Grammarly: Just another Spellchecker, or your path to better content?

by Susanna Gebauer (@dreckbaerfrau)

Content and social media marketers write a lot of content. For us, The Social Ms, the process usually goes: One of us writes a piece of content and the other reads, corrects, comments and adds his/her thoughts. I think this process adds to the original piece of content. But I know that sometimes it would be much more efficient if the author of the original piece of content could do all the editing, spell-checking and grammatical corrections on his own. And believe me: Even if you are perfectly able to produce a document or text without errors, it still makes sense to check spelling and grammar. That is why many bloggers and businesses who can afford it use a professional editor. But for many this simply is by far out of the budget.

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When we heard about Grammarly, we decided to give it a try. Here is the story of my first experience with the tool.

What is Grammarly and who can use it?

Grammarly is an Online Tool that provides you with “another set of eyes to perfect your writing”.  The tool “reviews and improves your text, correcting grammar, spelling, word choice and style mistakes with unmatched accuracy.”

Everyone can use it online, by simply registering and starting a free trial. If you like it, you can have it for a fee ranging from 29,95$ per month to 139,95$ per year.

I registered for a free trial and could instantly start to work on my document. I used my first draft of this article – purposely not doing any proofreading before entering the text into Grammarly.

Grammarly instantly found some errors and made a suggestion for a complex sentence to make it easier to understand. I edited the text according to the suggestions; now the paragraph reads as follows, which Grammarly accepts without comments:

Grammarly can do more: It can check for plagiarism, in my case it tells me the following sentence would be unoriginal:

“Here is the story of my first experience with the tool.”

I chose to ignore this comment, as my sentence seems more than common and will probably be used all over the net.

I also learned a lot of grammar – I did not know about “dangling modifiers” before, but the suggestions really make my sentence more readable.

Grammarly- Just another Spellchecker, orI know how quickly you can oversee errors in a written text. It is not so much about not knowing the right spelling or the right grammar. The spelling is easily overlooked when focusing on writing an interesting piece of content, and the grammar simply slips as we speak laxer than we should write.

Ok, the next step in Grammarly I chose was to let the tool provide me with some suggestions to exchange words in order to “diversify my writing”. I got 4 suggestions in the text I added to Grammarly so far:

“efficient” —- “effective.”

I see the point, but in this case, I think effective is not quite the right word, so I keep “efficient.”

“free” – “open”

I will not follow this suggestion as a “free” trial is not the same as an “open” trial. But I do see the point.

 

(In the above sentence there seems to be a discrepancy between Microsoft-word spell checking and Grammarly, word wants a “,” after “suggestion”, Grammarly does not.)

“easily” —- “quickly.”

Again I do not see such a huge difference, as both fit, I follow the advice.

“right” —- “proper” or “good.”Grammarly

I really like the “proper” in this case and go along. (Grammarly suggested I remove the “really” as it is redundant).

(Also Grammarly offers to send your text to a professional proofreader.)

All in all, I think Grammarly is a huge help in generating better content. It provides an easy-to-use process to check pieces of written content for spelling and grammar mistakes. I especially like the hints for too complex sentences, as I tend to try to fit everything into one sentence, making things very hard to read. Grammarly is a friendly reminder to split up some of my sentences. I also like the suggestions for synonymous words. I guess everyone writing content has been in the situation when the same word keeps coming to mind making content boring. Grammarly’s “Vocabulary Enhancement” is a huge help with this.

I recommend giving Grammarly a try!

 

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  • http://appearoo.com/JesseGarboden Jesse Garboden

    I herd about wordy a while ago. I do use Grammarly mainly bigger blog posts or on business network comments. But, I will have to check out wordy for when I do need higher quality than Grammarly.

    • TheSocialMarketers

      I still haven’t tried Wordy. Would be great to hear your experience though!
      -Susanna-

  • Ira Haberman

    Grammarly is a great tool, but if you want great insight into your content, and how it will perform, check out Atomic Reach.

