When I started my writing journey my spelling and grammar wasn’t the best. If I had to grade myself, I would say I was a B grade. My main issue was the over (and sometimes under) use of commas. I’m a bit of a comma splice and run-on queen. Even though I am better, especially after taking a grammar course, I still have the odd few issues, and this is where grammar checkers have helped me the most.
So today, I will be discussing two grammar tools that I use, and these tools are Ginger and Grammarly.
This grammar checker can be installed onto your computer for free, and can be added to Microsoft Word. It’s in American English, so UK writers need to watch out for the suggestions that this grammar checker gives you e.g. favorite instead of favourite. I have found it is useful for spotting when a sentence doesn’t sound right, for offering you alternative sentences, and for showing any basic grammar and spelling errors. I have found that at times you focus so much on the complex issues that you don’t notice the simple ones. The downside to this one is that it can miss complex grammar issues, and sometimes it can give you suggestions that don’t make much sense (this is mostly for word changes). However, it’s not bad considering the software is free.
Grammarly has two versions, the paid one, and the free one. I use the free version. To get the free version, you have to sign up and use it online. Grammarly allows you to find more complex issues than Ginger does. It tells you when you need a comma, and when you need to remove one. It also explains what the issue is. It tells you how many advance issues that you have; however, it doesn’t tell you what these issues are, and that is the downside to the free version (the paid version allows you to correct the advance issues). To deal with this issue, I often check my work sentence by sentence, that way I can see which sentence has the error, so I can figure out what the problem is.
As useful as grammar checkers are, they aren’t 100%, so it is still important that you know the basic grammar rules. If you don’t, there are many online resources that you can use for guidance. The websites I use a lot are http://www.grammar-monster.com/, https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/1/, and http://www.quickanddirtytips.com/grammar-girl. Also, you can take a grammar course to brush up on the basics.
There are many other free (and paid) grammar checkers available. They all work in different ways, but the most important thing is to find something that works for you.
Keep writing, folks!