Have you ever felt that the Microsoft Word processor has not been performing up to the mark? Or that you just want something more out of the writing that you do but still end up wondering which phrase would fit better? (I’m guilty of having these thoughts… so this is what I did…) – I downloaded Grammarly because it was the only name in the Google search result (that sounded cool) and once I arrived at their website, I just kept downloading all the freebies that they were offering. Let me walk you through all the products and features that Grammarly has to offer.
Although Grammarly talks about four products (Spell Check, Plagiarism checker, Proofreading and MS Office Add-in) and two other great services ([email protected] and Handbook) on its web interface but under this heading of products I’m going to talk about the products which are just 2 and not 4 because although the toolbar is a product on its own and the software does everything else.
The browser extension is fantastic! It keeps an eye on all the text areas of your browsers and tells you where you are going wrong. If you don’t need it for a particular browser tab that’s open, then simply disable it with one click and you’ll see that the green button of Grammarly Toolbar says ‘off’ and that too in red color. If you want it back for the same browser tab, tap that green button again and ‘off’ will go away. So can you imagine, while I’m writing this very review, Grammarly is keeping an eye on everything that I’m writing and suggesting where I’m making mistakes by showing a dull red underneath the words that need fixing; its pretty awesome!
Once you have downloaded the software, you sign up for free (or purchase the plan), you can log into your account and start using it. You will have the option of embedding the Microsoft Add-in into your Microsoft Word and Outlook software.
Grammarly software on its own has the option of uploading a Word file (can’t be more than 20 pages) or simply pasting the words into the software (there is a limit on the word count as well).
The software is very light and breezy. The Microsoft Add-in I mentioned above, is part of this software – which I think is a fantastic idea because be it your Word file or Outlook client for emails; this little birdie fixes punctuation, spellings, and grammar. It doesn’t check for plagiarism but you can do that in their online platform.
If you want more, you need to buy the premium version which comes for $29.95/Month, $59.95/Quarter and $139.95/Year. You can see the perks of premium version in the picture below.
So the premium version gives you a deeper understanding of the sentence structure, checks 100+ advanced grammar and spelling mistakes, suggests advanced vocabulary, detects plagiarism and gives you appropriate guidelines for your writing style.
I think we have established this by now that Grammarly is an extremely useful tool that you will love especially if you write. So it’s no wonder that people behind Grammarly have a service that is tailor-made for students and teachers.
[email protected] assists students with their assignments and papers by offering ‘instructional feedback’. This is very useful when you actually want to learn. The plans & pricing are very straight forward; a campus license and a volume license. The former is for institutes and is sold as annual subscription while the latter is more class based and starts with 10 students and goes up to 50 seats, also sold as annual subscription only.
Students get four main benefits from this web-based tool; a comprehensive writing handbook, a citation audit tool that checks for potential plagiarism across 10+ billion documents, a revision support tool that transforms the assignments into a learning session and grammar tutorial which automatically identifies and offers solutions to writing problems.
The perks of [email protected] doesn’t end with these four tools. The level of complexity is adjusted class-wise. There is a separate adjustment of ease for K-12, then there is their Higher Education solution that is slightly more complex and caters to freshman and college-level writing.
Blackboard Integration is also part of [email protected] which assists the teachers more in evaluating the assignments and papers. This way the instructors can provide a detailed feedback to their students so they can avoid future mistakes in their upcoming papers.
If you think that this is the end of everything that this ‘Grammarly’ offers, then no, it’s not. There is a unique Dictionary & Thesaurus word finder that is acclaimed to be the web’s only context-optimized tool. You simply go there and start searching for words and their appropriate meanings and synonyms.
If you have questions regarding grammar, then you should check out their online forum Grammarly Answers. Its dedicated to helping people who are struggling with English and also those who just want a second opinion and don’t really trust the software itself (I guess).
Grammarly does a great job offering online tools for improving your writing, but they have missed one vital ingredient and another good-to-have tool. The vital feature that Grammarly doesn’t offer is the support for other styles of English language. Currently, only US English is supported and that’s very uncool. Not only should Grammarly support UK English but it should also cater to other styles of English language that are based on location. Australia is another location that comes to my mind which Grammarly should support. So if you are based in UK or require UK or Australian English, Grammarly is not your ideal solution.
Translation is a nifty tool that Grammarly could offer but doesn’t – if it did, then this service would literally have everything. But these are the only two missing pieces/tools in Grammarly that I and my team could think of.
Grammarly is a user-friendly tool that in my opinion is fantastic. No doubt, there are few more out there which compete neck to neck with what Grammarly is offering (such as Ginger) but for the intent of this review, I’m going to make a slight comparison and say that perhaps if Grammarly offered translation and supported UK English then it would really be in serious competition with Ginger (because Ginger supports both the features in their ‘free’ service). But who knows, maybe Grammarly is already working on a translating tool and will release it very soon (even if it doesn’t start supporting UK English.
However, if you are looking for a solution that can improve your writing then Grammarly is the way to go because the add-ins are just too good a feature to ignore.