When you are finalizing your university admissions essays, be sure to carefully check your spelling and grammar. In previous posts I have written about the importance of correct spelling, but this post recommends a resource that I have evaluated and think can help you with both spelling and grammar. There are many ways to check your grammar and spelling so be sure to use more than one approach that includes a live person, including a native English speaker.
I’ll explain the recommendation for Grammarly, but there are several online services you can use to check your essays for grammar, spelling, and plagiarism. After evaluating each one using a real PhD SOP, I can say they don’t compare to Grammarly’s quality and comprehensive services (Get a FREE 7-day trial).
- After the Deadline
- Grammar Check Me
- Paper Rater
- Spellcheck Plus
Bottom line: Grammarly performed the best in my test using real admissions essays and statement of purposes. It gave the best, most comprehensive grammar review and helpful feedback.
Grammarly not only catches mistakes, it will help you become a better writer. I recommend getting this service when you are writing essays in your application cycle and keeping it until you submit your final application. Then, restart the service after you enroll in your chosen university to help with your academic work during the program. They have different plans and the best pricing is for an annual subscription, which I signed up for.
The analysis report is comprehensive and gives you a very detailed set of areas to review and suggested corrections for each.
The summary report tells you about the areas you need to focus on more. These rolled up statistics can alert you to trends in your writing that might be worth looking into further. Perhaps you have chronic issues with passive voice, or maybe punctuation. These stats will highlight those issues effectively.
Each correction in Grammarly is well explained and specific. The logic behind corrections seems strong and even native English speakers can learn something from Grammarly’s feedback.
Like to write too much? Grammarly will point out areas you could be more concise. This is particularly important when you have a no limit SOP because you really shouldn’t submit more than 1-2 pages. Wordy essays are boring, hard to read, and lower your chance of admission.
International students often have problems with punctuation and with the correct articles. Using Grammarly consistently and carefully reviewing it’s feedback will improve your writing and make you a stronger communicator, over time.