Grammarly, your personal proofreading app

 

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Photo by PDPics on Pixabay.com

 

I kept seeing ads for Grammarly but put off using it because I figured I didn’t need it.

Then I remembered a proofreading test on a content site that I write for that I’ve tried to pass three times. I failed miserably 3 times. To pass the test, you need to get 9 out of 10 short proofreading assignments right. I kept getting only 2 or 3 right.  This frustrated and astounded me at the same time. It also illustrated that not all writers can be proofreaders.

But I got curious. I downloaded the free version of Grammarly and ran the proofreading test through the program. Grammarly got 7 out of 10 right.  I would bet money that the upgraded version would have passed the test.

I decided to keep using Grammarly for all of my writing. I use it for emails, Facebook posts, blog posts, and cover letters.  The software catches errors that my naked eye likely would have missed.  It checks grammar, spelling, sentence structure, comma usage and more. You can download the app to function in your browser and in Microsoft Word. The upgrade has plagiarism software and catches more advanced linguistic errors.

When you hover over an error, which is underlined in red, you can correct that one error or enter the Grammarly workspace.  This workspace shows all of your errors and offers corrections.

Grammarly also sends you a weekly progress report and shows you how you compare statistically to other Grammarly users. My report is below.

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My report stated that I wrote more words than 98% of Grammarly users. I also had a 98% larger vocabulary and 27% better accuracy.

But the progress report isn’t only to pat you on the back.

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The report also tells me where I can improve and provides links to finding more information about my weaknesses.  My areas in need of improvement include missing commas in compound sentences, using squinting modifiers, and unnecessary ellipsis.

What began as an experiment turned out to be a discovery of a new tool in my writer’s toolkit to catch errors and improve on my weaknesses. In the near future, as I get closer to taking on larger writing projects, I will invest in the upgrade. I believe it’s $19.99 per month but don’t quote me on that. Check it out for yourself. Give the free version a try and see if it can help you be a better writer and act as your proofreading helper.