• Carla Ra

ProWritingAid - my review

Updated: Jun 26, 2020

Hello there, welcome to my blog.

I am the aspiring sci-fi author and knowledge collector Carla Ra.

I will stray a bit from the usual routine of posts this month. Instead of a praising (or a ranting) about my favorite storylines, I will examine one of my favorite grammar checkers. As a bonus content, let’s review ProWritingAid.

As some of you already know, I am not an English native speaker. Even less of an English native writer. I am a Brazilian woman seeking to win in the craft of English writing. It is not an easy task, I may add. Portuguese and English bare very few similarities, and grammar is not one of them. Sure, we have gendered nouns, which is a concept unfamiliar to you, but what’s up with having a right order to place adjectives? And the commas, dear lord! My hands are shaking.

Ok, I’ve calmed down now.

Anyway, I think you can sense my struggle. As an academic, grammar checkers are essential tools in my daily routine. As a sci-fi writer, they are one of my favorite AI-based programmes.

Of all of those on the market, the first I tried was ProWritingAid. Thus it had the pleasure of being the first to point a virtual finger to my face and laugh at my English skills. Well, at least it was how it felt realizing I was ‘that’ bad at grammar. Sorry, I’m whining, let’s focus on ProWritingAid.

I signed up for free around a year ago, and since then I’ve been exploring it. My review is about my experience, about all the things I like, and also dislike about it.

For me, the greatest characteristic of ProWritingAid is that it is not only a grammar checker. It is also a ‘style editor, and writing mentor,’ as it says on the website. I agree with this self definition.

The ProWritingAid web editor is very intuitive to use. It is fairly easy to adjust the settings—choose among British, American, Australian, or Canadian English and the general style you are aiming for—, and the next step is to write, or to upload your text document. It gives you real time feedback on grammar, style and spelling issues (which you can turn it off, if it is bothering you), underling the word or sentence in different colors, according to those issues.

If you are a nerd about numbers as I am, it provides a summary of the stats of your text, ranking vocabulary, sentence structure, readability, sticky sentences, dialogs, you name it. If you are not a number affictonato, you can check visualize what is on the stats directly on your text, as highlights of the problematic part. It even tells you how is the pacing of your writing! I got really excited when I discovered this. To help you improve your word choice there is a Thesaurus option to show you synonyms of various words you used.

The best part: all of this for free for the first 500 words of your text! You just have to go to https://prowritingaid.com/Free.

The ProWritingAid blog is also very informative, especially for someone who is trying hard to improve their skills, as I am. I enjoy receiving their newsletter. You can check it out by yourself here:


Naturally, not everything is perfect. Especially because different people have different goals, even when using a grammar checker. For me, a not-so-great trait of ProWritingAid is that, although the web editor is intuitive, as mentioned, it does not give you unsolicited advice. Aside from those real time corrections, you have to be specific on what problem you want to address, and look for it by yourself. Maybe it is not a big of a problem for those who know exactly what they are looking for, but for me, that do not know the English language so well, and couldn’t even imagine that I was making this much mistakes, it is a downside.

But, as an aspiring author, it is one of the most useful tools I’ve ever encountered. A tool for smart writers, as they say. I'd like to think I'm smart.

I hope you've enjoyed the bonus content. Let me know if you like this kind of posts in the comments.

Stay safe, guys.

Thank you for reading!

See you in a few days!

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