Grammarly vs. Whitesmoke – A Comparison

By Jennifer Frost · December 25, 2010

Grammarly vs. WhitesmokeWhy would you need a grammar checking software? Imagine receiving a business letter and you find it has a lot of spelling and grammatical errors.  You would most probably think less of the sender, wouldn’t you?  Be reminded, though, that more than 60 percent of all business communications have some kind of grammatical error like apostrophe errors, missing words, wrong spelling and more. Most of the times we do not have the patience and time to edit or proofread our work or, much less, other peoples work for a thorough grammar check. Enter grammar checking applications. Now, imagine what the readers of your letters, e-mail, business communications and other written material would think if 60 percent of your work had mistakes. Why would you take this chance of jeopardizing all those important documents when you could get help at reducing or eliminating errors with the two most popular grammar checking applications from Englishsoftware.org and Grammarly.com? Here, we compare, side by side, which of the two is better. ($ - means it is better, = – means even, in our opinion)

Grammarly.com EnglishSoftware.org
Monthly subscription a bit pricey $ – One price w/ lifetime free updates
Slow results $ – Instant check, checks 3000 words at a time in the blink of an eye.
Grammarly prompts can be overwhelming $ – Annotates text instantly and click the annotation for more info and automatic correction. Just do a visual scan and click on the items you want to address
= – More thorough review and explanation but can be wordy = – Review can be shallow and too generic
$ – Has automatic citation check and checks for plagiarism (but this can be overly sensitive) No automatic citation check
$ – More professional, intuitive and organized website Too heavy on marketing. Ads for add-ons and upgrades pop up every time you use it.
$ – Better overall result and accuracy Behind with ‘just a little’ in terms of overall result
= – Too many warnings and many synonyms out of context and these can’t seem to be disabled without fully turning off the program. = – Also had many out of context synonyms. A high percentage of its suggestions made no sense.
Have e-mail and phone support but no live chat and user manual. $ – Online chat support is great and also has e-mail support.
Compatible with MS-Word, Outlook and PowerPoint but plug-in currently has bugs and has less all around compatibility than WhiteSmoke. $ – Compatible MS Outlook, MS PowerPoint, MS Word, Outlook Express, Web-based mail, Notepad and almost any other text editor.
$ – Checks for grammatical errors using over 150 grammar rules; checks for plagiarism; Enhances vocabulary, livens-up sentences and improve readability by substituting words used with context-optimized synonyms; checks for spelling; Does not seem to recognize redundancy or duplicate words very well. Will fix punctuation, misplaced apostrophes and commas, misuse of adverbs and adjectives, Auxiliary verb agreement, Subject-verb agreement, Adding a determiner or preposition, singular-plural, capitalization, duplicate words, wrong spelling, missing words, hyphenated words

Conclusion:

 

This review is by no means a complete comparison of Englishsoftware.org’s Whitesmoke and Grammarly and there are features that could be unique to one product or present in both that have not been mentioned here. Both Grammarly and WhiteSmoke as grammar checking service are indeed more advanced and have more extra features than the built-in checker in MS Office but they will not suffice if you need a more comprehensive and detailed editing for your writing and to this end, nothing beats a trained and sharp human eye. Consequently, we can say that both detect a great majority of the most common errors, including many different error types, and will help greatly in speeding up the editing process.  However, it is important to understand that there are an infinite number of possible writing errors and it is impossible to detect all of them. From the side by side comparison of Grammarly and WhiteSmoke we can make conclusions on particular characteristics only as both have their own pros and cons but, ultimately, it’s all up to the individual user to decide which suits them best.