“Why do you people care so much about grammar? We’re on Facebook here and everyone is allowed to write however they want. All you people picking on grammar all the time are so negative!”
That’s something I recently read as a comment on a Facebook post. When you read it this way, it seems all right. But get this: the post was actually a link to a news website. The article had too many mistakes. It obviously didn’t go through any editing or proofreading, and people started talking about it in the comments.
Some said grammar was not important. Is it, really?
When you’re a writer, regardless of whether you’re writing articles or actual books, it absolutely, truly is! Writing is not just about creativity. It’s also about structure and clarity. Without editing and proofreading, clarity is not a possible goal.
So what do you do as a writer? Do you hire your own editor and pay them a monthly check? There are better, more affordable ways to do this. If you’re about to publish a book, you’ll clearly hire an editor during the finishing stages. But before that moment comes, you still need to check your own content.
There are tools for that!
Let’s list 7 most effective grammar and proofreading checkers that all writers should be using:
This is one of the most advanced editing tools. It’s just software, so it cannot be perfect. See; that’s one of the major disadvantages of these tools: you can’t fully trust software. You can’t just run your text through it and expect it to fix all its flaws. You still need to read the text, and make judgments when accepting or neglecting the tool’s suggestions.
That being said, White Smoke is much more powerful than your usual grammar and spelling checker. We’re talking about the in-built features of MS Word and Google Drive, which writers usually rely on.
It’s still integrated with Google Drive and will check your spelling and grammar as you write. But it will do it way more efficiently. The Premium package costs only $9.99 per month. That’s not a big price for a writer to pay when they want to make their work better.
This tool is being marketed as “your personal writing coach – a grammar guru, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.” Does it come even close to that? Yes; it does!
It does something more than your usual proofreading software, such as the White Smoke that we already talked about. ProWritingAid is special because in addition to warning you about grammar and spelling, it makes stylistic suggestions. If, for example, you use “make a decision” somewhere in the text, this tool will advise you to swap it with “decide,” so you can enhance its readability.
Of course; you won’t always accept these suggestions. It’s a matter of style and preference. But this is a good tool to use when you want to make your writing more suitable for today’s audience. Maybe it won’t be good for your ego, but it will be great for the content. The Premium version costs $50 for one year. If you want it for lifetime, it will cost you $175.
“How perfect is the grammar?” is not the only question you should be asking yourself when editing the text. There’s something else: how readable is it? This tool will give you a report. It analyzes your text according to the Flesch-Kincaid and Gunning-Fog, as well as other readability algorithms.
ReadablePro is an advanced version that will also check an entire website, with many posts or listings. It will give you a report on what content needs to be improved in terms of readability. The Pro version costs only $4 per month for the starting package.
This is one of the most popular free editing tools that writers use. The name is self-explanatory: the system is built to bring your style closer to Hemingway’s simplicity and power. You just paste your content and you’ll get the remarks in no time.
Hemingway App will warn you about sentences that are too long and hard to read. It will also advise you to avoid passive voice and adverbs. In addition, it will suggest simpler alternatives for complex words and phrases.
This is a simple grammar and spelling checker that was built for WordPress. So if you’re a blogger, you’ll definitely want to start using it. The concept is based on contextual spell checking, so the useless suggestions are minimized.
The only disadvantage is that you have to download the program. Oh; wait! That’s being solved. When you click on Demonstration, you’ll be able to try the tool for free without downloading and installing anything. You’ll just paste or compose a document in the designated field and voila – you’ll have your feedback.
This is yet another popular online tool that will check your grammar, spelling, and punctuation. It has tons of useful features, such as corrections in contextual spelling, misused words, consecutive nouns, singular/plural nouns, and subject verb agreement. Sure; MS Word and Google Drive will warn you about most of these issues, but Ginger is slightly more sensitive.
It’s free and it’s available as a Chrome extension, so it will observe your writing even when you write in Gmail, Facebook, and online forums. Whenever you write something online, Ginger will check your grammar. It’s time to stop embarrassing ourselves through Facebook comments, don’t you think?
Similarly to Ginger, you can add Grammarly to Google Chrome for free as well. At first, the suggestions will seem like simple proofreading, since Grammarly is focused on improving obvious mistakes with spelling. But as you become more familiar with the tool, you’ll realize that its suggestions are based on context. If you like Grammarly so much that you want it to replace your usual MS spelling and grammar feature, good news: Grammarly for Microsoft Office is also available.
And if you’re ready to go full-on Grammarly, you can opt for a Premium package, which includes vocabulary enhancement suggestions, advanced checkers for grammar, context, punctuation and sentence structure, and many other features. Grammarly Premium gets as close to a real editor as possible. The price is $29.95 per month, but you get discounts if you make a long-term commitment.
So how about it? Did you like any of the suggestions? They are great for bloggers, freelance writers, novelists, students who write huge projects… basically, anyone who wants to write something and wants to do it well.