Spellcheck Plus is a pretty decent online grammar and spelling analysis tool for people whose native language is not English. It does many pretty good things, but has one glaring drawback, compared to other online products. Spellcheck Plus seems to use a different analysis mechanism, not based on the same technology as other online tools that offer free services. Those free tools do not provide the level of analysis and feedback that Spellcheck Plus offers.
How it works:
You paste your essay into the analysis box and hit check text. The results are color coded as items to check and items to modify. When you hover your cursor over an item, the suggested changes appear. The results seem reasonable when testing with an actual admissions essay.
- The feedback doesn’t really teach you how to improve your writing through explanations about why the system suggests changes. It would be dangerous to blindly accept each recommended change and could damage your essay.
- Spellcheck Plus is free for only up to 2000 characters. This is not enough to check a typical graduate school admissions essay or SOP, but enough to check typical undergraduate essays. You can upgrade to their “Pro” version to remove the word limit and gain additional features that actually could help you improve your grammar overall.
Spellcheck Plus recommendation
Overall, the free version is limited to alerting you that there might be something to look at in your writing. It seems effective and affordable for that purpose (even if you upgrade to the pro version). For those on extremely tight budgets, this might be an effective solution since the pricing is annual. Just be very cautious that you accept changes to your writing that make logical sense, rather than automatically accepting the suggestions. This system is a compliment to, not a replacement for, human editing.