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Why I recommend it
The fundamental rules of English grammar never change, and the importance of proofreading to ensure your writing is grammatically correct will always be of the utmost importance. The English language is complicated, and far more difficult to write than it is to speak. Even educated native English speakers continue to make common errors throughout their lives.
Also, the importance of spell checking written work before submission is crucial for obvious reasons. Often the difference between getting an interview for a job and not getting one at all is a single mistake on a resume. Businesses are known to lose thousands of dollars in potential revenue simply because corporate communications aren’t constructed using proper English grammar. All correspondence and marketing materials, right down to emails, should be written immaculately to instill trust and confidence in the recipient; this is an integral part of running a successful business. Similarly, where the academic arena is concerned, a university thesis will be marked down for grammatical and spelling errors, and where article writing and blog posting are concerned, it is impossible to maximize reader engagement if the work is riddled with mistakes.
And so it becomes obvious that anyone writing English in a professional manner should proofread each sentence after writing and before publishing it. In the past this has typically been in the form of desktop software (e.g. EnglishSoftware.org) or the use of standard word processor grammar check applications. However, recent improvements in technology and the advancement of the Internet have helped to evolve a far more efficient and effective online grammar check tool. Others are sure to follow, and industry speculators predict that by 2014 the desktop grammar checker will be obsolete in the wake of its more evolved cousin (Source).
Below we explore some of the key benefits that an online proofreading tool offers over desktop grammar software and standard word processor programs.
1. Grammar Checking With Integrated Learning
An online solution can correct grammatical errors in real time, and is engineered to consistently identify contextual spelling, modifier, preposition, punctuation and quantifier errors. The main attraction of it, however, is not solely the highly efficient grammar checking, but the helpful review function. It not only identifies grammatical errors in your work, but offers useful explanations of each mistake. Each error card provided by the review identifies your grammatical error, and then explains – in both a concise explanation and a more detailed explanation – how the mistake can be corrected. When you check your texts, all the grammatical errors are categorized and organized for your review and revision. This further assists in improving your grammatical ability and grasp of the English written word.
As is the case with the English language, at times you will be left wondering “why all these exceptions to the rule?” This is essentially a downfall of traditional desktop software, in that historically those programs failed to explain the “exception to the rule”. GrammarCheck.net on the other hand provides further explanation of all exceptions and anomalies, and also offers additional, free resources for further reading. Another useful site is SpellCheckOnline.com, a site that offers online spell checking and grammar correction.
2. Suggested Contextual Corrections
Improving your grammar should mean improving your writing, but sadly this isn’t generally the case, and often we find ourselves just correcting mistakes using automated corrections without properly understanding the implication of our mistakes. This results in further contextual errors – in other words we correct a mistake with another mistake suggested by the software we are using. While this tool does instantly proofread text and correct over 150 types of errors, it also enhances your vocabulary usage with contextually -optimized suggestions. This feature will help you to choose the correct contextual correction rather than just correcting on autopilot and risking the chance of making another mistake.
3. Plagiarism Checking
It is rare that a person begins a piece of writing wanting to copy another, but when referencing external sources of information it is easy to find yourself in a situation of paraphrasing and subtle copying. This is particularly easy to fall into when quoting and referencing books for academic study. The last thing you want is to be accused of plagiarism (copying) by a tutor or work colleague, and this is where the integrated plagiarism checker comes in handy. You simply run the checker over your work and it will return a review to let you know if your work could be considered to have plagiarized an external source.
4. Online Learners’ Community
Trying to perfect your English writing skills can be an isolating experience at times. Connecting with other learners can positively speed up the learning process and rapidly advance ability. It includes a function whereby questions can be posted via each error card directly on their website for discussion of grammar and writing. Additionally, further explanation for grammar and writing rules can be found in the Handbook of the subscription management area.
5. Professional Usage
There are a number of desktop grammar checkers on the market, yet none are endorsed by educational institutions. Even popular word processors disclaim their reliability when it comes to professional documentation, for fear of liability. It’s used broadly across the entire English speaking world, with over 400,000 students and professional educators using the service.
6. Multiple Writing Mediums
The text checker is designed to work across multiple writing mediums, and takes into consideration the varying styles used in different areas of writing. The checker can be set to analyze a number of writing styles, including General, Business, Academic, Technical, Creative and Casual writing genres. This feature allows you to optimize the grammar review for your particular writing endeavor, such as proofing essays or academic papers, checking emails, memos, and proposals, improving texts and writing skills, reviewing editorial copy, editing resumes and cover letters.
7. Instant Online Access
The whole platform is based entirely online. One key advantage of this innovation is not having to install any files on your computer, which as we know slows down performance and can be problematic in terms of software conflict. Perhaps the greatest advantage, however, is being able to access the grammar checker from any web-enabled platform with an Internet connection. With desktop software you are limited to one license per computer, but with this tool you can access the service anywhere, anytime, be it on a Smartphone, Tablet, laptop or public computer.
