No matter what field you work in, chances are you have to write from time to time, whether or not you like it. It doesn’t matter if you’re a professional wordsmith or you just suck with words altogether – writing is a part of life. Whether you are a blogger, student, freelancer, office manager, entrepreneur, or virtual assistant (the list goes on) you can become a better writer with Grammarly.
Have you ever read and re-read your writing so many times that you miss glaring mistakes entirely? Only to be called out by a reader or to catch it with fresh eyes, and think, “Gosh, that’s embarrassing. How in the world did I miss that?!”
Yea, me too. And that’s coming from someone who writes and edits professionally.
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If you are looking to become a better writer or editor, a free spelling and grammar check, or if you merely need a final review before hitting Publish or Send, this intuitive writing assistant will be your new best friend. Trust me; Sam is THRILLED to be relieved of his proofreading duties.
Ready to become a better writer with Grammarly? Sign up here for free!
What Is Grammarly?
Grammarly is an AI-powered writing tool that detects grammar, punctuation, spelling, word choice and (my favorite) style mistakes. The program scans your work for grammatical errors (like missing punctuation and misplaced periods), typos (misspellings, missing spaces), missing words, and funky phrasing and makes recommendations to make it better. It grades you as a go until you have corrected some or all of the mistakes.
The (FREE!) program comes with two options for checking your work, is wildly easy to use, and works great with all types of writing, including work, personal and academic. It can make even the best writer better.
Grammarly is useful in a lot of ways, and I count on it for many tasks, including:
- Checking my blog content before publishing
- Proofing my email correspondence before hitting send
- As a third (fourth, fifth…) set of eyes when I have finished editing material for a client
- When I am creating content for another brand
I wish I had this tool when I was still a student!
The fact is that anyone can use this tool, no matter how much of a wordsmith you may be! We are human, and humans make errors. You can be a lead writer at The New York Times and still make a grammatical mistake – no one is perfect! It doesn’t matter how good you are (or think you are), nine times out of 10, something can be improved.
Not only that, but it makes life easier, saves times, and makes the whole writing experience that much more enjoyable.
How To Use Grammarly
There are two easy ways you can use Grammarly; I use both equally. It just depends on what I am working on.
- Upload a copy of your document to your account on Grammarly, or copy and paste the text onto a blank page.
- Install the free browser extension, and Grammarly will detect writing errors across multiple websites, including but not limited to WordPress, Gmail, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
When Grammarly detects an issue, it will mark up your work with its recommended edits. All you have to do is go through and accept what you want and deny what you don’t.
One of my favorite features of Grammarly is the browser plugin which will detect errors in any of your writing as you’re writing it; your email correspondence, your blog posts, your social media posts, anything!
It works where you do, negating the need to be logged onto their website. There is no need to run everything you write through their engine because it can follow along wherever you need it to.
Another great feature is the goal-setting option, where you help Grammarly understand the context of your content through intent, audience, style, emotion, and domain. The more information it has, the better it can help you.
This feature is particularly useful for me because my writing style depends on who or what I am writing for. For blog posts, I want to be a bit more informal, the content is published on a creative domain, and I want to describe something to my readers. I don’t want to be dull, dry, overly boring…
Whereas if I am writing or editing website content for a local business, I want to inform potential clients or buyers, skip the emotions, and speak formally and professionally, because it will be published on a “Business” domain.
Once I set these parameters, the assistant will analyze the content and make recommendations based on the goals provided.
Grammarly Basic VS Grammarly Premium
The basic version Grammarly is FREE to use and can be of use to anyone. But there is also a premium version that offers a bunch more features that to me, are completely worth it.
Whether basic or premium is for you is entirely contingent on how you would use it. If you are a blogger, like us, a student, a writer, an editor, or a virtual assistant of any kind, you will benefit from the premium version. If you simply want to make sure that your emails and the occasional document are grammatically correct, you’d be fine with basic.
To us, the real gold comes from the stylistic and enhancement suggestions.
What are the differences?
Both versions provide critical grammar and spelling checks, but if you’re looking for more pie, upgrade! Premium has advanced checks for punctuation, grammar, context, and sentence structure, vocabulary enhancement suggestions, genre-specific writing style checks, and a plagiarism detector.
It can even be integrated with MS Word and Outlook and is compatible with native desktop apps (Windows and macOS).
I signed up for the free version of Grammarly after a colleague recommended giving it a whirl. I had heard about it before but never thought it would be of any use to me, being a trained editor. But I am a large proponent of the idea that there is always room to improve, so I entertained him and am so glad that I did.
I kid you not; I upgraded to Premium after using the basic version for less than 5 minutes! WHERE HAVE YOU BEEN ALL MY LIFE?!
Grammarly doubles as a plagiarism checker. It is used to make sure that content is original. The material is scanned and compared with over 16 billion web pages as well as academic databases to make sure there isn’t any duplicate content.
While you can use this to review your work before publishing (to make sure you do not sound too similar to someone else), you can also check to see if anyone has copied your original work; if someone has copied your content, Grammarly will find it word for word. If someone has copied even a few sentences of another website, it will pick up on it. If they didn’t cite you, that’s plagiarism.
If you are a student, the plagiarism detector will be especially useful because of the frequency at which you have to conduct research and cite your sources. No, we aren’t saying get Grammarly so you can get away with copying other work; what we are saying is that many professors require that your work passes through plagiarism detectors to ensure that you didn’t just pull all your research and drop it into a document. You have to demonstrate your understanding, right? Why wait for them to check your work for you when you can run a 10-second check on your own?
Whether you are a seasoned writer or have trouble getting your message across without mistakes, Grammarly is an amazing tool to use!