Grammar is my weakness. It seems I switched schools at the wrong time and missed foundational instruction. I never did catch up, struggling with it to this day. As such, Grammarly, the online grammar checker, has intrigued me.
Finally, I made time to check it out. According to the site, “Grammarly is an automated proofreader and your personal grammar coach. Correct up to ten times more mistakes than popular word processors.”
The process is simple: copy and paste text into their text box (or upload a file) and click “smart review.” Grammarly goes to work on your text, checking more issues than I knew existed. Even though my work passed the grammar checker in my word processor, Grammarly found many more potential errors.
I pasted last week’s 190-word post into Grammarly, which showed me eleven possible errors. Ten related to contractions and personal pronouns, which I deem acceptable for bloging. The eleventh item was a misplaced comma. Comma placement, by the way, haunts me.
A longer 3,000-word short story contained 117 “issues” in the following categories:
- Pronoun agreement
- Use of adjectives and adverbs
- Comparing two or more things
- Faulty parallelism
- Confusing modifiers
- Verb form use
- Conditional sentences
- Punctuation within a sentence
- Sentence structure
- Passive voice use
- Commonly confused words
- Writing style
- Vocabulary use
That was on the “general” setting; the “casual” option presented a less confounding list of forty-six issues. It does take a while to wade through each item, and, frankly, some of the explanations are beyond my understanding, while others are more basic, being easy to comprehend and fix.
After playing around with it, I know Grammarly will definitely improve my writing. But will I take the time to actually use it?
Peter DeHaan is an author, publisher, and editor. He gives back to the writing community through this blog. Get insider info from his monthly newsletter. Sign up today!