A Proofreader in Your Pocket

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A Proofreader in Your Pocket

A Proofreader in Your Pocket

A Guest Post by Nikolas Baron from Grammarly

Do you enjoy editing and proofreading your own work? If you’re like most writers, self-editing is a slog—but it doesn’t have to be.

You can use an automated proofreading tool, such as the popular program Grammarly, to supplement your self-editing process. There are several reasons why using software makes sense:

Save Time. Reviewing every line of text is a time-consuming and tedious process. Even a single pass through a manuscript takes up time you could spend writing, making it harder to hit deadlines.

A Second Set of Eyes. Automated proofreaders understand every grammar rule in the book so you don’t have to. They’re meticulous, accurate, and never need a coffee break.

Learn as You Proof. Grammarly offers in-depth explanations and examples for each error uncovered. It also tracks your most common mistakes to help you develop a personalized grammar primer.

Make Your Editor Happy. The cleaner your work is, the easier your editor’s job will be. You’ll gain confidence in knowing that your work is error-free before you turn it in!

What exactly is an automated proofreader? In a nutshell, it’s a program that uses complex algorithms to check for spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors. Like a super-charged version of your word processor’s spell-check, these programs are able to check errors in context to help you avoid embarrassing homonym mix-ups and other goofs. How many times have you accidentally typed the wrong to/too/two or their/they’re/there? It happens to the best of us!

Unlike conventional spell-check, however, these programs help you gain insight into your writing by analyzing not only individual texts but also by tracking your errors over time. You’ll be able to identify the areas of your writing that may need work, such as overuse of passive voice or adverbs. Grammarly even provides weekly email insights for subscribers that reveal information about your writing activity, grammar mastery, and vocabulary development.

It’s best to run an automated proofreader after you’ve completed your first draft. Trying to edit while you write tends to stifle your creativity and excitement for your work in progress. As the first step of your editing process, however, the software will serve as an initial pass that will result in cleaner copy for future edits. Trust me, your editor will thank you!

Of course, software will never fully replace human editors. Automated proofreaders are intended to supplement the editing process, but writers, editors, and proofreaders are able to make conscious stylistic choices that no machine can fully replicate. Grammarly is a tool that will help you write faster, cleaner, and better, but no software is perfect and you shouldn’t blindly accept every suggestion. Read the explanations provided and make your own informed decisions.

Grammarly is the most popular automated proofreading tool on the market with millions of users. It scans your writing for more than 250 types of grammatical and punctuation errors in seconds. Fiction writers, bloggers, marketers, editors, and educators all use it to make their lives easier and their copy cleaner. Grammarly is available as a free browser extension for Chrome and Safari to help you with everything you write online, including email, blog posts, and even tweets. It’s also available as an add-in for Microsoft Word and as a web-based application.

A tireless proofreader that’s on call twenty-four hours a day and catches your typos? It may sound too good to be true, but that’s exactly what automated proofreading software offers.

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2 Comments

  1. Anthony July 18, 2015 at 8:38 pm

    I have been receiving Davids writing tips for the past few years and have picked up lots of tips of what I was already doing right and others that I had been missing in my writings. An excellent source of information and ideas.

    • David Farland July 21, 2015 at 8:18 pm

      Thank you Anthony! That’s very good to hear.

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