If you’re like me and spend more hours in the day at your laptop than you do sleeping, or even if only fit in a bit of writing online when you can, you’ll know that a spell checker isn’t enough when it comes to proofreading your work. A spell checker will pick up the obvious spelling mistakes, and some online checkers even pick up clichés and punctuation errors. But they’re never enough.
Carry on reading to see how you could win a 3-month Premium account on the best online proofreader around, Grammarly.
It’s hard enough to proofread your own work, simply because it’s your own and errors are hard to find in a text that you’re too familiar with. Moreso, I’m currently studying an online proofreading and editing course which has made me realise that there are even more errors that can be found in texts than you would imagine.
I always thought that my grammar was pretty decent. I’ve written something on paper or on-screen most days of my life as an English literature fanatic, a Journalism graduate, and a film blogger, so I presumed that my extensive practice in writing meant that everything I knew about punctuation and grammar was correct. I was wrong.
Most of us will only know the basics, or at least will know the minimum of most grammatical issues and writing styles, but there are many rules and reasons that you won’t understand unless you take the time to learn them thoroughly.
To give an example, could you name all of the reasons to use a comma and when not to? And when should a semi-colon be used instead of a full stop? The boundaries are incredibly thin.
It’s these grammatical issues that I’m currently wracking my brain over as part of my course, as it is a profession that I want to get in. But not all of us have the time and effort to do that, and even as an amateur proofreader, it’s useful to have a helping hand.
And that’s where Grammarly comes in.
I’ve trawled the internet for online proofreaders and grammar and punctuation checkers, but Grammarly is the only program that I have found that 1. Combines all of these checks in one place, and 2. Checks all of these issues accurately and thoroughly.
Grammarly will find sentence structure and writing style issues, and give suggestions for more effective vocabulary usage, making your documents consistent and professional.
When I’ve checked my work with Grammarly, I know that the only things I have to check for myself are house style guides and the client’s brief, as these are more personal guides. (Although, of course, you should never rely on somebody/something else to check your work for you, so I would still recommend that you go through your copy yourself!)
Best of all, Grammarly can be downloaded as a Google Chrome plugin and as a Microsoft Office add-on. As a plugin, it checks everything you write online, from blog posts to emails to Facebook statuses, offering you suggestions to improve your text by underlining certain words, which you simply hover over to see the error and its reasoning and click on once again to either change or ignore.
It’s that easy to use.
This basic version of Grammarly is free, but what I can offer you is a free 3 month Premium account, which would usually cost around £20 per month.
And here’s how!
All you have to do is comment below with your full name and email address and answer the following question:
What is your favourite word? And why?
The competition ends at 12pm on Sunday 12th April, when I will pick a winner at random.