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Editing Tips: Grammarly

2 Aug
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Bogart and his KU spirit.

I used Grammarly to grammar check this post, because Bogart would rather I spend time feeding him than editing. ;]

No. Really. This sentence defines what my first post in August will be about: editing. Here’s to August–another month of writing, reading, and dreaming is ahead of us, and I wanted to begin with a very helpful website you can consider using for editing purposes.

Grammarly is an online editor, but it is beyond spellchecker. As described on their website, Grammarly “corrects contextual spelling mistakes, checks for more than 250 common grammar errors, enhances vocabulary usage, and provides citation suggestions. More than 3 million registered users worldwide trust Grammarly’s products.”

On top of that, it has numerous settings, including General, Business, Academic, Technical, Creative, and Casual. (I used the casual setting for this post.) There’s also a support page where you can communicate with other writers.

Other things to know I found out while testing this product:

  • This program should be used as a “second set” of eyes for your writing–meaning it enhances the editing process, not controls it. But the enhancement is in-depth and clearly labeled. When it highlights your grammar mistakes, it has an option of “short or long descriptions.” These buttons explain what particular rule you might be breaking. That way, you might not make those mistakes in the future, or you will learn what you most commonly forget.
  • Grammarly for Desktop includes MS Office integration and other features, but the desktop version is not available for Mac yet. This means you can use it online but not install it on your computer. It’s still great though, because I use a Mac, so this is exactly what I was doing.
  • Although the free sample allows you to upload text, it will only give you a list of how many mistakes it found–not the specific mistakes. However, you can sign up (with a credit card) and try a free 7-day trial which allows you to try the complete version for free by allowing you to remove your credit card before the trial has expired.
  • If you decide to stay with Grammarly, the prices range by how often you wish to pay (annually, quarterly, or monthly.) The cheapest is annually, but you’ll pay $139.95 once for the entire year. If calculated, that’s about 11.66 a month.
  • The grammar check is beyond basic spellchecker, but it is like any other kind of technology. You need to check it yourself. Don’t simply “accept all” or “ignore all.” But most of the suggestions are really great. I was impressed by how many “commonly confused words” it caught and/or other grammatical aspects spellchecker doesn’t always catch.

Basically: 

I think Grammarly is a remarkable tool for all kinds of writers, especially self-publishing authors who may not be able to afford numerous (or one) editor. I WISH I had this product during my past four years at college, but at least I’ll be able to use it during my last semester. It’s worth a try. I have to admit that I’m generally skeptical, but this website is definitely bookmarked to be returned to often.

Have you used Grammarly? What do you think?

~SAT

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