Grammar and punctuation checker

Grammar and punctuation are extremely important for any type of writing. Whether you’re creating a paper for college, university, or work, it’s significant to have a trusted source to automatically proofread your text.

In this blog post, you may find the best grammar checker that works for you and is handy to use. What should you analyze before choosing a specific tool? Firstly, determine your goal. Should the tool you’re looking for just eliminate misprints or do you need advanced software to improve your writing style as well? Is it necessary for the tool to set punctuation signs or check readability? These questions will help to define the functions you need.

Secondly, think about how much you’re ready to pay for software. Of course, there are lots of free options, but for some features, it’s necessary to pay for a subscription.

If you’re ready to find the best spell and grammar check tools, read proofreading guidelines, or learn about the most common mistakes, then use our content table.

Let’s start with the list of software and websites to help you with proofreading.

I. 10 best grammar & punctuation checkers

In this chapter, you’ll see the best websites for grammar and spelling check. Choose the one you like most or try every one of them—it’s up for you.

1. Grammar Check

A handy online tool that checks your text for spelling and grammar mistakes. When it detects any problematic parts, it makes stylistic or grammar suggestions. For each type of mistake, there’s a specific color for the comfortable usage.

The tool has a Free Check function, but it doesn’t reveal all the mistakes, so you may pay for the Deep Check subscription to avoid dangling modifiers or run-on sentences.

2. SpellCheckPlus

An instant check of your document that underlines your mistakes, offers suggestions, and has an inbuilt text editor. It allows you to use Find and Replace functions, insert special symbols, print the document, and more.

Below the editing field, you’ll find the grammar score based on the proportions of mistakes and total word count.

3. WhiteSmoke

This is another tool you may want to pay for! It identifies spelling, grammar, and punctuation errors in seconds. You can fix them just by clicking and choosing the right word or phrase.

WhiteSmoke has many amazing features for school and college students that are easy to use and save you a lot of time.

4. Ginger

Ginger is an excellent online service and software to use for the grammar errors search. It examines not only the mistakes and misspellings but also the context to make the right decision.

The service promises to increase your writing productivity due to identifying mistakes and suggesting the ways to fix them.

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5. Virtual Writing Tutor

Want to polish your essay or report? Then, take a look at this software. It allows users to start a complete edit of the spelling, grammar, and vocabulary.

The tool also can count words and check paraphrasing. Here you can also record your voice by clicking on the microphone—the tool will recognize your speech and put it into the field. After that, you can download it either in .doc or .mp3 or make a print.

6. NounPlus

Those who search for free grammar check tools should try NounPlus as it has many functions and a great design. The tool uses six colors to underline possible mistakes in the text. Pay attention to them, and you’ll benefit with better writing and increased productivity. NounPlus highlights conjunctions, suggestions, misspellings, undefined parts, and so on. When you correct these issues, your chances to get a higher grade increase.

7. Hemingway App

This isn’t a usual service—it focuses on readability and writing style. Hemingway App highlights sentences which are too difficult to read, the usages of passive voice or unnecessary adverbs, and phrases that can be simplified.

Some problematic parts can be edited just by clicking on them and choosing the right option among the list of words. This service is a fantastic place to boost your writing and increase readability that is important not only for academic papers but any type of content.

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8. Reverso Speller

Is writing in English is a challenging task for you? Then, you may want to use this service.

Reverso detects mistakes and offers alternatives to use. It has a colorful system of labels to show you what kind of mistake you have.

On the right side of the tool, you can type in any word and know its definition, synonym, or conjugation information. You’re also free to translate the text you’re proofreading into French, Spanish, Italian, or German.

9. ProWritingAid

A tool to correct punctuation, grammar mistakes, and style issues. With software like this you may forget about editing on your own—just go through the highlighted parts and fix the errors.

Here you can also find a search field to know words’ definitions, synonyms, and so on. This feature helps beginners and experienced writers to find appropriate words.

10. Language Tool

One more tool to fix your mistakes and correct stylistic issues, but there’s one special feature it has—you may use it in various languages! Not only you have more than 25 languages to choose from, including Greek, French, Russian, and Swedish, but also there are several English variants. This can be useful when you translate some fragments into Australian English or American English, for example.

Now, when you know how to check grammar with any of these reliable sources, we can proceed to the next step—the most common mistakes English speakers do in their writing.

II. 7 common mistakes

Whether you’re writing a dissertation, research paper, or essay, a single miswritten letter can lead to a lower grade.

The worst part is—sometimes we make mistakes that Microsoft Word or grammar checkers can’t identify. This mostly happens when you want to write a specific word but put a similar one instead (like “affect” vs. “effect”).

