Every writer has experienced that gut-wrenching feeling when you just turned in a piece and noticed a typo the second after you hit send. You know that you went over it carefully multiple times, so how did you miss such a simple error? The truth is that as hard as we try, our brains are not perfect, and sometimes, we let a mistake slip by accidentally. One way to combat this is with the right tools, so without further introduction, let’s jump into my opinion on Grammarly pros and cons.
Grammarly pros and cons
As a professional writer or author, grammar mistakes are a killer. They make you look unprofessional, but unfortunately, we cannot be perfect all the time. Our brains are wired to skip over mistakes and read what we wanted to say instead of what we actually wrote. We need a little extra help, and not all of us have the luxury of having an editor who can watch out for us.
If you are a blogger, Grammarly can save you the heartache of trolls who will ignore the entire point of your article and bash you on that one spelling error you did not catch. When your error is pointed out, it can make you cringe with embarrassment. Grammarly is not perfect, but I would say that it catches about 99% of the most obvious errors in your writing. You come across as polished and professional every time.
This is the exact reason why Grammarly was invented. It can act as an extra pair of eyes to make sure that we always put our best foot forward when it comes to our writing. When you want to check a piece of writing, you simply copy and paste it into Grammarly’s form, and it does the checking automatically. Here are a few of the pros and cons of Grammarly.
- Has a built-in plagiarism checker.
- Catches most punctuation errors.
- Catches misspelled words.
- Only takes a few minutes to use.
- Gives you suggestions to help you learn.
- Provides real-time checking.
- Works in most browsers, social media, and email.
- Highly accurate, but does not catch every mistake.
- No control to tell it to ignore every instance of a mistake that is actually correct.
- Suggestions are not always 100% correct.
- Does not work with Google Docs.
- Aggressive advertising with the free version.
- Does not allow offline editing.
- Cannot completely replace manual proofreading.
Grammarly is not designed to replace manual proofreading, and it is doubtful that any software ever could. This program will draw your attention to things that you need to look at and check. It does not always get the context of your writing correct. Surprisingly, it gets most homophones correct, such as two, to, and too.
Can Grammarly help you as a writer?
The main question is whether Grammarly can help you improve your writing skills, and the answer is yes. When I first started using Grammarly, I thought that I was a good writer. I did not make many common errors, but we all have certain idiosyncrasies that sound correct to us but are not. Some of these are speech patterns that we learned as children.
Grammarly does a good job of catching these issues and giving you a gentle reminder about them. After you correct them continuously over time, you will become aware of them and eliminate them. In this way, Grammarly teaches you to improve your writing. As you use Grammarly, you will make fewer mistakes, and this helps you gain confidence as a writer.
One of the unique features of Grammarly is that you can set your language preference to American, British, Canadian, or Australian English. This is handy if you do a lot of writing internationally. You will never have to worry about missing color vs colour again. It even explains the difference between them as you go and gives you hints as to usage.
Grammarly performs sentence structure analysis and will point out awkward wording. It also checks for passive voice, punctuation, common misspellings, capitalization, and it questions you on many other issues with your writing. To make a correction, all you have to do is to click on the correct answer and Grammarly changes it for you. I find that this speeds up the editing process considerably.
Grammarly is an affordable writing tool, and it offers a free and premium version. The free version will catch most of the worst errors, but the Premium features are an excellent addition. Premium sentence structure analysis digs deep and watches things like tone. It gives you better ways to word your ideas and additional alternatives. It also checks for clarity and things like if you begin three sentences in a row with the same phrase. In my opinion, the Premium version is well worth the price.
The free version will only catch the most critical spelling and grammar mistakes, but the Premium version is much more powerful. It gives you vocabulary suggestions and checks your style. It also has plagiarism, context, advanced sentence structure, and clarity checkers. You can also personalize your dictionary by adding common words that you frequently use, such as industry-specific terminology.
How to Get Started with Grammarly
Getting started with Grammarly is easy. All you have to do is to sign up for a free account and install the software. You can then add the extension to your browsers like Firefox, Chrome, Safari, and Microsoft Edge. The software runs as an add-on in Word. It will also run on either iOS and Android devices.
When you first open Grammarly, it will ask you a series of questions that allow you to customize it the way that you want. For instance, it will ask you what type of writing you do most often. It will also ask you about your level of English skills. If you are a writer who is using English as a second language, this tool could help you improve your fluency over time by giving you instant feedback.
With Grammarly, you can also have it check your email or social media posts, which can save you a lot of embarrassment. One of the benefits of Grammarly is the number of platforms that it will integrate with across the web. They offer several different subscription levels that allow you to pay monthly, quarterly, and yearly. If you happen to be using an app that Grammarly does not integrate with, you can quickly copy and paste the text into the Grammarly software for a quick check and then replace it once you have corrected it.
There is rarely a time when I am writing that Grammarly is not open and waiting in the background. I have checked the same text with Grammarly, Ginger, Hemmingway, and several other grammar checkers. Grammarly consistently finds the most errors. The Premium version has enough perks to make it worth the monthly fee, especially if you are a professional who writes all the time.
Now, you know the Grammarly pros and cons so that you can make a decision that is right for you. If you are a professional writer of any type, you need Grammarly to keep your writing pristine and your reputation intact. It gives you a little bit of extra peace of mind that you will not have that crushing feeling of noticing your error after you have already hit send. In my opinion, the Premium version has enough features to justify the cost many times over.
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