What Grammarly Is
In a nutshell, Grammarly is a tool that enhances and corrects your spelling and grammatical mistakes. What separates it from your standard spell check on Word or Google Doc, assuming you're using the free package, Grammarly corrects spelling, suggests alternatives that may be better suited to the sentence punctuation, and ensures consciousness in your writing. It is essentially a writing assistant. If you are someone like me who is extremely poor in grammar, this is a brainer since it covers all your writing flaws.
My first exposure to Grammarly came when I was doing my undergrad at University. I studied Economics, so I was assigned essays on occasions, usually around four to five thousand words. I enjoyed putting my ideas onto paper, but my inability to use grammatical techniques properly hindered my ability to translate what my brain was thinking onto paper; this had been an ongoing issue ever since I was in primary school. I have always had difficulty with grammar to the point that my primary school believed I had a disability (racial bias may be at play here), but it did hinder my educational attainment.
In Secondary school, my weakness was further highlighted to me. In British Secondary/High Schools, we were placed into Sets, classes filled with those of the same or similar educational attainment level. They rank from One being the most intelligent class to Six (depending on the year group size) the dumbest; sorry for being frank, but honestly, that was how it was perceived in secondary school. The system was flawed, but that's another conversation for another day.
In our English Set, I always jumped between Set One and Set two, which was down to my inability to use English grammar correctly. My teacher's feedback highlighted that my knowledge was usually sound, my sentence structure decent, but my grammar was borderline atrocious. I didn't even attempt to argue; honestly, to this day, I can't even explain to you when and how to use a semicolon. My grammar failings were further emphasised amongst my peers with the introduction of BlackBerry Messenger (BBM), where I felt the full force of grammar police 🙄.
I never really caught on to Facebook, MySpace, Bebo, and others. But during the late 2000s early 2010s, I was entirely riding the wave of BBM. The BlackBerry Curve 8520 model held teenagers and young adults throughout the UK. Probably because it was the first time that instant messaging on the go via the internet was widely available to the masses, plus the Carphone Warehouse (Mobile phone retailer) deal at the time was pretty good. I'm not entirely sure if this constitutes grammar. Still, I failed to differentiate between 'Now' and 'Know' for the longest time. I used them interchangeably, and individuals on group chats would constantly school me on my failings. To be fair, it educated me on the use of words.
I got a B in English Language and a C in English Literature GCSE. Not the best but just about average, which I can live with.
So realising my shortcomings entering University and attempting to look for tools to cover up my weakness, I found Grammarly. I started on the free version. It worked wonders; it corrected all my grammatical errors and suggested grammatical techniques were necessary. I was pretty pleased since it contributed to attaining a 2:1 in my degree. The only fault I had was I couldn't take Grammarly with me inside the exam hall. Meh.
When I began studying for my Master, I just thought I'd do the same as usual since 'why fix something that's not broken.'
Master is just a different level. I was no longer doing Science per se but an Art. My undergrad was a 'Bachelor of Science' whilst my Masters was a 'Master of Arts'. So in my Master, everything was assessed via essays, focusing on the main little things, i.e. punctuation, grammar, etc. My initial feedback from my first assignment was that my grammar was not good enough, and I ended up getting grades 61 in one essay, 58 in another, and I think 63.
For those unaware of the UK university grading system:
- First-class Honors - 70% and higher
- Second-class Honors - 50% -70%
- Third-class Honors - 40% – 50%
Not too bad, but not where I wanted to be; in addition, it was extremely frustrating since all the feedback coming back was all focused on my grammar.
So I decided to buy the Grammarly quarter package, which was like £40 every three months. Purchasing a package allowed me to tailor the Grammarly algorithm to provide writing suggestions for academic papers and what particular audience I am attempting to speak to. In addition, it offered suggestions as to when my sentences were convoluted and lacked readability. Plus, it enhanced the previous features. And the results were instant. The added features played a significant part in me achieving a grade of 68 in one assignment, 71 & 76. Which I was proud of. The level of feedback regarding grammar in my latest pieces of work relative to the previous was completely down. I was pleased about that, and it solidified my stamp of approval that Grammarly was a good investment.
I stopped using Grammarly after University, but my grammar skills never improved. I faced similar issues when working at the UK Civil Service as a Senior Policy Advisor. But Grammarly came to the rescue and reopened my account, and it did its thing. I never heard a peep about my grammar again, just some other nonsense I shall speak about another time.
Overall I would recommend Grammarly to Undergrad students. I would always suggest you do the free trial to see whether it's worth the money and assess its impact on your assignments. For those doing a Master or in further academia, I would probably recommend Grammarly big time because it saves you a lot of time reviewing your work and stuff like that. Still, I would never say wholly rely on it since it can be odd here and there.
It really depends on what field you're in for work, so use it at your own discretion. Most likely, the free trial would get you by. Still, if your job is writing-intensive probably best to maybe buy a package; there are business packages. Still, I don't know how they work but probably a price package at a discount for a limited number of staff.
The great thing also is the Grammarly extension; you can use it on Google, Microsoft Word, Apple, Android devices. Furthermore, they have some really excellent feedback and data features. I don't really notice it, but those who are data nerds are one for you.
Overall, I would recommend Grammarly to everyone; I decided to write about Grammarly since I'll constantly be using it in my blogs, so it only felt right I give a shout-out and breakdown why I like them.
Peace, have a blessed day ✌🏾