  • http://www.contentrules.com Val Swisher

    If you like Grammarly, but want to take it to the next level, I suggest you check out Acrolinx. Acrolinx is an enterprise-class tool. Not only does it check your grammar and style against the Chicago Manual, it allows you to program in your style guide. This means that you can check your content against your brand voice and standards. You can also program your corporate terminology. Never again will you violate your own trademarks or use your product names incorrectly. You can also select preferred and disallowed terms. It is much more powerful than Grammarly. If your company is serious about brand, voice, and terminology, Acrolinx is the tool for you.

    • grobmeier

      Acrolinx looks interesting, but I am concerned when companies do not show prices on their website.

      • http://www.contentrules.com Val Swisher

        Acrolinx is an enterprise-scale software solution. There is no one size fits all pricing for it. Like all enterprise-scale software, each deployment is priced to match the requirements of the customer. It is extremely powerful, with advanced terminology management and linguistic configuration. Like SAP or Oracle, there would be no way to publish a set price for the solution.

        Most large technology companies are using Acrolinx. It is a different class of application than Grammarly and the right type of solution for organizations who are serious about content quality across the enterprise.

        • grobmeier

          So it seems Acrolinx is for enterprises like Oracle, but not for small businesses like me then. I totally understand some companies need super-ninja-power, but others just need good spell checking at an affordable price. I have identified a few things which make me hesitate to buy Grammarly pro like I can’t spell check files in GitHub, Bitbucket or Medium. However saying Acrolinx is for the upper classes like SAP and Oracle just make me even more afraid to spend an hour for a demo and find out it has a cost of hundreds of dollars a month, which I never can pay. That being said, I look like Grammarly would fill a gap.
          (response spell checked with Grammarly free – 2 advanced issues were not being resolved ;-))

  • http://mysti-berry.foursquare.com Mysti Berry

    Great for large teams because you can make reports showing progress toward style compliance. For example, if your team has the habit of writing overly-long sentences, you can show the C-suite your progress toward compliance, guaranteeing higher customer satisfaction with content. Also, you can show your team that if 80% of the content has too-long sentences, probably not all of them need to be that long.

  • http://mysti-berry.foursquare.com Mysti Berry

    Also great because your human editors can focus on important things like structure, flow, completeness, and leave the simple details like style and grammar to the machines, who excel at this kind of thing.

  • http://logophilius.blogspot.com Andy Hollandbeck

    Grammarly and its ilk can do some good, but don’t expect it to lead you to great writing. “Grammatical” is not the the same as “good,” and as you point out here, not every suggestion Grammarly makes should be accepted. (Look here for a skewering of Grammarly’s view of “errors” it found in classic fiction: http://www.arrantpedantry.com/2015/02/23/fifty-shades-of-bad-grammar-advice/.) Which means you’ve still got to make your own editorial decisions.

    Don’t believe the superlatives. This won’t “perfect your writing,” and it’s far from having “unmatched accuracy.” We’re a long way from having an automatic grammar and style checker that can edit with the nuance and insight of any half-decent living copy editor.

  • http://headandheartcafe.com/ Raymond Philippe

    I am not an English native speaker or writer. I use Grammarly too. It is not perfect, but it helps me look at my written text critically and I’m quite sure it does a good job helping me with my punctuation. I am happy I can use it from within my blog at http://headandheartcafe.com Thanks for posting this useful review.

  • grobmeier

    Thanks for a great tip which I just tried out. I felt Hemingway app shows totally different things than Grammarly. However I love their desktop app and that it can work with Markdown files.

  • Guest

    Did Grammarly not catch the incorrect placement of the dollar signs in this post? We say the numbers first, then the word ‘dollars’, but it’s written the other way around.

  • http://technolodigital.blogspot.com Basri Yudianto

    much experience do you have about Grammarly, Inc And are willing to
    share information with others. This is very interesting to add benefits
    to the look of this article. as in writing a content better use their
    own language although there are slight corrections and comments to the
    reader

  • Helen Smith

    Nice blog! My sister used that tool, but I am a using a fantastic checker known as GRAMMAR CHECK FOR SENTENCE. I easily remove all my grammar mistakes with the help of this corrector. It is a useful and free site that’s why I like it very much. Keep posting like this.

  • LiamBerlin

    Is there an equivalent for German?