12 Best Essay Checkers: Free And Paid

Are you tired of the painstaking proofreading that comes with writing an essay? Or perhaps you’re looking for the best essay checkers for your papers.

I spent several years writing essays as part of my studies for a postgraduate thesis. I also spent a year writing non-fiction essays. Writing essays isn’t always easy; the last thing worth worrying about is typos, punctuation errors, and other mistakes. Enter a good essay checker.

If you take essay writing seriously, you need one of the best essay checkers online today, but the tricky part is finding the right software for your needs. A good one will help you submit a paper or essay accurately and on time. You can banish these headaches with the right essay corrector.

If you’re wondering what is the best essay checker, we recommend Grammarly. That’s because of due to its ease of use, price point, feature-set and accuracy.

We’re helping out with this round-up of best essay checkers for academic papers. We have included several of the best free and paid options based on our experiences writing essays and research papers for various publications and educational bodies. We’ve tested these essay checkers extensively using a variety of essay writing topics.

Quick Summary: Our Top Picks For Essay Checkers
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  • Proofread your essays, papers and more for free
  • Works everywhere
  • Has a 20% discount
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Prowritingaid logo
  • Accurate, fast and reliable
  • Includes a plagiarism checker
  • Has a 20% discount
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1. Grammarly

Pricing: Free/$30 per month

Grammarly is an all-purpose grammar and essay checker that any writer can use

Grammarly’s free essay check app is particularly ubiquitous because it’s so easy to use as a Chrome extension. So you can use it to fix an essay in almost any writing app.

Those who write a lot of papers outside of their internet browser can also choose to download the app version of Grammarly, which functions similarly to the desktop but requires dragging an essay file to the app itself.

Grammarly’s AI functions are powerful, and in any form, the app is constantly updated to grow smarter and keep up with the latest grammar errors. It’s a good option for students on a budget.

The premium version of this online tool adds more in-depth checks for word choices, plagiarism detection, inclusive language, formality checks, and more. If you like Grammarly’s interface – and we think it’s easily one of the best – paying more for a lot of extra information may be worth it to make your academic papers as impressive as they can be. Don’t expect a citation manager, though. Read our Grammarly review

Best AI writing assistant
From $12 Per Month

We tested dozens of grammar checkers, and Grammarly is the best tool on the market today. It'll help you write and edit your work much faster. Grammarly provides a powerful AI writing assistant and plagiarism checker.

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  • Proofread your essays, papers and more for free
  • Works everywhere
  • Includes a plagiarism checker
  • Supports different or preferred writing styles including Academic
  • All in-depth options for essayists are locked behind a paywall
  • The interface can get a little crowded in small text boxes

2. ProWritingAid

Pricing: From free to $70 per year

ProWritingAid is a good essay checker for those working on long-form papers

ProWritingAid is one of the most professional grammar check programs available. It includes dozens of in-depth writing reports for essayists–more than you’ll need–for fixing grammar issues, style problems, spelling mistakes, incorrect word choice, clichés, etc.

ProWritingAid also includes a variety of learning tools to teach people more about grammar mistakes and improve writing skills. It doesn’t have a citation manager, however. Read our ProWritingAid review.  

20% OFF
$3̶0̶ $24 per month

ProWritingAid is a powerful, accurate grammar checker and style editor. It's suitable for non-fiction and fiction writers and doesn't require a monthly subscription. Save 20% per month or year.

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  • Accurate, fast and reliable
  • Includes a plagiarism checker
  • Works with Scrivener
  • Most essay reports locked behind a paywall
  • A wealth of reports may distract new essayists

3. Quillbot

Pricing: Free/$20 per month

Quillbot grammar checker
Quillbot is a good essay checker if you need citations

Quillbot is a capable and precise writing tool. Academics and essayists will benefit the most from the premium package. The Quillbot plagiarism checking and grammar check tools are essential time-savers for academics.

The summarizer and paraphrase tools may help you speed up your research and writing if you’re writing essays online. The co-writer can also assist with content spinning by bringing all of these tools together. However, please do it ethically by citing your sources for essays.

Its citation generator is an excellent tool for essay writers who are time-strapped. It automatically formats any link, document or reference based on your preferred style and generates the correct citations–all in seconds! It also supports paraphrasing, which is useful for handling sources. To find out more, read our Quillbot review.  

$19.95 per month

Quillbot is a best-in-class essay checker and paraphrasing tool. It's a great choice for essayists, academics and content writers.

