PROS / Grammarly Premium contextually scans your text for mistakes and typos and provides suggestions to make the writing better.
CONS / Grammarly’s Microsoft Office integration is not available on the Apple platform.
VERDICT / With excellent educational tools and a focus on both the writing and the writer, Grammarly has long-lasting positive effects on writers' language skills.
Editor's note: The manufacturer has informed us that the Grammarly Writing Enhancement Software has been updated. According to Grammarly, the new version of this application has increased accuracy and an improved design. We will fully evaluate and reflect this additional information when we next update the Writing Enhancement reviews.
Grammarly Premium is writing enhancement software that not only corrects spelling and grammar errors, but also provides a full array of tools to elevate your writing. The software scans your text for more than 250 types of grammar mistakes in six distinct writing genres. Grammarly also provides informative flash cards that can help you transform weak areas into strengths. The company's community-driven Q&A section is a great resource for writers to connect and share knowledge and experiences. Everything about Grammarly centers on not only improving written texts, but also developing the writers themselves. This is the reason it earns the Top Ten Reviews Silver Award.
There are two ways to use Grammarly. You can use it either in your web browser or as a Microsoft Office add-on. Both options are intuitive and have the look and feel of a modern program. Analyzing your text is as easy as clicking a single button. The reports generated by Grammarly are both useful and easy to understand, even by novice writers.
Grammarly also has some unique features, such as the Personal Writing Handbook. This is a writing journal of sorts. It tracks your scores of every document you've analyzed and provides a detailed report of your personal strengths and weaknesses. This is a great way to track improvement.
Grammarly includes every editing tool that we looked for when we rated and ranked the best grammar check software. When this software finds a grammar mistake, it provides a detailed flash card with explanations and examples of how to improve the sentence. One of the unique features found in Grammarly is its ability to contextually analyze your text for different genres of writing. Before you click Start Review, take a moment to consider who your audience will be. Options include general, business, academic, technical, creative and casual. This is helpful because different types of writing require different kinds of analyses.
Another useful feature found in Grammarly is the plagiarism-detection tool. You can simply drop any text into the software and click Plagiarism, and Grammarly will compare it to more than eight billion documents online. This is a great tool for teachers and editors who suspect that their writers or students might be turning in copied material.
Grammarly gives you the option to either use the service online or as plug-in to Microsoft Office. This duality is useful because writers are not always perpetually connected to the internet. Another bonus to this approach is that you can use the web-based Grammarly as a word processor unto itself. This is great for writers who are away from their computers but can access a system that's connected to the internet. They then have the ability to write within Grammarly, check and improve the text and then email it to themselves for later use.
The Microsoft Office version of Grammarly's grammar and spell check software offers an augmentation to the spelling and grammar tools already available in that suite. It does not require you to be connected to the internet. Therefore, writers can take their laptops wherever they want and still have access to the writing enhancement tools Grammarly provides online. Unfortunately, the Microsoft Office plug-in is not available for the Mac platform.
When it comes to detecting grammar and spelling errors, Grammarly leads the pack. We plugged our test paragraph into this grammar checker and it caught nearly every error we planted within it. It flagged passive voice and commonly confused words, and it also made corrections for sentence structure, punctuation, verb use and more within a few seconds. It then corrected the errors in less than three minutes.
Grammarly doesn't flag an error without providing a reason. When writers comb through the results provided by Grammarly, they see a series of flashcards that explain why each error was flagged as incorrect and provide suggestions to correct the errors. This approach not only elevates your writing, but it educates you to strengthen your future writing as well.
Aside from the flash cards, Grammarly provides tools that writers use regularly. Grammarly includes a comprehensive dictionary and thesaurus that writers can access at any time. Probably the most useful reference tool in Grammarly is the vocabulary enhancement tool.
When a document is analyzed, this writing enhancement software highlights all the words in the text that could benefit from a stronger word choice. You simply click on any highlighted word and you're provided with a contextual list of synonyms that could move your writing to the next level.
Help & Support
Grammarly’s customer support is where it falls down a bit. While the company provides excellent technical support via email, there is no option to call the company.
In addition to the prompt email service, Grammarly somewhat makes up for lack of telephone support with its excellent Q&A resource. This is a community of writers asking and answering questions about a wide range of topics. Users are very active, and it's likely that any question you have has already been answered in some fashion.
In the final analysis, there are many more pros than cons with Grammarly Premium. It is an excellent tool for writers. Grammarly has great analytical tools, allowing you to do things like analyze your document for genre. There is also a tool that lets you check for plagiarism, and you can pay to use the online one-hour translation tool. Grammarly combines the best aspects of proofreading, teaching and community into a writing enhancement software package that will have immediate and lasting effects on you as a writer.