Grammarly: Online Editing Software


Generally speaking, word processors, like Microsoft Word, do a fair job at catching our spelling and grammar mistakes, but sometimes we want to take it to another level.  Grammarly® may be that next level.


Grammarly is an online-based editing tool that allows you to upload text for a more thorough editing than you would get from your normal word processing software, including spelling, grammar, and basic writing tips.

The spell-checker in most word processors usually looks just at the spelling of a given word.  Grammarly takes that a step further by looking at the word in its context to see if any common errors were made.

From a grammar perspective, the software does a fine job of evaluating sentences more thoroughly.  For instance, I learned that I am prone to use more split infinitives in a sentence than periods.

Grammarly also makes suggestions for word use.  As writers, we are told to stay away from very.  Grammarly will make relevant suggestions for replacing generic words like very, and it will help to spice up your writing.

For the students out there, Grammarly even includes a plagiarism checker to ensure that all of the material in the document is original.

Who should use Grammarly?  Writers, students, and even business professionals in need of a grammar boost could benefit from the software.  Writers will improve their talents, students will get better grades, and professionals can give themselves a business advantage.

The cost is not cheap, though.  A one month subscription starts at $29.95, but has quarterly and yearly pricing that brings it down to less than $12 per month.  For many writers, students, and professionals, this is money well spent.

The price may seem steep, but it is made up for by the ease of use.  You can access the software directly in any web browser, where you can upload a document or cut and paste it directly into the web-based software.  For Microsoft Office users, there is even a Word plug-in that works directly in your word processor.

My experience with Grammarly came on a self-published book that I had recently paid to have professionally edited.  After making some final changes, I wanted to check the document again for errors.  That’s when I stumbled upon Grammarly.

Larger projects, like a book, take awhile for the software to complete, but it made some fantastic suggestions for word choice and caught any of the new errors I had just created.

I am also a student pursuing my Master’s degree, and I have used Grammarly to add extra polish to each of my papers.  The addition of the plagiarism tool is a great asset, as well.

With my daily writing and blogging (which normally happens in the wee hours of the morning), Grammarly ensures that I do not make any random errors that I would not make normally if I were fully awake.

For any writer, accepting that we need editing can be a tough pill to swallow, but Grammarly makes it a little easier.  Invest in your writing as a student, business professional, or part-time blogger with this wonderful tool.  You will be glad you did.

Achieving perfection may be impossible, but it depends more on our effort to get there than our own natural abilities.

Read more of our Tech Talk columns.

Copyright 2013 Chad R. Torgerson


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  1. I was wondering how Grammarly works! I’ve seen this mentioned quite a bit on Facebook lately. I’m glad to see a review of this program.

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