If you are reading this, then you already understand how profoundly embarrassing it is for us to have made an error in the very opening line of an article. Perhaps you do not have to write articles under current circumstances.
Even so, nearly all of us have to write one thing or the other every day. Maybe it is a professional email, maybe a thoughtful Facebook post. Both would suffer a great devaluation if it does not have sound grammar backing it up. And with the pace and nature of our fast lives, mistakes happen all the time – and many of them stem simply from the fact that one does not have the time to proofread their writing for themselves.
Enter grammar-checking systems, mechanisms designed to do the heavy lifting for you, so you can type without fear of pesky errors and mistypes. If you use Microsoft Word, you likely have already faced the AI equivalent of a proofreader.
The default spellcheck and such and such propriety safeguard already present in MSWord is rudimentary, and there is a plethora of alternative, much more advanced grammar-checking corrective software and plugins that you can select from. You have possibly heard of Grammarly, the belle of the ball, the most famous ball in the park.
Grammarly is the most famous, but not necessarily the best. If you do not prefer Grammarly for the pricing, or some other reasons, or are just looking to explore alternative solutions, you are in luck, because there are many equally good if not better services you can pick from.
To assess the services we ran a sample text (with carefully placed assorted errors) through the check for both free and paid counterparts.
Best 5 Alternatives for Grammarly.com
Let us start with PaperRater, a lightweight and simple spelling and grammar checking solution. The biggest strong suit it has is its ease of use. You don’t need to install any plugins or applications. You will not be obstructed by mandatory signups. You have to just go to its website, and then you can either upload your file or directly paste your text down on its designated editor field, and you are all set.
You can have your write-up checked according to a writing grade (e.g. College graduate) and field of writing (e.g. Resume) of your choice. The Paper checker clubs together probably more basic features than any other alternative corrective software. It has a decent patented, cloud-based grammar and spell-checks system powered by its own algorithm called Grendel.
The more advanced feedback modules involve writing styles and tests usage of transitional phrases, readability indices, common writing mistakes such as overusing passive voice, and enjambments. PaperRater also comes with a free plagiarism check algorithm, which is integrated into the proofreader with the paid version. To top it all off, it also offers its very own vocabulary builder, detailing words and their usage contexts, to help you learn new lexicons or use it as a scope for clarification.
The only downside is that it is not very savvy in its integration system. There are some modules exclusive to the premium subscribers, but at any rate, the free version well outweighs its few cons in the quality of service it provides. Get instant hurdle-free proofreading done here.
4. Slick Write
Next on the list is Slick Write. If you head over to its website, you will immediately find that it stands up to the name. It has a slick, stylized and stellar UI that easily outshines Grammarly. It is not just another grammar-checking service, because if you are an aspiring author, for instance, you can just start using it as your typing platform. It plays the novelist’s blank page better than the editor’s dashboard.
Not only does its UI make the writing experience better by itself, but also its self-promoted features are heavily oriented towards long-term seasoned writing and vocabulary analysis with auto-updating stats like vocabulary variety charts, prepositional phrase index, long sentences, number of adverbs, average sentence length and readability index. It also has an ‘Associator’ to help you find connections between words.
If you head over to its settings section, you can opt for any preset filtering system to fit a writing style and mode, or even customize and toggle every individual filter (like split-end infinitives, overwriting, legalese and weasel words) yourself.
One option even lets you toggle on pointers about the internet’s most frequently confused words. That said, it is more geared towards bloggers and writers than professional proofreading, lacking features like plagiarism checks or resume templates that other solutions offer.
In conclusion, Slick Write requires no logins and plugins, is completely no-frills just like PaperRater, and furthermore, completely free. There is not really much argument against trying it. Start slick writing on Slick Write here.
