For Grammar checks, Grammarly is at the top of my list
But, that doesn’t mean it’s perfect.
Or even the one you should only be using.
It has a few drawbacks. And there are several options, like ProWritingAid, that are as good or better than Grammarly in some areas.
So in this article, I'll compare Grammarly with ProWritingAid to draw the differences and help you understand what each of these tools is useful for.
If you're looking for a more thorough explanation, that's what I'll cover in this article:
ProWritingAid vs. Grammarly: Head-to-Head Editor Comparison
The Grammarly vs. ProWritingAid battle is difficult to resolve without considering your priorities, so I've decided to compare the two based on key factors:
- User Interface
- Writing reports
Grammarly has more apps and integrations available, which includes mobile. This allows you to maximize its features even as you fiddle with your phone daily. Grammarly wins.
2. User Interface
Grammarly lets you jump from one part of your work to another so you can quickly skim and edit grammar corrections. With ProWritingAid, you’ll have to manually scroll through everything so you can address all issues. Grammarly wins.
Both are formidable when it comes to correct grammar and style. Although fiction writers favor ProWritingAid, applying all edits without sound evaluation for both softwares can leave your writing to be bland. Sound judgment is needed when you’re using either. Tie between both.
4. Writing Reports
ProWritingAid is an excellent tool if you want to continually improve on your writing. Targeting one aspect at a time. Put in a conscious effort to create better work. Indeed, this can be achieved if you take the multiple reports available to you to heart. ProwritingAid Wins.
ProWritingAid offers several pricing packages that allow for more flexibility in choosing what you need and don’t need. It also provides a Lifetime payment, so you don’t need to pay for a subscription monthly, unlike Grammarly. ProwritingAid Wins.
Grammarly is the go-to for proofreading and editing tools. It detects errors in grammar, spelling, punctuation, style, and more. That’ll help you avoid embarrassing typos and grammatical errors.
You can take it anywhere with you because it has browser, desktop, and mobile applications available.
This way, you can be sure that all your communications –casual or professional –are clean and error-free. It facilitates clear communication by making sure your sentences are concise and your thoughts are clear-cut.
How to Use Grammarly?
Step 1: Sign up for an account or log in at Grammarly’s website
Using Grammarly is simple, even if it’s your first time.
To start, it’s best if you can make an account first. You’ll also have an option to “Proceed without making an account” if it’s not yet something you’re comfortable doing.
That’ll take you to something like a demo with a pre-set text. On the right-hand side, you’ll see the app’s corrections that you can evaluate and apply as you wish.
You won’t be able to input your own text yet for this demo, but that’ll give you a feel of what it works, to help you evaluate if it’s worth trying on with your own account.
Once you’re ready to proceed, you can sign up using your email, Facebook, Google, or Apple account.
Registration is quick and easy. You can use your Facebook account, Google Account, or Apple ID, if you don’t want to use your email address.
If you already have an account, simply log in.
Step 2: Choose your platform and download
The quickest way to use Grammarly is through its web editing tool (Grammarly Web Editor). However, they also offer apps and integrations for your browser, desktop, or even mobile. Choose one that fits your preference and workflow. Or better yet, get all of them as applicable.
Step 3: Create a new document or upload one
Write in real-time, copy and paste, or upload your writing in Grammarly to let it evaluate your work. If you’re working with Microsoft Office or Google Docs, you can choose to opt for the software integrations.
Step 4: Adjust Language Settings and Goals
For Grammarly to effectively suggest edits according to your writing goals, it’s important to communicate them with the software first.
Choose between American, British, Canadian, or Australian English. Grammarly also asks you to identify your intended audience, level of formality, domain, and tone through a short questionnaire. This helps it edit in such a way that it resonates well with your readers.
Step 5: Check feedback and address errors
Finally, when all is set, you can proceed to edit your document.
Grammarly organizes all its correction suggestions on the right side of your document. You’ll find a report on your writing’s Overall Score. Correctness, Clarity, Engagement, Delivery, and Style are also flagged, depending on your set goals.
Corrections and reports are at the right side of the interface.
Clicking on the notes and suggestions will immediately take you to the part of the text that needs your attention.
In the next section, we’ll discuss these and Grammarly’s features in more detail.
1. Language Preferences
As previously mentioned, Grammarly lets you choose between American, British, Canadian, or Australian English.
