So I just signed up to Grammarly.
If you don’t know what Grammarly is, it is an advanced spelling and grammar checking service that you can enable across multiple programs.
I installed the Firefox plugin and Grammarly is reviewing the grammar and spelling of this blog post as I write it. With that plugin enabled, it can supposedly review my writing anywhere that I write on the web; Gmail, Facebook, WordPress or wherever.
In WordPress, it shows a neat little G in the corner of my editing window. If that G turns red, it means I have done something dumb.
I also installed the Microsoft Office plug-in so I can have Grammarly’s expert advice on my Microsoft Word documents and Outlook emails. See the new icons in my ribbon?
Finally, I also downloaded the Windows app, into which I can click and drag any document and have Grammarly check it over for me. The same can be done with their web app.
At the moment I am trialling the free version to see if it is any more helpful than the existing spelling and grammar checkers built into those programs.
You can, however, upgrade (about $11 a month) to get more advanced features focused on punctuation, sentence enhancement and writing style. With my free account, Grammarly notifies me of my basic mistakes, but will only reveal my advanced stupidity if I upgrade to the paid plan.
Depending on the quality and the context of your writing, such a cost might be justifiable. For example, I think a year’s subscription to the service would probably teach you a lot about how to be a better writer.
Anyway, I thought I’d tell you about it because you are students. Students need to write good. Yeah, it didn’t like that previous sentence. I’ll also update you on my experiences with Grammarly over time.
So I am still using Grammarly in Outlook and Word. I found the browser extension slowed things down a bit and I like to keep my browser extensions to a minimum.
I also just got an email saying they’ve updated most of the Grammarly apps. If you use it, I recommend ensuring you receive and the read the emails they send to ensure you are aware of what is available in the free versions.
Finally, Grammarly do offer edu accounts, which means Flinders could “theoretically” sign up so students can get access. This is not the case at the moment. There is Studiosity if you are looking for help with writing.
Want to comment on this article, or ask me a question about the health and well-being services available to you as a student? Feel free to comment below, abuse me on Twitter (@Dr_Furber), contact me on Skype (search for ‘eMental Health Project Officer Gareth’), or email me (firstname.lastname@example.org)