With Grammarly, your writing will improve dramatically. This browser extension grabs any information you type in your browser, checks it to an extensive database, and signals any segment in need of attention. Spelling, punctuation, grammar, it all gets a pass – or not, which is a good thing.

Features

  • Grammarly runs on many different platforms, not just in a browser. There are native apps for desktops and handheld devices (iPhone and Android).
  • Checks Grammar, Spelling, and Punctuation, but also conciseness, and readability.
  • Premium features include a plagiarism checker, vocabulary enhancements, and more.

You can find more information on their premium page.

Benefits Grammarly

If you write in American, Canadian, or British English, this is the extension to install immediately. Also, if you write for the web and want to avoid the most obvious errors, you need to install this program. You’ll want to consider this, especially if you’re a lonesome blogger without a big editing team to assess your work. With Grammarly, you get some useful pointers with any text. It’s a genuinely fantastic program, especially with the premium features in place.

It integrates well with many browsers, but also with Microsoft Words, which is still the go-to solution for many writers. You install a small program, and then you get to use the same functionality of the extension, but natively in your word processor. Life couldn’t be better written down.

Drawbacks

The English language doesn’t always adhere to simple black-and-white rules, unfortunately. There are many grey areas where a writer has to opportunity to demonstrate her sense of style, her literary sensibility. With Grammarly, you get an absolute harmonization which might make your writing less erroneous, but maybe also less appealing. The punctuation favors a particular convention, even though an added comma might make a difference. You always get to accept or dismiss the suggestion the system gives you, of course. Still, I wonder if, in a few years, we might discover the Grammarly-effect in the shortlist of the next Man Booker Prize.

Alternatives

  • Prowritingaid (a complete suite of writing tools).
  • Whitesmoke (besides Grammar and Style checks, they also offer a translator).
  • Ginger (a complete grammar checker, including a learning center to make you a better writer).

You can find more alternatives to Grammarly on Hostingsprout.

Final verdict

There seem to be a few massive players on the market, that offer more intelligent feedback than the Spelling Checker you’ll find in the usual word processors. Moreover, since we write evermore online (Google Docs or WordPress), we need just the help that Grammarly offers. The price is quite steep, though (around $11), but still, we wouldn’t dare to write this blog post without it.