Although they’re all English, they differ in terms of several fundamentals, especially on spelling. Words like “Realize,” “defense,” and “burned” are correct in American English. Accidentally setting your Grammarly to British English, however, would cause the software to flag the spelling for edits into “realize,” “defence,” and “burnt.”
This makes Grammarly the right choice, no matter where you are in the English-speaking world. If you’re a British writer trying to write for an Australian audience, Grammarly helps you adapt reasonably quickly.
2. Set Goals
Grammarly presents a detailed but easy-to-fill-in questionnaire for you to fill it in with your writing goals.
Spoiler alert: This is more detailed than that of ProWritingAid.
Filling this in would give Grammarly a better idea of who you’re writing for and the tone that best fits that audience.
If you’re a blog writer or a marketer, you might tend to write for several communities. This feature can help you adjust your tone and voice according to what you need.
3. Real-time Feedback and Correction Assistant
Apart from the desktop and web editor, you can use Grammarly as a browser extension and on your mobile. This lets you take advantage of real-time feedback, even while you’re merely updating your social media status.
Some writers prefer writing paragraphs directly on the web or desktop editors. This gives them to edit as they correspond to address them immediately, instead of managing 50 corrections in one go.
Personally, I prefer writing my drafts in peace and then editing in one full sweep. This helps me get a feel of my overall tone before I apply revisions.
But of course, to each his own. Grammarly gives you options, and that’s what’s most important.
4. Overall Score and Feedback
After evaluating your work, Grammarly presents you with an Overall Score. This summarizes how well your writing adheres to the goals you set. Clicking on it will give you a detailed report on your work. The information includes details such as Word Count, Reading Time, Average Sentence Length, Readability Score, and Unique Words, among others.
This honest and objective assessment of your writing can serve you well if you’re serious about improvement.
5. Flagging for Correctness, Clarity, Engagement, Delivery, and Style
Corrections in Grammarly go beyond grammar mistakes and spelling checks (Correctness). It also helps you make sure that your writing is easy to understand (Clarity), engaging (Engagement), and is delivered with confidence and sincerity (Delivery).
Style is also taken into account. This is determined if you’ve correctly set your Goals in the earlier mentioned questionnaire.
Correctness addresses spelling and typographical errors. It also looks at your subject-verb agreements, tenses, prepositions, and double spaces, among others.
Clarity points out sentences and phrases that are too wordy and can be challenging to read. It’ll also alert you if your sentence has a passive voice. While it explains that it’s not a grammatical error, it’s a better choice if you want to communicate with brevity and accountability.
Engagement corrections usually suggest using different words to encapsulate your message more appropriately to your audience. It also encourages variety in your vocabulary so that your sentences don’t sound monotonous.
Delivery and Style point out technical issues that affect how credible you sound.
6. Plagiarism Checker
Plagiarism is a huge issue when it comes to content creation. Unfortunately, with the abundance of information and sources online, it can happen to any writing piece, although unintentionally.
Grammarly Premium has a Plagiarism checker. This compares your writing against billions of pages online –from articles to forums– to help you identify if you’ve forgotten to cite a source, or used a similar sentence by accident.
7. Expert Writing Help
Unnoticeable to most is the small panel at the lower right part of Grammarly’s interface that allows you to get Expert Writing Help from a human editor.
While Grammarly does an excellent job of auditing grammar and sentence structure, a human editor’s ability to grasp a piece of content’s context is still unparalleled by any machine.
The rates depend on how fast you need the work to be done and how thorough you need them.
Hire a human editor through Grammarly
If you’re creating a significant piece of content, this may be a better option than relying solely on artificial intelligence.
8. Applications and Integrations
Grammarly is available on the following platforms:
- Web: Grammarly Web Editor
- Browser: Grammarly Chrome Extension, Grammarly for Safari, Grammarly for Firefox, Grammarly for Microsoft Edge
- Microsoft Office: Grammarly for Microsoft Office (Windows)
- Desktop app: Grammarly for PC, Grammarly for Microsoft Word on Mac
- Mobile: iOS, Android
You avail of Grammarly through three pricing plans: Free, Premium ($11.66 a month), and Business ($12.5 per member per month).
The Free version and the Premium version offers varying degrees of access to its services for an individual user.
