If you're a writer, particularly one that earns a living out of it, you need to find tools that can help you write faster, better, and error-free. Coming up with content is already hard. You don't want to risk missing your deadlines by spending hours checking your work for misspelled words or mistakes in using tenses especially since there are tools for that.
The problem lies not in the lack of writing and editing tools but in the overabundance of them. And it can be difficult to choose which ones are worth trying out. Let's check out two popular tools: Hemingway and Grammarly.
Both of these tools have their own set of features, so it would be beneficial to check out what each can offer. You might end up choosing both rather than picking one over the other since the two software target different aspects of your writing. Together, these tools will ensure that you write the best text ever.
What is Hemmingway?
The Hemingway Editor is an online editing tool that analyzes text and provides suggestions to improve its readability. Readability refers to how easy it is for readers to understand the text. This is crucial because no matter how good your content is, if it cannot be understood by your target reader, then it would still be pointless.
This editing assistant provides each text with a readability score. This is the level of education that a reader needs to easily read that particular text. The lower the grade level indicated, the easier it is to read your text. For most, content with scores of Grade 9 and below is acceptable. However, it is better to hit a level between Grades 5 to 8.
How Does the Hemingway Editor Work?
Hemmingway checks texts based on five elements: number of adverbs, use of passive voice, availability of a simpler form of the sentence, complexity, and wordiness. The online interface highlights the problematic sentences and will wait for you to address them correctly before the color disappears.
Number of adverbs
Adverbs can weaken the verbs that you use in a sentence. Hemingway marks the unnecessary adverbs so you can make your work concise and powerful.
A text will always sound more effective if it uses an active voice. While using a variety of sentence structures keeps your work interesting, it is best to limit the use of the passive voice.
Overly wordy and complex sentences
The author, Ernest Hemingway, was known for his brevity in writing. The editing tool named after him honors this by helping writers come up with content that is simple and direct to the point. It highlights any sentence that can be rewritten into something simpler.
Besides the suggestion of using simpler vocabulary, the tool also looks for sentences that are too long or complex. Of course, varying the length of your sentences is good, but this should be done in moderation. So, the software will prompt you to break up some sentences into shorter parts.
How to Use Hemingway
Using Hemingway is straightforward. You don't need to install the app or sign up for an account. Just go to the website and start typing your text over the colorful sample text in the given box. You can also copy your work from any word processor and paste it into the edit box.
The app will highlight the parts that need editing. The highlights are color-coded to help you identify what you need to edit. Adverbs are shown in blue. Sentences containing the use of passive voice are highlighted in green, while sentences that can be simplified are highlighted in yellow.
On the right side of the screen, you will see your work's readability score. The more you fix the highlighted parts of your text according to the suggestions of the app, the lower the score will go. Just keep editing until you reach the level score appropriate for your target audience
Pros of Using the Hemmingway App
For writers who are seeking to improve their work by eliminating errors like wordiness and excessive use of adverbs, Hemmingway is an advantageous tool to use. Here are some other pros to using this software:
- It improves the strength of the text by identifying the use of passive voice.
- It marks up overly complex and messy sentences to help the author rewrite them into something more direct and simpler to understand.
- It highlights adverbs that can weaken the sentences.
- The editing assistant itself is easy to use and navigate. There is no need to install any app or extension or sign up for an account.
- Its free version is highly functional and should suffice for most writers' needs.
Cons of Using the Hemmingway App
- You can risk oversimplifying your work that it could sound too choppy or immature for your target readers.
- It can dampen your writing style or alter your voice if you rely heavily on its suggestions.
As with other writing assistants, Hemmingway is a tool to help you improve your text without needing to spend hours editing your work. However, it is still up to you to choose the suggestions that you will take.
What is Grammarly?
Grammarly is a sophisticated writing assistant. It covers the basic spelling and grammar checks that regular tools offer. Besides grammar and spelling mistakes, it highlights errors involving punctuation, misuse of terms, and sentence structure. On top of that, the software also offers a host of other features that help improve the text's readability as well as a plagiarism checker.
It was first released in 2009. The product is now available as a desktop app, web app, and software plugins. You can use Grammarly in typing impeccable essays, emails, articles, and so on in Microsoft Word, Facebook, WordPress, and more. It has become the go-to writing and proofreading tool of professionals due to its accuracy and ease of use.
How Does Grammarly Work?
The primary goal of Grammarly is to correct any writing error by pointing out misspellings, grammar and punctuation errors, and faulty sentence structures. Its premium version comes with a plagiarism checker that scans more than 16 billion websites to check for unintentional plagiarism.
Grammarly is supported by a highly intuitive AI system. It checks text based on the settings chosen by the writer. With Grammarly, you can choose the language settings so that it can check your work properly even if you write in British English, Australian English, and more.
Unlike other online editing tools, Grammarly can build your personal dictionary. You can add here your preferred spellings and words so that the tool will stop flagging them as mistakes. This way, you don't have to repeatedly dismiss the suggestions when it flags a specific proper noun or jargon that you use for your work.
