There’s nothing worse than hitting publish on a blog post and getting messages from readers about the spelling errors in it. It’s even worse when you get an email about all the grammar mistakes in the first writing project for a client.
You see, even the best writers make mistakes. And yes, I consider bloggers writers as well because the main part of their job is creating engaging content that resonates with their audience. Writing content for multiple platforms isn’t easy.
So, whether it’s a blog post for your own website or a case study for your client, writers need more than Microsoft Word’s editor to proofread their writing. But I have the perfect solution. Before we get to the solution, let’s discuss why it’s not your fault your writing might be subpar.
Note, if you’ve been around my blog anytime, you know that I’m blunt and cut the bullshit. So, I mean this review to give you the most information possible and being honest is part of that. Even the best of writers create inferior content at times.
Why Writing Mistakes Aren’t You Fault and How you Can Fix Them
When was the last time you took an English grammar class? Probably middle school, right? That’s quite a long time ago for some of us. I think the last English class I took was in high school and that was English Literature. I loved it, but English Literature doesn’t help you hone your writing skills. Come to think of it; I don’t think I had a grammar class in college either.
So, how are you supposed to write proper English when you don’t get that much experience with it in your adult life? Then there is technology; it broadens our horizons and allows us to spread our message around the world further than ever before. But it certainly hampers peoples’ writing abilities and communication skills.
People don’t write letters anymore. Most of our communication occurs through emails and texts. What does all of this have to do with writing and English?
Well, no one uses proper English in any communication these days, including me! I find myself not capitalizing letters, eliminating punctuation, and more. But that’s OK because I have Grammarly. This Grammarly Premium review will show you how to fix your writing mistakes and make you stand out from the rest-and not for the wrong reasons.
What is Grammarly and Why You Need It
Grammarly is a grammar editing tool that checks your writing for errors. It’s the most popular grammar editor out there, with more than 10 million active users. There’s a free version, which is quite robust, but once you see the premium version, you’ll never go back. After all, this is a Grammarly Premium review.
The app analyzes your writing and checks for all kinds of errors like punctuation, dangling modifiers, misspelled words, phrases that are too long, and much more.
Plus, Grammarly is very accurate. It also provides explanations of the errors and makes them easy to understand and change.
So, you’re probably thinking, why do I need a grammar checker? Fixing grammatical errors makes your writing clear and much more professional. It’s easier to read as there is a vast difference between bad grammar and amazing grammar. And it’s all about the message you’re trying to convey.
Grammarly’s AI (artificial intelligence) is quite smart and tidies up your content so your message is clear.
Your Message is What’s Important
The message to your readers is critical, whether it’s a personal blog post, case study for a business, or college thesis. You want your words to convey your message the right way. The power of the pen or keyboard is mighty and has felled many professionals.
It may be as simple as proofreading an article and give it a quick check before you hit publish or send. And that’s what Grammarly does. It’s like having your own in-house editor without the price tag. And Grammarly is probably a little smarter, to be honest.
Who Can Benefit from Grammarly?
Grammarly is suitable for everyone that writes for a living, writes college papers, or needs to produce professional content for their business. But if you want an actual list, here you go:
- Students of all ages
- Writers and authors
- Business owners who want their writing to be as professional as possible
Grammarly is good for native English speakers as well as people who don’t write in English every day. It’s great for experienced writers as well as aspiring writers with no experience. Plus, you can change Grammarly’s settings to British, Canadian, Australian, or American English.
This Grammarly Premium review will also help you understand why you need the premium version, and trust me, you do.
Grammarly’s Premium Features
Grammarly has tons of great features, and you can use it on just about anything. Here are some of the great features Grammarly has to offer.
Grammarly Edits Your Writing Depending on the Style
One of my favorite features of Grammarly is the style editor. It edits your content, depending on the writing style you choose. Grammarly calls them goals, and changing them customizes the feedback Grammarly gives you.
You can define your audience- general, knowledgeable, or expert. You can choose the formality to- informal, neutral, or formal.
