So I have been testing to see how I feel about the free version of Grammarly and I have to say I think it has been pretty good overall. As with any sort of spell-checker, you have to review each change before accepting it since it does make choices you may not agree with. That said, it does exactly what they advertize it to do.
I can do a blog post in my word processor, run a full spell checker, and find no errors. I then take it to Grammarly and paste it into a document. Invariably it finds at least one potential error. In one case, it found half a dozen in the span of 500 words. Many authors are notoriously bad at self-editing so this tool certainly belongs in this series. It differs from a normal spell checking program in that it looks at the spelling in context to the words around it. To, two and too each fit in a different sentence, but a normal spell checker will falter here. Grammarly will catch the error. The error messages even go so far as to having the option to look into why it feels they were the wrong choice.
I am not yet paying for the full version of the program, but it almost certainly offers up an even greater set of useful tools on creating your written works. Among the functions, there are aspects which aren’t technically errors, but might be worth correcting anyway. Wordiness and complex sentence structure are corrected. That is certainly something I have struggled with at times.
Odd or colloquial phrasings often get flagged. Oh, and it also detects accidental plagiarism and provides citations. At least, that is what I am led to understand. In the interest of transparency, as I said before, I haven’t yet used the paid version. Also, I say accidental since I assume my readers aren’t attempting to steal the works of others outright.
Regardless, I think this program has a lot to offer, especially for those of us whose writing abilities outpace our editing abilities. Since it costs nothing, I highly suggest you check them out and see what you think. I suspect they will improve your overall writing quality enough for you to continue using their services.
For those of you who’ve used Grammarly, did you find it valuable to you? For those who are checking it out for the first time, what do you think?