How to Use Grammarly
Before you use Grammarly, you have to choose which version you want to try out. There is a dedicated app for Outlook and Microsoft Office, a Chrome extension for Google Docs, and mobile apps for iOS and Android smartphones. All these versions work the same way. It is only the installation that varies.
Using the App
To use the app, you need to create and log into your Grammarly account. Simply follow the prompts from their website. Then you have to download the add-in that you need. Follow the prompts of the installer wizard. Once installed, the software will now appear when you launch Word or Outlook.
If you are using a Mac, you can download the add-in by clicking on the Insert tab of Word. Click on the Get Add-ins or Store option and search for Grammarly. It will automatically be added to your Microsoft Word when you click on Add. You can now use the app. Enable Grammarly so that it can start giving you real-time suggestions.
You can adjust the setting by clicking the "Open Grammarly" button. The sidebar will appear so you can select your writing goals, the types of errors you want it to look for, and turn on other features. Simply type your document the way you normally would. Whenever you commit a mistake, the add-in will indicate it.
Hover on that to see the suggestion for fixing the error. Click on the suggestion that fits your work best and Grammarly will automatically edit your work for you. You can also click on Dismiss if any of the suggestions do not fit what you are writing.
Using the Extension
If you want to use Grammarly on the text you write on Google Docs, you'd need to get the extension for Google Chrome. Find the Extensions button in the web store. Search for Grammarly. Click on the "Add to Chrome" option. Once the installation is finished, you'll find its icon at the top right of the window. Click on that to set up your preferences.
Once you've set it up, Grammarly will start checking anything that you write online. It will mark any error and offer suggestions. You will also see an assistant icon. Clicking on this will let you access the in-depth explanation for its suggestions. Reading the explanations will help you write better and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.
Using the Browser Application
Go to the website and sign up for a Grammarly account. Log in so you can use the program. You can choose to create a new document from the browser app or upload an existing one from your computer. The app will start making editing suggestions immediately. Click on the text that is marked so that you can see the short explanation of why it is wrong. Select the suggestion that you think fixes the issue.
The Pros of Using Grammarly
Grammarly is touted as one of the best tools out there for improving one's writing. It is an essential assistant for students who are working on their essay projects to professional writers. You can even be a professional who sends out emails to your colleagues and clients and still get so much help from Grammarly because it has so much to offer.
- It posts real-time assistance. Instead of needing to write everything and checking for errors after you're done, you receive immediate feedback from Grammarly once you've typed your text.
- The software has high accuracy.
- It doesn't just tell you that what you wrote is wrong. It explains why a particular text is wrong and provides suggestions on how to edit it.
- The user can customize the settings. You can select your preferred language, style, and tone.
- All of its versions are easy to use.
The Cons of Grammarly
Given all of its features, Grammarly is not perfect. There are some disadvantages if you choose to use this editing assistant.
- Its free version works almost like the general spelling and grammar checker found in most word processing software.
- You need to get the premium version if you want to use more features like the plagiarism checker.
- It is more expensive than other editing tools.
Hemmingway has a free version that you can use any time. You don't have to sign up before being able to use the online editor. You can also purchase the premium version for $19.99. This is a one-time fee for the Hemingway Editor app.
The main benefit of getting this is you'd be able to use the app even without an Internet connection. Plus, it has one-click integrations with any WordPress blog and Medium. You can publish your work on these platforms through the Hemingway Editor.
It also enables the user to send text with Hemingway highlights to others. This is particularly helpful for teams. Members can send any piece of text that requires rewriting to the writers or editors. With the highlights intact, the writer will instantly know what mistakes to address.
Grammarly also has a free version. This has the spelling, grammar, and punctuation error checker. It also provides a tone detection report. You can set the language setting to American, British, Canadian, or Australian English. Plus, it works with various web browsers and word processors.
To access the additional tools that it offers, you need to pay the subscription fee. There are two types: individual and team plans. For the individual users, you can opt to pay monthly, quarterly, or annually.
The monthly fee for Grammarly premium is $29.95. For the Quarterly option, it would cost you $19.98 a month (One-time payment of $59.95). And for the annual fee, you'll need to pay $139.95. That comes out as $11.66 a month, which is significantly lower than the other plans.
If you work with several writers, it will be cheaper to go for the Team Plan. This comes with tools for onboarding as well as for monitoring subscriptions and engagements. The total cost will depend on the size of your team but comes out as $10 per member. This is billed annually. You should have at least 3 members to avail of this plan.
The benefits of getting Grammarly Premium are access to more corrections, getting genre-specific results, use of the plagiarism checker, and more. Plus, should you encounter any problems, Grammarly provides 24/7 expert support to help you find a solution.
Both Grammarly and Hemingway are essential tools that will help any writer perfect their written work. Grammarly focuses more on the grammar, spelling, and punctuation aspects of the text, while Hemmingway is more about improving your writing's strength and readability.
If you simply want to ensure that your work is error-free, then running your work through the free version of Grammarly should be enough. If you are sure about your grammar and want to write a more impactful text, then you should edit it with the help of Hemmingway. It is up to you to decide which one will best fit your editing needs.