Grammarly: The god of all spellchecks?

Grammarly: The god of all spellchecks?

Image: Grammarly.com

By Farhana Rahman

Has proof-reading never been easier? 

Grammarly is known to be THE BEST online grammar checker on the planet! It’s also the perfect tool for students who are both native English and non-native English speakers.

 If you don’t write in English that often or just dread proof-reading assignments, then this language tool could really benefit you. The online Grammar assistant sorts you out with instant spellchecks, synonym suggestions and plagiarism detection whilst you whiz through your written assignments. It even offers users specific language settings from American, British, Australian and Canadian English (Collins 2015). You won’t have to panic about losing out in marks because well – let’s face it, we’re not all spelling-bee’s and now we won’t ever have to be! XD

Becoming a user is super easy and free. However, if you’re a bit of a perfectionist (like myself), upgrading to premium will grant you access to Grammarly 2.0 – “advanced spellchecks, vocabulary suggestions, a plagiarism detector, style checks” and many more (Danao 2019). You can explore more about Grammarly and its perks at Grammarly.com. 

Moreover, the online grammar assistant also comes as an extension software which can be installed to your Google Chrome or Safari Browser. Once installed and enabled on your browser, the extension will automatically prompt a flag which underlines text in red (for spelling) or green (for grammar) whenever it detects a spelling or grammatic error (Achieve Virtual, 2019). This extension can also be installed onto Microsoft Word. So, if your writing up your assignments, surfing the web or composing a formal email to your lecturer, explaining your absence from lecture because you were too busy pursuing your party-hard lifestyle – Grammarly could be your spell-check partner in crime.   

Watch this short video for more on writing with Grammarly: 

Although I praise the creators of Grammarly for giving life to this innovative online tool, many literary critics have argued that the online extension can become a bit of an annoyance. According to Stephen Mitchell – English teacher and blogger for Emu Flats Software, Grammarly’s online extension tends to bombard its users with grammar alerts which can often be prompted unnecessarily whilst you’re watching Your favourite YouTube channels or dabbling through social media. It literally will try to correct anything and everything and can only be used with access to Wi-Fi (2017).  

However, I personally find the extension alerts quite useful, but for those who aren’t so happy with receiving constant alerts and only use Grammarly for spellchecks on specific documents and blah blah blah, this issue can be quickly dissolved. By leaving the website open on your web browser, you can easily copy and paste any text onto the online page. This then generates a spelling or plagiarism check and you can just copy and paste it back onto wherever you found it – it’s no real kerfuffle.  

Additionally, you don’t have to install the online extension and it won’t be the end of the world if you do. This is all down to your personal preference, so feel free to play around and explore what Grammarly has to offer. As for not being able to use Grammarly offline, Stephen has made valid point. let’s say you needed to do a last-minute spell-check before submitting your assignment but couldn’t because the internet was down. If Grammarly considered giving premium users offline access whilst offering membership discounts specifically for students, it could give people users more for their money and may even bring up their customer subscriptions.  

Although this currently non-existent, who says Grammarly haven’t got something similar in place? YES, Grammarly is already a popular platform for students who need an instant proof-reading for their essay assignments and it even supports students with dyslexia, who find proof-reading to be a nightmare. But the online Grammar whiz has pushed its intelligent innovations above and beyond with Grammarly@EDU, a premium subscription to Grammarly that is specifically tailored to over 100 educational institutions in the U.S. alone, and the results look promising… 

… according to Grammarly’s student survey: 

  • 70% reported an increase level of writing confidence 
  • 99% reported improved writing grades 
  • 84% reported improved grades in general 

Moreover, this tech-savvy proof-reading software offere’s over 100 university libraries endless research and writing support services to it’s students via the institution’s library webpage. From access to grammar tutorials to paper revision support, Grammarly have also reported that it has opened doors for schools that are preparing younger students for a degree-level qualification (Grammarly@EDU 2019). 

However, this isn’t the only nifty bit of tech on the plant, there are other alternatives that are in competition with Grammarly and ProWritingAid happens to be one of them. This style-checker software is Grammarly’s leading competitor with infinite Grammar fixing features. It offers similar web browser and Microsoft extensions but goes that extra mile by integrating with scrivener and Google Docs as well. 

Furthermore, ProWritingAid also offers free and premium platforms but is hands-down a cheaper alternative to Grammarly which is perfect for us cheapskate students who go ga-ga over a good deal. ANY HOO… ProWritingAid can also flags irregularities known as ‘Sticky Sentences’. However, this is slightly different to Grammarly (probably even better in my opinion) because the software prompt users with its unique ‘glue index’ feature…OOOOOH…AHHHHH! This basically reports on the number of sticky sentences and their effects on content (Finser 2019) – (read more about sticky sentences at TheDigitalMerchant.com). So, WATCH OUT! because this software is always one step ahead and is not a rival to be messed with. 

NOW, to conclude all that we’ve learnt about Grammarly through my extensive research and writers wisdom, I can safely say that the Grammar software probably doesn’t live up to its god-like expectations for some with its ever-so minor inconveniences but it really has proved its worth in the educational front. From being an online grammar-checker to the leading proof-reading platform for over 100’s of US schools and colleges, Grammarly definitely takes the reins as the most innovative god-of-all spell-checks within its own competitive market. So, say goodbye to last-minute proof-reads and HELLO TO GRAMMARLY! 

Got any food for thought?… 
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