If you only need Grammarly for spelling, grammar, and punctuation checks, then the Free plan can be enough for you. However, if you appreciate in-depth feedback, then you’d surely enjoy Grammarly Premium. You’ll get insight into sentence clarity, tone, word choice, fluency, and delivery. The Plagiarism Checker is also only available on the latter.
Business version provides all Grammarly Premium features for 3-149 users. It also has admin and user management panels for privacy and security.
Is the paid version of Grammarly worth it?
Grammarly’s Free plan will give you the necessary grammar corrections. It’ll also tease you with its other suggestions that you’ll be able to access when you purchase Grammarly Premium.
If you’re just concerned about spelling and grammar, then then the Free plan would be enough for your needs. Using Grammarly will definitely give you better results than default built-in checkers.
If you have a job or a hobby that heavily relies on clear and eloquent communication, then a paid version of Grammarly will definitely be worth it for you. I can’t stress this enough! It’s so good, it’s almost essential.
Availing Grammarly Premium or the Business version is the best way to maximize what this powerful tool offers.
Grammarly Strengths and Weaknesses
Grammarly is useful to anyone who writes. Be it short social media captions or detailed reports, Grammarly can help you achieve writing that’s brief, clear, and concise. You can use it on all your devices, including mobile.
An important consideration, however, is the price. It requires a monthly subscription that’s more expensive than ProWritingAid.
You’ll also need to properly evaluate Grammarly’s proposals, especially if you’re a fiction writer. As a writing editor that prioritizes brevity, accepting all its suggestions may leave descriptive literary works feeling bland, generic, and clinical.
On a similar note, I've compared Grammarly vs Turnitin and reviewed Grammarly premium in detail.
ProWritingAid is a grammar checker recommended for students, writers, and, most importantly, fiction writers. It prides itself on being a “grammar checker, style editor, and writing mentor in one package.”
Like Grammarly, ProWritingAid is a powerful tool that spots technical errors and typos, along with suggestions for eloquence and flow.
However, unique to it are its in-depth writing reports that are more detailed than any others in the market. These’ll help you spot bad habits and improve your skills.
It supports imports and direct saving for Scrivener software, which is part of many writers’ workflows. Best of all, these come at a (gasp!) smaller price tag. It even offers an option to buy all its features on a one-time purchase, instead of paying per month.
How to Use ProWritingAid
Step 1: Sign Up or Log In through the ProWritingAid.com
If you don’t have an account yet, you can sign in for free with your email address, Facebook, Bitbucket, or Company Domain. It’ll also ask you what type of writer you are: Fiction, Nonfiction, Academic, Business, Blogger, Copywriter, etc.
Step 2: Pick your platform
You have an option to use the web editor or any of their software integrations, which will be discussed more later. The home page offers the Chrome extension (possibly because it’s the browser I’m using). But if you don’t want it to take up space in your hard drive, you can opt to use their web editor instead.
Step 3: Upload or Create a New Document
Step 4: Adjust your Language Preference and Writing Style
The system for picking a writing style is compared to that of Grammarly. These settings will affect the suggestions and flagged errors of the app to your writing.
Step 5: Address Errors
The number of errors and suggestions are summarized at the top bar. It seems to, however, disappear once in a while. You can retrieve them by turning off the Real-Time function and then turning it on again.
Grammarly allows you to jump from one area of the text to another to view text suggestions. ProWritingAid, on the other hand, requires you to scroll through your work to find the underlined words or phrases that need your attention.
This isn’t the most user-friendly way to go about it, but it’s a great way to read through your text before accepting an edit. This way, you can better evaluate how each of them will affect your delivery as a whole.
1. Language Preferences and Writing Styles
ProWritingAid lets you write in General English, British English, US English, Australian English, or Canadian English.
As for Writing Styles, your simple choice comes with a predetermined set of rules that the software will follow as it evaluates your work. These parameters were derived by analyzing high-quality works from each genre and using the results as baselines for your work.
This means that, in a way, you’re essentially stacking your work against others in the field by simply using ProWritingAid.
You can choose between the following:
You can find details on how each genre differs from another in this article. Not choosing a style will classify your work as General by default. The General genre enables checks for inconsistent punctuation, capitalizations, and descriptive writing. It also discourages the use of business jargon to make sure that your paper is accessible for a general audience.
2. Real-Time Feedback and Corrections
Using a plugin or writing directly on your ProWritingAid editor will allow the software to scan it for errors as you write it. A badge appears at the upper left corner, which tells you how many suggestions it has so far.
