Monday, 18 June 2012

A review - Grammarly

Are you looking for an automated proof reader and grammar checker ?  Grammarly may be your answer.

I have spent the last week experimenting with this site and researching reviews of the product.

Did you know that you can have documents checked for grammar,  spelling and plagiarism via an automated system?

How does it work ?
It's as simple as one, two, three
  1. Write your  text. 
  2. Copy 
  3. Paste it into the text editor.  
  4. Press "Check Text," 

Once the process has completed you will be issued with an immediate report.

The free report highlights issues detected and supplies you with a full review list covering: plagiarism, Contextual Spelling Check, Grammar, Punctuation, Style and Word Choice. You have the option of viewing a Full Report.  When you click on this button a pop up window opens with a full list of areas checked with a green check or red cross highlighting the issues reviewed.

Next to the generated report you are then given the option to create an account to access the advanced editing features which contain explanations and solutions to the errors noted in your text.

What does it cost ?
My only gripe about the site is that you can't find an answer straight away.  You need to sign up to Grammarly to find the pricing structure or do a search through their Support Desk area.

Grammarly is a monthly subscription service available for use via the Internet.  You may however check your text and receive an instant FREE report without registration.

You will need to register to receive a detailed description of issues detected along with recommended changes and explanations of the issues highlighted. To register for Grammarly you need to enter your name, e-mail and password as well as select what you will use Grammarly mostly for (Academic, Professional & Personal).

You will then be redirected to a screen to choose your method of payment. (Paypal or Credit Card)
  • Monthly Subscription - $29.95/month
  • Quarterly Subscription - $19-95/month*
  • (* billed as one payment of $59-95)
  • Annual Subscription - $11-66/month**
  • (** billed as one payment of $139-95)

These prices are current as of June 2012 and can change at anytime. Current Pricing Plans can be found under the Frequently Asked Questions / Licensing and Pricing via the Support Desk.
 
The subscription screen is simple and clear. You are given seven days to a FREE trial of Grammarly and the option of downloading a version to use in Microsoft Word. Beware that you make a note of when your seven days are up so that you can cancel your free trial before you are automatically charged your first month's subscription.

Once you have signed up you will be taken to the subscribers are and prompted to copy and paste your text.


What are the differences between the free report and subscription version ?
Free Report
Free Report Area
  • In the Free reporting area you do not have the option to choose the style of writing you are submitting.
  • Simple list of issues detected with a pop up window containing a list of areas reviewed with a green check or red cross highlighting the issues needing to be reviewed
Grammarly Subscription Area
Subscription Area
  • When you hover over the "Start Review" button you will be prompted to select the style of writing submitted (General, Business, Academic, Technical, Creative or Casual).
  • Detailed list of areas found.  It highlights the grammatical error in red. When you click on the error a drop down box appears naming the error highlighted and supplies a description of the error along with suggested corrections for you to choose from.   I found them interesting to read and at times a little too wordy for me. 
  • There is an option to ignore the issue highlighted. 
  • If you do not understand the issue highlighted there is a link to Have your question answered by the community.
  • To the right there is a column for you to choose which areas of the review you would like to work on. EG other, Passive voice, Writing Style.
  • Synonym button to help you find replacement words as you work on your document.
  • An option to save your report as a PDF document for reference. This report is clear and concise.  It gives you a summary of the issues detected along with the date that the report has been generated. Next it pastes your original text highlighting the error in yellow with superscript numbers for each issue. It has a box below the sentence with a mini report of the issue highlighted.
  • If plagiarism is detected Grammarly recommends proper annotation of your source and supplies hyperlinks showing you the source of the information on the web.
Summary
I found Grammarly to be quick and easy to use.  I was impressed with the issues that Grammarly did detect.  In my initial test I was a little in awe of the suggestions and overwhelmed with some of the technical information.  Upon re-reading the paragraph along with it's issues about 30% were contextual and irrelevant.

As a blogger I am very concerned about plagiarism and Grammarly correctly detected two areas but a third was incorrect.  I liked the fact that Grammarly gave me live links to see what it had detected.

I was pleased with the suggested synonyms for commonly used words and the improvement to my writing that applying these suggestions brought about.

Personally I would like to improve my writing structure and style, but price performance wise it is out of my current budget being as it is a subscription based product.   I would however consider saving up and using it if I was in university or in my final year of high school.

Does Grammarly have any extra's ?
  • Ask Grammarly experts any question about English grammar, style or vocabulary use.
  • Are you struggling with grammar mistakes or don't understand a particular rule ? Head on over to the Grammarly Handbook where you will find an excellent site filled with divided into Grammar, Punctuation, Mechanics, Sentence Style and clarity and a  Imporove Your Writing,
  • Looking for synonyms ? Have you tried Grammarly Words ?
What about you ?  What do you use to check your grammar ?

Blessings
Chareen

What others are saying on the web
  • TopTen Reviews has an excellent overview on this product along with detailed explanations of Grammarly's specification performance.  They also have a first class side by side comparison chart comparing Grammarly to other products currently on the market.
  • Improve Your Writing with Grammarly a review by a college professor.
  • I was impressed with their business ethic when I read a four part blog review on Street Smart Language Learning detailing Grammarly's response to complaints. 
  • I did discover that if you are majoring in English and want to use Grammarly to check your work it is not the right product for you. Most of the issues that Grammarist.com high light are way beyond me and I can't put my finger on the issues they are picking up on.
Disclosure.
  • I was given a three month subscription to the value of $60 to review this product. 
  • All opinions expressed here are solely my own, and I only suggest products or services that I believe will be helpful to my readers. 
  • There are NO affiliate links in this post or on my blog in relation to Grammarly.

2 comments:

  1. This sounds interesting, Chareen. I'd like to improve my writing, too - I hate reading what I've written.

    One thing that helped our teenagers was reading classic novels. Both the older girls read heaps of Jane Austin, Charles Dickens, etc, and they both get high distinctions for essays. One was told she had a gift for writing and the other was told in a lecture that she was the only student who knew how to express herself in writing. That's not meant as a boast - just that they learnt through reading and not through my teaching.

    BTW, I think you write beautifully - your writing is warm, honest and a pleasure to read.

    God bless, Chareen:-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was interresting to use Vicky.

      I agree with you about reading great literature improves our writing structure and style. I think this is the best form of instruction you can have. It's the way I have learnt.

      Thank you for your encouraging words.
      Blessings

      Delete

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