Grammarly: Not Just for Grammar Geeks

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I’ve been using Grammarly for about three years in Google Docs and Gmail, and now I’ve added it to Microsoft Word. This clever tool catches a fair number of items that require my attention. I know, hard to believe, given that I’m a writer. But I always say every writer needs a good editor, and even if Grammarly isn’t an editor, it can help improve your writing (this is not a paid promotion).

When I’m teaching writing classes I recommend to all my students they install and use Grammarly. It’s not the perfect or the only solution, but it’s a writing ally nonetheless.

What I’m really excited about is that I’ve finally become a one-percenter. No, not that kind. I’m part of the one percent of the most productive Grammarly users. I’m also a one-percenter when it comes to using unique words. Sadly, I’m only a two-percenter when it comes to accuracy. I’ll have to work on that one.

The other thing Grammarly measures my writing on is tone. I get plenty of comments about my tone from the members of my household, but Grammarly doesn’t listen in on that (I hope). Grammarly only cares about the tone of writing. Neutral, optimistic, and confident are my top three writing tones, although I’m suspicious about the optimistic one. No one has ever accused me of being overly optimistic.

I’ve also added two new tones to my writing recently: skeptical and thoughtful. Again, I’m suspicious. I’m the kind of person who is skeptical about a lot of stuff–is it really only showing up in my writing now?

Finally, Grammarly is kind enough to point out my top three mistakes. All of, them have, to do, with commas. I’m either missing commas or adding “unnecessary” commas. I do protest. What Grammarly calls a comma mistake, I call a personal writing style. We all have our own style of writing, but if you’re going to break the comma rules (I’m talking to you, writing students), you should at least know which ones you’re breaking and why. Otherwise, it’s a mistake.

By David Klein

David Klein

Published novelist, creative writer, avid reader, discriminating screen watcher.

Novels

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