Review by Stephanie Trautman, Common Sense Education | Updated December 2016


Helpful tips support the writing process and build confidence

Subjects & skills
  • English Language Arts

  • Communication & Collaboration
  • Character & SEL
Grades This grade range is based on learning appropriateness and doesn't take into account privacy. It's determined by Common Sense Education, not the product's publisher.
Common Sense says (See details)
Teachers say (6 Reviews)

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Pros: Highlight grammatical errors, identify and help correct plagiarism, check word usage, and get hints for better writing.

Cons: 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.

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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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 as a Chrome app, or on Chrome, Safari, Edge, or Firefox as a browser extension. It's also available as a Mac app and as an add-in for Microsoft Word and Outlook. The site also offers proofreading services in real time, with pricing for a three-hour turnaround or 24-hour turnaround time.

It's free to download and use as a grammar and spelling checker, but there's a Premium version that adds features like plagiarism detection and advanced writing feedback.

Grammarly 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 assistance 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 them. Writers will also receive a helpful weekly writing performance report, similar to that of a financial report.

Two things to note: first, teachers should look into the Premium version which offers more substantive feedback. 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.

Overall Rating

Engagement Is the product stimulating, entertaining, and engrossing? Will kids want to return?

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?

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?

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

Common Sense Reviewer
Stephanie Trautman Classroom teacher

Teacher Reviews

(See all 6 reviews) (6 reviews) Write a review
Featured review by
Jane W. , Classroom teacher
Classroom teacher
J.C. Booth Middle School
Peachtree City, United States
Thankful for the "extra set of eyes" on my writing!!
I have actually utilized Grammarly on this teacher review. Although I have relatively solid grammar skills, there are always little details that get overlooked when writing. The writing process is time-consuming, so I appreciate the extra "set of eyes" that Grammarly provides to me when writing. It offers little suggestions like "time-consuming" should be hyphenated. It could serve as an important tool to use in the classroom as a means of allowing students to "self learn" some skills.
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