Have you ever needed someone to correct your writing, but didn’t know who to ask for help? Well, luckily, there are now many free websites that can help!
Below, we’ll share our top five recommendations.
1. Cambridge’s Write & Improve
Write & Improve is a tool developed by Cambridge to give learners free practice writing in English. It gives your writing a score from A1 to C2 and also provides feedback on how you can get better at writing.
Check out this video to see how it works:
2. Ginger Software
There are many free online grammar and spelling checkers these days. However, few were made for non-native writers. Ginger is one of the few exceptions.
It has an online proofreader, where you can paste your text for corrections.
Its software version also has many other features that learners would find useful, such as:
Another website we’d gladly recommend is LanguageTool. It’s very intuitive and, unlike other services, you don’t need to make an account to use it.
To make corrections, it uses a database of the most common errors that writers make. It can also check for mistakes in six types of English!
Unlike the options above, Hemingway was not designed to catch errors. Its main purpose is to polish writing to make it “bold and clear.”
If you write your text in the editor, it will alert you when:
- Sentences are too long or complicated.
- There are unnecessary words (or unnecessarily difficult words).
- You’re using passive voice (and might want to consider using active voice).
These different types of suggestions are shown in different colors:
Hemingway is great for people who want to focus on making their writing clearer.
5. Google Docs
As you may already know, Google Docs has a basic grammar and spelling checker. It also has an autocorrect option, which corrects your mistakes as you type.
A nice thing for learners is that it also comes with a text prediction feature, which guesses what words will come next. It can’t guess everything correctly, but the more you write in Google Docs, the better its suggestions become.
And when it works, it not only allows you to type more in less time but also gives you a good clue of what sounds natural!
But Nothing Beats Real People!
However, keep in mind that online tools are not perfect. We actually ran some texts written by a non-native speaker through all the grammar checkers mentioned in this article.
While they were able to pick up on most spelling mistakes, they were unable to detect errors such as:
- Incorrect verb tense: A grammar checker can’t tell if you’re writing about the present or the past. So if you write “This year, I start university,” but actually mean “This year, I started university,” grammar checkers won’t notice it.
- Incorrect sentence structure: The question “Does it really OK to do this?” (which should be “Is it really OK to do this?”) was not corrected by any of the grammar checkers.
The above mistakes would have been noticed immediately by a native speaker, so it’s best to use these tools in combination with feedback from real people. After all, real people miss things that online tools catch, and online tools miss things that are obvious to real people.
If you need help from real people, give Engoo a try. Our tutors are here to help you 24/7 and have experience checking everything from emails to academic papers. Plus, your first session is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose!