This post is sponsored by Grammarly, Inc., but all opinions are my own.
One of the greatest drags about writing is all the rules. Unless you are some kind of grammar freak like I am, then you probably seriously hate having to worry about grammar when you write.
If you are on Facebook, you have probably seen the e-cards that Grammarly puts out (you can view more on the Grammarly Pinterest board) featuring grammar-related humor, like this:
But did you also know that Grammarly has a useful function as well? In fact, the whole point of Grammarly is to help you improve your grammar no matter the occasion, which is of course, something I can get behind 100 percent (take note, I did not use fictitious percentages like 1000 percent).
Features of Grammarly
Basically, Grammarly takes your writing and runs it through a variety of grammar filters. You can choose filters based on the kind of writing it is. Grammarly currently has filters for:
- Business writing
- Academic writing
- Casual writing
- Creative writing
- Medical writing
- Technical writing
- General writing
Each category has specific sub-categories (like under academic you can select essay, case study, and a variety of others). You also get to choose what errors Grammarly looks for. You can choose vocabulary, spelling, grammar, punctuation, style, plagiarism, and sentence structure. After you select your parameters, you insert your text and grade away!
Right now, there are three pricing options:
- Monthly at $29.95 per month (billed monthly at $29.95)
- Quarterly at $19.98 per month (billed quarterly at $59.95)
- Yearly at $11.66 per month (billed yearly at $139.95)
Obviously, the yearly plan is the best deal, and you can try it free for 7 days before committing to purchase.
Pros of Grammarly
I liked the flexibility of different writing styles. Not everything should sound like a graduate paper, which I appreciate about this grammar checker. When I ran a variety of novel passages through the checker (see below), it allowed for a wide range of creative styles.
I did like that putting everything through the filter made me more aware of the grammar pitfalls that I fall into a lot, which was an awesome bonus. It not only is a grammar checker, but also helps you write better!
Cons of Grammarly
For the most part, there weren’t any cons about this grammar checker. The only issue I had with it is that the checker really doesn’t like passive sentences or sentences ending with prepositions. Grammarly also objected to split infinitives, and as you know, I tend to love those. None of these “rules” are actually hard and fast grammar rules, but it does help raise awareness to prevent too many instances of weak writing, which I appreciated.
Playing Around with Grammarly
For about 3 weeks, I ran everything I wrote through the appropriate grammar filter. Most of my stuff had a base score of 95 (this post had a base score of 96), which I was pretty happy with. After tweaking, I was able to get most of my stuff to 98 or better.
Just for fun, I ran a few passages from famous literature through the grammar checker to see what score they received. I found that switching to the correct grammar checker was important. The Crime and Punishment passage had a score of only 89 when I used the general grammar checker rather than the grammar checker for novels. This post had a score of 88 when graded as a dissertation.
The Old Man and The Sea by Ernest Hemingway
Grammarly Score: 100
The passage: “‘The fish is my friend too,’ he said aloud. ‘I have never seen or heard of such a fish. But I must kill him. I am glad we do not have to try to kill the stars.’
Imagine if each day a man must try to kill the moon, he thought. The moon runs away. But imagine if a man each day should have to try to kill the sun? We were born lucky, he thought.
Then he was sorry for the great fish that had nothing to eat and his determination to kill him never relaxed in his sorrow for him. How many people will he feed, he thought. but are they worthy to eat him? No, of course not. There is no one worthy of eating him from the manner of his behavior and his great dignity.
I do not understand these things, he thought. But it is good that we do not have to try to kill the sun or the moon or the stars. It is enough to live on the sea and kill our true brothers.”
Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky
Grammarly Score: 95
The Passage: “He went out, trembling all over from a sort of wild hysterical sensation, in which there was an element of insufferable rapture. Yet he was gloomy and terribly tired. His face was twisted as after a fit. His fatigue increased rapidly. Any shock, any irritating sensation stimulated and revived his energies at once, but his strength failed as quickly when the stimulus was removed.
Zametov, left alone, sat for a long time in the same place, plunged in thought. Raskolnikov had unwittingly worked a revolution in his brain on a certain point and had made up his mind for him conclusively.
“Ilya Petrovitch is a blockhead,” he decided.”
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince by JK Rowling
Grammarly Score: 96
The Passage: “And Harry saw very clearly as he sat there under the hot sun how people who cared about him had stood in front of him one by one, his mother, his father, his godfather, and finally Dumbledore, all determined to protect him; but now that was over. He could not let anybody else stand between him and Voldemort; he must abandon forever the illusion he ought to have lost at the age of one, that the shelter of a parent’s arms meant that nothing could hurt him. There was no waking from this nightmare, no comforting whisper in the dark that he was safe really, that it was all in his imagination; the last and greatest of his protectors had died, and he was more alone than he had ever been.”
Twilight by Stephanie Meyer
Grammarly Score: 100
The Passage: “The blush on your cheeks is lovely,” he murmured. He gently freed his other hand. My hands fell limply into my lap. Softly he brushed my cheek, then held my face between his marble hands. “Be very still,” he whispered, as if I wasn’t already frozen. Slowly, never moving his eyes from mine, he leaned toward me. Then, abruptly, but very gently, he rested his cold cheek against the hollow at the base of my throat. I was quite unable to move, even if I’d wanted to. I listened to the sound of his even breathing, watching the sun and wind play in his bronze hair, more human than any other part of him.”
Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
Grammarly Score: 93
The Passage: “An enemy, Ender Wiggin,” whispered the old man. “I am your enemy, the first one you’ve ever had who was smarter than you. There is no teacher but the enemy. No one but the enemy will tell you what the enemy is going to do. No one but the enemy will ever teach you how to destroy and conquer. Only the enemy shows you where you are weak. Only the enemy tells you where he is strong. And the rules of the game are what you can do to him and what you can stop him from doing to you. I am your enemy from now on. From now on I am your teacher.”
This just goes to show you that you can have a wide variety of writing styles and still use proper grammar!
I really like the Grammarly grammar checker and it is an incredibly useful tool for any kind of writer. I imagine it would be the most helpful to students. Even if you just try it for a month, I bet your writing will improve dramatically by the end of the month!
If this sounds interesting to you, you can try Grammarly free for 7 days!