Perfect Punctuation! by @TeacherToolkit

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Ross Morrison McGill founded @TeacherToolkit in 2010, and today, he is one of the 'most followed educators'on social media in the world. In 2015, he was nominated as one of the '500 Most Influential People in Britain' by The Sunday Times as a result of...
Read more about @TeacherToolkit

Have you ever considered how you could improve your own digital literacy?


As teachers we have a responsibility to keep our own literacy in check. Blogging and writing for educational publications has helped me develop my own digital literacy.

Whether your writing is read by thousands of people online, or simply by close family and friends, checking your grammar is important; even as a teacher of literacy! This is not just a matter of reading websites, tweeting and posting selfies on social networks, this blog is about a fantastic tool I have been using to improve my own spelling, punctuation and grammar and how self-regulating your own literacy will a) improve over time and b) also influence what you do in the classroom.

“Grammarly has caught the eyes of the educational community.”


Introducing …

I have been using Grammarly for over 3 years now and I had originally considered using this software as the demand – placed upon myself – to blog better, and to produce more and more articles for national newspapers increased. Note, this has not been a tool I have used to become lazy. I still place great emphasis on myself to improve my own literacy at all levels, but this has been a great piece of software that has significantly increased my correct use of punctuation – one of my own literacy demons – as well as develop a wider repertoire for spelling and correct use of grammar.


Have you ever wondered what the difference is between Grammarly and the basic spell checkers provided with word processing programs? If a writer misspells a word, the spell checkers of most word processing programs can easily detect the error. Contextual errors, like mistakenly using their instead of they’re, are trickier for basic programs to catch. Grammarly is an advanced writing enhancement software powerful enough to find contextual errors, along with 250 other checks of grammar, spelling, and plagiarism.


Educational Community:

In particular, Grammarly has caught the eyes of the educational community. When the program checks for mechanics, sentence structure, or writing style issues, it offers explanations as to why the item appears to be an error and tips about how to correct it. Both teachers and students are among the 4 million users benefiting from Grammarly.

Here’s how it has helped me:

  • Learning from one’s own error pattern is essential to developing good writing. I have been the victim of this on countless occasions and (despite trying my best to) have read every tweet/reply and ‘grammar police’ comment left on all of the articles I have written. What Grammarly can do to help, is that the software shows specific and actionable comments so users can understand and correct mistakes. As they notice the reoccurrence of the same errors, they have an opportunity to identify and break bad habits.
  • Users often search through one of the various style guides to find information about how to properly cite sources in their research papers. Fortunately, Grammarly offers citation assistance. Users find the tips helpful, especially when they install Grammarly’s premium Microsoft add-in; it makes suggestions as the document is being typed.
  • As a classroom teacher, I also appreciate Grammarly’s time-saving components. One such time-saver is the plagiarism checker. Within just a few moments, educators can verify that a document is original and offer detailed feedback about writing mistakes.
  • In addition to communicating with students and parents, as teachers we send dozens of emails to parents and colleagues. As a user of Google Chrome, by downloading the Grammarly extension to check online writing from emails to posts on your education blog; it’s a great tool for perfect punctuation.


Grammarly has obvious applications in the classroom, but teachers and students are not the only ones who use its automatic grammar checking capabilities. As a blogger, I double-check my posts regularly; not a frequently as I should and by no-means are every blogpost error free! I can also add tweets and status updates onto Facebook; many social media platforms also communicate with Grammarly. As a professional writer – if I could call myself this now that I am an author – I can customise what writing corrections are flagged by selecting one of the 30 available document types. The software is also great for editors and editing too; saving time by quickly locating and correcting obvious errors and double-checking documents that are being sent for publication.

Are you a teacher, blogger, student, writing professional, or an average writing Joe? Why not explore what Grammarly can do for you?


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