Coming into my freshman year of college, I was confident that I could handle anything. I was the top of my high school class and a skilled writer who contributed to the school newspaper and even wrote for a few local publications on the side. I knew I could communicate my ideas effectively and clearly (my personal essay was pretty excellent if I do say so myself).
However, once I began my collegiate-level coursework, everything changed. I wrote more than ever—papers, emails, applications to clubs—the list went on and on. More importantly, my work was held to a higher standard than I was used to. Between ceaseless coursework and lofty expectations, my confidence as a writer began to diminish.
There were several moments during my freshman year, where I was utterly embarrassed about my writing quality. For example, in my journalism class, I received a C+ for a paper about the countercultural movement of the 1960s. My professor told me that my content was insightful but challenging to understand, given various grammatical and syntactic errors.
I told myself to be more careful next time and use this as a learning experience. However, three days later, I realized that an email I sent to another professor had several glaring spelling errors due to my hastiness. These writing mistakes weren't a one-time occurrence.
It was slightly embarrassing admitting that I couldn't handle my workload right out of the gate, but I also knew that I could do something about it. There were plenty of writing workshops and helpful tutoring sessions with professors. Still, the one tool I found to be the most useful (yes, more valuable than my professors) was Grammarly.
My academic advisor initially recommended I download Grammarly, a free AI-powered writing assistant. Grammarly is designed to make you the best writer possible. It's perfect for college students looking to polish their writing, and is so much more than an advanced spell-checker. As you type, it offers suggestions to make your writing correct, clear, and concise.
If you download the Grammarly browser extension, you can directly access writing suggestions in Microsoft Word, Google Docs, Gmail, and other popular platforms. It's been incredibly helpful when completing group assignments on a shared document or sending a lengthy email to a professor.
Since I found the free version of Grammarly so helpful, I decided to upgrade to Premium for the following year. I was blown away by the advanced suggestions Premium offers. It's like having a dictionary, a thesaurus, the Purdue Writing Guide, and so much more, all in one place. One of my favorite features is selecting the domain of my writing, such as academic or email, in the goals panel. This allows me to get tailored suggestions based on the type of writing I'm doing.
Another great feature is the plagiarism checker. I'm always doing a ton of research for various assignments and often forget to paraphrase my notes (especially if it's been a while since I first wrote them down). Grammarly's plagiarism checker ensures that every piece of work you submit is 100% original. Given my university's academic integrity policy, this is a must-have. Suppose you're still unsure about your writing after using all of these features. In that case, you can even hire a human proofreader from Grammarly to help you out!
Since downloading Grammarly, I've become far more confident in my writing ability. Funny enough, I even started writing for my university's newspaper. My vocabulary is more refined than ever, and my sentences are clear and concise. I'm even considering an English minor! Trust me, as a college student, Grammarly (free or Premium) is one of the best investments you can make. Download Grammarly today to elevate your writing forever.
Writing a Thesis? Grammarly Can Help! Become a better writer and download Grammarly's free chrome extension.