Grammarly Review 2021: Is Grammarly really worth it?

Here’s my Grammarly review, I have been using Grammarly for almost two years now. I wanted to write this review to share my experience over the years with this application. 

Grammarly Review Writing

What is Grammarly?

Grammarly is an online writing assistant and grammar checker, which acts as a safety net from typos and mistakes. It helps in proofreading your writing in a short amount of time. Grammarly differs from traditional tools such as MS Word and email writing platforms. It allows writers to choose their styles of writing based on different situations such as business, creative and academic. Moreover, it can be used as an extension for your online browser to check your grammar on a variety of platforms such as WordPress, Gmail and Facebook.

Who is Grammarly For?

Grammarly is a versatile tool for writers and is thus used by a wide variety of people such as:

  • Bloggers
  • Academics
  • Students
  • Authors
  • Content writers
  • Business professionals

Grammar is an everyday occurrence for anyone who writes at all. The difference between good and bad grammar is the message you want to convey to the next person. Hence, it does not matter if you are writing a research paper or a business email; your message must be clear. Grammarly helps you achieve this by making it easier for people to understand you.

Grammarly offers language preferences in the form of American English, British English, Canadian English and Australian English. This makes the tool more accessible to people across the world.

How Much Does Grammarly Cost?

Grammarly is priced differently according to varied payment plans. The monthly cost is $29.95, while if you pay quarterly, it comes down to $19.98 per month. The third option is paying annually, where the breakdown is $11.66 per month. I find the various versions of Grammarly to be cost-effective and tailored to different needs.

How To Use Grammarly?

Grammarly is a straightforward software to use and this is why I recommend it to all my friends and family. The software can be used in multiple ways that are listed below:

  • The Grammarly desktop application: This application is available for macOS and Windows. It requires you to download the application from the Grammarly download page.
  • The Grammarly browser extension: This extension can be added to Chrome, which then lets Grammarly check your writing on multiple sites like Gmail, Outlook, Facebook, Twitter etc.
  • The Grammarly web tool: This tool requires you to open the Grammarly website on a browser and then either upload a new document for correction or write directly on the website.
  • The Grammarly mobile application: The Grammarly keyboard is available on both Android and iOS devices. The application corrects your writing while you compose a text message or an email.
  • The Microsoft Word tool: Grammarly can be used directly within MS Word too. Unfortunately, this tool is only functional on Windows.

Initially, I only used Grammarly’s web tool as a plagiarism and grammar checker for my academic writing. But as I got more familiar with the software, I have also installed the desktop application, MS Word tool and mobile application. This has vastly improved my writing in all areas of my life.

Now, my workflow follows the following pattern:

  • I write a draft on Microsoft Word on my Mac
  • I paste my draft onto Grammarly Premium Desktop Application for Mac
  • I make changes according to Grammarly’s feedback
  • I submit my article to my editor

Grammarly Review: Free Version

I started using the free version of Grammarly in 2018 when I began studying at FLAME University. The free version only had two important features; grammar and spelling checks, but these helped me immensely. Compared to MS Word, I was able to obtain a lot more feedback regarding my academic papers. Potential mistakes were underlined in red and each error was explained in a different section on the right.

Grammarly Review: Premium Version

I shifted to using the premium version in July 2019, when my university subscribed to Grammarly Enterprise. The following are a few of the features as well as advantages and disadvantages of this version.

Features

Grammarly requests you to set specific goals for your writing after uploading a particular text. The piece is then analyzed for alerts based on these goals. The goals are divided into four main sections with concise explanations of each option.

The first is the audience, which comprises of the options, general, knowledgeable and expert. I think that specifying your audience is extremely important because it determines what kind of jargon can and cannot be used.

The second is formality where you can choose informal, neutral or formal.

Thirdly, you are requested to choose a domain. Your text could fall under academic, business, general, email, casual or creative. Formality and domain go hand in hand and I think they are equally crucial in determining language use.

Fourthly, Grammarly asks you what tone you have in mind for your text. This could vary from neutral to confident, joyful, optimistic, friendly, urgent, analytical or even respectful. Finally, the software also asks you the intent of your text. This could range from informing to describing, convincing or telling a story. I like the goals feature because it provides me with customized feedback. The personalized feedback is almost like a real-life coach helping you with each unique piece.

