Why I started using Grammarly
I used to cry out against Grammarly and similar “proofreading” software. I argued that these programs were no substitute for proper editing. While I still support that assertion, I’ve come around on Grammarly and now incorporate it into my editing work.
How I use Grammarly
As an editor, I use Grammarly as a second set of eyes. Even editors miss things. When I’m line editing, for example, my brain is focused on correcting issues with sentence structure, not picking out misspelled one-syllable words. Grammarly highlights many of those oversights for me.
I almost always do subsequent proofreads for clients who opt for a line or copy edit, and this final look catches the vast majority of those remaining errors. Much to the frustration of many proofreaders, however, the human brain is really good at identifying patterns. Consequently, it’s darn hard to pick up the smallest mistakes because our brains want to understand the bigger picture. This is where Grammarly comes in. It will point out if the word from is misspelled as form, for instance. I’ve started running a Grammarly check first and then doing a proper proofread to find any sneaky errors that slipped through.
Grammarly still doesn’t catch everything and is constantly highlighting issues that aren’t errors. If nothing else, though, Grammarly is thorough. This allows me to go through and accept or reject suggestions as needed.
The key to using Grammarly in this way is understanding grammar and punctuation rules. Grammarly is not a substitute for learning the rules; on the contrary, I think it’s most effective when employed in conjunction with a good knowledge of the rules.
So do I recommend getting Grammarly and paying for Grammarly Premium? Absolutely. Does buying Grammarly mean you don’t have to study the mechanics of writing? No. You’ll get the most out of Grammarly if you have a solid foundation in grammar, punctuation, vocabulary, and style.
Yes, I sure did run this blog post through Grammarly, and it told me that I misspelled a word. Ironically, I misspelled misspelled as mispelled. Nice work, Grammarly. You’re okay in my books.