Here’s the list of most common mistakes ESL and native English speakers make.

1. It’s or its

People often miswrite these two words due to their similarity. “Its” is a possessive form of pronoun, while “it’s” is a contraction of “it is”. Using one instead of the other, you make a grammar mistake that is difficult to identify with a tool.

It’s Jim’s scooter.

A parrot cleaned its wings.

2. Any or some

These aren’t completely different words as long as they are determiners that share the same meaning. The difference is: you should use “some” for positive statements and “any” for negative ones and questions.

Do you have any snacks?

Give them some time.

3. To, two, or too

“To” is a preposition which you use as a part of a prepositional phrase or an infinitive; “two” is a number; and “too” is an adverb with the meaning “also”.

I’m going to write a test tomorrow.

There are two cats on a fence.

I want to watch this movie, too!

4. Then or than

Automatic proofreading tools not always identify this mistake as well. “Than” is a conjunction that is used in comparisons, while “then” usually is an adverb used to show actions in time.

I’ll prepare research, have a launch, and then call her.

I’d better go to this lecture than stay at home.

5. Affect or effect

The word “affect” is verb and means to influence something. The word “effect” is a noun, it’s the result of being affected. It’s significant to know the difference.

They were affected by new school rules.

Better sleep and positive mood are effects of yoga sessions.

6. Accept or except

“Accept” is a verb that means to receive or to put up with. “Except” is a conjunction or a preposition that means not including.

You should accept this work offer.

Everyone except Sue came to the party.

7. Every day or everyday

People are often confused by these phrases. Use “every day” to determine something that literally happens each day and “everyday” as an adjective for daily actions.

You should remove makeup every day.

Everyday routine is the first step to be productive.

These were the most common mistakes from academic papers of both ESL and native English speakers. Be careful when editing your draft and keep these mistakes in mind.

III. How to proofread a document?

For students, content managers, and fiction writers, there’s one thing in common—all of them need to polish their texts perfectly before giving them in.

We hope, this chapter will help you with basic knowledge on how to edit a paper.

  • Always check after your tools.

If you use a grammar checking tool, always analyze what mistakes it tries to fix. Unfortunately, there’s no tool that understands context perfectly, so these services often suggest the most popular option, not the one you meant. This leads to some misunderstandings which you should control.

The easiest way to use such tools is to check every sentence they fix and think over every suggestion. Trust yourself—if you think the tool is wrong, don’t correct the issue. It’s also important to google every case you’re not sure about—there are lots of sources online to help with grammar or punctuation.

  • Focus on one proofreading area at once.

It’s challenging to concentrate on many things at once even for professional editors. Read one time to search for grammar mistakes, the second time for a spell check, and the last time to correct punctuation.

If you have difficulties with a specific section of grammar like tenses or articles, then read the text again to correct only this type of problem. Sooner, you’ll start making fewer mistakes and spend less time on proofreading.

If you figure out, there’s a specific mistake you make several times, use CTRL+F to find all these mistakes in the text and fix them at once.

  • Watch out for the most common mistakes.

In our reviews, we mentioned that not every mistake is visible to grammar checking tools because they can’t understand the context perfectly. That’s why you should be extremely careful with the most common mistakes like “accident” vs. “incident”, “amount” vs. “number”, “should” vs. “would”, and, of course, those we’ve listed in the second chapter.

  • Read aloud.

This technique is great for any type of writing—essays, official documents, letters, even personal e-mails. When you read aloud, you receive information both visually and auditory. That helps to spot difficult mistakes and poor stylistic choices.

Moreover, people often skip many words when they read. Reading aloud allows looking through every phrase without missing anything.

  • Print your text.

Often, you’re too tired of writing a text, so you can’t really concentrate on errors during proofreading. To make it easier, just copy and paste your text into Microsoft Word and just print it.

You won’t believe how different reading from paper feels! Especially if you’ve spent hours writing this piece on computer.

  • Collaborate with friends or colleagues.

If you’re a student, ask your classmate to proofread your academic papers. And you can proofread theirs in return. The same goes for copywriters—it’s nice to unite and proofread papers for each other.

Other people can tell what is puzzling them in your text. Just ask them to read your document line by line.

  • Take your time.

Always think about your deadline when you’re planning the time for proofreading. You need to leave enough time to review the paper several times without being in a hurry or too exhausted.

It’s always better to proofread twice—once when you finished your writing and the next time hours later. So, take some time to have a rest from the text and return to it later full of energy and motivation.

  • Divide the text into parts.

When you write a paragraph, take some time to reread it. Make sure it has proper grammar and fits the structure you’ve outlined.