Then under domain, you can set how “strict” Grammarly edits your content (don’t you wish you could have done that with your English teacher) depending on the type of writing you’re working on. The choices are academic, business, general, technical, casual, and creative.
This feature is fantastic because a casual blog post is much different than a technical article or business case study. Grammarly adjusts the algorithm and actually turns off some of the features like the active voice and passive voice checker.
Active and passive voice errors aren’t grammar mistakes. But they make a huge difference in readability and clarity. Active voice is much clear and makes your sentences so more natural than passive voice.
One of the first writing agencies I worked for wanted their writers to correct all passive voice errors. As someone with extensive formal education, passive voice came much more naturally to me. But thanks to the agency and Grammarly, I learned how to eliminate most instances of passive voice from my writing.
You can see in the example above that Grammarly gives you advice on how to changes sentences from passive to active voice.
Now when I read other peoples’ articles, I find myself picking out passive voice in their content. That one agency didn’t pay very well but was instrumental in forcing me to use active voice. As I write, I can usually tell when a sentence is passive, and I just come back and change it during the editing process.
The Grammar Checking Feature
The grammar tool is quite comprehensive. It would have even made my 2nd-grade teacher proud, and believe me, no one could! Grammarly gives one example of errors the editor checks on their website.
Future real conditional- say what? Did we even learn that in English? Here is the example.
Example: If we will leave now, we will arrive early.
It picks up many other things too:
- Incorrect verb tense
- Prepositional phrase issues
- Squinting, dangling, or ambiguous modifiers
- Using too many adverbs
- Comma splices
- Misuse of words like lie/lay
- Run-on sentences
- Sentence structure
Grammarly also checks for wordiness and overcomplex wording.
It coaches you on how to eliminate unnecessary words to make your writing clear and concise.
My favorite part of the grammar checker is that it checks for active and passive voice, and my second favorite thing that Grammarly checks for is unclear antecedents. It’s easier for me to show you an example.
It’s checking for vagueness. You can’t tell what the word “this” is referring to in the example. I never realized how often I committed that grammar mistake.
Some words can be tricky to spell, but Grammarly always finds those pesky spelling mistakes so you can fix them. If you’re like me, there are a couple words that you always spell wrong when your writing your first draft.
Example: Unfortunetely when I began to leave, he started crying.
If Grammarly finds a word that’s not in its database, you can add it, so it recognizes the word in the future.
Grammarly’s plagiarism detector is another smart function. It’s especially helpful if your writing academic papers or reviewing someone else’s. Since this is a Grammarly Premium review, I have to be honest. The plagiarism checker is not the most accurate feature. I think it misses a whole lot. I still use Copyscape. But for many, this checker is a favorite.
Do you know when to use a semicolon versus a comma? Don’t sweat it, because Grammarly will sort it all out for you. My personal favorite is the missing comma after an introductory clause.
Example: When she tried to open the window the latch fell off.
Grammarly provides a short description, but you can expand it to learn more about the error. It really is a learning tool. The editor also tells you if you’re missing a question mark or exclamation point. This feature really tidies up your writing.
One of its new features, the Grammarly tone detector, is like the friend you ask to read over an email before you send it to make sure it’s not too insensitive or harsh. As I mentioned earlier, it’s all about the message you want to convey.
You don’t want to sound too harsh with constructive feedback or too friendly in a business proposal. So, Grammarly analyzes your choice of words, punctuation, capitalization, and phrasing to tell you if your writing sounds confident, friendly, heartfelt, or something else.
The consistency feature threw me off at first, and I’m still not sure I completely get it. EMOJI LAUGHING While OK and okay mean the same thing, switching back and forth between the two doesn’t sound so professional. I understand that but Grammarly hits on some odd things here as you’ll see in the example.
Grammarly Premium looks at hyphenation, capitalization, spelling, and more to make sure it’s consistent. See how it looks in the editor when Grammarly picks up inconsistencies in your writing.
Now you can carry Grammarly with you no matter where you go to ensure that when you write on your phone, it’s accurate and not too messy. One of its more recent features is mobile synonyms.
