Every writer faces scenarios like these at one point or another:
- You finished writing your first few chapters of that novel you’ve had in mind
- Your friend wants to read the first draft of your sci-fi thriller
- You’re submitting a book proposal to an agent
But you haven’t gotten the chance to do much more than a rough skim for outstanding issues. Proofreading, revising, editing — they’re incredibly important steps, but can take a lot more time than you want to spend on it right now.
Voila, 10 online grammar and spelling tools that will help you perfect the mechanics of your writing. Whether you’ve been writing for a while or you’re new to the world of reviewing your hard-earned words, these resources make it easier for you to polish and prepare your writing for others’ eyes.
1. ProWritingAid: for everyone
“Because your words matter. Our software helps turn your good writing into great writing. Improve readability and eliminate errors.”
An oldie but goodie. Knowing about this tool only became relevant to me recently — I was editing a friend’s first draft of his sci-fi novel and found myself wondering what tool would help him the most when he enters editing and proofreading land. My teammates Art and Will strongly recommended looking into ProWritingAid, and now my friend and I are both huge fans. It’s a really robust, all-in-one proofreading tool that is my number one go-to for all things writing/editing, and it integrates into commonly used editors as well (Word, Docs, Scrivener, etc.)
Put your writing through the tool and it will come up with an analysis summary that does checks you may not even have thought to do (sticky sentences for example. Apparently they are sentences that slow the reader down.)
Cost: FREE (up to 19 reports, on 3k words at a time)
2. Grammarly: for Chrome users
This Chrome extension checks for grammar and punctuation issues in all your online writing (even emails! Score.) I like how it’s with you throughout your writing day and does the foundational work to get your writing accurate without overwhelming you with ALL the rules your writing may or may not be breaking. (Sometimes we learn the rules so that we can break them, right? #duchamp)
3. Fiveeer: for low-risk help from people, not bots
“Millions of services, all at your fingertips. Welcome to the world’s largest marketplace for creative and professional services… starting at $5.”
I heard about Fiveeer from an active member of our Slack community for writers, WriterHangout, and the concept intrigues me. Essentially a large service-trading homebase, Fiveeer’s focus on hosting budget-friendly services makes it a low-cost step into getting writing help and feedback. Services run the gamut and thankfully there are ratings and recommendations to help you wade through the offerings.
4. Autocrit: for fiction writers
“Offers an online editing tool for writers, a writing advice center and a library of how-to articles written by published authors. “
Ask Autocrit to look at your work and it generates an enormous report filled with goodies. Extremely comprehensive, Autocrit collects data points one may never think of collecting or analyzing but now that they’re available, are somehow invaluable, such as:
- Compare to Published Fiction: comparisons of common, overused words and sentence constructions in your writing as compared to published works of fiction.
- Slow Paced Paragraph Analysis
- Cliches (e.g. “not even”, “one fell swoop”)
- Redundancies (e.g. “right now”)
Cost: $5/month (billed annually) for analysis of 1k words at a time, unlimited number of times.
5. Typosaurus: for words already on the internet
“Spelling errors made extinct.”
Type in the URL on Typosaurus and it scans that URL’s webpage for spelling errors.
Cost: FREE (and includes a Chrome extension that can scan your live tab)
6. Nurtz: for Slackers
For all you writerly Slackers out there, this may be the answer to your prayers. Get access to human proofreaders via joining Nurtz’ Slack team and get your writing proofread quickly.
Cost: $0.02/word, the first 100 words are free.
7. Kibin: for academic writing
They have a worldwide network of English-speaking editors around the world and offer proofreading around the clock, with results in 3+ hours. Send in your document and get it back with comments and edits, including accuracy checks on your footnotes! I now wish I had known about professional editing services such as this one back in college… could have used the help in my younger days, when making the transition from high school to college-level writing.
Cost: Price quotes vary depending on document type and word count
8. Ginger Software: for real-time edits on all devices
Live correction as you write, similar to Grammarly. The native app works on various devices and essentially edits your writing as you go; Ginger also offers translation and training services.
9. Slick Write: for a connected experience
Slick Write checks your writing for grammar errors, passive voice, and flow. You can edit your writing within the tool (which is not always the case, e.g. Autocrit just gives you a report), and also see some basic stats around your writing. I enjoyed trying this out because it felt easy to use and not overwhelming with the data.
10. Deep Grammar: a resource to keep an eye on
“A grammar checker based on deep learning. A good grammar checker must understand what we intended to write to know if it was written correctly.”
We all know that after the basic checks have been done, an expert human proofreader will hands down do a better job than any technology out there. Still, it seems the gap between machine and human proofreading may become smaller soon. Deep Grammar is aiming to build a solution to all the awkward sentences not caught by editing technology.
Hope this list of grammar and spelling tools helps you find a resource that works with your workflow! Please drop us a line if one of these tools is your go-to (we’d love to know why) or if you have another favorite (so we can try it out ourselves!)
Ready to finally take the next step and finish your writing project? Join TheRightMargin – We’ll show you how.