3. Ginger Software
Up next is Ginger Software’s grammar checker, which proclaims to be the best in the league. It even claims to be as accurate as a human reviewer can be. It is, unfortunately, true that even the leading grammar checkers have a certain blind spot in their systems, albeit never big enough to be alarming, and not a single system is completely fail-safe. Ginger has the most reliable singular grammar-checking system regarding that because it has context-specific spelling corrections. It is a system developed with the expert counsel of a team of computational linguists.
Ginger is also more advanced on the corrective front: with the premium version, one can get everything from alternative words to context-optimized sentence overhauls. On its editor dashboard, the suspected errors are highlighted like in many other correction software, but here you can make all the recommended corrections across the board with a single click on ‘approve all’. It is both fast and functional. It also has a feature that lets you rephrase common sentences with multiple alternative options.
Premium subscribers can enable the ‘speaker’, which goes the extra mile to brush up your pronunciation. Ginger has a Personal Trainer module that collects data on the user’s mistakes over time and analyzes it to determine the most effective way to develop their writing skill. The free version itself comes with an in-built dictionary and translator, with full support for more than 35 languages.
Ginger is also heavy-duty when it comes to devising integrations, allowing you to link your account to your Mac, Android and iOS accounts – even going so far as to have its spell-check system to sync with the autocorrect on your phone. The premium pricing options are close to that of Grammarly, but it arguably nets you better value for money.
2. Hemingway Editor
If you have tried Slick Write, and you are looking for a corrective service even more dedicated towards your prose style in general rather than singular spellchecks, we present to you Hemingway Editor. Hemingway is designed primarily based on its scaling of the Readability of your content. “Too often, our words are like our thoughts — innumerable and disorganized”, read the manifesto,” Almost any bit of writing could use some cutting.
Less is more, etc.” Hemingway is available both as a desktop app as well as a web dashboard. It aims to make your content more ‘readable’ and is itself very simplified and accessible. The UI uses only a single page and conveys all the relevant information within that frame. Hemingway is lightweight and does not provide corrected alternatives like Ginger or Grammarly.
It color-codes select sentences as yellow (when it is to be split for simplification purposes) or red (when it is too complex and needs redrafting), and moreover it color-codes passive voice usages, adverbs and words for which simpler alternatives are tenable.
Both Hemingway and its desktop outlet are completely free, and you can try them out here. Again, remember that Hemingway is not what you should opt for if your proofreading needs are not based on a general prose and readability check but spell-checks and automated grammar correction.
1. ProWriting Aid
ProWritingAid is the definitive complete package if you are looking for a cheaper alternative to Grammarly with the same effectiveness of service. It has a very effective spell-check and grammar correction system. It has an in-depth perspective on the overall writing style and readability of your content. It has a plagiarism check system. It even has a one-time payment structure for which you get a permanent premium subscription.
After you place your content on the dashboard, you can generate an overall writing style report. It comes with a report summary giving out specific suggestions and recommendations. It also presents all your relevant stats with helpful charts and graphs – a sentence length graph, for example.
Then you can go to categorized reports on style, diction, grammar, clichés, overused words and phrases, sticky sentences, diction, repeat words, and sentence structure. One very strong feature that ProWritingAid executes perfectly is its inclusion of thesaurus. You can go to the thesaurus tab for detailed definition of and alternatives to the words you have used in your content.
The premium services, given that you can avail it for a one-time payment, are a bang for your bucks, and are an immediate upgrade over Grammarly, containing all Grammarly’s streamlined features and much more. Head over here to try out the best non-Grammarly Grammarly for yourself!
So, to answer the real question, which one should you use?
On a conclusive note, here’s :
(1) If you want a free proofreading service and don’t mind having an online dashboard without integrations, go for PaperRater.
(2) If you need an app with integration that covers all the basic features a proofreading solution should go for Ginger.
(3) Slick Write is your solution if you want to tie up your prose style in general. You can then run it through Hemingway if it is a case that particularly requires nitpicking in this area.
(4) If you love the premium services for Grammarly and want something very similar but less pricey, you should opt for ProWritingAid.