Another apology for my absence from the blogosphere. I'll be catching up on all the blogs I usually follow over the next couple of days. I miss this place, but settling back into university has been intense.
About a month ago, I was offered a one-month premium membership for Grammarly, an online word-processor, in exchange for reviewing the product. I thought it would be a great opportunity to see what alternatives there are to proofreading and relying on Microsoft Word as I usually do.
Grammarly is a great online word-processor that can be used as a second set of eyes when proofreading. After copying and pasting the text or uploading the document into the programme, you can select the type of writing - general, business, academic, technical, creative or casual - and start the review process. The review process picks up on a wide range of spelling, grammar, punctuation and sentence structure issues and suggesting synonyms. As well as pointing out mistakes, it explains why the highlighted text could be incorrect, giving great examples to help the user understand. It then allows you, the author, to choose whether or not to correct it, assuming that there may be an exception to the rule. You can repeat the review process multiple times after making corrections until the document is as close to perfect that the product can make it. You can also use the Grammarly editor to check for plagiarism.
A Grammarly account has a dashboard similar to that of a Blogger or Goodreads account. The dashboard contains some statistical features such as how many documents you've checked, your average score based on how many mistakes are made per document and your score trends over time. The dashboard also categorises the types of mistakes you make - punctuation, verb form, confusing modifiers, pronoun use, etc - and shows how many of each type of mistake have been detected in the texts you've checked over. Perhaps the most useful feature on the dashboard is the 'Personal Writing Handbook', which is created by the programme and updated as it checks your work, detailing the mistakes you make most often and explaining why. It gives you the most relevant writing rules to help you, based on your Grammarly usage.
Grammarly can be used to check a range of documents for you, such as emails, blog posts, creative fiction and resumes. It's a great second set of eyes if you would like to create an account. It is known for catching more mistakes than other word-processors such as Microsoft Word.
Of course, I'll be reverting back to Microsoft Word once my one month premium account runs out, because I'm a poor, unemployed uni student. I can make Microsoft Word accept my Australian-English and Australian writing etiquette too, which is always helpful. I'd like to thank Grammarly for the opportunity they gave me to use and review their product. It's been a fun experience and I've really enjoyed it.
Has anybody else out there used Grammarly?