I’ve seen adds for Grammarly for a while now, and I even remember when it was just a website you could copy and paste your short papers for a good grammar check. I always thought I had good grammar.
I was a Political Science major for my undergraduate degree and received a Master’s Degree in National Security and Strategic studies from the Naval War College. I was able to get one of my final papers published in a monthly military magazine and it was good enough to get some notice in the DC area and garnered me a radio interview. I consider myself a fairly good writer but I know that I have my own grammatical ticks and common errors.
One of my bad habits is my over use of adverbs. Even prolific writers like Stephen King have written about how the adverb should be avoided:
I’m convinced that fear is at the root of most bad writing. If one is writing for one’s own pleasure, that fear may be mild — timidity is the word I’ve used here. If, however, one is working under deadline — a school paper, a newspaper article, the SAT writing sample — that fear may be intense. Dumbo got airborne with the help of a magic feather; you may feel the urge to grasp a passive verb or one of those nasty adverbs for the same reason. Just remember before you do that Dumbo didn’t need the feather; the magic was in him.
Good writing is often about letting go of fear and affectation. Affectation itself, beginning with the need to define some sorts of writing as ‘good’ and other sorts as ‘bad,’ is fearful behavior.Stephen King on Writing, Fear, and the Atrocity of Adverbs – brainpickings.org
Most folks, myself included, don’t have a website like this unless you enjoy writing to some degree. Additionally, I wouldn’t keep tackling having a website if I didn’t want to get better at writing. The only way to get better at writing, is to write more…and why not have a tool that helps you as you write. Literally, as you write.
So I installed the Grammarly Safari extension.
Boom! I didn’t even realize it but Grammarly was now with me on every website with a subtle recommendation on a odd pronoun or errant adverb. Pretty sweet if you ask me.
I know for a fact that Grammarly would have saved me some heartache while I was writing papers ad nauseum for my Master’s Degree. In fact, I’m looking at continuing some of my studies in that realm and I can guarantee that I will be using Grammarly as a constant quality assurance check on my work.
Installing the Safari extension and Mac app are free. In fact, once it’s installed on your Mac, all you have to do is drop a word document onto the Grammarly icon and it will check your work.
Now I won’t lie to you…there is a free version which gives you the basic features (which are still awesome) and a premium version for $11.66/month if you pay for a year up front.
The premium version is worth it for 3 categories of people who write.
- Students – you pay a couple hundred bucks for 1 book, why not pay less than that for something that will put your papers over the top.
- Professional Writers – I.E. You make a living as a writer. Write it off as a business expense, make your editor happier, and your life/work can be a little smoother.
- Bloggers – Caveat here…a) bloggers who make enough money to cover the cost of premium b) bloggers who want the absolute highest quality writing as the center peice of their blog and are willing to invest to get there
If you don’t fall in to one of those 3 (perhaps 4) categories then I think you can get by with the free version. I know I want to pay for premium and to be honest, I’m looking for any excuse to do just that. I highly encourage you to check it out…even the free version will make it worth your time.
Want to check this out for free? (or learn more about the advanced feature of premium), head over here.