5 Writing Tools to Boost Grammar, Readability

If you never knew grammar in college, or if you learned English as a second or third language, then you could be searching for a software tool to assist. In this post, I will deal with the advantages and disadvantages of using automated composing tools. I will also list three hot grammar checkers and two readability raters.

Automated Composing Tools

For ecommerce merchants, automated composing tools have a few drawbacks. First, product descriptions and website posts could be filled with non-dictionary words, such as weirdly spelled brand names and super-specialized terms, like”MSDMs,””hiphopped,” and”nanowattage.” All are flagged by the checker built into Microsoft Word.

Secondly, an informal style frequently characterizes catalog copy, where grammatically incomplete sentences are an intrinsic part of the tone, and slangy expressions such as”youse guys” occasionally get used to create rapport and comedy. A tool which wags its palms at deliberate departures from standard English may be more annoying than useful.

On the flip side, if your mastery of English grammar is shaky, a tool can usefully alert you that its’ — with the apostrophe after the”s” — is always wrong and that you are risking a mistake with”there is” or”theirs.” A fantastic tool will also flag accidental repeats, such as”the the,” and mangled words, like”lihgt” rather than”mild” or”insted” instead of”instead.” It will highlight punctuation mistakes and indicate valid corrections for them without adding new blunders.

A fantastic tool will also flag unintentional repetitions, such as”the the,” and mangled words, like”lihgt” rather than”mild” or”insted” instead of”instead.”

Top 3 Grammar Tools

With those constraints mentioned, here are three popular grammar checkers. The prices and options may change regularly.

Grammarly. Virtually everyone I consulted rated this instrument as the most precise grammar checker. The free version comes as a browser extension for Chrome, Safari, Firefox, and Internet Explorer, an add-on for Microsoft Office, and an app for iOS and Android. The free version notifies and fixes over 150 types of mistakes, such as capitalization mistakes, unnecessary and missing commas, and utilization flubs.

The premium version, which runs $29.95 per month or $139.95 annually, works the exact same way but provides greater assistance — 250 types of errors. All models allow you to select between American, British, Canadian, and Australian English. Grammarly is an online application; it might not work well in the event that you’ve got a spotty connection.

WhiteSmoke provides substantially the very same types of error highlighting and proposal improvement as Grammarly. But it doesn’t have a free version. Prices are (a) $2.50 per month or $9.95 a year for your mobile app (iOS and Android), (b) $9.95 per month or $79.95 a year for a desktop computer download, and (c) $14.95 per month or $119.95 annually to get a browser-based system. Some users have complained that access to the app was blocked by anti virus applications.

Ginger provides (a) downloadable software for Windows and Mac, (b) browser extensions for Chrome and Safari, and (c) apps for iOS and Android. Ginger flags and corrects grammar and spelling mistakes but not punctuation mistakes. The free version allows you to examine a relatively short passage of text. Prices for unlimited use run $11.98 per month, $23.97 per year, or $59.88 a year.

Ginger includes a practical incentive: a sound reader that speaks your text, helping you to listen to (and then fix ) some of your errors. However, are you really going to trust a language tool that printed this sentence on its own site:”…ensures your sentence structure, grammar, spelling and punctuation is ideal”? (It should be “are” perfect.)

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Ginger lets you copy and paste your text into a box to find the program’s grammar comments and corrections on your own prose.

Two Readability Raters

If you are serious about improving your writing, consider readability tools. They let you copy text from, say, your website, newsletter, or website and find out the instructional level it is suited for.

Unless your audience is exceptionally well educated, target for an eighth-grade or ninth-grade reading level. That is the degree of TV Guide and Reader’s Digest, one of the most widely circulated magazines in English. If your prose scores over ninth grade, make it more readable by shortening sentences and simplifying your word options.

Readability Evaluation Tool. Either copy and paste text to the online interface or add the URL of a web page. After a click, the tool provides you results from six different readability formulas and an average reading grade level calculated from these outcomes. There isn’t any cost.

Perry Marshall’s Grade Level Indicator Was Made for copywriters. It allows you to copy and paste your text into an input box, and then click and get scores from five readability formulas. As a bonus, you also get a score indicating the ratio of writing about yourself — examples of”I” and”we” — versus writing about the reader. This tool is free, too.

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