Grammarly: Free proofreading
|Grammarly underlines errors in red.|
Critical Issues and Advanced Issues
|Passive voice is actually correct here.|
|Six of one; half dozen of the other.|
Not as Good as a Human
Grammarly, however, also failed to notice errors regularly. Frequently, I find that writers substitute incorrect words for what they meant to write. For example, Grammarly failed to understand that "attribute to the development" cannot possibly be correct. The correct phrase should have been "contribute to the development." Grammarly adheres to obsolete grammar rules such as the one against a split infinitive.
I've been using Grammarly on work I've already corrected, and it's been helpful, but doesn't replace a close reading by an expert set of eyes. I usually catch additional errors on my second and third times through documents before I send them back to clients. But what about poor writers? Can it help them?
RecommendationI'm actually impressed by Grammarly's ability to quickly run through text. I used it to review a 60 page Ph.D. thesis that I and another editor had each worked on, and it found several errors, including that troubling serial comma. For a final proofing of a document that is largely correct, it could be very helpful. In fact, I'm using it right now! If you are a good writer and you understand the rules of grammar, it could be a great tool. It will help you hone your writing.
But if you are struggling with your writing, tend to use incorrect words, or don't understand the rules of grammar that you are violating, you need a professional proofreader or tutor. Grammarly either won't help you improve your writing, or it will confuse you without telling you how to fix your errors.