Writing is one of the most important skills you can have in your life, as you’ll discover in this review. As a short brochure from Brown University and the University of Missouri put it so poignantly:
“Writing is the primary basis upon which your work, your learning, and your intellect will be judged—in college, in the workplace, and in the community.”
Better writing leads to better financial opportunities too.
Did you know 73.4% of employers want a candidate with strong writing skills? Writing was ranked the third most valuable skill, only behind leadership and one’s ability to be a team player, according to a 2016 National Association of Colleges and Employers survey.
And, if you’re a student, inadvertent plagiarism can cost you big time. More than 50 percent of college papers contained plagiarized material, according to a 2012 study by Turnitin.
Spelling mistakes, typos, and grammar mistakes can be embarrassing too. They can make you appear uneducated to some. And with writing so prevalent, and with so much riding on what we write, an online grammar checker and proofreading tool like Grammarly can act as an insurance policy.
Now let’s get to our Grammarly review.
I’ve been using Grammarly for several years. Virtually every article or blog post I’ve ever written, whether controversial stories for Forbes, interviews for Entrepreneur and Business Insider, to how-to guides for Experian and Time, all have been run through Grammarly.
It’s my go-to, and apart of my day as much as showering or brushing my teeth. Here’s how this Grammarly review is structured, in case you’d like to skip around.
- Grammarly Review
- What Is Grammarly?
- How To Use Grammarly
- The many Grammarly Apps
- Using Grammarly Goals
- Using Grammarly Suggestions
- Using the Grammarly Plagiarism Detector
- Different Grammarly Plans
- Grammarly Free vs Premium
- Grammarly Premium vs Business
- Grammarly Editor vs Human Editor
- How Much Does Grammarly Cost?
- Is Grammarly Worth It?
- Grammarly Review Wrap Up
What Is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a writing tool with a free version, premium and business version. (More on the differences later in our Grammarly review).
It helps with everything from grammar, punctuation, style checks and spelling to plagiarism checking, clarity, delivery, proofreading, and even a vocabulary enhancement.
Grammarly began in 2009 as a desktop app for students. It’s now used by over 20,000,000 people every day. Grammarly works virtually everywhere too: on your iPhone or Android device, to your
It also helps catch:
- Preposition errors
- Overly wordy sentences
- Sentence structure
- Repetitive words
- Spelling errors
- And much more
How To Use Grammarly
Grammarly is easy-as-pie to use. You don’t need to have any technical background whatsoever. There are a few ways to use it. My favorite is the simplest: write directly in it. That, or write elsewhere (Google Docs, Microsoft Word), then copy and paste your text right into the browser. Here’s how to use Grammarly:
- My favorite: write in the desktop app directly.
- Copy and paste your draft into the Grammarly online editor.
- Import a Google Document from Microsoft Office.
- Use the Grammarly Microsoft Word plugin (only Windows).
- Use the Chrome extension, Firefox, or Safari (Mac) browser extension
- Use on the go with your smartphone, whether IOS or Android
- Use the MS Word add-in to edit your Word documents
Update: one major downside I discovered while working on this review of Grammarly is that they do not have a WordPress plugin.
Other files you can drag and down into the desktop app are: Microsoft Word (.doc, .docx), OpenOffice (.odt), and RTF (rich text files). You can use the free version for grammar checking on social media, and in web pages, in real-time.
How To Use Grammarly Goals
One of my favorite features is the Goals tab. You can adjust your Grammarly Goals based on your genre-specific writing style. Once you visit the Grammarly Goals in your dashboard, you’ll see the following options. I bolded the options and italicized the explanations.
- Audience: who are you writing for?
- Formality: tee shirt and shorts or suit-and-tie?
- Domain: academic report or creative short story?
- Tone: how do you want to sound?
- Intent: what’s your goal for this piece of writing?
The last option, Intent, is an experimental feature you may or may not see. I’m genuinely excited to see how it builds in new suggestions based on writer goals (i.e., tell a story, sell a product, educate, etc.)
How To Use Grammarly Suggestions
Grammarly Suggestions offers a full suite of recommendations to help make your writing better. Suggestions I’m looking at right now include: rewriting a sentence, adding a comma, changing a word, and removing a tautology. Pretty cool, right? But a word of caution: these are simply suggestions and recommendations. Implementing them all without using your better judgment may make you sound robotic or stiff.
