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In this guest post Liudas will show you 4 powerful tools that will help you make your next blog post error-free and a pleasure to read.
I live in Lithuania and I speak Lithuanian. English is my second language, which I started learning very early on. I remember watching cartoons on TV and learning more and more every day. By the time I started learning English at school, I was already quite advanced compared to my classmates.
Fast forward to the last year of school, I passed the final English exam at 93%. I consider that my greatest achievement in the realm of academic English language.
Still, with all these English skills I’m not a perfect writer, I make a ton of mistakes. A lot of my sentences end up tangled in a way that it’s hard to understand them.
Because of that, I use several different tools and strategies that help me uncover the mistakes and tangled up sentences. I hope these hacks will be useful to you even if you are a native speaker.
Now seriously, Google is a great tool for figuring out how to write a word or a phrase.
If you have doubts, you type it in and Google nine out of ten times will correct it for you. On the rare occasion, when it doesn’t, you need to browse some pages to see how other people are using the phrase.
You’re probably thinking why am I even telling you about this? Well, it’s because the other tools that I’m going to share are automatic, they just find your mistakes and correct them for you.
However when you look up a word or phrase on Google you learn it! You read a dictionary description or find examples how the phrase is used and you get a far better understanding.
Grammarly is a spell checking software. It has Microsoft Word and Outlook add-ins, but what you should be the most interested in is the new Grammarly browser plugin.
Whenever you write something on a website the Grammarly plugin pops up and starts correcting your mistakes. However, it’s not your regular spell checker, which only finds mistakes when you write a word incorrectly.
Grammarly is able to analyze the whole sentence and give you very accurate grammar corrections. It will show you where to place commas, which I’m not very good at, and it can even detect if you are using a word in the wrong form.
It’s definitely the most advanced spell checker that I have found so far. Grammarly also has a paid version which tracks advanced mistakes that only the premium package can fix.
I am not sure how much better the premium version is, but just having the free version is very beneficial. So, if you are looking for a reliable spell checker, I recommend Grammarly.
I found this software recently and I love it. It’s not just another spell checker, in fact, it’s not a spell checker at all. I would call it a writing analyzer. Currently, there’s a free online version and a paid software tool that you can download.
Once you’re done writing an article, you paste it into Hemingway and it analyses your writing. You get a readability score and an analysis of all your sentences.
There are five categories of problems that Hemingway detects:
Personally, what I love so much about Hemingway is that it doesn’t show you how to correct the sentences, instead you have to figure it out on your own. This helps you learn from your mistakes, improve your writing and be less reliant on software tools to write good sentences.
This is a monster of a writing tool. It has a plugin for all the major browsers, it can be used as a standalone tool on Windows and Mac. It also works on mobile.
Yes, it has the regular spell checking, but it can do so much more. You can also use it to rephrase your sentences, although for the moment it only works on very simple ones.
You can use Ginger to write in your own language and translate it into English. There are 40 languages available. Even though, the translations aren’t perfect, they are pretty advanced and don’t require significant editing.
Two very useful tools that Ginger provides are Definitions and Synonyms. If you’re not sure what a word means or you doubt you are using them correctly, you can type it in and find out the definition. If you’re tired of using the same word over and over again, then you can use the synonym tool to find a different word too.
The only premium function is text reading. You can listen to what you wrote and hopefully find some mistakes or weird sounding sentences. It’s a strategy that good copywriters teach.
I’m a bit confused about their business model. So far I’m using all the functions for free, except the text reading, but they do have monthly plans on their site. Anyways, it’s a great tool and I highly recommend it.
These are the hacks that I use to get my writing to a decent level so, people could hopefully understand what I want to say. All these tools have free versions so, there are no excuses not to use them.
I highly recommend to not just blindly follow what the software is telling you, but take the time to analyze your mistakes and learn from them.