In one of our previous posts, we took a closer look at the most popular tool for machine English proofreading i.e. Grammarly (link). Today we would like to let you know about some alternatives for this software that are used worldwide by many universities.
Ginger as an English proofreading software analyzes misspelled words within the context of an entire sentence and suggests words based on the intended meaning of the sentence. This is different than most spell checkers that simply suggest words that resemble misspelled words. Ginger corrects whole sentences, including multiple spelling and grammar errors all in one click, providing a potentially faster and more efficient way to work.
Ginger’s English proofreading technology was developed specifically to correct the kinds of spelling mistakes commonly made by people with dyslexia. Although other products have focused on dyslexia, Ginger’s online grammar checker is the first to operate as an online service that continuously adds “dyslexic misspellings” to its database. The more the technology is used by people with dyslexia, the more accurate it should become.
Wordtune is a Google Chrome extension that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning technologies in the English proofreading process that helps educational institutions, businesses, non-profit organizations, and other professionals rewrite or rephrase sentences to improve written communication.
It enables organizations to rephrase text across several platforms such as Google Docs, Twitter, LinkedIn, Slack, Facebook, and Microsoft Outlook, among others. The platform translates text from Spanish, Arabic, Mandarin, Hindi, Korean, Hebrew, and Russian languages in English according to individual requirements.
Wordtune enables educators to shorten or expand text’s length based on required formats. The product is available for free and on monthly ($9.99 per month) or annual subscriptions and support is extended via email and FAQs.
Writer (formerly Qordoba) is an AI writing assistant tool. Its content style guide platform is driven by natural language processing, which enables you to customize writing guidelines to your unique way and helps users write with the same style, and terminology.
Basically, you create your writing style guide on Writer, setting preferences for categories such as ideal voice and tone; writing styles such as APA, Chicago, or your own; and, terms to be used along with banned words. Then, users simply either copy and paste content into Writer or directly write within the platform. Writer will then analyze and score the submitted content against the style guide to identify areas where the content is not aligned. It will also suggest recommendations for improvement, so it is not English proofreading software like the other presented here, however might come useful in some cases. In addition, Writer provides plugins for Google Chrome, Google Docs, and MS Word and allows users to analyze content on demand, in real-time.
EasyBib by Chegg is an online tool that can be used to check papers for grammar, citations, and cases of plagiarism, basically English proofreading. It can be used by students and schools. EasyBib is designed to prevent unintentional plagiarism, grammar mistakes, and uncited sources. Papers can be imported directly to EasyBib from a computer or Google Drive. Papers are kept confidential and can only be accessed by Chegg’s experts.
Features include writing style suggestions, plagiarism checks, accurate citation creator, plus more. EasyBib provides a free version with limited access to features. A subscription to EasyBib Plus is required to use the tool’s unlimited plagiarism checks and access expert writing help ($9.95 per month).
Writefull – the biggest competitor of Grammarly
Writefull is a tool that has been specially designed for academics and university students for English proofreading scientific texts. Suggested corrections are based on the actual use of a given word or grammatical structure, depending on the context, and not on a fixed set of grammar rules. Writefull differs from other similar English proofreading tools in that it uses language models based on artificial intelligence (AI) and constantly “learns” from the texts of millions of articles from scientific journals. Writefull improves grammar, punctuation, spelling, and language style. Much more than off-the-shelf English proofreading software, it suggests corrections to the sentence structure of scholarly texts, suggests missing citations, and suggests discipline-specific vocabulary, which is especially important for successful publication in international journals. Writefull is constantly “learning” from scientific texts and millions of Open Access articles.
Writefull suggests English proofreading on several levels:
- Grammar: correct use of prepositions, e.g. the effect in/on/at something, proper selection of articles the, an or a, correctness of verb forms, e.g. the majority of people is or are.
- Spelling: check spelling for lexical errors.
- Vocabulary selection: Writefull processes the sentence and decides which of the two confusing words is correct in this case, e.g. capability vs ability, quantity vs amount, notable vs noticeable, alternate vs alternative.
- Punctuation e.g. Writefull suggests places where commas should be.
- Language style and conciseness: Writefull checks whether the author chooses the means characteristic of the scientific style: he does not use colloquial words, e.g. ‘stuff’ or abbreviations, e.g. ‘it’s’, the correct choice of conjunctions, e.g. ‘however’ instead of ‘but’, avoiding the longest possible word combinations, e.g. instead of ‘The aim of this paper is to…’ Writefull will prompt ‘This paper aims to…’
What is interesting, for English proofreading software Grammarly is mostly used in American universities while Writefull is more popular in European ones.
Abundance of software but is it worth it?
Grammarly and Writefull are the leading software in machine English proofreading field but… Yes, there is a but. Despite the fact of the advancement of technology, algorithms getting better at this type of task, and machine solutions being strongly promoted by universities, it is not yet time to trust this type of software in 100%. In this respect, a machine is not yet able to replace a human proofreader, a native speaker of a given language. This kind of software is good as the first stage of the English proofreading process. However, if you want to be sure that the text does not contain any linguistic errors or flaws and will be suitable for publication, it is best to use professional English proofreading services, i.e., linguistic proofreading being done by a native speaker. Despite technical advances, it is still the best solution to ensure the highest linguistic quality of the manuscript.
An additional advantage of such a solution in the case of scientific research is that, by selecting the appropriate service, the text can be checked by an active scientist from an academic center in an English-speaking country. Moreover, what the software mentioned above cannot do, which is possible thanks to a proofreader, is to give a manuscript fluency characteristic of a native speaker, as well as the insight of an expert who understands the given research area and makes sure that specialized vocabulary is used. You can find a description of such services at this link.