Well, considering that this post and the rest of the posts on this website were checked through Grammarly’s software, you now know that I’m a fan of the software even if I didn’t adhere to all the recommended suggestions.
However, let’s look at whether the features that Grammarly provides are important enough to you as they are to us. Keep in mind that this review is based on using the premium, full-featured software version that is installed on our computer and renews annually.
At the time of this post, Grammarly offers their premium version for $11.66 USD per month if payment is paid in full for 12 months. Otherwise, the price is $29.95 USD per month without commitment.
This review was not influenced by, or paid for by Grammarly in any capacity.
Basic Spell Checker Functionality
It does deliver on this promise fully, but if that is all you are looking for, then you can use Grammarly’s browser extension to accomplish this for free here. The browser extension for Chrome boasts over 10 million users with a 4.5 star review, so it’s going deliver. You will miss out on many advanced writing features and personalized suggestions based on your writing style if you do not get the annually paid Premium version.
Just keep in mind that if you wanted to type and have your writing checked on something like Microsoft Word or in another program, then you would have to write it in your browser somewhere like in an email inbox to get text checked before you copy and paste it to the final destination. That is unless you get the premium version, which lets you type text in the Grammarly software where it is checked in real-time.
Beyond The Basics – Premium Version
If you need more functionality than the online option offers, and I think that you will value that functionality once you go through all of the features below in this post, you should try the Premium annually paid version. Here is what it comes with.
Dedicated Installed Software
Grammarly allows you to install the software on either your Windows or Mac computer. The software allows you to have an index or list of all the documents you have written saved by Grammarly shown in a dashboard when you first load it. Grammarly will also show you which of the written documents require improving by displaying a number counter showing the detected issues or alerts next to each document.
If you use Microsoft Word, there is also an add-in module that you can install to enable functionality in Word. However, I prefer to type in the Grammarly software since it offers many of the editing tools required for websites such as H1 tags.
Weekly Personalized Email Updates
The weekly email updates that Grammarly sends serve as a great incentive to keep up with your writing. As you can see, I have had 78 consecutive weeks of writing. The email updates also show us how I compare to other Grammarly users and show us writing or grammar mistakes that I frequently commit (not shown in the image above). This helps the user to focus on repetitive problem areas. It is kind of like having your high school grammar teacher email you with writing feedback weekly. Don’t worry, you can turn these email updates off if you don’t value them.
Overall Performance Score
This is a great feature that gives you an overall score of your writing. It is especially great if you aim to write for SEO purposes by following guidelines from popular SEO plugins like Yoast SEO. Here is a list of some of the statistics you can view at a glance:
- Character Count
- Word Count
- Sentence Count
- Average Word Length
- Average Sentence Length
- Readability Score
Specific Writing Alerts
Grammarly also breaks down its alerts by sections, which include:
I’ve noticed that Grammarly aims to offer suggestions and recommendations based on the goal of having the most concise sentence possible. Most of the time, I will accept these recommendations. Still, sometimes you really want to highlight a sentence (Grammarly recommended removing the word “really” in this sentence to give you an idea).
This is a feature that I use all the time since it is great for SEO (search engine optimization) purposes. You do not want Google to think that you are copying and pasting content.
After you write your content out, you can click the Plagiarism section to get a breakdown of how much of your content has been indexed on another website already. Some of your text will undeniably be flagged as plagiarism, especially if you use a common phrase, such as “a piece of cake,” or have a similar writing style to the other 7 billion people on the planet. Grammarly will highlight the text that is plagiarised and references the website that the text appears on. From there, you can decide if you want to rewrite your sentence or not.
Ability To Set Writing Goals
This is one feature that I think is really cool. Whenever you are writing, you should know your audience before you begin writing. Is your audience looking for a technical description or data, or are they looking to understand a difficult concept in the most straight-forward bare-bones way possible? Luckily, Grammarly allows you to set these writing goals when you start writing your document and will tailor its suggestions based on your writing goals. You can set a default writing goal for all documents if you write for a specific niche, or you can set goals manually only for documents that you want writing goals to apply towards.
Contextual Grammarly Suggestions
This is where Grammarly really shows its value. While there is a built-in spell checker in Microsoft Word, or you can use an online web-based spell checker, they may lack the ability to understand your sentence context. Grammarly has advanced algorithms to check for context, given that they have a wealth of writing data that their software can learn from.
Optional Paid Professional Writing Help
Grammarly also allows you to hire a professional writer to correct your document, or correct your document and make it concise to get your point across clearly. This is not a feature that I have used, but it is available if you are on a time crunch and are working on something that is more professional in nature, such as writing a scientific journal, thesis, etc.
Additional Grammarly Extras
Free Mobile/Phone Keyboard
Similar to offering a free browser extension, Grammarly also offers a free keyboard for your mobile devices without needing Premium membership. The keyboard is pretty well thought out and allows you to swipe to type if you prefer that style of writing. You can also login into the Grammarly keyboard if you have a Premium account for more personalized suggestions.
I can fully recommend Grammarly to fulfill pretty much all of your writing needs. Most of the time, the suggestions made are relevant and accurate. If you find a suggestion that you do not agree with, you have the ability to flag it for review so that the software can be improved with future versions.
The software is regularly updated, and the features list keeps on growing so you know that it will only get better with time. Give the free version a try, and if you like it, you will definitely benefit further from the Premium version.