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GRAMMARLY: THE BEST WRITING WINGMAN
I am no J.K Rowling or Hemingway but I can pretty much boast of being a good writer. This is not to brag but I have written countless copies for top clients when I was swimming in the freelance waters. Imagine my astonishment when my new boss sends me a brief to work on and writes in all caps, USE GRAMMARLY to correct errors. She actually called right after I saw the message and reiterated, USE GRAMMARLY.
Until then I had never heard of Grammarly and to be honest I felt I can do my own proofreading. Since I just got the job I decided to heed my boss’s instruction. I downloaded Grammarly and checked the project i was working on. All I could see was a red sea of blunders that made me feel even less of a good writer that I already was. However, this was just the beginning of a budding relationship between my work and Grammarly .
In this article, we will dive into what Grammarly is all about, the pros and cons of using the tool and if it is really worth the hype.
What is Grammarly?
It is an online grammar and proofreading tool that improves any form of writing in such way that people can understand the message that is being passed. Grammarly helps people avoid embarrassing typographical errors, grammatical errors, ambiguity and makes the writing simple to read and understand.
If you are having issues with your writing or just want have a smooth work whether it is for academic purposes or leisure then Grammarly is the way to go. There are two versions of this writing tool, there is the free and the premium version.
The free version of Grammarly offers the basic proofreading and editing functions such as checking for grammar, punctuation and spelling. Premium version of Grammarly offers the same range of services as the free one and even so much more.
Writers opt for the premium version because it suggests best writing styles, arranges the flow in a coherent manner and other things which we will explore in the course of this review.
Functions of Grammarly
There are many other functions of Grammarly asides the aforementioned ones, this tool helps to improve any form of writing by doing the following:
Check for Plagiarism
Not only does Grammarly help to check grammatical errors and spelling issues but it is known to save writers from the dreaded sin called plagiarism. I remember when I was in my English class back in school, we had to turn in an essay where there were authors being cited. My friends and I lifted from these authors works and presented them to our teacher.
The grades came in and we failed woefully mainly because we passed on other people’s intellectual works as ours. Plagiarism is a serious crime in writing hence the saving grace Grammarly offers writers, students or anyone using the tool. Grammarly checks the whole writing and highlights the areas that were plagiarism in red while providing you with the link of the work that was being used illegally.
Grammar and punctuation
Another feature of Grammarly is its ability to detect faulty grammar and punctuation by recommending the right words and highlighting areas that desperately cry out for punctuation. Additionally, Grammarly will put a quick note to explain why the highlighted parts are mistakes so you are sure of it being an error.
Primarily every typing tool has a spell checker, Microsoft word has one and even your phone will highlight wrong spellings. Grammarly goes on better by having a plethora of options and suggestions for the wrong word. The tool has pin-point accuracy as it detects any spelling error as soon as it is made.
A lot of Grammarly users are appreciative of this feature particularly because of the suggestions it offers about the writing styles and techniques of the user. It properly addresses sentence structure issues by breaking down excessively long sentences.
Also, it highlights unnecessary words that may cause some form of ambiguity when published. Grammarly provides a complete set for writers to see where they falter and improve on their style.
People who use Grammarly
As a former editor, I always had issues with people that do not properly abbreviate. The whole point of abbreviation is to make long words shorter not short words even shorter. I have always explained this to my banker friend, Steven. He is so lazy that he writes “I am” as “Am” anytime he texts me. He finally downloaded Grammarly and after one week of texting a lady online, she came over to see him. Now she is his wife, he says Grammarly saved his life as one of the reasons she fell in love with him was for his command of English.
This funny yet true love story exemplifies the fact that Grammarly is a tool for everyone whether you want to impress a girl or you are a writer, banker or an accountant. Grammarly will greatly improve your writing.
How to use Grammarly
From Steven’s queer but sweet story, you would realize that Grammarly can be used as a mobile app. But there are other ways through which you can use this tool.
As a web tool
Grammarly users sometimes opt for this option by copying their writing from a document and pasting it directly into the Grammarly web tool. This process works like magic as long as you have good internet connection. The web tool will analyze the writing and highlight errors in tj different areas that they need to be corrected.
Another way of using this tool is by typing directly into it, this way you get to see the issues as you write on realtime. It is a seamless process as you can even upload your document straight from your computer and the tool reads it for you.
