Is Grammarly good for students? Discover if Grammarly is good for high school or college students and how it can improve a piece of writing.
Several years ago, I spent 18 months writing a thesis for a post-graduate degree. After I finished writing it, I spent another fortnight checking my work for grammar errors with the help of a friend. The night before the submission date, I stayed up till two am reviewing the final draft for any last-minute typos.
Thankfully, students and those in academia can dramatically speed up these last-minute checks using grammar check software like Grammarly.
I’ve spent dozens of hours testing and using some of the best and lesser-known grammar checkers. I use them to check various audiences’ blog posts, articles, books, and technical papers. Grammarly is my preferred tool for students. In this article, I explain what high school and college students should expect from it.
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- Why Do Students Use Grammar Checkers?
- 1. It Fixes Grammar Issues Easily and Accurately
- 2. It Provides Context To Grammar Errors
- 3. It Improves the Readability of a Student’s Work
- 4. It Includes a Custom Dictionary and Style Guides
- 4. It Supports Plagiarism Checks
- 6. It’s Affordable
- 7. It Saves Hours of Time Editing
- 8. It Supports Editing On Multiple Devices
- 9. It Builds A Student’s Writing Vocabulary
- What Grammarly Doesn’t Do For Students
- The Final Word On Grammar Checkers For Researchers
Why Do Students Use Grammar Checkers?
A student’s time is best spent engaging with their learning materials, writing compelling essays and papers and collaborating with peers. While understanding basic grammar rules is helpful, a student often doesn’t have time to spend hours learning the finer points of punctuation and syntax.
Students use grammar checkers to save time editing and revising their work. They also use them to avoid incidents of accidental plagiarism. They also help them learn English grammar while editing their work. It can help a student write confidently and submit their papers on time.
1. It Fixes Grammar Issues Easily and Accurately
Grammarly can serve as the last line of defence before submitting an essay, a research paper or a piece of academic writing for grading or publication.
Students should expect it to scan their papers and fix spelling, grammar and syntax issues quickly and easily. Typically Grammarly corrects more problems than the grammar checker bundled with an operating system or basic word processor. These fixes come with context, too, so a student can decide what to accept or ignore. To learn more, read our guide to the best grammar checkers.
2. It Provides Context To Grammar Errors
Students in high school aren’t as comfortable with following basic grammar rules. It’s challenging to figure out where an apostrophe goes and what constitutes correct syntax.
The Premium version of Grammarly contains tooltips that offer additional context for each mistake and suggestions. These tooltips also present other real-world tips. In short, it’s a type of interactive grammar guide.
When editing a piece, a student should pick a goal regarding audience, domain, intent and formality. These goals tailors suggestions and context from this grammar checker.
3. It Improves the Readability of a Student’s Work
Students, particularly post-graduates, tend to write complex essays and papers. They often use specific terminology, terms and phrases. However, students must also ensure their pieces have a good readability score if they want the intended audience to engage with them.
Grammarly can scan a student’s academic writing and provide metrics about the readability score using the Flesch-Kincaid test. Although it is unlikely a student can use a grammar checker to achieve a ninth-grade reading level, they can use these tools to simplify complicated or unnecessary language.
For example, students can determine their intended audience and domain expertise using Grammarly. This grammar checker then tailors readability and style suggestions for the researcher to review. Learn more about the Grammarly readability score.
4. It Includes a Custom Dictionary and Style Guides
Students rely on words, phrases and terms specific to their studies. Often these words, phrases and terms are flagged as grammar and spelling errors by a basic or free grammar checker. All those red and blue lines are distracting to review in Microsoft Word or Google Docs!
However, students can add terms to the Grammarly custom dictionary, so they’re no longer flagged as errors. Students can then ensure these terms are spelt and capitalised consistently throughout their work. This consistency leaves a good impression on readers.
Similarly, a student may want to apply and adhere to commonly used style guides like MLA, APA or the Chicago Manual of Style. Grammarly supports style guides and custom dictionaries, with some limitations.
4. It Supports Plagiarism Checks
Students spend a significant amount of time reviewing primary and secondary sources. While secondary sources lend credibility to a student’s work, they can open them up to potential issues, like accidental plagiarism.
Similarly, a student may want to use a compelling factoid or statistic, but they can’t find the source. A good grammar checker enables a student to check their paper for incidences of accidental plagiarism and also verify references and citations. It only takes a few minutes for a student to run a plagiarism check, and it can prevent some issues later.
To learn more, check out our guide to the best plagiarism checkers.
6. It’s Affordable
Students in academia often work on a limited budget and don’t have the financial resources to spend on fancy software. So they sometimes rely on free grammar checkers. Unfortunately, free grammar websites typically monetise via distracting ads. These ads are off-putting while editing a paper. Similarly, free tools often have a limited feature set or can only check a small number of words.
Grammarly is an exception. The free plugin doesn’t present any ads to students. It’ll also find and fix more errors than a basic grammar checker.
Grammarly Premium costs $30 per month per user. A plagiarism checker is included as part of this subscription and doesn’t cost extra, unlike other tools. The premium version also offers more context to its suggestions. For those on a tight budget, Grammarly student discounts are available too.
7. It Saves Hours of Time Editing
Instances of weak writing often creep into a student’s first draft, for example, the passive voice, clunk words, and cliches. Reviewing these writing issues before a deadline isn’t always possible, particularly if the paper or essay is long.
Enter Grammarly feature is its AI-writing assistant. This tool often suggests multiple complete sentence rewrites that students can accept or reject at a click. It also identifies instances of weak writing for the student to fix. Competitors lack an AI-powered writing assistant offering complete sentence rewrites.
8. It Supports Editing On Multiple Devices
Grammarly enables using five devices so students can work from anywhere on their devices. For example, they could write a draft on a home computer and check it for errors on a college laptop.
Some students worry about losing their work. Grammarly works online only, but it’s compliant with most security standards, including SOC-3 and GDPR. I’ve used it to check hundreds of articles and never lost anything.
9. It Builds A Student’s Writing Vocabulary
If you’re in high school or an English language student, chances are you want to improve your vocabulary. Some writers keep a dictionary and thesaurus next to their desks but let’s face it; most students don’t have the time or inclination to use one regularly.
Using Grammarly, a student double-clicks on a word they want to replace with an alternative and double-click on it. It presents a writer with synonyms. These options can help someone learn how to write in English, find better words, and discover new ones!
What Grammarly Doesn’t Do For Students
Grammarly isn’t perfect. Students shouldn’t expect it to manage their citations. For that, they’re better off served using a tool like Quillbot or Chegg.
Read our guide to the best citation managers to learn more.
Its support for style guides is helpful but somewhat limited versus competitors. We tested other tools that can apply a style to headings at a click. Grammarly also works online only. Students who need offline access should check out Antidote. Read our Antidote review to learn more.
Finally, Grammarly can only check several thousand words at a time. So if a student is checking a thesis or dissertation, they’ll need to work chapter by chapter rather than checking it all at once.
The Final Word On Grammar Checkers For Researchers
We reviewed and profiled the best grammar checker extensively on this site. In our tests, Grammarly regularly ranks number one due to its feature-set, AI-powered writing assistant and ease of use. We also love its plagiarism checker. We weren’t the only ones. Academics in this Research Gate thread also praised Grammarly.
That said, students have options. Quillbot is particularly good for managing citations and bibliographies. We also liked Antidote, which works without Internet access and is comparable to Grammarly. However, it lacks a plagiarism checker.
In short, students should pick one grammar checker that fits their academic writing needs. In many cases, that’s Grammarly.
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