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  • Fast and easy to use
  • Relatively affordable
  • Excels at paraphrasing and summarizing essays
  • Ideal as a plagiarism checker for academics
  • Plagiarism checker less suitable outside of essay checks
  • AI grammar checker lags behind competitors
  • Chrome extension only i.e. no Safari, Edge or Firefox plugins
  • WorksOnline only

4. AntiDote

Pricing: From $5.00/month to $129.95

Tooltip and Antidote Corrector
Antidote is an essay checker that works offline

AntiDote’s app takes a slightly different approach. It looks for spelling and grammar errors, as well as sentence structure problems like repetition and poor verb use – and then underlines any potential problems. When you hover over an issue, instead of giving you a replacement, AntiDote explains why there’s a problem.

You can choose to correct or ignore each issue as they come up. For more ideas, the app also has a custom dictionary to consult and writing guides. This combination makes the essay checker a particularly good choice for paper writers working in a secondary language.

There’s also a mobile version of the app for Android and iOS, which is useful if you have completed an essay but want to casually edit it from a mobile device as you have time available (plus, it’s handy when whipping up a quick error-free email). You can also purchase a version of Antidote that works offline.

  • Works entirely on your computer and via the cloud
  • Robust, it was first developed 25 years ago
  • Desktop app requires some configuration
  • Missed some errors compared to Grammarly and ProWritingAid in our tests

5. Ginger Grammar Checker

Pricing: $13.99 per month

The Ginger grammar checker
Ginger’s online grammar check interface is particularly easy to use on the fly

Ginger’s core tool is a simple web app designed to drop a block of text into and search for grammar corrections, then copy and paste it back into your text editor.

Some of our other free grammar check picks have this option, too, but Ginger’s online grammar check interface is easy to use on the fly. There’s also a plugin that you can get for the Chrome browser.

Ginger is an affordable choice for essayists on a tight budget. It will fix more spelling errors, accidental typos, and other grammatical errors than a free essay checker tool. However, don’t expect something as fast and reliable as Grammarly. To find out why read our Ginger vs Grammarly review

Ideal for Non-English Speakers

Ginger is a popular alternative to Grammarly. Although it doesn't have as many features, it's relatively accurate and affordable. It's also useful for non-english speakers.

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  • Free
  • Works in most places online
  • Easy to use
  • Web app best suited for shorter sections of text
  • Lacks many of Grammarly’s more advanced features
  • Less accurate than competitors

6. Google Docs Grammar checker

Pricing: Free

Word count in Google Docs
Any essayist on a budget can use the inbuilt Google Docs editor and spell-checker

Google Docs has a default grammar checker that works alongside its spell-check tool to ensure you haven’t made any mistakes. Ensure Google Docs is set for the right language, and Google will do the rest (the technology is based on Google’s translation AI so that it can work in multiple languages beyond English grammar, too).

The writing tool is quick, effective, and will be very familiar to anyone who has used a spell-checker before. Grammar issues are underlined in blue; you can click on them to choose replacement options or corrections. It won’t catch every mistake in your essays but it’s free.

  • Free
  • Useful for collaboration with other writers or classmates
  • Only works in Google Docs or other G-Suite applications
  • If you’re writing an essay outside of Docs, you can’t use the tool easily
  • Widely used by students

7. Analyze By Academic Help

Pricing: From $15 per page

Analyze By Academic Help
Analyze offers structural advice for essayists

Unlike other tools here, the Analyze web app is specifically designed to help high school and college students write essays. It’s basically for any type of academic writing. It will check grammar and proper spelling like the other apps. Still, it also offers structural advice like organizing paragraphs, eliminating improper white space, and other formatting issues that could cause a lower grade.

  • No need to download anything
  • Aimed at essayists
  • Laborious copying and pasting your essay text into the web app
  • Copy-and-paste, and new formatting issues may appear that aren’t really present in the text editor.

8. Outwrite Plagiarism Checker

Pricing: From free to $14.95 per month

The basic version of this plagiarism tool is free to use

Outwrite, previously known as Gradeproof, is a budget-friendly plagiarism checker. Essayists can use Outwrite to check their essays for accidental plagiarism. It will also help with sentence rewrites. The basic version of this plagiarism tool is free to use! The pro version costs $14.95 monthly and includes a plagiarism checker and more detailed suggestions.

Like Grammarly, it supports multiple variations of the English language, including British, American, and Canadian. However, it didn’t catch and fix as many essay writing issues in our tests. To learn more, read our Grammarly vs Outwrite comparison

  • Doesn’t offer much in the way of correcting other aspects of grammar
  • Tailors suggestions based on increasing or decreasing a word-count
  • Limited grammar reports
  • Fewer plugins and apps than competitors

9. PaperRater

Pricing: From $7/95 per month

PaperRater is a basic essay checker

Founded in 2009, PaperRater is proofreading software from Barnes and Noble Education. It relies on artificial intelligence to help students write better essays, papers, and articles. PaperRater checks essays for spelling mistakes and plagiarism issues.

