Why Use Online Grammar Check Services?
The top performers in our review are Grammarly, the Gold Award winner; WhiteSmoke, the Silver Award winner; and CorrectEnglish, the Bronze Award winner. Here's more on choosing an online grammar check to meet your needs, along with details on how we arrived at our ranking of these products.
Whether you are writing a paper for school, an email to your boss, a letter to an important colleague, or some other document, you need to create content that is free of errors. Grammar, spelling and punctuation errors can leave a bad impression. An online grammar check will analyze your content within seconds to find as many errors as possible – often including errors related to style guide rules and translation. These programs help you fix your mistakes so the cover letter you submit for a new job will look great, your mid-term paper won’t destroy your grade and an important email won’t be difficult to read.
What Type of Writing Solution Do You Need?
Free vs. Paid Grammar Check
There are several grammar programs available that don’t cost anything to use. The biggest difference we saw while evaluating both paid and free grammar checkers is that paid programs tend to provide additional features and more support solutions. Free versions, including SpellCheckPlus, give you basic grammar check tools, such as spell checker and alternate word choices, and developers generally include more advanced features, such as interactive grammar exercises, as part of full, paid versions.
It is also important to note that some free grammar programs are actually add-ons to larger writing suites. This means in some cases you may need to purchase a larger program in order to use the free grammar add-on. All of the solutions on our comparison, including the free versions, are standalone solutions that don’t require you to purchase additional software.
Other Types of Writing Help
Grammar check is only a small part of what goes in to good writing. While it is possible that you only need the service a grammar check application provides, you may be interested in the other features and tools that are available. Here are a few options to consider.
Spelling Software: It isn’t uncommon for spelling and grammar to be lumped into one solution, and grammar software has features to address both. Dedicated spelling software, however, focuses on teaching you the correct spelling of words. Most are designed for children as they make their way through grade school, though some are geared towards adults who need a little extra help in this area. Lessons are deigned to be progressive and engaging so you are encouraged to keep progressing through the program as you learn to spell.
Writing Enhancement Software: These solutions are more comprehensive than a grammar checker. They are meant to help you improve your overall writing skills, and they include editing and reference tools that are designed to help refine your language skills, catch mistakes and produce polished prose. These all include grammar checks as part of the overall package, and with several also offer standalone grammar options.
Grammar Check Services: What We Evaluated, What We Found
No matter which online grammar check service you choose, it should protect you against making blatant mistakes. It should catch the majority of errors and improve your content, whether you have excellent writing skills or are hesitant about your ability.
We evaluated each of these products for its accuracy and how well it caught many grammatical errors. We created a test document with a variety of intentional spelling and grammatical errors. We used each grammar check in our review and noted how many of our intentional errors each of these applications caught. We also performed this test using Microsoft Word, merely to see how these grammar checkers stack up against the ubiquitous word-processing application. We discovered our top three grammar check solutions are more accurate at finding errors than the leading word processor.
We used the following criteria to evaluate and rank the best online grammar checkers.
Accuracy is the most important factor when evaluating an online grammar check service. Since no grammar checker catches all mistakes, we graded these grammar check services on a curve, transforming the highest score to 100 percent. The best online grammar check services pinpoint incorrect adjective use, improper use of articles, issues with subject/verb agreement, as well as punctuation and capitalization mistakes. The service you choose should have an accurate online spell check to catch misspellings. Our top three grammar check applications were able to find more spelling errors in our test document than Microsoft Word.
Most of the grammar check programs we tested correctly edited a misuse of numbers. This included suggesting that we change of numerals to words and vice versa. This feature is important if you are writing using a style, such as AP, that has specific standard for when to spell out a number and when to use the numeral.
Editing & Feedback
One of the largest benefits to an online grammar checker is its speed and convenience. We evaluated each of these products and timed them to see how quickly we would receive our results. Most of these products provided results in less than five seconds, while others took a few more seconds. CorrectEnglish was the fastest, giving us results in less than three seconds.
No matter whether you are a professional editor or have poor writing skills, mistakes happen. When you learn why you made an error, you are less likely to make it again, which greatly improves your writing. Many of the best spelling and grammar checkers provide feedback to teach you exactly why the mistake is wrong. These explanations are an important enough tool that almost all the grammar checkers we reviewed have them; Ginger is the only one that omits this feature.
One feature we looked for is the availability of a mobile app. This allows you to quickly check grammar on short communications before sending them out. CorrectEnglish is the only solution we tested that does not include a mobile grammar app.
What Else to Look For
When choosing the best product, you need to be aware of what each program looks for and what features it boasts. If the program is too simple and doesn’t look for the type of spelling, punctuation or grammatical errors you worry about, these errors can slip through undetected. Our reviews point out some of the details you will want to be aware of for each product. Below are additional features some of the best online grammar checkers boast go beyond well beyond a basic grammar check. We also have several articles on grammar check solutions with additional tips.
Some of these products can provide word-to-word translations for phrases or an entire document. Some of these products can translate just one or two languages; others, like WhiteSmoke, can translate up to 50 languages. The translator features often provide dictionaries and a thesaurus and can be useful if you are learning a new language or need to conduct business with individuals from around the world.
Plagiarism is when copy has been lifted from someone else’s work without giving that individual credit. The best products will analyze a document and provide you with feedback on if content throughout your document has been written someplace else. Only our top two online grammar check products offer this feature.
Our Verdict & Recommendation
We evaluated both free and paid grammar check solutions and found the biggest difference was in the number of tools each offers. Not surprisingly, free solutions provide fewer tools. Grammarly, WhiteSmoke and CorrectEnglish are our top picks based on our testing, including the quickness of receiving changes, the quality of the feedback and the number of mistakes the software found. We were especially impressed with Grammarly and WhiteSmoke’s ability to identify plagiarism and provide alternate suggestions to passages that were extra wordy. The availability of a mobile app is also very help for quick text checks while away from your desk.