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It’s no news that using an online editing tool is one of the best ways to improve your writing skills. It checks for grammar errors, gives accurate style suggestions, corrects spelling mistakes, and more.
Maybe you’ve heard of Grammarly, but something about their features or costs just doesn’t seem right. You are looking for other editing software with the same powerful tools.
Well, ProWritingAid might be what you need.
You Google it and find that it has both the necessary basic tools and the premium features that make any editing tool stand out from the rest. Now you just need an in-depth review to finally make up your mind.
Here at Gradehacker, we are the non-traditional student’s most trusted resource. We know how important having the right online writing tool is, and we want to help you find the app that best suits your needs.
That’s why we are sharing our ProWritingAid honest review. By the time you finish reading this article, you’ll know if you’ll have to keep searching for other online editors or if this one is worth your time and money.
What is ProWritingAid?
It is a writing app specially designed for professional writers who need to work with longer pieces of writing.
But there is no reason academic students can’t use it too. On the contrary, there are many powerful tools available that can significantly improve the style of writing.
ProWritingAid improves your grammar, spelling, and readability level. It goes beyond the basic features most writers could need and also highlights elements like sentence length variation, repetitiveness, adverbs, passive voice, vague wording, and more!
In short, it is your personal writing mentor.
Where Can You Use ProWritingAid?
Because of its wide range of integrations, there are many ways you can use ProWritingAid.
They both have an online and a desktop version you can download. But you can also use it in:
They also have a Mac version coming soon, which you can register now to get early access.
Even though they have many integrations, ProWritingAid doesn’t have a mobile app, nor does it appear to be close to creating one.
All the ProWritingAid integrations have the same grammar-checking features, but it’s worth mentioning that in this review, we’ll be using the online version.
ProWritingAid Design And Interface
ProWritingAid’s layout has three main dashboards where we can find their tools.
First of all, we have the main bar on the right. Here we find the text’s “goals,” which are important statistics of your paper such as length, readability, and use of passive voice; and the “improvements,” where we have all the suggestions and corrections for the grammatical errors.
Second, on top, we have the tool’s dashboard with all of ProWritingAid’s online tools. We’ll talk more thoroughly about them in a bit.
And finally, on the left, we can find the search bar. Here you can access previous files, create new documents or upload some from your desktop.
Having all three dashboards open makes ProWritingAid an overwhelming writing editor, with too much information and options on sight. It doesn’t make the experience impossible, but it certainly makes you feel lost among so many features, especially if you only need to use the most basic ones.
That’s why we highly recommend hiding these menus.
While writing, you can remove all this information from the screen, leaving a clean space to focus only on your writing. Once you start editing, you can turn on the suggestions and tools dashboards.
Now, you’ll have to bear with us because ProWritingAid has over 20 comprehensive reports. From spelling and grammar checking features to different style suggestions, here is what they have to offer:
The most basic -and essential- feature is their accurate grammar checker. Highlights grammatical mistakes and gives spelling corrections, but also identifies style issues like repetitiveness, passive voice, and adverbs.
We also have a Thesaurus tool, which shows possible synonyms by double clicking on any word. A great feature that will save you from the struggle of not finding the right word you were looking for.
Then we have the overused feature to detect where we are writing commonly overused words; and a summary, which shows in one big detailed report all the different statistics and scores of your paper.
What We Think About These Features
We found that ProWritingAid’s online grammar checker was very accurate.
The thesaurus tool displays many options, and its style suggestions are diverse and fit into the context. However, there are elements like passive voice or long sentences that they only explain why you should change it, with no suggestion on how to do it.
Now, we must say that it can be easy to feel overwhelmed with its robust reporting features, not knowing what to pay attention to and what to improve.
Don’t believe us? This is only one part of a larger report:
Still, once you read these detailed reports one by one, you understand what you need to do. It’s also very helpful that clicking on the information mini-button redirects you to a blog post that explains more in-depth how you can improve that area.
Overall, ProWritingAid’s core features -arguably the most necessary for any writer- are more than effective. Their reports can be hard to read at first, but once you figure out how the information is displayed, you start taking more advantage of it.
Here is where ProWritingAid becomes a style editor.
First, their readability scores give you a series of readability measures, so it’s easy to determine if your intended audience will understand your text. It shows the average reading time and identifies which paragraphs are hard to read, separating them into slightly difficult and very difficult to understand.
The following features help you avoid falling into common places.
The sticky tool highlights the sentences with “glue words,” which are the 200 most common words in English. Sticky sentences in your text can slow your reader down, so avoiding them is best.
Similarly, the cliché feature identifies overused expressions that may sound too redundant or simple and typical.
Lastly, the diction tool looks for vague and abstract words and suggests how to revise them.
What We Think About These Features
Well, the readability scores only marks which are the hardest to read paragraphs, but don’t suggest how to improve it. It’s up to you to see which parts of your work you can change to help your reader while still maintaining your style.
We recommend using the other reports, like the styling and grammar, to guide you.
However, the biggest problem here is that some of the style issues ProWritingAid highlights are subjective or incorrect.
Subjective because sometimes, using a common word, passive voice, or lengthy sentences doesn’t mean your text is poorly written. Yes, not overusing these elements is important, but that doesn’t mean that you can never use them.
And incorrect because an artificial intelligence could never replace the understanding of a human editor. We found that sometimes, ProWritingAid failed to understand the context of the text and gave a suggestion that didn’t make sense.
Here is an example:
This is just one of the many scenarios we found an issue like this. Even though ProWritingAid is a great online editing software, it’s not exempt to make mistakes. So always be attentive to what they suggest!
