Sunday, January 24, 2016

Product Review: Online Proofreading Service - Grammarly

As an avid reader, the daughter of an English professor, and somewhat frequent blog writer, I have some pet peeves in the areas of poor grammar, incorrect spelling, and misplaced punctuation.  In fact, I consider myself to be an official member of the apostrophe police! My husband and I twinge at the sight of a misplaced apostrophe, and we have been known to edit words with (or even without) permission.  I have correction opportunities occasionally in my work as a Content Specialist at my job, where I frequently edit copy that comes in from customers who are setting up their new websites. I revel in the opportunity to fix any punctuation errors before they ever make it to publication on the web.

That being said, I do not consider myself to be a professional writer, or worthy enough to be an English scholar as my mother is.  I tend to end sentences with prepositions, use the passive voice far too often and sometimes use the word "it's" improperly.  In the past I have run my book reviews through a Word document, trying to catch some of my spelling errors and some minor grammar problems, and this has been helpful.  However, I recently was introduced to an online proofreading service called Grammarly.  This program not only spell-checks; it does so much more.

I quickly and easily installed Grammarly into my browser, and off I went! Before I knew it, the program was picking up errors that I would not have seen otherwise. In fact, it has the ability to notice over 250 types of problems, most of which won't get picked up by Microsoft Word. Commonly used phrases were highlighted, and the system made recommendations for other words I could use instead. On one occasion it even picked up a politically incorrect word.  I still chose to keep the word (because I'm not always politically correct), but I was impressed with its ability to notice that choice of language.

Grammarly has not only been helping me craft better-worded blog posts (including this one), but it also will interface with my Gmail.  It goes pretty much wherever I go on the web.  At the same time, I can also choose to disable the add-on, rendering it to the "OFF" position if I so desire.  I have found it to be very flexible and handy as I have been working, and encourage you to give it a try yourself.   A basic account is free and has many great features.  Here's what Grammarly has to say about their free service:

What products does Grammarly offer for free?

In addition to the online text editor, Grammarly also offers a free browser extension for Chrome and Safari, which corrects over 150 types of errors. Grammarly for Chrome and Grammarly for Safari bring Grammarly’s powerful algorithms straight to you wherever you are writing online, including Gmail, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Tumblr. You can correct mistakes in your text with a single click.
  • Grammarly® Answers, an online community for writers to ask and answer questions on English writing.
  • Grammarly® Handbook, an online guide explaining English grammar and style.
  • Grammarly® Words, an online dictionary-thesaurus hybrid.
  • The Grammarly Facebook community and Twitter account, both of which provide fans with fun grammar tips and discussions.
  • The Grammarly Blog, offers daily tips, fun commentary, and valuable insights from the wonderful world of writing and grammar.

Whether you're a fellow blogger, student, or someone who does any amount of writing on your computer, Grammarly could be an excellent tool for you.  Give it a try, and tell me what you think! Just CLICK HERE to get started!


  1. I use and love Grammarly, too! I've used it for a few years now. It's a life saver for me, someone who is terrible with grammar! I would highly recommend! It doesn't catch everything, though. I still try to listen (via the computer) to what I've written before I post it.

    1. Great endorsement, Candy! I've been enjoying it too. You're right-- nothing beats the ol' human brain, but it helps to have this program also. It's a great tool!



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