Reviews,  Writing

Grammarly – What Is It And Is It Worth It?

I’m not in the habit of writing reviews professionally.  Even on my beauty blog, when I write a review it’s quite tongue in cheek.  This is my first attempt, so please be kind with your criticism!

One day I was at work and had just been told off for using the wrong grammar.  So I went online to look for sites and software that could prove my grammar was just fine and my critic’s grammar was outdated and just plain wrong.  While researching I came across Grammarly.  It looked like a good site and while I wasn’t able to use it at work to prove my point (It turned out I was actually right!) I bookmarked the site and put further investigation of Grammarly on my to-do list.

Then a couple of weeks ago I received a promotional email about Grammarly.  It was perfectly timed as I had just started editing my latest release, Leger’s Eyes – A Halloween Cat Sleuth Story.  I exchanged a few emails with the Grammarly people and I got a free trial.

Unfortunately, I haven’t had as much time as I would have liked to try it due to family commitments.  My son was teething and sleep is in short supply in this house at the moment.  However, I had enough time to try it out a couple of times and get a feel for whether I would go ahead and spend money on it.  After all, that’s what free trials are for, right?

My first question about Grammarly is, what makes this so different from simply pressing F7 and doing a spellcheck on MS Word?  Well, you can use it alongside your usual word processing software.  It’s possible to download a desktop version rather than just using the site and the desktop version has MS Word integration.  That sounds handy.

But why should I pay money for something that I already get for free with my word processing software?  Doesn’t it sound like a waste of time?  Well, no, it’s not.  By using Grammarly for just a couple of weeks I’ve learned a few things about grammar.  I’ve been making mistakes without even knowing it and Grammarly picked them up when F7 didn’t.  Not only that, it even gave me an explanation as to what the mistakes were.    There are two types of explanations – long in-depth explanations and shorter versions.  It’s up to you which ones you use but both were quite helpful and informative.

Grammarly even has a great plagiarism checker.  I ran my own unpublished work through it, just out of curiosity to see if it would find comparisons with anything else that’s out there.  I’m in the clear!

Are there any down sides to Grammarly?  Well, you do have to pay to use it but the prices are reasonable and when you weigh up the cost of lost sales due to a one star review on Amazon after making a few grammatical errors, it’s a good investment.  Believe me, I’ve been there.  I’m kicking myself for not using something like Grammarly back then.

And there’s also the fact that it is just software and will never pick up things a human editor will but on the other hand, it won’t get tired or bored or skim over things like proofreaders I’ve used in the past have done.  When it highlights your mistakes you can make the changes yourself and download the corrected version whereas quite often a human proofreader will make changes for you and if you don’t like them, you have to change them back yourself.  It’s definitely worth using as a final check or second pair of eyes.

While I haven’t paid a subscription fee just yet, it’s definitely something I will do when I get my next royalty cheque.

The final thing I have to say is, Grammarly also made me laugh when I was feeling down.  Obviously I’ve censored the actual words here, but when it was checking some of my dialogue, it had me giggling at what it had to say about, “You f***ing pervert!”  Grammarly’s response?

“The adjective “pervert” is describing the verb “f***ing.”  Consider changing the adjective to an adverb.”

Thanks Grammarly.  I’ll keep that in mind when I’m editing!

If you want to read more about it, here is a link to their FAQ.  Click here.


One Comment

  • brindyw

    I’ve used Grammarly for several years and have found it very useful. It picks up on so much more than the built in checker that MS Word has. If you are a casual writer the free version works fine, for anyone serious about writing and especially those that are looking to publish I think it’s definitely a tool worth considering paying for. The more ways to check your work the more chance of getting a very polished end product.

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