Common Sense Review
Updated September 2015


Helpful tips support the writing process and build confidence
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Common Sense Rating 4
  • What Grammarly offers
  • Suggestions from Grammarly
  • Student writing gets a boost!
  • Grammarly apps offered
  • Document report is an option for all papers uploaded
Highlight grammatical errors, identify and help correct plagiarism, check word usage, and get hints for better writing.
Not all spelling errors are caught, and word usage and distinctive writers' voices can be tricky to judge.
Bottom Line
A helpful site to check grammar and plagiarism and a good tool for understanding errors and how to fix them.
Stephanie Trautman
Common Sense Reviewer
Classroom teacher
Common Sense Rating 4
Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return? 4

Although it’s difficult to make grammar fun for everyone, Grammarly keeps students engaged with its simple design and easily navigable suggestions. Hints and suggestions are straightforward and easy to understand.

Pedagogy Is learning content seamlessly baked-in, and do kids build conceptual understanding? Is the product adaptable and empowering? Will skills transfer? 3

Skills covered range from grammatical mistakes to word usage and spelling, although not all word usage can be caught by a website. The site checks for plagiarism and gives evidence of where the source is and how to cite it.

Support Does the product take into account learners of varying abilities, skill levels, and learning styles? Does it address both struggling and advanced students? 4

The hints and suggestions are clear and give expanded info for more help. Grammarly also offers a helpful grammatical handbook that students and teachers could reference for help.

About our ratings and privacy evaluation.
How Can Teachers Use It?

Teachers will find this site best geared toward individual use. It's not expected that students will be aware of all 250 types of grammatical mistakes the site proofreads for, and it may be difficult for them to understand some of the concepts. If the tips within Grammarly aren't enough, try pairing it with another resource such as Purdue Online Writing Lab. Teachers also may want to review the importance of the writing process, particularly revision and editing. If the plagiarism checker is being used, students should also have a basic knowledge of citation guidelines, though the site will also help students generate citations in MLA, APA, and Chicago styles.

Grammarly could be a helpful tool for one-on-one discussions between a student and teacher on how students could improve their writing, or it could be used to create specific focus correction areas for writing improvement.

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What's It Like?

Grammarly is a website geared toward helping writers craft their very best work. Writers of all ages can cut and paste or upload work they’d like to edit. Once uploaded, the site has a left navigation sidebar with a plagiarism checker and vocabulary enhancement tool as key features. On the right side of the screen, users can get feedback and suggestions with hints to understand why they should change or improve certain aspects of their writing. The bottom of the screen lists word count and how many critical issues the document has, and gives writers a score based on spelling, grammar, punctuation, sentence structure, style, vocabulary, and plagiarism checking.

Grammarly can be used for free on Chrome as a browser extension, and premium subscribers can also download an add-in for Microsoft Word and Outlook, which claims to adjust to your writing style. The site also offers proofreading services in real time, with pricing for a three-hour turnaround or 24-hour turnaround time.

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Is It Good For Learning?

This site was created for all writers, and it's straightforward to use. Simply cut and paste or upload a document, and the site will spit back loads of feedback and various ways to improve your writing. Whether users need help with how to cite sources or how to enhance their vocabulary, Grammarly provides help, prompting writers to understand why they should make the recommended revisions. The information includes grammatical, spelling, and writer’s voice issues. The editing and revision process is key to becoming a good writer; the tips and hints here try to help writers master the revision and editing process. Writers will also receive a helpful weekly writing performance report, similar to that of a financial report.

Two things to note: first, the price. It's not cheap, so writers must make sure they'll actively use this site before they make the investment. Second, the site will proofread word usage, but young writers should note that everyone’s writing voice is different, and a computer cannot account for every single person’s unique style and voice.

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