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Here’s a screen shot of this blog post as I started to write it. You can see how the suggested changes are in the right sidebar. You can also indicate on the toolbar what types of checks you want the program to do.

 

I signed up for Grammarly last week, and I have been enjoying it. It seems to do a very in-depth grammar and usage check. I ran a 300-page manuscript through it, and it came back with 2,500 issues. As I am working my way through all of them, I find that about one-quarter are changes that I definitely need to make and another quarter are in a gray area that I think can go either way. I usually make the change. About half of the issues are things that I don’t believe need to be changed.

The program looks at contextual spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, style, and vocabulary enhancement. You can also run a plagiarism check. I haven’t tried this feature yet, so I can’t comment on how effective it is.

Grammarly offers a free and paid version. I’m not exactly sure what the differences are, only that the paid version found a lot more issues. The paid version is $140 a year. With the amount of writing that I do each year, it’s a bargain for me. I can head off mistakes before an editor sees them.

What I am finding is that the program is calling my attention to words that I use too much. I have to look at each one and decide if I want to keep it or substitute a different word.

I can see this becoming a very valuable beta reader of my books and articles; one that will improve my writing.

The program was easy to install. It not only looks at my Word documents, but another add-on also looks at any writing that I do online, such as e-mails.

Writers should check out this program. Sign up for the free version and try it out and see if it doesn’t help you write better.

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