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Grammar check: 5 free online tools for international students

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Improving English grammar will help you become a better student and communicator. Source: Marcus Brandt/ Pool/ AFP

Grammar is an interesting, colourful, and vital part of learning a new language, but mastering it does not come overnight. Even experienced writers perform grammar checks. Now that we have online tools at our fingertips, improving the grammar in your essays and assignments is easy, fast, and often free.

Importance of grammar checks for students

Whether it’s confusing “your” for “you’re” or “literally” for “figuratively,” making repeated grammatical errors spells bad news for any uni paper. Not only are these errors confusing, but they also distract from the points you are trying to get across. That’s why running a grammar check will make you a better communicator.

It’s also why international students are asked to prove language proficiency before starting university in an English-speaking country. The four IELTS pillars — Listening, Reading, Writing and Speaking — are built on the foundation of grammar.

grammar check

Online tools may not be able to replace a teacher or editor, but they can help support your language learning. Source: Karoly Arvai/AFP

“Integrating grammar instruction into the revising and editing process helps students make immediate applications, thus allowing them to see the relevance of grammar to their own writing,” explains Professor Beverly Ann Chin from the University of Montana. Even effective English speakers need guidance to become effective writers, she says, and the secret lies in connecting oral to written language.

So if English is not your first language, grammar check tools can go a long way in improving your writing — and grasp of English grammar. Here are five free options to bookmark.

Grammarly

With “grammar” in the name, you may have guessed that this is one of the top checkers online. Not only does Grammarly comprehensively flag grammatical and spelling errors, but it also lets you know when your punctuation is out of whack. Used the wrong word for a certain context? It’ll catch that, too. It is available as a browser extension, which is seamless and useful for new university students.

Ginger

Ginger promises a human-level review for your academic papers. It also promises to get into the nitty-gritty that other services often overlook, whether it’s tense mix-ups or subject-verb disagreements. Check the suggestions to improve quicker, and avoid making the same mistakes in the future.

grammar check

Make your assignments tip-top by running them through a grammar check tool first. Source: Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

Quillbot

Quillbot touts its AI-based writing tool’s ability to not just check grammar, but also to offer paraphrasing and summarising suggestions. The result? A three-in-one tool that “learns as you check and correct.” Its user-friendly interface is simple and seamless, offering help without distracting you.

EasyBib

Most universities outside North America use UK English, but it’s not all that different from American English. The main differences lie in spelling and slang. If your UK English essays need expert-level grammar checks, try EasyBib, which is programmed to spot over 200 types of language errors. It also has a plagiarism checker function — another important tool to help you create A+ essays.

GrammarCheck

If you’re looking for a fuss-free check, here’s where you can find it. GrammarCheck helps you take your essays to a more professional level by making them “clear, error-free, and easy to understand”. It is used by companies such as Twitter, Zoom, and Discovery, so you know it’s industry-approved.