To be a successful freelancer, you must run all your text through a grammar check system.
Maybe you earn your living completing webpage designs. Do you still need a grammar checker? If you communicate with your clients through the written word, then yes, you do. You may be losing jobs with your poorly-written proposals. You are being judged for your bad grammar, and this may be affecting your bottom line.
Perhaps you are a crotchety, old English teacher whose grammar is so impeccable that you even know when to use the word “whom” correctly. You still need a grammar check. Even if your grammar is perfect nearly all the time, a good grammar check will tell you when you are wordy, redundant, or too formal.
Before we dive into the differences between Grammarly and Hemingway, let’s answer another common argument some people may have against using grammar checkers. Some assume that the grammar check offered through Google Docs or Word is good enough to catch most of the errors in your writing. While those programs should find most spelling errors, a good grammar check will do so much more.
In this article, we will discuss Grammarly. Look for our discussion on Hemingway in our next installment of Freelancing Buzz.
How much does Grammarly cost?
Grammarly offers three plans. The annual program is $11.66 per month, and you are billed a one-time payment of $130.95. The quarterly plan is $19.98 per month, and you are charged $59.95 quarterly. The monthly plan is $29.95 per month. As you can see, it makes the most financial sense to purchase the annual plan if you plan to keep plugging away at your freelancing career for the next year.
How do you use Grammarly?
One of the coolest things about Grammarly is that it is alway lurking quietly in the background, waiting for you to make a significant error. Whether you are writing a casual post on Facebook or a job proposal on Google docs, you will see the green Grammarly wheel continually turning in the lower right-hand corner of your screen.
Once you are finished with your piece, log into your Grammarly account and watch as the magic happens.
Grammarly allows you to upload any .doc, .docx, .odt, .txt, and .rtf documents. Or you can simply copy the text in your document and paste it into Grammarly.
So Grammarly can better serve you, you are asked to rate the audience, formality, domain, tone, and intent of the piece of writing. If you are writing a piece of technical writing, Grammarly will asses that style differently than it would a casual essay.
Once you give Grammarly your parameters, you will see editing suggestions pop up on your document. Keep in mind that Grammarly already caught all your significant errors while you were writing your text. These editing suggestions are meant to fine-tune your piece.
How does Grammarly make you a better writer?
We would expect that Grammarly would check our punctuation, grammar, and spelling. For the most part, the program accurately catches common errors such as comma splices, errors in subject/verb agreement, and missing articles.
Your piece goes from good to great when Grammarly suggests using a different word than one you previously used in the preceding paragraph. Grammarly also makes suggestions on how to tighten your writing. It tells writers when they are using overused words. Finally, it also is on a constant look-out for passive voice.
Of course, Grammarly is not right all the time. There are times a writer may choose to use a sentence fragment to emphasize a point. Sometimes Grammarly will not recognize items as a list, and the program will recommend that you add or take out necessary punctuation.
What is a Grammarly score?
As Grammarly is checking your document, it assigns you a score in the upper-right corner. The rating is based on correctness, clarity, engagement, and delivery. Once a week, you also receive an emailed report from Grammarly that rates your writing ability for the week.
Some users who miss their old English teachers may appreciate receiving a score from the app. This user thinks that the score and weekly email are slightly gimmicky and somewhat useless.
For what it’s worth, the above text was run through Grammarly. It pointed out several instances of passive voice. Grammarly thought the paragraph about pricing was boring. The program also suggested I use a different word than “crotchety.”
Reading this document would take 2 minutes and 50 seconds. Speaking this document out loud would take five minutes and 28 seconds. My word length is 4.7; my sentence length is 14.5; and I received a readability score of 66.
My Grammarly score for the entire piece? Of course, it was 100/100. My crotchety, old English teacher would be so proud.
This article was originally posted at Freelancing buzz.