If you’re a writer looking into grammar checkers, you’ve already heard of Grammarly. Everyone has. But did you know that’s not the only option out there?
Grammarly is widely considered to be the best in the business, but there are some contenders. The biggest contender, and perhaps the only one on Grammarly’s level, is ProWritingAid.
ProWritingAid is a proofreading tool and grammar checker that has all of the basic features you would want, but also some more advanced options to set it apart from others.
Its more advanced reporting makes it a good fit for those looking to get very serious about writing. But it can also be helpful to just about everyone.
Read on to find out more about ProWritingAid, its pros and cons, and how it can help you.
What is ProWritingAid?
ProWritingAid is a grammar checker, in order words, it’s software you can use to check your text for grammatical errors.
But it does more than that.
ProWritingAid helps your text be more clear and concise. It gives you suggestions to improve readability and style. And it provides detailed reports so you can have a full, in-depth analysis of your writing.
Sadly, most of these features only come with the paid version. But if you’re serious about improving your writing. ProWritingAid can be a great tool.
Why do I need a proofreading tool?
You may think that you don’t need software to check your text: you can do just fine on your own. But the truth is, you’re human. You make mistakes. And having someone— or something— to help you catch those mistakes can be a very big help.
Using a grammar checker doesn’t mean that you’re a bad writer, or don’t know what you’re doing. If anything, it makes you a better writer, because you are using all the tools at your disposal to make sure your writing is the best it can be.
Software like ProWritingAid can help you sound more professional, or match whatever tone you need to in your writing.
It can help make your writing stronger, more clear, and more engaging.
So yes, you would benefit from using ProWritingAid or another proofreading tool. And so would most people.
Pros of ProWritingAid
This software has many features which make it a good choice, and a worthy competitor to Grammarly, which will be discussed soon. But for now, here are some of its best features:
- Much cheaper than other options: Being as low as half the price of Grammarly. It also has the option to buy a lifetime membership for only $240.
- Advanced reporting: ProWritingAid’s reports give you extensive feedback on your writing, so you can consider all of the ways you might be able to improve it.
- Available on many platforms: From desktop apps to browser integrations, this software is available nearly anywhere you might need it.
- Great explanations: Understand why certain changes would be better, instead of just being told something is wrong.
- Plagiarism checker: Helps you avoid accidental plagiarism and keep your writing 100% unique.
Cons of ProWritingAid
Of course, no tool is without its negatives, and you should be aware of them. Here are some of the biggest cons of ProWritingAid:
- Limited free features: The free version only covers 500 words and has much fewer features. To get the best out of this software, you have to pay for the Premium version. This is one area where Grammarly beats it out.
- No Mac integration for Microsoft Word: This setback could be a big one if you use Microsoft Word on Mac.
- Readability score is limited: It doesn’t always represent what you really intend for your writing.
- Suggestions may be too textbook: Sometimes, following all of its suggestions will remove all the personality from your writing. It’s up to you to consider what suggestions you keep, and which you don’t.
How ProWritingAid works
Like many other proofreading tools, ProWritingAid does have a free version. However, this caps at 500 words and doesn’t have the wide range of features available. So think of the free version as a free trial.
But if you’re willing to pay, ProWritingAid has a lot to offer.
First, it offers all the standard things that a grammar checker does. It checks your text for spelling mistakes, grammatical errors, etc.
These suggestions are also helpfully color-coded: red is spelling, grammar is blue, and yellow is style. This helps you know immediately what the problem is.
Once these errors pop up, you can simply click on them to see what the error is. Then you can choose whether or not to accept it or, in the case of spelling errors, add it to your personal dictionary.
ProWritingAid is available in many forms, so you can use it on many different devices. This makes it easy to improve your writing no matter where you are.
The most popular features of this software, though— and those that set it apart— are the reports.
ProWritingAid offers a variety of different reports that help you understand more about your writing and how you can improve it. Using these as a guide, you can significantly improve the quality and effectiveness of your writing.
The Summary Report is the general report that will open a page over your document and give you a rundown of the document as a whole.
This report starts off with an overall score, based on a composite of spelling, grammar, style, and terminology. Then it gives you suggestions on things you can do to improve this overall score.
Reading through this report, you can see things like word count, overused words, general readability, spelling issues, and more.
This overall report is a great starting point for seeing what areas of your document could be improved. From here, you can then go to other reports to view more detailed information about specific aspects of your writing.
The Style report gives you feedback on things like passive voice, use of adverbs, and readability. Remember to think carefully about these notes: when it comes to style, many things are a matter of opinion and taste. Although there are some general things (like passive voice) that can almost always be removed.
There are also other reports:
- Sticky Sentences points out areas where you use a lot of “glue words”— words that don’t carry the meaning of your sentence. It doesn’t say how to fix these, but it does point them out for you.
- Pacing identifies areas where the writing moves very slowly, and where readers might get bored.
- Readability tells you how quickly and easily the average reader could read your text.
- And more!
When looking at these reports and suggestions, remember to think about each one carefully. Sometimes, the choices you make are better for style, even if they aren’t cookie-cutter perfect. ProWritingAid’s tips are suggestions, not laws.
All of these reports also have links to pages that explain what the report means. This makes it easy for you to understand the report, without having to research a lot on your own.
And that is pretty much all you need to know about how ProWritingAid works. It helps you improve your writing in real-time, and gives you reports to help you understand how to improve your writing over the long term.
This software’s pricing is one of its best selling points. It starts at only $70 a year when you pay for it one year at a time. You can pay for multiple years at once, or even get a lifetime membership for only $240.
To include the plagiarism checker, that price goes up a bit: starting at $80 a year, and $340 for a lifetime. That is still only around half the price of Grammarly Premium.
And of course, you can use the free version, but it is very limited and you will find yourself frustrated fairly quickly. To get good use out of ProWritingAid, you have to go Premium.
Improving your writing
If you thought you didn’t need a proofreading tool, hopefully, this has changed your mind. They can help you improve your writing, but can also give you more feedback to increase your knowledge and skill as a writer.
Just remember: you are the expert on yourself.
If software like ProWritingAid gives you suggestions you don’t like, you don’t have to listen to them, especially if they are related to style. You might want to do things differently, and that’s ok.
But there’s no denying that the best proofreading tools can be very helpful. So if you’re serious about improving your writing, consider trying out ProWritingAid. It has a lot of great features that could really help you out.