Is Grammarly helpful? Yes. Do I use it much? No, but that has more to do with my history as a professional copy editor and proofreader than anything else.
Grammarly quickly scans a piece of text for errors in grammar, punctuation, and spelling. The premium paid version goes further by offering stylistic suggestions.
Is Grammarly good enough, or do you still need to hire a human editor? Grammarly is great for getting the basics and for making sure you don’t have any embarrassing typos, but it can’t finesse the text the way a human can.
Grammarly has no way to detect if a sentence is boring, if a sentence contradicts earlier information in the text, or if something just doesn’t make sense. That’s why Grammarly can never replace a human editor, but it can certainly complement the editing process.
I would recommend for anyone to use Grammarly as a first step in the editing process. It may help to reduce your costs with a human editor. If your text is rife with basic grammar, spelling and punctuation errors (some people simply aren’t familiar with the rules of writing), then Grammarly can fix these for you before you send it off to an editor. It can take your text from something that requires heavy editing to something that possibly only requires light editing from a human editor, thus reducing the cost.
I just edited a dystopian adventure story. The plot was intriguing, the action was exciting, but the text was full of technical errors. Quotation marks were often left off, dialogue wasn’t properly spaced with the new speaker on a new line, and there were misspellings throughout. Should someone’s lack of proper writing knowledge keep them from knocking out a story? No way! That is why people hire copy editors and proofreaders. I love finding the errors in texts; it is like a treasure hunt to me, and because I have edited thousands of novels, blog posts, self-help books, educational material, business documents, board game rules, love letters, break-up letters, resumes, and anything else that is written in English, I’m familiar with the dos and don’ts, which is why people keep hiring me to be their professional editor.
Grammarly is an amazing tool of the twenty-first century. How lucky are we to have so much technology at our fingertips! It’s a fantastic complement to the copy editing process, but it doesn’t come close to replacing the human editor.