Heather Sanders

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January 2014



I’m a writer and blogger–not a grammarian.

Written by , Posted in Homeschooling, Reviews

I'm a writer and blogger--not a grammarian.

I use Grammarly’s online grammar checker because I’m a writer and blogger–not a grammarian, so like my Chucks, it’s a good fit.

Grammarly has been a helpful digital editing tool in my blogging belt for a year now, and as of last week, I submitted full payment ($139.95) to renew my annual subscription. These two reasons are why I decided to accept the company’s offer of an Amazon gift card in exchange for a “writing-related” sponsored blog post.

For the record, I also joined their affiliate program. I’m not a fan of ads junking up sidebars, but Grammarly closely aligns with one of the main focuses of my blog (education), and since I plan to continue using it in my own writing, I like the idea of affiliate earnings possibly covering my future annual renewals.

My Introduction to Grammarly

I found Grammarly while researching online plagiarism checkers. I also figured I would need the grammar checker assistance when grading and commenting on the 15 page research papers assigned to my “20th Century World History and Literature” students I taught in our cooperative’s 2012-2013 homeschool year.

Using Grammarly, it was easy enough to upload each student’s paper, select a document type, click to initiate a review (the program scans text searching for more than 250 different types of common grammatical mistakes), and once complete, download the report summary. As with any automatic proofreading application, I did not solely rely upon the results, but it certainly proved to be helpful; in addition, a plagiarism check brought up any instances immediately.

What I discovered was my own itch to re-work and re-write the students’ passages, which of course, they needed to do; so instead, I began uploading my own writing for review.

Becoming a Stronger Writer

I’ve always considered myself a decent writer, but Grammarly made it clear my writing needed significant amounts of work.

My blogs were teeming with extra or missing commas, comma splices, dangling modifiers, split infinitives and lacked parallel structure. There were too many instances of passive voice, and believe it or not, a tendency toward overly wordy sentences (ahem).

If I had my way and an endless budget, I would hire a human proofreader to provide daily constructive criticism of my work. The thing is; I don’t always get my way, and I am on a limited budget. Thankfully, Grammarly provides quick feedback–identifying basic errors, flawed patterns, and specific areas where my writing style needs improvement.

Funnily enough, what Grammarly doesn’t catch, my readers do; so I guess I lied–I DO have human proofreaders after all!

Heather Sanders


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