If you’re a student on a budget and need a tool to paste your essays into without installing apps or plugins, PaperRater is a good choice. It’s also cheaper than other essay checkers here. However, PaperRater lacks advanced features like an AI-powered writing assistant. It also missed some errors that other tools here caught. Read our PaperRater vs Grammarly comparison

  • Built with students and essayists in mind
  • Works in your browser
  • Not as accurate as other tools
  • No desktop or mobile apps, or browser plugins
  • Some distracting ads

10. CorrectEnglish (CE)

Pricing: $24 per month

CorrectEnglish is a good tool for essayists working with style guides

Correct English is a lesser-known proofreading aimed at the academic market and those learning English as a second language. It’s an excellent choice for essayists who work on academic texts. We uploaded a Google Doc and Microsoft Word doc of essays and checked it for issues easily.

Correct English supports popular writing style guides, including APA and MLA. We didn’t find other tools with this type of feature. Essayists can try the free version and check up to 250 words. The premium version also includes a plagiarism check and access to Lexipedia. We used that to look up definitions, synonyms and antonyms.

11. Hemingway App

Pricing: Free/$19.99

HemingwayEditor -grammar checker review
Hemingway Editor identifies and helps eliminate overused adjectives and adverbs like “very” and “quickly” so your essay is more concise

Hemingway Editor helps essayists improve their work by highlighting sentence structure issues. It identifies and helps eliminate overused adjectives and adverbs like “very” and “quickly” so your essay is more concise. Don’t expect it to spot grammar issues, though. It’s free to use unless you want offline access. To learn more, read our Hemingway App review

  • Free
  • Great for essay line editing
  • Easy to use
  • No grammar or spelling reports
  • No plagiarism reports

12. Chegg

Pricing: Free trial/$10 per month

Chegg review
Chegg is a good, affordable essay checker if you don’t want to use Grammarly or ProWritingAid

Chegg is an essay checker aimed squarely at students. It can scan an essay for accidental plagiarism, identify grammar mistakes, and fix readability issues. It also handles citations, a feature a lot of tools lack. It’s a good, affordable essay checker if you don’t want to use Grammarly or ProWritingAid. To learn more, read our Grammarly vs Chegg comparison

  • Affordable
  • Includes a citation manager
  • Easy-to-use
  • No mobile app
  • Less plugins and desktop apps than competitors

Why You Can Trust Us

Over the years, I (Bryan) have written dozens of essays for newspapers, magazines, and online publications. Several years ago, I also completed a Master’s thesis at Trinity College Dublin, which was awarded a distinction. I also have a degree and several diplomas from various Irish universities.

I worked with Tyler to select these essay checkers based on usability, functionality, and affordability for students and essayists. A good essay checker should help you find and fix errors in your work and submit it on time. It should aid rather than hinder the essay writing process. We also reviewed several of these essay checkers individually. I’ve included links to those reviews.

The Final Word on the Best Essay Checkers

Picking the best essay checker depends on your budget, the complexity of your essay and your needs. We like Grammarly and ProWritingAid the most due to the balance between cost and accuracy. They both work everywhere and will catch more mistakes and issues than free essay checkers.

Antidote and Quillbot are more affordable options, the latter standing out due to its citation manager. Correct English is another excellent choice as it supports style guides. PaperRater holds a middle ground between free and premium apps. We’d avoid free tools for any important writing or essays.

Best Essay Checkers FAQs

How Do You Check A Mistake In An Essay?

After writing your essay, set it aside for a few hours or days. Then read through it on a different screen from where you wrote it. Or print it out. Mark up your changes with a red pen or using the comments feature of your writing app.
You may also find it helpful to copy and paste your essay into an app. During each pass, check your essay for different mistakes, e.g spelling, citations, and plagiarism. 

How Do You Proofread An Essay?

Print out your essay or research paper and read it aloud in a quiet room. If this isn’t possible, check the formatting and font to Courier 14 double-spaced. You will spot errors faster. Proofread it at a different time to writing it. An essay checker can also help spot errors faster.

Is There A Website That Can Proofread My Paper?

There are several, including Grammarly, ProWritingAid, and Ginger. Finding the right one depends on your needs and budget and if you want to fix more than basic spelling mistakes.

Essay Writing Resources

What is a Personal Essay?

Great Essay Writing Topics

The Difference Between Grammar and Punctuation

Using an AI Grammar Checker

Transition Words For Essays

Essay Writing Tips


  • Tyler has been published on Huffington Post and Motely Fool. His article and blogs experience includes working for The Content Standard, Mad Mobile, Digital Landing, and Apass Education, among many others.

  • Bryan Collins is the owner of Become a Writer Today. He's an author from Ireland who helps writers build authority and earn a living from their creative work. He's also a former Forbes columnist and his work has appeared in publications like Lifehacker and Fast Company.