6 reasons not to use Grammarly for your writing

Grammarly needs to improve its writing game to support automatic rewrites

Grammarly as a product is groundbreaking, even though it might seem like something simple. It employs an English language understanding and correction algorithm to improve people’s written output digitally. I have been using Grammarly as a paid subscriber for over two years. As my writing standard changed, the product started coming off a tad less than what I was expecting of it. Due to this, I began searching for similar products that could help me improve my writing output while keeping the subscription cost at or below the current level. The decision to leave Grammarly was largely an emotional one. I used it both on my mobile and laptop to correct small and large rewriting mistakes.

After writing for almost five years, I have come to understand that the key to effective writing is proper editing. But editing needs to be quick for me to stick with it. Grammarly or any error-fixing tool comes into the picture when the time arrives to publish the articles. So here are two things that I do when editing any of the articles before publishing —

  1. Editing the copy for structure, flow, and clarity of thoughts.
  2. Editing the language for easy understanding and readability. The easy way to do this is by reading your writing aloud. Reading via a text-to-speech program or yourself will allow you to get rid of the cumbersome bits.

Reading aloud

Although it is ok to use a text-to-speech program, it is better to read your writing because you’ll get to catch a few things while doing so —

  1. Find places where it is hard to speak. Change those lines and rephrase them in a way where it is easy to recite.
  2. Same as point 1, but different. Find places where you are out of breadth. Too many sentences do that and it is better to combine them.
  3. Find places where you stumble over words. Words that are hard to read are easy to stumble upon. Simply to improve writing quality for readability.

Make your writing skim-friendly

Consumers tend to skim a long article on their mobile phones. Internet traffic coming from mobile phones has surpassed that of traditional desktops or laptops. Hence, it is crucial to make your article skim-friendly. Make your writing easily digestible. Here are two things you can do —

  1. Break down a long paragraph into small less intimidating ones.
  2. Use a bulleted or numbered list to increase reading speed.

When it comes to fixing my writing based on the above standards that I shared I saw that Grammarly has the following issues —

  1. Grammarly’s language is too formal. It is not user-friendly. I always feel like I’m in an office. It is not my intention to sound like I am always writing cover letters for interviews.
  2. It fixes just the basic grammatical errors and leaves a lot to fix on the table.
  3. It doesn’t optimize your text for readability. Hard-to-read and very hard-to-read sentences are often missed and not brought to my attention.
  4. It doesn’t help in shortening or expanding my sentences.
  5. It doesn’t magically rewrite my sentences to different formats.
  6. Finally, it doesn’t let me switch the tone of my writing between casual and formal. This usually gives me options such as formal, knowledgeable, expert, and so on. These options often don’t cater to my needs. It rates my writing based on the setting but doesn’t rewrite it.

Where does Grammarly do well?

  • Grammarly is available almost everywhere. The team has done a good time of detecting a text area and surfacing the tool using either a Chrome-based plugin or a native Mac app.
  • Grammarly’s tone detection is 🔥 and always tells me the final tone that my blog posts are conveying.
  • Changing a word to a similar-sounding synonym is a feature that I haven’t found any other automated writing software and Grammarly provides a wide variety to choose from.
  • Grammarly’s badges and streaks system is commendable and gives me a weekly summary of how much I am writing. You can read more about Grammarly streaks compared to other products 👇.
  • To enhance writing for readability, active-passive, adverbs, and out-of-breath sentences I would recommend Hemmingway Editor. It is free and a stellar tool for simplifying your writing.
  • Other issues like shortening/rewriting sentences or changing the tone of the sentence can be done using Wordtune Editor. It also takes care of your basic grammar issues.
  • Lastly, I would recommend continuing to use Grammarly (free) for fixing basic grammar and spelling mistakes. You can use it as a way to fix the first set of issues and then go into my advanced ones using Wordtune and Hemmingway Editor.

If you want to read a bit more about how Grammarly and its various mechanisms function then you can check out this article 👇.

Thanks for making it to the end. I hope you gained something from it.

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UX Writing Weekly #201 – UX WRITING HUB

UX Writing Weekly #201 – UX WRITING HUB


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