Grammarly is a free grammar, punctuation, and spell check application. Their premium plan includes extensive grammar checking, vocabulary enhancement, and integration with Microsoft Office. I’ve been using Grammarly for more than a year and consider their software to be a positive addition to my online tools.
The Case for Grammarly
In 2011, a nationwide test found that only twenty-four percent of students in eighth and 12th grades were proficient at writing. With three-quarters of the American student population displaying inadequate writing skills, there is arguably a need for writing improvement software and apps.
Concerning adults, Grammarly conducted a study of one hundred LinkedIn profiles. Over a ten-year period, individuals who received one to four promotions made forty-five percent more grammatical errors than professionals who were promoted six to nine times. According to Lauren Simonds of Small Business Computing, “Bad writing can have a wide-ranging, negative effect on your business, from creating a less-than-coherent business plan and hampering your efforts to attract investors, to communicating with employees, vendors, and even your customers.”
Claims Made by Grammarly
“Grammarly makes you a better writer by finding and correcting up to 10x more mistakes than your word processor.”
True. I am a better writer for using Grammarly, and my work appears more professional. Also, Microsoft Word is not nearly as proficient at recognizing grammar and punctuation mistakes. I’ve reprocessed posts from this site that were initially drafted using MS Word only to find mistakes through Grammarly.
“Instantly find and correct over 250 types of grammatical mistakes.”
True. Many of us are familiar with having to copy, paste, and submit text into an online checker. For example, the AftertheDeadline online spell checker. Grammarly’s app is continuously checking your writing for mistakes in real-time to provide instant feedback.
“Improve word choice with context-optimized vocabulary suggestions.”
True. Context-optimized vocabulary suggestions are by far my favorite feature. All too often, writers repeat the same words in their works. For instance, I often use the word “great” and when I do, Grammarly will suggest substitutions such as fantastic, amazing, or excellent to improve my writing. Additionally, Grammarly highlights repetition and offers recommendations.
“Grammarly’s free browser extension helps you write mistake-free in Gmail, Facebook, WordPress, LinkedIn, and anywhere else you write on the Web.”
Yes, and No. Grammarly’s free browser extension is fantastic when it interacts with platforms such as Gmail, Facebook, WordPress, and other top visited apps and sites. However, I’ve noticed on several sites that changes made with Grammarly don’t always remain. I can’t say for sure why my changes don’t stick, but it’s probably a technical glitch. Nevertheless, most of the time Grammarly works as it should.
Microsoft Office Add-ins
The Microsoft Office add-ins for Outlook and Word are available through Grammarly’s premium plan. I installed the add-ins for both applications but eventually uninstalled Grammarly for Outlook because I felt it was too slow and clunky. For Microsoft Word, the Grammarly add-in is good, but I don’t believe it’s as reliable or proficient as their browser extensions. I’ve done comparisons where the Chrome browser extension revealed mistakes that the MS Word add-in did not.
Blog and Social Media
Grammarly’s blog and social media updates are educational, informative, and humorous. I follow them on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. You would think a grammar company would post nothing but boring stuff, but that isn’t the case.
Weekly Progress Reports & Tips
Premium plan members receive weekly activity reports about their works. The report looks at three main components: activity, mastery, and vocabulary. Furthermore, it highlights your top grammar mistakes and writing tips. I usually take a quick glance at my reports to understand where I need to improve.
Human beings have been writing for centuries, but Grammarly has only been around since 2009 to help people improve their writing skills. More than anything else, they’re a technology start-up that is making excellent strides regarding writing software. On the flip side, Grammarly’s technology isn’t perfect, but a few bugs are not going to hamper my use or glowing recommendation of their products.
Both students and professionals can benefit from using Grammarly. Also, Grammarly is essential for ESL students and individuals seeking to improve their command of the English language.