As a Microsoft Word Add-in
I usually use Grammarly as a Microsoft add-in since I spend most of my writing time on MS word. You can install the software easily by visiting this page, follow the instructions and use the tool as you create magic through your words on Microsoft word. Bear in mind, you have to be connected to the internet when you are typing on Word.
As a browser extension
This is one the easiest ways of using Grammarly, all you need to do is to search on Google or any search engine, “Grammarly for chrome”. I strongly recommend using it for the Chrome browser, the process of adding the tool as an extension is very simple and it will aid your writing on any website you work on. So from drafting your emails to responding to messages, using Grammarly as a browser extension covers you anywhere on the internet.
As a desktop app
You can install Grammarly as a software or app on your desktop to make things easy for you at the office or at home. Download the app online and follow the instructions, it is just like downloading a new app on your computer – it is that easy.
As a mobile app
Imagine trying to compose “The notebook” inspired kind of message to your better half but you keep using the wrong words maybe because you have been playing Call of Duty all day. Grammarly helps with improving your love messages and frankly any writing you do on your phone as long as you are connected to the internet.
HOW MUCH DOES GRAMMARLY COST
Earlier, we mentioned that there are two versions of Grammarly that cater to people’s needs. The free version does not require any money at all and covers some basic editing and proofreading functions. The premium version incorporates so much more than the free version SMS it also accrues some monetary value.
Grammarly premium has the following price variations depending on what suits you:
- $11.66 a month when you pay annually ($139.95 in total)
- $19.98 a month when you pay quarterly
- $29.95 a month when you pay monthly
Right about now, I bet I can read your mind. You are probably wondering why should I go for premium when I can just be content with the basic functions the free version offers me. Let’s take a look at both of them against each other.
Free version vs Premium version
The free version of Grammarly is a step-up from other editing products as it is pretty great when used. There are no unnecessary limits except in the word count. This means if the word count exceeds a certain amount, it will not analyze unless you cut down the words. This only occurs when you are using the Grammarly web tool. The free version analyzes the writing by correcting spelling, grammatical and punctuation errors. It also explains why they are wrong and suggests better replacements.
On the other hand, the premium version does all the basic functions of the free version in addition to other things. If you opt for the premium version, you get unlimited access and the tool checks for the following:
- Inconsistency in writing
- Improper sentence structure
- Inappropriate tone
- Poor language
While using the Grammarly premium version, you have access to feedback which is something writers and humans in general need. However, you have to adjust the settings on the app so it can detect errors based on your purpose of writing. This makes the premium version more detailed and personal for people aspiring to becoming exceptional writers.
Grammarly vs The competition
Grammarly is not the only editing and proofreading tool out there. I can understand why you might think otherwise, probably because of the ” life-saving” tag I ascribed to it.
ProWritingAid, Ginger, and WhiteSmoke are all tools that function the same way as Grammarly . In fact they have some features that Grammarly does not. For example, Ginger has an inbuilt language translator while WhiteSmoke has templates that allows users draft professional documents. So why do I think Grammarly leading the pack?
With over 10 million subscribers and really creative advertising campaigns, Grammarly has made writing appealing to people. It is very easy to use and gives people am identity without taking away their voice in writing.
The company uses simplistic icons that are really soothing to the eyes, it is very smooth for me to use as I do not do much. It is like watching Messi play, just give me ball to him and he does the magic – did I just give it away that I am a Barcelona fan?
Anyways I choose Grammarly because it is very easy to use since I do not like many extra things encroaching in my space. It makes my writing simple and smooth to navigate.
Is Grammarly Worth it?
Isn’t it befitting to end such a ride the same way we started?
Grammarly is the best online tool for editing and proofreading any writing project. However, you should be vigilant and be careful not to rely solely on it. It is not perfect and in no way should it replace the human professional editor – you hear that Steven.
I recommend the tool to anyone and everyone especially people who have English as their second language. Asides from picking out the errors in your writing, Grammarly educates users my explaining in short notes why the highlighted portion is a mistake. You can imagine how my eyes lit up when I first used it after the barrage of warnings from my boss. I can say it changed my life as a writer.
Grammarly premium has made my writing very easy, the feedback feature makes me feel I am doing a good job. This does not mean I do not show others my work but seeing firsthand how appealing your work is, makes the day sweeter.
It is a useful tool to anyone looking to improve on his or her writing, maybe in my best review I’ll have Steven tell you how he was able to get the girl of his dreams with the help of Grammarly . The proper wingman.