In our first installment of this article, we discussed how most people desperately need a program to help them with grammar. Your clients are judging you on your ability to write a proposal, and your writing may be affecting your bottom line. In our last article, we took a close look at Grammarly.
In this article, we will look at Grammarly’s competitor: Hemingway.
How much does Hemingway cost?
Hemingway has a free web version with limited features, but the full version will allow you to work offline. The MAC and PC versions are both $19.99, and once you purchase the software, you have it for life.
How do you use Hemingway?
You can get started with Hemingway immediately. Visit the website, and you will find text already in the editing field. Replace that text by copying and pasting your document on the editing screen. Click the “edit” button in the top right corner, and you will immediately see the color-coded suggestions.
The blue-highlighted text tells the writer the number of adverbs he or she used in the document. To ensure readability, the creators of Hemingway suggest using a limited number of modifiers in a text. The amount you should use is based on the word count of the document.
The green-highlighted text points out the passive voice. Sometimes passive voice is almost impossible to get rid of without the sentence sounding ridiculous. Most of the time, though, you can turn passive voice into active voice relatively easily.
Do you see the pink-highlighted text? The color pink indicates that you may have used a more complicated word than necessary. Hemingway will give you a suggestion of a more straightforward word.
Yellow-highlighted sentences are relatively hard to read, and the orange sentences are very hard to read. This is based on the number of words, phrases, or clauses in the sentence.
How does Hemingway make you a better writer?
Hemingway’s primary focus is readability. If you struggle with writing long, complicated sentences, bogged down with lots of descriptors, you need to use Hemingway today.
Hemingway is also the perfect choice for someone whose writing always sounds academic or formal. The app points out when you can use a one-syllable word as opposed to a four-syllable word.
How does Hemingway score your document’s readability?
Hemingway assigns your document a grade level that corresponds loosely with the American grading system. For example, if your text is labeled as appropriate for Grade 6, that means the average 12-year-old could easily understand your writing.
The app also takes it one step further by telling the writer how long it would take the average person to read the text silently to themselves.
How does Grammarly compare with Hemingway?
First, let’s discuss the pros and cons of using Hemingway.
Hemingway is cheap. You can’t get much less expensive than “free.” Hemingway is also a useful tool for people who tend to be wordy and use complicated words.
On the other hand, sometimes the one-syllable word isn’t the right choice for what you are trying to say. Descriptive words can add depth to your writing, so adverbs shouldn’t be outlawed. Also, Hemingway sometimes leaves documents as choppy-sounding shells of what the article once was.
Grammarly will tell you when you are using a complicated word and may suggest a simpler one. At the same time, Grammarly may also give you a more-nuanced word as a suggestion to replace a simple word. Grammarly will tell you when your sentence structure is too repetitive as well as being too complicated. Also, we like when Grammarly politely nudges you as you write to notify you of glaring errors.
We think that the Grammarly scoring system is rather silly. What does it mean that your text is rated an 89/100? That bit of data means nothing to an average writer, except it may be a fun comparison tool.
Grammarly or Hemingway? Which tool is better?
Grammarly is, by far, the better choice. We feel as if it improves writing better than Hemingway. It makes writers sound more intelligent while Hemingway often leaves documents sounding as if a fourth-grader would have written them.
By the way, Hemingway dinged me for using nine adverbs in my text, none of which I changed. I used two words that had simpler alternatives. Five times my verbs were passive voice, which I didn’t care enough to change either.
And my grade level? Hemingway said this text would be appropriate for a seventh-grader. This may be true, but I’m not writing this blog post for 13-year-olds.
This article was originally posted at Freelancing buzz.