Other features I love that you will too:
- Best-in-class grammar checker
- Spell checker and vocabulary checker
- Word counter and reading time
- Flesch-Kincaid readability level
- Best-in-class plagiarism checker
- Consistency checker (e.g., proofreader or proof-reader)
Grammarly Free vs Premium
Grammarly has three different plans: Free, Premium and Grammarly for Business. Here’s a breakdown of the Grammarly premium features.
|Features||Grammarly Free||Grammarly Premium|
Critical grammar and spelling checks
Vocabulary enhancement suggestions
Genre-specific writing style checks
Plagiarism detector that checks more than 16 billion web pages
Grammarly Premium vs Business
Okay, so we’ve already covered the cost of Grammarly Premium. Meanwhile, Grammarly for business is $15 per member per month. If you need a team wide spell checker, grammar checker and best-in-class plagiarism tool rolled into one for your team–like I do–it’s a no-brainer. It allows easier payment management, and the ability to add additional users.
Grammarly vs. a Human Editor
Grammarly cannot replace a human editor or human proofreader. These roles require a certain linguistic nuance that can’t be programmed.
Even a software suite as accurate as Grammarly cannot pick up on subtle context the way a human can. But, the good news is, they offer a proofreading service. I clicked it while working on this article in the Grammarly desktop app, and here are the options it presented to me:
- Delivery in 3 days at $0.019 per word
- 24 hour delivery at $0.039 per word
- Or rush delivery (in just 72 minutes!) at $0.149 per word
An English professor I had back in college gave me this piece of proofreading advice: double space your document, print it out and manually proofread what you’ve written, line by line, with a red ink pen.
It’s time intensive, but it will help you spot errors you’re likely to miss proofreading on screen. And I always do this for important documents. But for shorter correspondence, like emails, social media posts and the like, the Grammarly add-ons or desktop editor are fine.
How Much Does Grammarly Cost?
- Grammarly Premium costs $29.95 per month.
- Grammarly Premium paid quarterly, costs $19.98 per month, will be billed in four payments of $59.95.
- Grammarly Premium paid annually costs $11.66 per month, billed once at your time of purchase at $139.95.
- Or, you can test it out by using the free version of Grammarly
Think Grammarly is too expensive? Check out ProWritingAid. It’s an exceptional tool used by millions, and their premium version is just $70 per year.
Do You Need An Internet Connection To Use Grammarly?
Grammarly is a web-based tool. Grammarly won’t work without an internet connection. As per their website: “Grammarly is an online application, which means your computer must be connected to the Internet. Grammarly requires a stable Internet connection to analyze your text and provide suggestions.”
Is Grammarly Worth It?
It depends. Do you write? If so, you should consider using Grammarly. Whether you earn money online from writing or not, writing is everywhere, and everyone is a writer. If there’s a chance you make grammar errors, then you can benefit. Folks who can benefit from Grammarly include (but aren’t limited to):
- Journalists, professional writers, and bloggers
- Professors, researchers, and academics
- Business professionals of all types and levels
- Students, teachers, and educators of all sorts
Both native English speakers and non-native speakers will benefit from it too. It’s not limited to American English either: it’s customizable based on American, British, Australian, or Canadian English as well.
Even if you don’t know the english language at all, Grammarly will be a useful tool for you. And, even if you don’t want to swing for the premium plan, you can get the free plugin. (On a side note, if you’re curious, here’s how to make money online and become a freelance writer).
- Log in to your Grammarly Premium account
- Click the Account tab
- Then click on the Subscription tab
- And finally, click the “Cancel Grammarly Subscription” button at the bottom of the page
Note: if you sign up for Grammarly premium and wish to cancel in the first 10 days, reach out to their support team for a refund. Remember, there’s also a free Grammarly option too.
I recommend you give it a shot first before signing up for premium. You’ll be able to make a better determination if the software is worth it for you or not.
Grammarly Review Wrap-Up
Here we are. The end of our Grammarly review. So, what’s the verdict? I can only give you my take, based on my personal experience. And here’s what it is: Grammarly does so much more than check for grammatical errors. It has made me a better writer. And better writing has led to better opportunities.
Regularly using it has sharpened my understanding of grammar rules. Writing, like speaking, is foundational building block of success. The person who can express themselves clearly and confidently is never at a disadvantage.
Grammarly checks for lots of errors, style checks and the like. If you notice that pop-up time and time again because of the same errors, you pick up on bad writing habits. And if you make permanent adjustments based on that, you become a stronger communicator as a result. And what’s more important than that?
That wraps up our Grammarly review!