Use of a Grammar CheckerbyTimothy_Dickey©
Why Every Writer Should Consider Using a Grammar Checker Before a Story Submission
That is a question that I pondered on during the writing of my first story before this second submission.
Why should I? Do I really need it?
Other writers have friends, family, and editors to look over their manuscripts before submission. Will they need to use a Grammar Checker or not?
From reading many stories on here, it would not hurt for someone to make use of a Grammar Checker program.
A grammar program would go through and pick up the easy mistakes that a Spelling Checker missed. This type of program would make your work so much easier to read.
If you ask why I am bringing up this subject, the point is that not every Grammar Checker is the same. A Grammar Checker is a whole different animal than a Spell Checker.
When I suggest to other authors to think about using one who might be reading this document, does it mean their writing is bad?
No, a Grammar Checker will just make a writer's work easier and their stories stronger in style.
Does a Grammar Checker replace someone's Editor for proof reading your submissions before publishing?
No, a Grammar Checker helps your Editor find the big mistakes that a person might miss. A program like this will weed through all the common minor mistakes that Authors should have already caught from a proof read. A Grammar Checker also helps your Editor save time in getting back the manuscript to the Author for re-writing by finding what remains. You still have to proof read your work for your satisfaction.
What is the difference between a Spell Checker and a Grammar Checker?
A Spell Checker looks at the spelling of a word by comparing it to words found in a stored file on your computer. If the program cannot find the word in the file, the program list the closest words to it. The program then ask the author to select from the following word choices. The word might still be correct, but not listed as correct in the program file. There might be a file called a User Dictionary File that allows for the addition of new words by the user for future use. That is why a Dictionary is still handy to have for questionable words and later added to the computer spell Checker if possible.
A Grammar Checker reviews the structure of each sentence overall. The program looks at all parts of speech. The program tries to find if the sentence structures found are in a correct sentence location.
If a Grammar Checker is excellent, it looks at each sentence to figure out if a word is in proper used.
The following words listed are an example.
Hole, Whole. Right, Write. It's, Its. To, Too, Two.
Each of these words sound the same but defined and used differently. There are many more words found that are like this. Each of the words listed is a small selection to get the point across to you the reader.
This is a short example of what a good Grammar Checker would look for while looking over sentence structure and usage.
Are all Grammar Checkers the same?
No, all Grammar Checkers are different! I need to say why and to use my first story as an example of what a good Grammar Checker can do.
I found an Editor, who is also an author on here, and sent my editor a first draft copy. The editor sent it back telling me that it was not in the best condition for publishing. My Editor wanted a complete re-work of the story. The information sent was not enough to start and to solve all the problems in the story. I sent it back a month later by internet e-mail after using Microsoft Word Grammar Checker. This program did not find a mistake in my story from all my later corrections. I would later that day send it off by e-mail to my Editor. The Editor again said there were too many mistakes found to finish reading when sending it back. The Editor also mentioned that I needed to find another person to finish editing future submissions of my first story. The Editor had time constraints in buying a new house, moving and work. My Editor replied with an e-mail suggesting that I use a different Grammar Checker. This was after I wrote of what I had used before in my work. The Editor mentioned that Microsoft's Word was not the best used in finding common sentence mistakes.
I reloaded my story from the second submission into a Grammar program on my computer from 1990 called, "Key -Grammar Checker." I also borrowed another program to load up for use from a good friend. This other program was from 1992 and named, "Right Writer - Version 5.0." I wanted to find out if the number of errors found would be different in the two programs so a comparison could occur by me. I wanted to run it through Microsoft's Grammar Checker one more time afterward. I wanted to find out if any more listed errors were new for another comparison. My program found 540 grammar mistakes and the borrowed program found 593 grammar errors. Microsoft again did not find any new grammar boners after all the corrections.
I can comprehend why an Editor might pull some hair out when working with someone green to writing. It took me three weeks of my free time so I could correct all the errors that the borrowed program had found. I then had another two friends proof-read my story for another two more weeks before final submission before publishing.
If your wondering, I used the largest number of errors found from the borrowed program to correct by. I wanted a better story if possible. By correcting more of the errors found, would be better in my thinking than not correcting enough for my first time submission.
Are there other Grammar Programs that are better than what I used?
There very well could be, but I am using a 286 computer, running DOS 6.22 and Windows 3.0. My computer makes it impracticable to load one of the modern Grammar Checker programs. There is not enough extended board memory to run a modern program. I also do not have a large enough hard drive memory for storage of a modern program. Please do not laugh but my cell phone has more hard drive memory than this computer that I am using to write this submission. Only until I purchase a more modern machine will I have that chance to look for a better grammar checker computer program. For the time being, I can only decide with the limited choices in programs. I would love to find a newer grammar program and load it on one of the computers at my University. A Grammar Checker or any other user program loaded by a user on a University personal computer unit is illegal. I do not want load a user program at school so I can write a better than average story on this web site.
I have heard of students loading music programs on the school computers and later getting caught. This is the only reason I am promoting caution in saying not to do it if your thinking along that logic. If you do not own the computer your working at, do not load a program I am suggesting onto it.
You will get caught!
Not only is it more than likely prohibited for you, but you might load up a computer virus. Your action might cost you income for loading this type of computer program. The school or business might fine you for the time to remove it from their machine!
Now, you have an idea of what I went through and of the trials and hardships for my first story! If you are a beginning author and yet to submit a story, use a Grammar Checker with a Spell Checker program and help yourself out. If you are an established author with many stories to your credit, make your life easier. This type of program will give you extra time to make your fans happier. It will give you the capacity to produce even more stories faster by using a Grammar Checker with your Spell Checker. Your stories will be stronger in style and easier to read.
Your editor will thank you if you find and use a Grammar and Spell Checker programs.
I hope that this little article helped you in some way.