As you can see, the benefits of an online grammar check are huge in comparison to the basic level benefits provided by desktop grammar programs. The online nature of this particular service means improvements and additional services are easily added by the merchant without the need for download action or paid updates by the subscriber. This web service is already massively popular, and is changing the way people from university professors down to students and amateur bloggers subject their work to grammatical review.
Everyone knows that it’s important to proofread materials in the midst of the job search, as well as in workplace communications. And that seems like a pretty easy task; after all, you’re just giving your writing one more look-over, right?
Well, not quite. To be done well, proofreading takes a little more time and effort than a quick last read-through.
In fact, basic spelling and grammar is only the start. Below, I’ve used my editorial expertise to walk through all the things you really should be checking for when you proof (that most people forget). Use it as a sort of checklist next time you’re looking over documents or emails before hitting “send.”
1. Basic Spelling and Grammar
Hey, I said it was the start. It seems simple, but tiny spelling and grammar mistakes can seriously tarnish the impression of whatever you’re sending. So, begin by carefully making sure you’ve put periods in their places, you’ve used the correct version of commonly confused words, and you haven’t accidentally misspelled something that spell check doesn’t recognize.
Pro tip: Unsure of a grammar rule? Check out Grammar Book or Grammarly for help. Or, if it’s so confusing that you have to look it up, it may be worth simplifying the sentence to remove the issue entirely.
2. Proper Nouns
This is something that people often forget when they’re looking over the spelling in their work: Take a look at proper nouns to make sure they’re spelled correctly. If an executive has a long and complicated name (or even one that could be spelled multiple ways, like Smith or Smyth), do a quick search on Google or in the employee directory to make sure you’ve spelled it correctly. Do the same thing for company names, job titles , and locations.
Pro tip: While you’re at it, also check to see if companies follow weird usage rules for their names, like all lowercase letters or several words combined without spaces—these are easy to get wrong but could be a bad mistake, especially if you’re emailing with someone from that company. A great example of this is onefinestay , which doesn’t have a capital letter and puts three words together in one.
3. Verb Tenses
Verb tenses are annoying since, a lot of times, there’s a huge discrepancy between how people speak and write and how proper grammar says you should speak and write. Read over your sentences again to make sure you’re not mixing up verb tenses or using multiple tenses within the same sentence (this often happens in sentences where you’re listing out multiple actions).
Pro tip: The OWL at Purdue has a handy-dandy verb tense cheat sheet so that you can see how different verb tenses relate to one another.
4. Sentence Structure
Take a look at the length of your sentences. Do you notice a lot of commas, semicolons, and conjunctions? Some of your sentences might be run-ons, so see if you can clean them up by making them shorter. Remember: Sometimes it’s better to break things up and know everything is readable than to try hard to sound impressive and end up confusing your reader.
Pro tip: A lot of professionals tend to use too many semicolons (guilty as charged). To write more clearly, try getting rid of a few of them and creating stand-alone sentences.
This can be especially crucial if you’re sending in a resume or cover letter. Look at your document as a whole (or have someone else do it), and critique how it looks. Are the margins too wide ? Is the font too small or difficult to read? Could you be using bold text to make anything easier to skim? You want the piece you’re sending to look just as good as it sounds.
Pro tip: A general rule I like to follow is to never use more than two formatting tricks (bold, italics, underlining, funky margins, small font) in the same document. Speaking of bold, italics, and underlining, never use more than one at a time. Bolding and underlining something in a document doesn’t make it look extra important; it makes you look crazy.
Make sure that your writing is consistent throughout, especially if you’re using numbers, symbols, or contractions. For example, do you say “coworkers” and “co-workers” in your work? Decide on which one you’d like to use. Are you using “%” or “percent” to talk about stats in your resume? Neither is wrong, but it’s important to pick one and use it consistently throughout.
Pro tip: If you’re getting decision fatigue from making all these tiny choices over consistency, just follow the rules of AP style used by most journalists.
If you’re using figures of speech, make sure you’ve actually used them correctly. For example, people often mix up “once in a while” and “once and a while,” as well as “couldn’t care less” and “could care less.” Google any figures of speech before you send them off to make sure they’re A-OK.
Pro tip: If you go the Google route, I highly recommend looking at multiple sources (at least four or five) to make sure everyone is in agreement on what the idiom is. I once Googled a figure of speech, and it turned out that the first search result on that particular idiom was totally wrong—oops.
8. Overall Flow
Especially after you’ve edited and tweaked your work, it’s easy for it to start sounding disjointed or incoherent. So, once you’ve done one pass of proofreading, make sure it all flows together logically, with easy-to-follow transitions.
Pro tip: Try reading your work slowly out loud to notice any issues with how your writing sounds. If you feel comfortable doing so, see if you can read it out loud to someone else, too. A lot of times, other people pick up on small issues that you think are fine but that read differently to others.
Proofreading is about more than just finding errors; it’s about making sure all of your ducks are in a row and that the tiny things match up.
Bottom line? Be a details master.