Checking Your Work Using the Grammarly Tool
There are two simple ways for users to check their work using the Grammarly program. Either you can copy and paste your text directly into the blank review sheet on the Grammarly website or you can upload your document directly into the Grammarly review page. Both of these options are easy and it takes mere moments for the tool to upload the document, scan the text, and produce customized, in-depth suggestions. Once the user accepts corrections and incorporates Grammarly’s edits into the text, the newer, finalized file can be saved back onto the computer’s hard drive for a seamless transition.
The site itself is wonderfully intuitive and the no-frills approach makes it virtually idiot-proof. As a writer who regularly deals with frustrating technology, the Grammarly review tool is a breath of fresh air.
The synonym tool is most useful for my day-to-day writing tasks, although the plagiarism check is a close second. Microsoft Word offers pretty decent internal synonym options, but Grammarly takes it a step further and offers unique, on-point alternatives to the original word choices. I appreciated the relevance of all the suggestions and found that they were truly a step above hum-drum thesaurus software.
The grammar check’s approach to split infinitives was a bit nit picky for my liking. I’ve read recently that split infinitives are now accepted in formal writing and no longer considered to be poor grammar. I understand that Grammarly is weeding through blocks of text with a fine-toothed comb picking out anything that could be deemed improper, but I prefer to maintain some semblance of my voice when I write, rather than strip my work down to textbook sentence structure. The good thing is that everything is simply a suggestion; if I don’t like what is being pointed out, I simply ignore it.
Although Grammarly users can select the type of text entered into the Grammarly review program (academic essay, report, book review, creative writing, business document, blog post), the software does not seem to accurately distinguish between when the tone should be kept casual and when immaculate grammar is a necessity.
I would not consider this to be a flaw in the system, rather something a Grammarly user should be made aware of.
The Grammarly Scoring System
Grammarly scores each article it reviews on a 100 point scale, and I personally found the scoring system to be a bit harsh. My grammar is by no means perfect, but Grammarly found issues with several sentences where the structure was actually perfectly acceptable. The user can opt to receive the long or short explanation for each error. The short explanations are extremely comprehensive. The longer versions could potentially serve as a teaching tool for non-native English speakers. It offers an extremely in-depth analysis and suggests alternate phrasing to fix the problem in a manner that closely follows the overall tone and style of writing.
Though Grammarly’s scoring system is effective and allows you to hold yourself to a certain standard (and track progress over time), when you accept the grammar-checker’s edits, it does not alter your score to reflect the improved grammar. Ideally the user would gain points back if all corrections were taken to heart and incorporated into the piece. This is simply the perfectionist in me wishing I could get an A+ for every piece I submit for the Grammarly review!
Who Should Use Grammarly?
Perhaps Grammarly is a tool best used by those looking for a second set of eyes before submitting an important document or those who are not native English speakers. It can vastly improve obvious grammar mistakes, spelling errors, and sentence structure, but it tends to make normal, conversational English sound stilted and improper. As someone who often writes long articles in a rush, it can be easy to type “and” when I mean “an” or “than” when I mean “then”. These issues are not easily discovered in Word, or other Microsoft programs because they are words that exist in the English language and tend not to raise any red flags. Grammarly’s innovative review system catches these tiny errors and can make the difference between users submitting a sloppy, unpolished piece of work, versus something they can proudly take credit for.
The Grammarly grammar check tool is an engaging program with a wide range of functionality. Whether you’re looking for a thorough spell check, synonym-suggester, or aggressive grammar overhaul, Grammarly does it all – and more!
I also wanted to share a few cool things about Grammarly:
- The Grammarly Facebook page is hilarious
- They are doing some interesting things with their software and promotion, such as this Grammarly Economist comment page
- Here is some interesting commentary from Forbes on Grammarly
- As a Chrome power user, I was pumped to see the new Grammarly Chrome extension
- Answers.Grammarly.com is a great place to ask for help with any grammar-related question; for example, this question about passive voice with a ‘grammarly reviews’ example
- Grammarly also plugs directly into Word, and can be downloaded here: Grammarly Word Plug-In
- Interested in working at Grammarly – Check out the Grammarly linkedin page.
It is fascinating how much is going on with Grammarly. It gives me comfort that their tool will be around for the long-term, so I can incorporate it more and more into my daily writing routines.
Update: Be sure to check out what Forbes said about Grammarly.
- $95.45 for a year