Grammarly provides synonyms for the words you type on your phone. All you need to do to see the synonyms is pause after you finish typing it. Grammarly also lets you see the synonyms for a previous word if you move the cursor into the word you want the synonym for.
Readability and Clarity
There’s more to a clear message than proper grammar. Just because a sentence is grammatically correct doesn’t mean its clear and easy to read. It’s entirely possible to make a sentence too complicated or wordy, and you guessed it, Grammarly to the rescue! Grammarly can tell you if you’re going to lose your reader before they finish your sentence.
I’ve noticed a new feature too-autocorrect. It seems to be pretty accurate and I actually like it better than then one on my iPhone that sometimes comes up with odd words. It’s pretty unobtrusive. You barely notice it’s there. I know it works online as I’ve seen it on social media and in my emails.
How to Use Grammarly
Grammarly has become so popular that now you can use it in more places. Here are some ways you can use Grammarly.
The Microsoft Word add-in is my favorite way to use Grammarly, and it’s one of the most convenient. Right now, it’s just for computers running Windows. Once it’s added to Microsoft Word, it can check your content as you write. But I wouldn’t correct things as you go, and there’s a reason for that.
To be the most efficient writer, you should get everything on paper and then edit it. It’s one of the hardest things for writers to get used to doing. I just open Grammarly up when I’m in the editing process and make all the changes then.
But others like to use it as they write, so whatever works for you as long as you understand that editing as you go may slow you down. It’s easy to use, but you must be connected to the internet to use this option.
The Web Tool
Using the web tool may not be the most convenient way to use Grammarly, but it’s handy no matter where you are and saves all your writing projects. All you need to do is click “New” in the dashboard and then copy and paste your writing directly onto the new blank page and let it work its magic.
You can also upload your work directly to the site using the upload button instead of creating the new document. Or go directly to the Grammarly website and check your writing there.
The Browser Extension
The browser extension is my other favorite way to use Grammarly. You can find it in the Chrome Web Store once you sign up for Grammarly. Then the extension helps you edit on certain websites such as:
- Google Docs
I kind of let the cat out of the bag earlier when I talked about using Grammarly when you type on your phone. Grammarly has its own keyboard for Android and iOS phones. Since most of us do business on the phone at some point, the Grammarly keyboard helps you maintain your professional writing on the go.
Grammarly Free vs. Premium vs. Business
Here’s a table by Grammarly that shows the difference between Grammarly Premium and the free version.
If you just want to try Grammarly first, then sign up for their free plan. With most products, the free plan isn’t really all that helpful, but Grammarly’s free version is actually quite robust. And for some people, the free version is enough. It helps you build a great foundation with your writing, and it’s much better than Microsoft Word’s editor.
The free version of Grammarly checks for basic punctuation, spelling, and grammar mistakes. The program underlines all the errors it finds in red, so they’re easy to see. Suggestions, like style edits appear in green.
The program will catch most of the basic mistakes, but if you really want your writing to look polished and professional, the Grammarly Premium version is much better. Once you try it, you won’t be satisfied with the free plan.
Since this is a Grammarly Premium review, I must say that this editor can do some incredible things. Along with the features listed in the previous section, it checks for unclear structure, insensitive language, overuse of words, and much more.
Grammarly also has a business version created for teams that includes centralized reporting. Businesses love it because employees can still work quickly while remaining professional and precise. Whether your company has three employees or 2,300 employees, Grammarly has a solution.
How Much Does Grammarly Premium Cost?
Like most paid software and programs, you pay less if you purchase Grammarly for a year. But for people who can’t afford the $139.95 upfront, there is a monthly and a quarterly plan.
There’s usually a difference in pricing between yearly and monthly plans, but as you can see, there’s a considerable difference between Grammarly’s plans. I couldn’t justify spending $29.95 a month instead of the $139.95 for the whole year. We’re talking $359.40 versus $139.95 for the full year.
