Effective writing requires careful attention to detail, and I am thrilled to know that I’ve got Grammarly to keep my nimble fingers in check at the keyboard. I’m constantly typing when I’m at my computer. First impressions matter, as do second, third, and all other impressions. With blog posts, email, and other text that I produce, there are plenty of opportunities for an extra comma to sneak in or a participle to dangle.
I’ve been using the premium version of Grammarly for a couple of years now. I recommend it to my friends and sing its praises even among strangers.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is an automated proofreading program that analyzes writing and suggests potential improvements. It looks for repetitive words and inconsistent phrases. The system then flags these words and phrases with a note in the online (real-time) tool. I can evaluate recommended edits and select the Grammarly recommendation with a click. If I choose, I can ignore the advice or make another change inside the document as the system is evaluating the text. Grammarly works in the background while I’m typing but displays recommendations on the screen instantly. When I’m ready for final editing, I use Grammarly to evaluate the complete manuscript.
When I first heard about Grammarly, I was skeptical. After all, I know grammar, right? I installed the free version and within a few weeks upgraded to the premium service. It’s that good.
Writing and Grammar
So many people need help with writing. Grammarly is ideal for resumes, cover letters, business communications, emails, and technical documents. It’s even there for you when posting on Facebook or updating your blog! I use the Google Chrome plugin and have immediate access to Grammarly whenever I need it.
As I type, I often include jotted notes or reference items. Grammarly flags these incomplete sentences and prompts me to complete my thoughts. At other times, I wax poetically about some exciting topic. As the sentences run on and on and on, Grammarly will bring my attention back to clear, concise writing.
Writing Style Issues
Passive voice is so, well, passive. Strong words and actionable phrases are golden with Grammarly. In the online tool, I can quickly evaluate the passive voice sentences. In more complex writing, Grammarly identifies mixed construction elements. These style issue identifications reduce my editing time substantially, especially for longer documents.
Weekly Feedback Report
Perhaps my favorite feature of the Grammarly system is the feedback. Weekly feedback arrives in my email, teaching me more about how I write and offering solid recommendations for improvement. The weekly report includes feedback on activity, mastery, vocabulary, top mistakes in the prior week, and a weekly tip.
In a recent weekly email report, I received the following feedback.
Activity – 2,522 words were checked – more words than 86% of Grammarly users.
Mastery- 124 corrections – more accurate than 48% of Grammarly users. (Oh, I need to work on that metric!)
Vocabulary – 672 unique words. My vocabulary for the week is a larger vocabulary than 88% of Grammarly users. Yes, I like words.
Top mistake- My top mistake in that week was “Missing comma in a compound sentence.” Missing commas and too many commas are frequent mistakes when I’m typing rapidly, but Grammarly is my safety net to catch those situations.
The Grammarly tip for the week was a mini-lesson on understanding nested quotations within complex sentences. While I don’t encounter that situation often, my curiosity compelled me to read about it and learn more.
Grammarly offers a free limited version. The premium edition is $29.95 per month, $59.95 quarterly, or $139.95 if paid annually. For someone like me, who writes often and demands quality work in every document, the premium version is ideal. The expense is an investment in my skills and the time saved is a welcome bonus.
Summary on Writing with Grammarly
Grammarly’s suggestions are insightful. They guide me to use more direct and explicit language, and to move away from passive voice. Whether you are writing for work or leisure, keep in mind that impressions do matter. Grammarly is an affordable tool to save time and improve your writing every day.
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