With this and an in-built Thesaurus, you can address problems and improve your writing immediately.
3. Detailed Reports
ProWritingAid is loved because of its detailed feedback. The Free version gives you 19 of these, while the paid version allows you to take advantage of all 25 reports.
Each report focuses on an area of your writing that you want to focus on. The amount of data sounds unbelievable, but this is not an exaggeration. This grammar checker can produce a detailed report on the following aspects of your work:
- Writing Style
- Overused Words
- Cliches and Redundancies
- Sticky Sentences (Sentences that slow down the reader)
- Sentence Length
- Dialogue Tags
- Favored Sensory Perspectives
- Vague and Abstract Words
- Corporate Wordings
- Complex Words
It also offers a Combo Report and House Style Check that’s personalized parameters for yourself or your organization, respectively. You can find more details on each report in this article.
Being aware of your habits can help you continuously improve your writing. These can be tedious to go through for casual writers. But if you’re serious about your work, then this is an absolute joy to have access to.
4. Compatibility with Scrivener
ProWritingAid allows you to import your Scrivener works and navigate its chapters easily as you edit.
Scrivener is a sophisticated tool specially designed to cater to lengthy works of writing. It’s a great place to write manuscripts because it has functions that help you organize chapters and access source materials no matter what device you’re using. To no surprise, it’s a popular part of many writers’ workflow. The ease of using ProWritingAid with it makes the grammar checker an ideal choice if you’re a Scrivener user.
5. Plagiarism Checker
The Plagiarism Checker in ProWritingAid comes with an additional fee.
Avail of the ProWritingAid Plagiarism Checker for as low as $10.
It scans millions of documents on the web to find text that’s similar to yours. This helps you create unique pieces of content or cite sources for your research accordingly.
6. Human Editor
Like Grammarly, ProWritingAid gives you access to a service to hire human editors. Clicking on the tiny icon at the right side of your screen will transport you to the official website of First Editing, which offers professional editing services by experienced editors.
7. Apps and Integrations
ProWritingAid is available on a variety of platforms.
- Web: ProWritingAid Web editor
- Browser: Chrome extension, Firefox, Safari, Microsoft Edge
- Google Docs: Add-on for Google Docs
- Microsoft Office: Add-In for Microsoft Office (for Premium users)
- Desktop: For Mac and Windows
ProWritingAid offers three default packages: Free version, Premium version, and PremiumPlus.
ProWritingAid Free version allows you to edit 500 words and give you access to 19 writing reports. It also doesn’t provide you with access to the desktop editor.
ProWritingAid Premium allows you to use all the software’s features with no word count limit and no limitation.
You can choose to get Premium with no Plagiarism Checker, or with 50 Plagiarism Checks. The prices are as follows:
ProWritingAid PremiumPlus (with Plagiarism Checker)
Students can get 20% off on their purchases. You can also buy licenses in bulk for more discounts.
Try the Premium features for 14 days for free. They also have a refund policy if it doesn’t turn out to be what you’re looking for.
Is the paid version of ProWritingAid worth it?
ProWritingAid is a few grammar checker apps that offer full features for a lifetime purchase package option. It provides excellent editing and grammar checking capabilities, in-depth reports to help you better your writing, a vast amount of options for apps and integrations, and more updates to come in the future.
You’ll most likely need a grammar checker throughout your life as you finish school and grow your career.
Enjoying ProWritingAid’s full services will indeed allow you the convenience that is well worth its affordable price tag.
ProWritingAid Strengths and Weaknesses
ProWritingAid is an immensely powerful editing tool that’s useful for students and professionals alike. It’s flexible: you can use it to edit 500-word blog posts and lengthy manuscripts. It also integrates well with several platforms. Best of all, it comes at a very affordable price tag and a one-time purchase option.
Verdict: Grammarly or ProWritingAid?
ProWritingAid is definitely the more economical choice. It offers a powerhouse of functions and reports that you most likely won’t find anywhere else.
Grammarly is more available and easier to use. Its sleek interface allows you to work with it efficiently. Professionals would appreciate this because it removes a layer of friction in their workflow.
Choosing between Grammarly or ProWritingAid would solely depend on your priorities as a writer. If the price is essential and you’re looking into editing long manuscripts, ProWritingAid is a great route. If you’re looking for efficiency and availability, Grammarly would be your best bet