Read our guide to discover the best grammar checker for research papers and academic documents and what you can expect from these tools.
A friend of mine in college pulled an all-nighter to finish writing her dissertation and submit it on time. Afterwards, she was upset. She spent hours laboring over the final draft and later discovered a glaring typo on page one. That typo lowered her grade.
I remember how upset she was when I started writing a thesis for my post-graduate degree years later. It was one of the most challenging writing projects I have ever embarked on. I spent almost two years on it. My thesis underwent multiple revisions, and I enlisted the help of a friend to check it for grammar errors and mistakes.
Thankfully, these days it’s easier to scan a research paper for grammar mistakes using spell checkers and grammar checkers. They can act like a line of defense before submission and should help you achieve error-free writing. These tools can even save time with those painful citations. In this round-up, I profile the best grammar checkers for research papers and what you can expect from them.
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Pricing: Free/$30 per month
Grammarly is an excellent all-around grammar checker and is especially suited for academic use. It works across platforms and devices; this includes Windows and Mac IOS, Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. In addition, grammar-checking software uses an artificial intelligence writing assistant to instantaneously review and fix grammar, syntax, and spelling errors.
If you are grammar-checking a paper over several thousand words, remember to paste in sections rather than upload it all at once. Grammarly provides suggestions until your piece is error-free, meaning you can improve your writing skills as you go.
Research paper writers regularly use complex terminology and scientific terms. For this reason, a research paper writer will get the best value from Grammarly Premium. The premium version enables users to create a custom style guide and add snippets to build a personal library of terms for their papers. The premium version also includes a plagiarism checker.
Academics can scan their work for issues of accidental plagiarism. However, Grammarly only checks papers against articles freely available online. In other words, don’t expect it to compare a document against a gated research paper. Grammarly also offers discounts for students and educational institutions.
In the below video, I cover how you can generate citations quickly and easily for MLA, Chicago Manual of Style and APA using Grammarly. To learn more, read our Grammarly review.
Pricing: $70 per year
ProWritingAid is a popular alternative to Grammarly that works on almost many devices.
It is ideal for long-form grammar checking and includes dozens of good writing and proofreading reports. These are designed to catch common grammar mistakes and other issues. Others relate to questions of writing style and the overall sentence structure of a research paper.
I particularly like its reports for addressing the readability of a piece of writing and word choice. A research paper writer can use this report to edit a document depending on their intended audience. If you write research papers in Scrivener, it can also work directly with these files.
ProWritingAid suffers from the same weaknesses as Grammarly for research paper writers. For example, it lacks a citation manager, and the plagiarism checker isn’t ideal for academics. In addition, mobile support lags behind Grammarly, although no severe research paper writers rely on a mobile. To learn more, read our ProWritingAid review.
Pricing: From $59.95 per year
Antidote is ideal for proofreading without internet access. Although less popular than Grammarly, Antidote was first released over 25 years and is actively developed. Research paper writers can choose from three versions: Antidote web, Antidote mobile, and Antidote 11. The web version operates via a browser like Chrome or Safari, while the mobile version works on iOS devices. It supports the English language and French. However, it lacks the same number of browser extensions as Grammarly.
Research paper writers with strict guidelines about what apps they can use will like Antidote 11. It installs onto their computer, and unlike an online tool, it scans and identifies grammar mistakes and issues locally rather than sending a research paper to the cloud. As such, it’s a good choice for academics concerned about online algorithms, privacy, and data security. Antidote offers custom dictionaries so that research paper writers can add various terms. It also provides a version for schools. However, don’t expect a citation manager.
Pricing: $19.95 per month
Quillbot was released in 2017 and today claims over 50 million users. Quillbot is an excellent academic proofreader. How it presents errors and the breadth of its reports doesn’t compete with Grammarly. However, in our tests, Quillbot fixed more spelling mistakes, grammar errors, and writing issues than inbuilt software in a basic word processor.
Academic paper writers will love the citation generator. This generator automatically formats any link, document, or reference based on a research writer’s preferred academic style and generates the correct citation. Users can build out a library of citations for their reports too. This citation manager should save research writers hours checking and formatting their bibliography and references.
Quillbot customers can use other premium tools for effective academic writing. The paraphrasing feature is helpful if you find this aspect of research writing a chore and need help with abstracts and summaries. To learn more, read our Quillbot review.