Grammarly vs. Other Proofreaders
So, this wouldn’t be a good Grammarly Premium review without looking at other proofreaders and editors now, would it?
WhiteSmoke is one of the popular alternatives to Grammarly, and I tried it years ago and wasn’t all that impressed. Once I found out how expensive Grammarly was, I thought I would try it again. That was a big mistake.
There was no way to activate it; I kept emailing and received no help. I actually assumed it was a scam with someone hiding behind the real company. But when I asked for my money back, they answered right away and refunded it to me. I’m still not sure what happened, and maybe it was just a fluke.
But there are some pros to WhiteSmoke. First, it’s only $79.99 per year. It also provides helpful templates for a variety of writing projects. WhiteSmoke integrates with major operating systems such as macOS and Windows. There is also an extension for all the major browsers-Firefox, Safari, Opera, and Chrome.
But WhiteSmoke is awkward and not as advanced as Ginger, ProWritingAid, or Grammarly. So, while it may be less expensive, it’s not nearly as helpful.
I don’t have personal experience with ProWritingAid, but many say it is the best alternative to Grammarly. It doesn’t just correct spelling and grammar issues; it helps strengthen your writing as Grammarly does.
It checks your content for vague wording, passive voice, variation of sentence length, repetitiveness, and more. It also provides readability, spelling, and grammar improvements.
The premium version is $60 for a year, and the Premium + version comes with a plagiarism checker for $70 a year. It’s robust reporting feature focuses on your writing as a whole and makes ProWritingAid popular with authors.
The style guide is a favorite for many users because even if a sentence is grammatically correct, that doesn’t mean it’s easy to read.
Now for the cons. Some say ProWritingAid trades simplicity for its commitment to ensuring the program is comprehensive. If you’re considering its thoroughness as a grammar and spelling checker, it’s not as easy to use as Grammarly or as advanced.
If you plan on using it for common writing such as social media posts and emails, it’s comprehensiveness can be overwhelming.
ProWritingAid isn’t available on every browser; it just has an extension for Chrome.
During my search for less expensive editing software, I also tried Ginger and liked it better than the first time I tried WhiteSmoke. It actually has some features that Grammarly doesn’t like a translator that translates your writing into any one of 60 languages. This feature makes this software great if you plan to write in more than one language and check it in Ginger.
It’s also less expensive than Grammarly at $89.88 per year. Like Grammarly, you can add words to the database, which is great if you use industry-specific technical words.
Now for Ginger’s cons. I can personally attest to the fact that it’s not as user-friendly as Grammarly. Also, to see the grammar errors, you must hover over them instead of seeing them right away. It slows the editing process down significantly. At this time, Ginger doesn’t integrate with Microsoft word, and there is no desktop app for Macs.
I ended up purchasing Grammarly because I couldn’t find another editor as effective or easy to use. It’s a fast way to edit without hiring an expensive human editor-Grammarly’s only real competition.
Frankly, it’s one of the best decisions I’ve ever made and when I was searching for a replacement, I knew I would never find anything with all the features Grammarly has. But I tried to keep an open mind for the sake of research.
Is Grammarly Premium Worth It?
My primary goal for this Grammarly Premium review was to give you the information you need to make an educated decision on which editing software is the best one. It was a resource that I definitely wish I had when I was trying to find the easiest way to edit my writing.
It seems I started off trying the best one if you don’t count my first brief experience with WhiteSmoke, which is why I found other ones lacking. So, my answer is yes, it’s absolutely worth the price.
One of the best tips for new writers I have is to use Grammarly to edit your writing.
Start with the free trial. Take it for a spin and see how you like it. If you decide you need the premium version, then you can save up for it if you need to. As far as renewing, an easy way to be ready would be to save the $11.66 each month. If you make it part of your yearly budget like any other business expense, then it’s easier.
I promise once you try Grammarly Premium, you won’t be able to live without it. Remember, it’s much more than a grammar checker. It helps you improve your writing the more you use it, and hopefully, this Grammarly Premium review has helped you see what an invaluable tool it is.