Creating great content is the best way to get more traffic. The same goes for getting attention on social media. When was the last time you shareda low-quality article?
The images and layout of your site are important. However, it can be argued that written content is even more significant. That’s why your writing style must be correct, consistent, and clear.
In Microsoft Word, a spell checker helps with common mistakes. What about blunders it can’t identify? The solution is called Grammarly, and it can help you improve your writing. Whether you’re composing emails or commenting on a blog, Grammarly helps maintain a professional voice. Boasting almost 5 million Facebook likes is an excellent indicator of quality.
I use Grammarly, and there is an affiliate link in this article. I know a quality service when I see it, and when I like something I tend to tell people about it. Heads up, credit card info is required for the 7-day free trial, so continue reading to learn about the free version.
I tried it out for free and after a spending some time with it, I noticed that my writing style began to improve. I started to notice the difference between active and passive speaking voices. Check out this cool infographic by YourDictionary with examples of active and passive voice sentences.
I began to see where I should be using commas and other punctuation where I wasn’t before. If I incorrectly changed tenses mid-paragraph, Grammarly gave me a friendly kick in the pants.
When I started writing a sentence that was verbose, too long or complicated, Grammarly points it out. If you try it, I bet you’ll like it. If you write regularly or just want to improve your spelling and grammar, try the Grammarly Chrome App. The chrome app is free, but it will encourage you to try the premium version. That’s how they got me.
Mozilla is an excellent browser, so here is a link to the Grammarly Lite – Smart Spellchecker Extension for Mozilla. I see this tool as extremely useful when sharpening the quality of your content. Maybe one day I’ll be good enough to write a book.
As you may have noticed from some of the other articles, I am not a professional author. However, I am a hardened believer of the following outlook on life: Consistently practicing will lead to better results.
Grammarly checks spelling, punctuation, style, grammar, and many other things. Since the plan is to write every day, I wanted to find a helper. So that is why I was on the hunt for tools to help me along the way. You don’t need to pay to reap the benefits of this service. The free version offers a lot.
Free Version of Grammarly
Some of the corrections that Grammarly suggests are evident but do you always proofread everything you write? Additionally, people aren’t perfect, they occasionally overlook simple typographical mistakes.
How about those social media comments, posts, etc. Don’t miss that next job opportunity because you used the wrong version of “your” on you’re LinkedIn profile (I did that on purpose).
The same goes for email interaction. Having this tool in place will prevent those later “oh no” moments when you wish you could rewind time. For example, a mass email with an obvious grammar or spelling mistake. How about submitting conference material to the printer. Sometimes we just regret not paying enough attention. Grammarly reminds you to reread and review.
Contextual Spell Checker
- Avoid common mistakes
- To, Too, or Two
- Its vs. It’s
- I vs. Me
- Your vs. You’re
- Know vs. No
- Lose vs. Loose
- Their, They’re, or There
- Affect vs. Effect
- Lie vs. Lay
- Which vs. That
- Bring vs. Take
- Uses more than 250 advanced grammar rules
- Subject-Verb Agreement
- Article Use
- Modifier Placement and Many Others
- Concise Writing – Verbose text sucks, and it harms your reputation.
- Redundant Words – Ex: I want to discuss the
futureplans for our organization. In this case, future is redundant because plans connotate future tense.
- Other examples of redundant phrases are round in shape, final outcome, past experience, exact same, end result, completely perfect.
- You are likely using redundant phrasing without even realizing it. I know I was.
- Comparisons including:
- Redundant Superlatives – He was the most best writer.
- Comparing Absolute Adjectives – Jake’s article is more complete than Jim’s. Jenny is more prettier than your girlfriend. Examples of other absolute adjectives: Entire, Final, Dead, Universal, Whole, Pregnant, Unique, Etc…
- Modifiers – These are words that alter or modify some aspect of the sentence. These are usually adjectives or adverbs used to provide supplementary detail. A modifier can also be a phrase that will often result in a more complex sentence. The primary goal of modifiers is to engage and hold attention.
- To avoid ambiguity, look at how far modifiers are from the noun that they modify. If the tie between the noun and adjective/adverb is vague, try to place the modifier before the noun.
- Here is a humorous example by Groucho Marx. “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got into my pajamas I’ll never know.
