by Ron Kurtus (revised 6 November 2008)
Good grammar is essential in writing. However, it is easy to miss a grammatical error, even if you are a skilled writer. Having someone proofread your work is not always possible, and since most people usually write on a word processor, it would be nice to have a computer-based grammar checker.
The most common one used is the grammar checker that is included with Microsoft Word. Two other grammar checkers are Whitesmoke Writing Software and Serenity Software Editor.
Questions you may have include:
- How good is Microsoft Word grammar checker?
- What about Whitesmoke?
- How good is the Editor grammar checker?
This lesson will answer those questions.
The grammar checker included in Word was developed in the 90s. For some reason, Microsoft has never upgraded their grammar checker since it was first developed. However, it still is the best grammar checker available, despite numerous criticisms of it.
When the feature is turned on, Word's grammar checker placed his green squiggly lines under questionable words or phrases. It then offers suggestions to correct the potential grammatical error. There seems to be a great emphasis on avoiding passive phrases.
When writing a web page, I will often copy and paste it into Word to check my grammar.
Whitesmoke writing software integrates well within Word and other writing applications. The company is continually upgrading the software application.
Whitesmoke combines being a grammar checker, spell checker and thesaurus, as well as giving style suggestions and including a dictionary. It is a good supplement to an initial check in Word. The thesaurus feature allows you to click on any word and see alternatives that will enhance your writing. There are also modules available for specific types of writing.
The program is also a good option for those using a word processor that does not include a grammar checker.
The application retails for about $79. You can go to their site for more information and to purchase the software from: WhiteSmoke Writer.
Serenity Software's Editor is a good grammar checker for teachers and students. It does not integrate with other word processors, so you need to paste your text into Editorials owned text processor. The resulting output not only checks your grammar but also offers suggestions and explanations for variety of writing questions.
Editor retails for $50. You can go to their site for more information and to purchase the software from: Serenity Software.
Since good grammar is essential in writing, it is good to also use a computer-based grammar checker. Microsoft Word has a grammar checking feature that works fairly well. Improving on Word for grammar checking are the Whitesmoke Writing Software and Serenity Software Editor applications.
Resources and references
WhiteSmoke - Products for writing better
Serenity Software - Editor grammar checker
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