Not too long ago, I found this fabulous tool called Paper Rater. I don’t remember how I found it, perhaps I found it through one of the many blogs on writing that I read or that I stumbled upon it.
Paper Rater is entirely free to use. It’s built and maintained by linguistic professionals and graduate students and according to their About page, it’s used by schools and universities in over 46 countries to help students improve their writing.
PaperRater.com combines the power of natural language processing (NLP), artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, information retrieval (IR), computational linguistics, data mining, and advanced pattern matching (APM). We offer the most powerful writing tool available on the internet today.
Now I bet you’re wondering about what it actually does.
Paper Rater offers three tools (each a sum of their parts): Grammar Checking, Plagiarism Detection and Writing Suggestions.
To make use of these tools, click “Use Now for Free” and scroll down on the new page. There, you will be able to copy/paste your title, your writing, the works you cited (which I guess is only of importance for students… like me? Unless you’re working on a non-fiction piece of course), select your education level, the type of paper you’re submitting (options are essay, email, research paper, short story, and many others) and you can select the “originality detection”, which is slower but I suggest you select “include” it because it offers some interesting insights. Then, you can select “get report”.
It’ll take some time to load. Then, you’ll be sent to a new page where you’ll be offered insights on a few points. If your score on one or more of these points is low, it’ll suggest some ways to improve your paper. If it’s high, you can gloat and be proud!
This is what it said about this blog, thus far:
Plagiarism Detection: Originality: 75%; This paper may be plagiarized, or contain a large number of quotations. Be certain that any un-original text is properly cited. (Note: I think this is because I quoted their about page. Apparently, it’s quite strict!)
Spelling: No spelling errors found. (Go me!)
Grammar: No grammar errors detected.
(Note: when grammar or spelling errors are found, they are highlighted in respectively green and red in your text and it will offer you alternatives.)
Word Choice: Bad Phrase Score*: 4.397 (*based on the number and quality of trite or inappropriate words, phrases, and cliches found in your paper.) Great job - your score is above average! You know exactly which phrases to avoid in your writing.
Style: Transitional Words Score*: 53 (*based on quality of transitional phrases used within your paper) Good job! Your usage of transitional phrases is within an acceptable range! Nevertheless, you may still benefit from reading the info below.
Vocabulary Words: Vocabulary Score: 74, Vocabulary Word Count: 5, Percentage of Vocab Words: 2.81% (Vocabulary Words in this Paper: stumbled, linguistic, graduate, linguistics, paste) Excellent work! Your usage of sophisticated words is on par with other well-written papers!
Grade: Grade: 81* -> B (*based on college grading scale)
Well, that was quite decent!
The Vocab Builder
In case you got a less than good score on Vocabulary Words, it’ll offer you the Vocab Builder, which is another tool that Paper Rater offers. I’ve found that, even if you do get a high score on Vocabulary Words, this is a great way to practice your vocab. Not only will it just randomly offer your words and a few synonyms, it will also offer you some examples of how the word is used in a sentence. Pretty neat, if you’d ask me.
Let Paper Rater assist you in your proofreading!
My verdict: this is a great tool and I will use it regularly to help me spot errors that I glanced over in Word. It makes the writer’s life a tad easier, that’s for sure!