Nail the Details: The Grammar and Punctuation Treasure Trove That Is the Internet

March 28, 2020

It’s midnight. My paper is due in the morning. I’ve researched, outlined, written, and revised it. Now I want to refine my sentences and perfect the grammar. My go-to tool for accomplishing this is Grammarly.

You can paste your essay into their website, and it will point out spelling and grammar mistakes, even ones that Google’s spell check cannot. If you prefer, you can also use their Chrome extension to make grammar suggestions directly on a Google document. I’ve accepted that I will never remember the proper use of a semicolon and will be checking Grammarly every time I use one for the rest of my life. Grammarly recently secured one hundred million dollars in funding that it has used to develop AI to provide additional insights into your writing. You can unlock these insights with Grammarly Premium for a whopping $30 per month, or $132 per year. Premium provides information about your writing’s readability, conciseness, as well as vocabulary enhancement suggestions.

These offerings have received praise (PC Mag) (Global English Editing), but may not be worth it for you, at the website’s steep price point. Luckily, many of these functions are offered for free, on the WebFX Readability Test Tool. Although it doesn’t utilize AI, or have the slick user-interface that comes with Grammarly, it has been praised in publications like Mashable, The Journal, and the popular writing blog Design Shack. If neither of these robo-editing services appeals to you, you can also get the attention of a real human to read your work. Websites like Editage, Wordy, and Scribendi (the leader in this category) offer copy-editing and revision suggestions for a rate of around 3 to 10 cents per word, depending on the company you use, and the time frame in which you need the edits to be completed.

While each of these services has its own strengths and weaknesses, they serve the same function: a second pair of eyes on your writing.