Although I’ve been running this site for a while, I had yet to use or write a Grammarly review until recently! Grammarly is the best free grammar checker on the internet. About a month ago, I decided to install the Chrome plugin for the first time and have been amazed. It is a really awesome tool that helps me check the grammar in my blog as I go. Now I wanted to take some time to give a Grammarly review before I forget about the initial experience.
Grammarly is a free online grammar checker that lets you proofread articles, essays, emails, book chapters, and more for common grammar and spelling mistakes as well as typos. You can either write directly in their editor or upload documents you have written. There’s even a Google Chrome plugin that will edit documents and blog posts created outside of the Grammarly website. I used the plugin to edit this post! Hopefully this Grammarly review will convince you that Grammarly is an amazing tool.
They also offer a premium service that will uncover deeper grammatical issues and plagiarism detection.
I think you’ll agree with me when I say typos and grammar mistakes are embarrassing. Grammarly takes the guesswork out of proofreading.
Using Grammarly to check grammar
Using Grammarly was a breeze. All I did was go to their website and create an account. I also added the Google Chrome plugin when I registered.
Once I had an account, using Grammarly was very natural. The interface is very similar to Google Docs.
When you first log in, you can either create a new document or upload an existing one.
Once you have created a new document you can click on it and be taken to the editor. I used two paragraphs from one of my other sites, Viola Central, as an example:
As you can see from the image above, Grammarly does a great job of capturing the key errors. While it is not 100% (it says my use of the word “viola” might be incorrect and could possibly be “villa”), it certainly works well enough.
The interface is very similar when using the Google Chrome plugin. Grammarly will check for grammar errors and typos while you type, underlining words and phrases it thinks may have issues.
What Grammarly checks for
Grammarly checks for three main things: grammar, spelling, and vocabulary.
Grammar: Grammarly checks your text for over 150 grammar rules (over 250 if you get Premium). It can check everything from subject-verb agreement to article use to modifier placement.
Spelling: Spell checkers have been around for a long time, but Grammarly takes spell checking to another level. Their algorithm spots erroneous use of lose/loose, affect/effect, lie/lay, there/their/they’re, and many other commonly confused words.
Vocabulary: In addition to the grammar and spell checking, Grammarly will also suggest synonyms that it thinks will make your writing more powerful by analyzing the content as you write.
Plagarism: One of Grammarly’s unique features is its ability to automatically check for plagiarism within your work so that you know immediately whether you need to include citations or redo the writing.
In order to show you how powerful Grammarly’s algorithms are, I have taken a sample poorly written paragraph from an English class website at Penn State University. The paragraph is below
A greenhouse is a glass building used to grow plants. A greenhouse has transparent glass that allows the sunlight to pass through, but does not allow the heat inside to escape. The same affect occurs on the earth. The suns radiation passes through the atmosphere to heat the earth’s surface. When heated, the earth’s surface produces infrared radiation, which has a longer wavelength than that of sunlight. This infrared radiation rises into the atmosphere where gases, such as carbon dioxide, prevents the infrared radiation from escaping into space. The concentrations of these gases which are called greenhouse gases, control how much infrared radiation escapes. The retained radiation heats the earth’s atmosphere, thus keeping the planet warm.
According to the PSU website, the paragraph has the circled four errors that were identified by human proofreaders:
Let’s see how Grammarly did:
Wow! Grammarly identified more errors than the human did and actually offered suggestions.
Is Grammarly Premium worth it?
Grammarly offers a premium package for $29.95/month (or $11.66/month if you buy the annual package) which offers additional features you can’t find in the free version or the Chrome plugin.
The features that are found in the premium version vs the free version can be seen in the table below:
150 critical grammar and spelling checks
100+ additional advanced grammar and spelling checks
Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
Genre-specific writing style checks
Plagiarism detector that checks more than 8 billion web pages
Premium customers have even seen dramatic results over the free version:
99% of students see improved writing grades
76% of customers find writing more enjoyable
85% of customers are stronger writers
Overall, the premium version offers some great features that definitely help people become better writers.
How does Grammarly compare with competitors?
Grammarly vs Ginger
Grammarly’s closest competitor is Ginger Software. Like Grammarly, Ginger offers a Google Chrome and Microsoft Office plugin in addition to the online portal. They are also free.
I personally prefer Grammarly’s online interface over Ginger’s. Grammarly immediately shows you the errors on the right-hand side of the screen whereas Ginger forces you to scroll over the word/phrase.
Ginger’s interface requires users to hover over the word
In using Grammarly for the past month, I have come to love this grammar checker. As the example above proved, Grammarly actually performs better than a human proofreader in most cases. However, Grammarly does offer human proofreading in their Premium service at 2 cents per word for 24-hour turnaround. Hopefully this Grammarly review proved why this free grammar checker is amazing. Here’s a quick recap:
Integrated within your browser so you don’t need to do anything else to get feeback
Excellent grammar proofreading with an extensive online knowledgebase
Extremely useful for non-English speakers
Free version checks for over 100 different grammar rules (Premium does up to 250)
Pro version costs $29.99/mo which some users may balk at
A proofreading is still necessary since Grammarly will not catch every mistake
Go ahead, give Grammarly a try and see if you don’t feel the same as me! I hope this Grammarly review has convinced you.