- Introductory Word or Phrase – ex: Before the day ends, I want to finish this article. It is good style to use transitions in writing to connect ideas as well as provide a sense of continuity in a stream of thought.
- Common Introductory Phrases: In addition, For example, To illustrate
- Common Introductory Words: Also, Meanwhile, Although, Still, However, Unfortunately, Furthermore, Moreover, Additionally, First
- Sometimes writing lacks variety. Try pulling up Michigan State University’s Transition Words list. Maybe print it out for regular reference.
- Separating adjectives – The critic called his article “an insipid, uninspiring attempt at creativity.”
- Placed before a FANBOY (and, but, for, nor, or, yet, so) when joining two complete sentences. Incorrect comma usage example: I went to the store, and bought a turkey. Reason: Bought a turkey isn’t a complete sentence.
- The Serial or Oxford Comma – Separate lists of three or more items. Example: I need to get a touch screen monitor, a pen tablet, and a projector.
- Place them before a phrase that begins with a word ending in -ing or -ed when the phrase ends the sentence and isn’t essential to the meaning. Example: On Sunday, August 2nd we will go on a camping trip, putting an end to our vacation dry spell.
- Separate days of the week from the month – This article was published on Monday, April 6, 2015.
- Surround words, phrases, and clauses which provide additional information about the noun but aren’t essential to the sentence meaning. I enjoy the process of improving my writing, which is quite grueling.
- Show possession – The school’s computers are off-limits to parents.
- Join two complete sentences when they are linked by a conjunctive adverb such as: therefore, thus, nevertheless. The semicolon is placed before the adverb. Example: I don’t usually use semicolons; however in this case I did. They can help stress continuity, contrast, and causality.
Premium Version of Grammarly
I didn’t buy this service just to review it for you. I use it to improve my writing skills. Often times, writing can make or break a first impression. Many peoples’ job depends on the quality of their written communication. To try the 7 day free trial of Grammarly premium please use the image link below (with Credit Card info) and we will get some funding from Grammarly.
Additionally, you can use Grammarly on other people’s writing. An editor can process a document through Grammarly to estimate editing hours. Alternatively, a teacher can audit students’ work for plagiarism. Additionally, for website content audits, process the site’s copy through Grammarly. Language is ubiquitous, and as a result Grammarly has many, many uses.
Grammarly Integrates with Word and Outlook
Most people use Word and Outlook quite a bit. The premium version comes with add-ins for both. Download the Grammarly add-on for Word and Outlook.
The Grammarly Chrome app helps with grammar, contextual spell check, punctuation, and style suggestions there are some great premium options you might find very useful.
- Suggestions for word replacements can improve your writing and your vocabulary. One of the strategies for building your lexicon is connecting words through synonyms. By reviewing proposals, you can select suitable words to fit your tone. This technique will expand your vocabulary and develop your writing.
- Overused Words
- No one wants to waste time reading about how everything is good or swell (unless you’re from Pleasantville). Additionally, you could choose a precise word to replace the general and overused word. Instead of good try, excellent. Or how about, outstanding, extraordinary, attractive, or unique. There are always options to spice up your content.
- Grammarly can cross-reference your content with its database of 8 billion web pages to prevent any plagiarism. Grammarly’s leading competitor, WhiteSmoke, doesn’t offer this feature.
- I tested this with bits of text I found on various sites. Low and behold, Grammarly’s plagarism engine found them as promised. It even identified the website of origin.
- References – After pointing out to you that you are a no good cheat it offers you additional help. Yes, you stole text but you paid Grammarly so now you have the citation text needed to keep the stolen content if you chose to do so. You even have a choice between MLA, APA, or Chicago reference citations.
- People often write regularly used combinations of words. As a result, some of the so-called “Plagiarism” that Grammarly identifies is unintentional, non-malicious, and okay to leave in.
Another convenient feature in Grammarly Premium is the ability to tell Grammarly what kind of document you want to create.
- General academic, Essay, Report, Case study, Book/literature review, Research proposal, Dissertation, Admission letter
- General business, Business letter, business email, Report, Memo, Proposal, Article/blog post, Ad/website copy
- General technical, End-user assistance document, Technical documentation, Marketing document
- General medical, Regulatory writing, Educational writing
- General creative, Creative non-fiction, Novel, Script, Short story
- General casual, Personal email, Personal blog post
If you use something like Grammarly, and find it superior, please leave your valuable feedback in the comments below.