Pricing: Free trial/$10 per month
Chegg is a grammar checker aimed at students. It scans an essay for accidental plagiarism, identifies grammar mistakes, and fixes readability issues. It also handles citations, a feature a lot of tools lack. It’s a good, affordable essay checker if you don’t like Grammarly or ProWritingAid.
I found Chegg helpful but preferred Quillbot because of its extra features for a similar price. Chegg also offers a similar service called Easy Bib, which includes a citation manager. In addition, it syncs with Google Drive. To learn more, read our Grammarly vs. Chegg comparison.
Use for: checking essays and college submissions
Pricing: $7.95 per month
PaperRater is a grammar-checking software aimed at students. PaperRater is an excellent academic essay proofreader, founded in 2009, and is owned by Barnes and Noble Education. PaperRater claims to rely on artificial intelligence to check for spelling mistakes and plagiarism issues. Users can check an academic paper based on an intended education or reading level.
In testing, PaperRater missed mistakes and other issues Grammarly caught. Don’t expect the same breadth of proofreading reports, collaboration features, or citation manager. Although it’s affordable To learn more, read our Paperrater vs. Grammarly comparison.
7. CorrectEnglish (CE)
Pricing: $24 per month
Correct English is a grammar checker aimed squarely at the academic market. Correct English is a good proofreading tool for academics and essayists. We uploaded work from Google Docs and Microsoft Word in our tests and copied and pasted pieces.
Academics will love that it supports various writing style guides, including APA and MLA. You can apply these with a click when checking a paper inside the web app. We’ve yet to find another proofreading tool with a similar feature.
Research paper writers can try the free version and check up to 250 words. The premium version also includes a plagiarism check and access to Lexipedia. Use the latter to look up definitions, synonyms, and antonyms.
8. Hemingway Editor
Hemingway App is not a typical grammar checker. Hemingway App can help fix readability issues in research papers; however, it’s still a good tool for research paper writers concerned with readability. You can copy and paste work into the app or upload a Microsoft Word document, text, HTML, or Markdown file.
It helps a writer improve sentence structure and writing style. It also finds instances of weak writing and overused adverbs and adjectives. It’s great for avoiding wordy writing and improving the general readability of a paper.
However, Hemingway Editor isn’t a classic grammar checker. It doesn’t spot or fix spelling and grammar or classic punctuation errors. It also doesn’t generate reports or a citation manager; you can’t use it with Google Chrome or browsers via a plugin. That said, it’s free. You can buy a version that works locally, without internet access. To learn more, read our Hemingway App review.
9. Citation Machine
Citation Machine is free to use for generating citations. It’s ideal for generating sources quickly and easily. We’ve included it on this list as a research paper writer could try this tool in conjunction with a premium grammar checker that lacks a citation manager. Generate correctly formatted citations with Citation Machine and use a grammar-checking tool to fix other issues. The premium version costs $9.95 per month and includes a plagiarism checker.
Why You Can Trust Me
I worked as a professional sub-editor for several national newspapers and completed several proofreading courses. Over the years, I 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, awarded a distinction. I also have a degree and several diplomas from various Irish universities. On Become a Writer Today, I’ve worked with writing software reviewers to profile many of the best tools and apps, including the grammar-checking tools featured here.
We regularly update this roundup of grammar checker tools. In addition, we test the features inside these writing tools by checking PDFs, articles, book chapters, and blog posts for grammatical mistakes and other issues. These articles and writing samples range from several hundred to several thousand words. Typically, we test them using the web, desktop, and browser apps and plugins.
Best Grammar Checker For Papers: The Final Word
Research paper writers and academics looking for an all-around grammar checker should consider Grammarly. It is the easiest to use and offers educational bodies and employee discounts.
We liked Quillbot for how it handles citations. Correct English is lesser-known, if applicable, grammar checker that also handles citations nicely. Academics insistent on a grammar checker that works offline should check out Antidote.
FAQs About the Best Grammar Checker For Research Papers
How can I check my paper for grammar?
To check a paper for grammar, use a free or premium tool like Grammarly or Quillbot. Upload the paper into this grammar checker or paste sections of your work in it. Then, review the spelling and grammar issues and decide what to fix. Make sure to review your citations too.