My experience with Grammarly / My writing process

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

If you've been around here for any time at all, whether it be a week or a year, you know and I don't really "do" sponsored posts. It's not because I'm opposed. It's because this is a personal blog that I don't put a lot of effort into finding those opportunities. But when Grammarly contacted me I was intrigued. (For the record, this post is not sponsored. I wanted to share my experience because that’s what I do here.)

I am not a grammar person. Writing isn't my profession, it's a release, and I like to keep it that way. So I was honestly a little wary to try Grammarly, but it was surprisingly enjoyable to work with. I used it to edit the essay I posed on Valentine's Day, There is always tending to be done. While there were times that I ignored the corrections it gave me, there were also many times it forced me to rethink my writing, and I know that made it a stronger essay. 

The essay began with maybe a hundred words of messy handwriting in my journal on our trip to Europe. It continued with another few pages written at the end of August. Then it sat there, until I decided that I wanted to flesh it out into a fully written piece. I began by continuing in the new notebook I’ve been using (the little Europe one being long finished by then.) spent one evening furiously typing into a word document, and finally finished writing one evening at my typewriter. (I re-wrote and compiled everything on my typewriter.)

After that I typed it all back into word, rearranging a few minor things. Normally, I would read it once more, possibly change a few more things, and be done with it. This is where Grammarly comes in. This time, I used their proofreader to edit it.

Here are some reasons to love Grammarly:

Explanations. They're the single most important reason that Grammarly is actually worth your time. It's not simply that you need a comma there or that you have a fragment, consider revising. There are long explanations for every correction. They include examples of correct and incorrect usage. This turns the editing experience into a learning experience, instead of just listing all the places you did something wrong. 

Choosing the paper type. One of the nice things about Grammarly is that you can choice what paper "type" you're reviewing and it will catch different mistake. For instance, running it under the general paper type my essay brought up 74 issues, but running it under the creative paper type brought up only 18 issues, which I eventually brought down to 9.

There's also a plagiarism check, which will check your paper for un-intended plagiarism. My essay linked me to a Harry/Hermione Fanfiction, a porn site, and a really cute hedgehog. So, probably useful when writing an academic paper that cites sources and quotes original material. Not as useful when writing a personal essay. 

Should you get it? While it definitely would have been useful during school. (Hello late night paper writing…) I actually think it would be more useful out of school, when I'm no longer getting any feedback on my writing. I will definitely consider using Grammarly for real in the future. And though I will continue to ignore corrections where I see fit, it's nice to know exactly why having them there is important to me stylistically, and when I'm overusing them. 


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