The most essential features of the premium version are the alerts provided by the software after proofreading your work. These are divided under four main sections, correctness, clarity, engagement and delivery. Under these, the Grammarly tool helps maintain consistency throughout your work by highlighting different punctuations, capitalizations and spellings. Additionally, the tool helps keep your writing concise by suggesting the removal of wordy sentences, words and phrases. For example, I have realized that the use of words such as “actually” and “really” is often redundant and adds no meaning to my work. Grammarly has also made me aware of tautologies that refer to repeating the same thing in one sentence. For example, there is no need to add “personally” after the pronoun “I” since it is only repeating the idea of one’s opinion. These suggestions help maintain clarity within my text. Furthermore, Grammarly provides synonyms for words that have been used too often in a particular written piece. Finally, Grammarly also points out instances of passive voice that differ from the tone of the text. These alerts are then compiled and your writing is given an overall score out of 100.

The plagiarism detector checks your content against 8 billion existing web pages. While not as reliable or accurate as other plagiarism software like Turnitin, Grammarly still helps me reduce my plagiarism account. As a student, all my academic work is required to be plagiarism-free. Hence, this tool has helped me out in many papers where I was concerned about citing too much from a particular source.

Advantages

As the features listed previously have pointed out, there many advantages to using Grammarly.

Firstly, it provides real-time grammar corrections. This is important because instead of editing the entire piece at one go at the end, I am able to correct my mistakes simultaneously. This feature ensures the final result is cleaner and more consistent throughout.

Secondly, Grammarly is very accurate. Most of its suggestions are good ones that I take into consideration. While it may occasionally misunderstand the point I am trying to put across or ask me to add a comma unnecessarily, it is usually on target.

Thirdly, the explanations are very easy to understand. I like the extra effort the software puts in not only correcting my mistakes but also telling me where I have gone wrong. Over time, I have been able to reduce the errors that I make such as providing unclear antecedents or repeating the same words throughout my articles.

Fourthly, I enjoy the customizable features of Grammarly. The application allows me to choose my preferred language that I am able to change according to my needs. Moreover, it lets me add new words used by me to the dictionary. This ensures that the application recognizes them in my following articles and doesn’t point them out as mistakes.

Disadvantages

While there are innumerous amazing features available for Grammarly users, certain aspects could still be improved.

Firstly, the application is not compatible with all writing platforms. For example, Grammarly does not function on Google Docs. This is really bothersome to me, especially as a college student since many of my assignments are group ones that are done collaboratively on Google Docs.

Secondly, the free version of Grammarly is not anything other than a basic grammar device. To utilize the full potential of the application, one must obtain the premium version, but this may not be an affordable option for all.

Thirdly, over time, I fear that this application has made me lazy in many aspects. Often, I am unwilling to proofread my work by myself and thus rely entirely on Grammarly to correct my writing.

Finally, another downfall of this software is that it requires internet connectivity to function. This makes it difficult to make real-time corrections when one has no access to the internet.

While writing this Grammarly review, I conversed with a few classmates who shared their own unique opinions of the application. A peer who has continued using the free version of Grammarly expressed her concern that while the application gave her a breakdown of faults, it did not specify how to fix them. Another classmate using the premium version shared her frustration that Grammarly kept asking her to put a comma before the word ‘and’ while listing multiple options in a sentence. This was contrary to her grammar education in school and hence she found it bothersome. Finally, another peer of mine pointed out that Grammarly has a +/-3% of Turnitin’s plagiarism score. This prevented her from being confident that her text was original while using Grammarly.

Is Grammarly Premium Worth It: My Verdict

In spite of the various faults regarding Grammarly that I have shared in this Grammarly review, the application has become a vital tool in my academic writing process. My writing has vastly improved as Grammarly has helped me focus on problematic areas. As a new user, I would recommend starting by using the free version and then shifting to the premium one. The time spent using Grammarly will help you make the decision to invest money in it. I believe that Grammarly Premium is worth its cost and that it would help any writer out immensely. Compared to other writing tools, Grammarly has an elegant and functional layout and is very easy to use.

Finally, I would like to say that Grammarly helped me edit this article too. Can you find any errors that need to be fixed?