paid version that promises to make you a better writer.
Again here is the official blurb from Grammarly:
"Grammarly Premium is a paid upgrade that offers over 400 types of checks and features. It checks for grammatical errors, provides vocabulary enhancement suggestions, detects plagiarism, and provides citation suggestions."
Grammarly is most popular with students and teachers alike but for a budding writer or just at work it will have your back.
Grammarly Premium offers over 400 types of checks and features
The great thing about Grammarly is that it checks your spelling and grammar in real-time. Whilst a great feature, especially with the hover feature for making corrections. All you need to do is hover over the offending word and you get your suggestions.
This feature is a game-changer for checking your work and editing faster. Whilst it might not sound like a lot you will soon wonder how you ever lived without it.
While word processors and internet pages have spelling and grammar checks they are nowhere near as thorough and the certainly won't help in the same way as Grammarly.
How it works
As you can see from the screenshot above Grammarly works with all the major apps as well as having a desktop version for both Mac & Windows.
Grammarly functions like any other spelling/ grammar checking software that you know and love. It will underline any mistakes and suggest the correct response, which you can switch with a simple click.
The best part of the free version, the part that takes it beyond the standard pre-installed software. You can click on a word and it will give you synonyms so you can switch up your style.
If you really want to take it up a notch then you can upgrade to the Premium. It offers over 400 checks on each word and every sentence that you write so you can be confident with your documents.
There are 3 options to pay for the premium version (monthly price):
Grammarly top tips
Grammarly recommends reading backward to catch spelling errors.
“Our eyes tend to see what the brain expects, reading out of order prevents that.”
Simply read from the end of the paragraph to the beginning and the spelling mistakes will show themselves. This is also a great way to understand the flow of your paragraphs and story. Often when we write we tend to overlook the story as we scan what we have just written.
Reading backways is a quick and easy way to trick you brain into thinking you have read it for the first time. This is a great way to gain persepctive.
Read it out loud
Another great way to help you read your piece with fresh eyes is to read it aloud.
“Reading out loud is key. Your mind may move too fast when reading silently, but when content is read aloud, it’s amazing how much can be heard and simplified. Also, verb tense errors become glaringly apparent.”
The University of North Carolina Writing Center suggests these strategies for making reading out loud more effective.
•Use a printed copy. This will allow you to make marks at places where something sounds wrong to you so you can return to them later. This can be tough, so just read off the screen if you don't have a printer.
• As you read, follow along with your finger, pointing at each word. This can help you stay focused and not skip anything.
• Try to read at a moderate pace.
• If you are proofreading, consider reading your paper out loud one sentence at a time. After going from top to bottom you should take the above advice and start at the end and work your way up. This will help you focus on the structure of each sentence, rather than on the overall flow of your argument.
• Try covering up everything but the section or sentence you are working on at the moment so you can concentrate on it and not get lost.
Grammarly is surprisingly addictive. Once you start with it you'll wonder how you lived without it. Granted some of the suggestions are not actually helpful but on balance it will make you a better, more mistake-free writer.
Premium is definitely a big step up. That being said it is 100% worth it for anyone who is a student or who writes for a living. Other people need not apply.
Premium gives you access to all kinds of interesting insights into your writing. It offers very helpful word suggestions and even tips on how to make whole sentences better. It sounds like it will make you a lazy writer but it actually gives you great suggestions that keep you on top of your game.
Hapy mistke three righting!