Five Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Use Grammarly To Proofread A PhD
Grammarly, the free online grammar and spelling checker, claims to ‘make sure everything you type is clear, effective, and mistake-free’ and that ‘everything you write clear and effective all the time’.
If that’s the case, then why spend money on a proofreader when Grammarly can do it for free? Put simply, Grammarly is terrible at proofreading academic texts.
It relies on algorithms, not humans. Sure these algorithms are clever, but they’re just that: algorithms. They won’t spot the kinds of mistakes you make on a daily basis, nor will they have the expertise or the level of scrutiny that a professional will have. Grammarly struggles even more if English is your second language.
Here we present the five reasons why Grammarly shouldn’t be used to proofread your PhD and why you should instead trust a professional proofreader.
1. Grammarly won’t recognize technical language.
Your discipline is likely to require dozens, if not hundreds, of technical terms. From ‘actualization’ to ‘zyloprim’, technical language will be used throughout your thesis. Only an expert proofreader will be able to know when you’re using the wrong word and when you’re using technical language.
2. Grammarly won’t recognize issues with word order.
Often, those writing PhDs, particularly those for whom English is a second language, write words in the wrong order. Consider the following example:
"This PhD research aims to uncover the institutional arrangement for understanding effective coordination most appropriate”
According to Grammarly, this sentence is correct, but the words 'most appropriate' are in the wrong place.
It should read:
“This PhD research aims to uncover the most appropriate institutional arrangement for understanding effective coordination”
3. Grammarly struggles with complex grammar
Complex grammar is exactly the sort that you are getting wrong if you speak English as a second language. Take the following example:
“Extra time, extra efforts and may also extra costs needed to indicate ineffective coordination for metropolitan planning in the JMR. Those extra time and extra efforts indicate transaction costs exist. Transaction cost is an economic friction which has different costs under different governance structures (Williamson, 1985, 1996). There are three generic governance structures (forms of governance): hierarchy (regulations, commands), market (incentive, network) and hybrid (mixed regulations/commands and incentive/network)”
If an expert proofreader was to mark up the text, it would read as follows:
“The extra time and effort it takes to act point towards the existence of transaction costs (Buitelaar, 2004). A transaction cost is an economic friction that has different costs under different governance structures (Williamson, 1985, 1996). There are three generic governance structures or forms of governance: hierarchies (e.g. regulations, commands), markets (e.g. incentive, network) and hybrid forms of governance (e.g. mixed regulations/commands and incentives/networks).”
As you can see, there’s a big difference between the two. Only a professional proofreader is able to spot and correct these mistakes. Grammarly struggles.
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4. Grammarly doesn’t understand context
5. Grammarly isn’t human
What does all this mean for your thesis?
Having your PhD proofread will save you time and money
Our top-rated PhD proofreaders check your writing, formatting, references and readability. The goal? To make sure your research is written and presented in the most compelling manner possible.
That way, you'll have complete peace of mind prior to submission and save yourself months of costly revisions.