Overall, these readability features, while thorough, are pretty much subjective. One thing is to identify grammar mistakes or spelling errors, but another is to say your text is hard to read just because you used passive voice or wrote a lengthy sentence.
And since an A.I. will never do the same job as a human editor, it’s possible that sometimes it makes a mistake. That’s why you need to consider ProWritingAid’s readability suggestions, but review them to see if it fits into your text and if it helps you improve its understanding.
Structure and Repeat Features
These are the features that aim to solve the structural issues of your text.
The structure tools take your papers and compare every sentence structure to similar published content of the same genre.
Then, with its length feature, you get a visual representation of how long each sentence is with a set of suggestions to maintain your text’s flow interesting to the reader. And to improve your structure even more, the transition tool shows you all the transitions you have used and tells you where you are over-using them and where you could use one.
However, to ensure that you are not repeating the same words over and over throughout your text, there are two different tools you can use.
The all repeats feature looks for repeated words in your entire paper, while the echoes tool does the same but within a shorter space of writing.
What We Think About These Features
Since these features tackle structural issues, the suggestions ProWritingAid gives you are much more accurate. The all repeat and echoes tools come in very handy to avoid any type of unwanted repetitions and quickly highlight which words you need to change to make your paper easier to read.
Regarding the structure features, paying more attention to elements like length and transition is super valuable since these are details you may not have in mind when writing.
ProWritingAid also shares factual information explaining which are the length and transition parameters to follow and why, making you learn and understand why you are improving your text by considering their suggestions.
So, its structural tools are very effective and are one of the reasons ProWritingAid truly stands out from other grammar checkers.
ProWritingAid also has other features you don’t find at first sight on their reports dashboard but that you can still access. They are more specific tools that will be more helpful for fiction authors or creative writers.
Some of these are:
However, there are a few additional features that academic writers can use.
The Acronym feature, for instance, shows all the acronyms in your writing and highlights where they haven’t been defined. This is great for whenever you use the name of an organization or company with an acronym many times and want to find it in one click every time you mention them to ensure you are not being inconsistent.
Then we have the House Style Check, which lets you create your own patterns and styling rules.
But most importantly, they have a plagiarism checker. This scans millions of websites, books, and academic papers, compares them with your text, and highlights copied sections word-for-word.
Unfortunately, these last two tools are available only with the Premium version. You can buy credits for their plagiarism checker, but with any of their subscription, you get 60 plagiarism checks per year.
Definitely, one of the biggest downsides of ProWritingAid.
So far, ProWritingAid sounds great, but we haven’t discussed one of the most important aspects: pricing.
Well, we have good news. Of course, they have a premium version, but you can also use it for free.
ProWritingAid integrations you can access for free are:
However, ProWritingAid will only edit up to 500 words per document. You do get to use all of their features and reports (except for the plagiarism checker and house style check), but the moment you start writing your 501st word, it won’t take it into account when reviewing your text.
If you want to use all of their tools, you’ll have to go premium.
ProWritingAid’s premium version has different subscription plans.
With their prices, we realize that they want to establish long-term relationships with their clients. With the annual plan, you can save over 75% compared to the monthly subscription.
And yes, the lifetime plan is the most expensive, but it’s almost five years’ worth of pay, and you get a powerful editing program for the rest of your life.
Clearly, if you know you will only write for the time it takes you to finish college, maybe go for the annual option. But if you know you’ll keep writing once you finish, you should definitely consider sticking with the lifetime plan.
And if you want to try it before you invest in it, you can request a 7-day free trial.
So, what do we think about ProWritingAid?
Well, we believe it is a powerful editing program worth considering. It can be a great app for academic writers, as they have a wide range of advanced features that other editing software lack.
Its grammar-checking features are enough to detect common writing mistakes and spelling issues, but what makes ProWritingAid such a powerful tool is its detailed reports. At first, too much information can be overwhelming, but once you realize how they work and start taking their suggestions into practice, you can make huge improvements that will truly take your text to the next level.
Still, it’s also true that ProWritingAid’s software is not exempt from mistakes.
Sometimes its suggestions can feel out of place, meaning you can never trust 100% what they are telling you. But the same happens with any other writing app, so there is nothing huge to worry about; just be attentive and always try to have someone else read your paper for a better review.
Its pricing plans are affordable, especially if we compare them with Grammarly’s subscription plans. You can read our comparison if you want to see how both editing software stand against each other.
$79 per year is not that much, and in any case, you can always use the free version. You’ll be limited to writing up to 500 words, but it’s the same as writing per sections. Once you finish one part, copy it into another file, and then just start writing again on ProWritingAid.
Overall, we recommend ProWritingAid if you’ve been looking for a cheap and robust editing app. You get many features that analyze your text, not only the grammar issues but the style details too. It’s also free to use if you want to try, and if that’s not enough, you can always pay their reasonable prices to upgrade to their premium version.
Is ProWritingAid For You?
ProWritingAid is for you if you want:
If you are looking for a basic writing app that checks for common writing mistakes and improves your skills, you might want to stick with ProWritingAid’s free online version.
But if you really want to make a difference in your papers and need to access their long list of premium features, paying the extra subscription cost will be worth your investment, especially if you know that you will continue using ProWritingAid for many years from now.
However, if you are unsure about it and would like to search for more alternatives, you can check our Grammarly review.
We hope you’ve found the editing tool you were looking for that will take your writing style to the level any professor dreams about.
But remember, while the writing suggestions any of these software give you can be helpful and accurate, the truth is that they will never replace a human editor. Always read your texts thoroughly, and never trust 100% what an A.I. suggests to you.
Now you are ready to decide whether ProWritingAid is your online editing software.
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