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Sunday, January 26, 2014

Grammar, Grammar... who's got Grammarly?

Yep. I use Grammarly's free plagiarism checker because I never know when I've ripped something off, or if I'm that original!

Hi, all my pretties. There is a grammar and plagiarism checker out there called Grammarly. I've been using it for a few days as a trial run. I thought it worked great. Easier than any other grammar checker I've used. Here's how it works:

You go to the link above, copy & paste ( or I just drop-kicked it over), and you can fire it up. You have the options above of "start review", or "check plagiarism". The document can't be too large. I've found anything over 5,000 is pushing it, and it will tell you so. Since my chapters are at different word counts, anywhere from 1,200 to 4,000, I could sometimes check more than one chapter. If you want the grammar check, you put your cursor over the "Start Review". A window drops down and gives you options like General, Business, Academic, etc. I chose "creative". After you check whichever one, the thing begins to "review". I found it only took a moment or two for it to get the review up.The checker pops up after it digests what you've put in, and a window pops up.

When it comes up, the line or words, or area in question is hi-lighted in pink. The corresponding window gives you an explanation of where/what needs to be correcting. It's up to you to decide if it does need correcting. It will show punctuation mistakes, and misspelled words--again it's up to you to know if the word you used and the word they suggest is what you want to go with. I've used words like "thrall" and it wanted something like thrill. You can add such words to the dictionary, if you use the word a lot. Sometimes character's names also pop up. It didn't like Zaylik. It also corrected my use of the Latin, Carp noctem--it suggested I capitalize Noctem. Who am I to argue on the Latin? It did have a problem with French words. When I knew the word(s) came up often I simply added the words to the dictionary so it didn't hit on the same word(s) again and again. You can also hit the IGNORE button, too, if it's something you feel is okay within the text of your manuscript, but it might not be elsewhere. In dialogue I went with what I wanted to use, since people don't usually speak in complete sentences, and sometimes they simply murder the English language.

Once you've made corresponding corrections to your original, you hit NEXT at the bottom, and it goes to the next thing. I didn't have a problem with it "eating" my text--in other words it didn't disappear from the original manuscript when I popped it in on the screen. But it's always a good idea to have a back-up, just in case.

When you're done with that particular review, you can clear it and go to the next thing.

I found the PDF download was simple to use too. It's not as explanatory, but after I went through several chapters, I got the hang of what it was showing me.

So, if you have trouble with certain aspects of grammar, spelling (I sometimes don't realize I've used two words when it should be only one, or something similar), and I also either put commas in where not needed, or don't have them where they should be. What can I say? I did not get good grades in English. Where's Sesame Street when you need them?

Well, I hope this tool comes in handy for you, like it has for me.

Happy Writing!

12 comments:

  1. It is a handy tool!

    Of course, there's always the problem of hononyms...

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  2. I agree with Sir Wills. I think I shall try it.

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  3. William, that sometimes is an issue with everyone. You just aren't always sure. I have a spelling ace that gives them to you, so I can check it that way. But if I don't know to check, then that's a problem.
    ~Shelly, hope it proves to be helpful.

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  4. Lorelie, thanks for introducing me to a new tool. I've added Grammarly to my list of tools to check out.

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  5. It can actually check for plagiarism? I'm wondering how grammar program can check to see if what you have written was written before. Perhaps is can just so lines and not complete story ideas. Sounds pretty great. I will have to check it out for myself.

    Leanne Ross ( readfaced.wordpress.com )

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  6. interesting... I have heard of Grammarly but never used it. I might have to give it a try

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  7. Grammarly does sound intriguing. Will have to check it out. Thanks!

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  8. I'm definitely going to try Grammarly!!!! Thanks!

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  9. Thanks for the tip :)

    ........dhole

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  10. ~Ruth, you're welcome!
    ~Readfaced I have not tried it as yet.
    ~Tracy, yes you might want to take a look.
    Kathleen, I found it easy to use
    ~Patti, Good for you!
    ~Donna, you're welcome!

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  11. Always good to hear about new tools. I worry about the plagiarism thing too, being absolutely sure that what I've just written really did come from me, and not from a long-repressed memory of someone else's writing that stuck with me, so good tip.

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