At this point, you don’t have to dig into punctuation or stylistic issues but simply fix the issues you spot. However, this method has its benefits, for example, you won’t miss repeated words or unfinished sentences.

  • Double check facts and names.

Writers sometimes ignore this rule and find themselves in embarrassing situations when spelling someone’s name wrong or applying wrong statistics.

Check the capitalization and spelling of companies, characters, people, brands, organizations, countries, etc. Also, always prove facts with credible sources—this is vital to show your professionalism.

With the help of these tips, you’ll be able to eliminate every mistake and get the perfect score for your paper. But what if you follow all these rules and don’t succeed? If you eventually don’t spot some mistakes despite being really attentive, you may lack some grammar knowledge.

No worries! This is easy to fix. Just look through the following chapter to pick the best materials to revise the grammar basics.

IV. Free grammar resources

In this chapter, you’ll find helpful resources to improve your grammar. Here you’ll find any type of content, including handbooks, worksheets, and YouTube videos.

1. The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue

A helpful PDF guide that covers lots of grammar issues and illustrates examples for every rule. Here you can learn how to use pronouns, insert colons and dashes, tell apart dependent and independent clauses, capitalize abbreviations, and more.

The guide is well-structured and informative, it includes narrow topics and answers every question. All keywords are highlighted so that you can easily find the one you’re looking for.

2. Grammarly Handbook

Grammarly is the most popular grammar and punctuation checker online. There are five sections—grammar, punctuation, mechanics, techniques, and style. Every section consists of informative articles on linguistic topics.

Every guide has a detailed description of significant issues like contractions, passive voice, singular they, mixed constructions, and more.

3. Washington State University Common Errors

An enormous library of common mistakes necessary to know for any editor or academic writer. Here you’ll learn the difference between “exited” and “excited”, “hail” and “hale”, “marital” and “martial”.

You can also listen to Common Errors podcast where you’ll learn to write medical terms, analyze speeches, use rare vocabulary, and more.

4. Grammar Girl

A blog for those who want to write English like a native. This project has a goal to educate ESL students but is a useful resource for natives as well. For example, Grammar Girl explains what stands behind the term ‘Spelling Bee’ or when to capitalize articles in titles.

Grammar Girl makes regular posts and investigates really interesting linguistic issues. Do you know how did dog breeds like Poodle, Husky, and Corgi got their names? Have you thought about how many prepositions you can use in a row? Want to know when to omit unnecessary parts and when to leave them? The website has answers to all these questions.

5. Perfect English Grammar

An exciting resource made by a successful blogger and teacher. Here you can find separate topics for many grammar issues like verb patterns, conditionals, irregular verbs, relative clauses, models, and more.

Every section is well-structured and helps to absorb the information quick. For example, in Phrasal Verbs section, there are explanation and exercise parts following one another.

6. British Council Grammar

Here you’ll find three sections of grammar—general, beginner, and intermediate. Each of them contains a lot of topics significant for ESL speakers and natives.

The best part about this resource:

Every page has an interactive test you can accomplish after finishing the theoretical part. Such exercises help to structure the knowledge and remember the rules.

7. BBC Learning English

A great resource for both EFL and ESL learners. It contains tips, masterclasses, lessons, and many more. If you want to improve your grammar, try to focus on The Grammar Gameshow. It’s a fun show that covers a huge number of issues—articles, tenses, phrasal verbs, and more. The questions are often extremely narrow. This can help you to learn grammar as a linguistics student. On this channel, you can also improve vocabulary and pronunciation, prepare for exams, and watch news.

8. James ESL

On this channel, you’ll find many grammar issues explained by a professional teacher. There are such topics as:

  • “I used to” and “I’m used to”
  • “Could” or “should”
  • The prepositions “on”, “in”, “at”, “by”
  • Adverb suffixes –ly, -words, -wise

On James’ channel, you’ll also learn vocabulary and find lots of speaking tips.

9. EnglishLessons4U

Another brilliant resources hosted by a professional teacher. In the English Grammar playlist, you’ll learn about confusing words, stative verbs, tag questions, double negatives, and more.

On the channel, you’ll also watch videos on pronunciation which are extremely helpful for an ESL speaker. There are great picks of lessons on slang and vocabulary for you to improve speaking and writing skills as well.

This is the end of our pick, but there are lots of grammar sources like these online, and you can easily find more. Whether you prefer to read, watch, or search through the web, in this list, there are certainly options for you.

In this post, we’ve discussed:

  • The best grammar check tools for academic or content writing purposes
  • The most common mistakes English language writers make
  • Some essential tips on how to be a professional proofreader
  • Helpful grammar sources including handbooks, websites, and YouTube channels

With this information, you’ll improve editing skills in short time and will get higher grades for your academic papers.