Your self-directed employment assistant
This past year, I have witnessed an increase in professionals seeking help for writing support. Many businesses have, or are making budget cuts and reducing or removing access to assistants who were essential in helping to edit written-work or communications to clients and customers. If you experience challenges with penmanship, typing, spelling, and or grammar, you will want to read this blog article and future posts in this series.
The past month, I wrote about speech recognition programs that can help you spell correctly, access the computer alternatively, and type more efficiently. This month I will write about grammar and spell checkers as a topic. It is important to demonstrate good grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills when writing. Many bosses think what an employee writes, whether it is an email, document, letters, or meeting notes reflects the company for a whole when shared with others.
There are many tools that can help someone with writing; however, technology is never 100% accurate and there may be times it is best to still have a final edit done by another human. If your phonemic awareness skills are very poor (the ability to correctly sound out words or spell words like they sound “phonemically”) or your reading skills are very poor, you will most likely need the help of a human assistant. If your skills are good, but you make occasional errors, then you might want to check out some of the following resources and tools.
WhiteSmoke Writer is a software program that works on any computer, Internet browser, and mobile product. The key features are shared across all profiles - grammar checking and explanation, spell checking, style checking, and the dictionary-thesaurus. WhiteSmoke Writer is available in General, Business, Creative, and Bio-Tech profiles. Once you engage this product with your written content it will underline words or phrases that need to be changed and provide you with more acceptable options and explanations. This program requires you to have internet access.
Ghotit I Got It Right is a software program that includes a set of tools, including the following modules: Spell checker, Grammar checker, Word prediction and Reading assistance tools. The Ghotit solutions are offered as: Real Writer & Reader for Windows; Real Writer & Reader for Mac; Dyslexia App for Android; Dyslexia App for iPhone and Dyslexia App for iPad. Ghotit Real Writer & Reader Macintosh application integrates with Word, Pages, Safari, PowerPoint, and Excel in addition, it can be used as a stand-alone text editor. Ghotit Real Writer & Reader Windows application integrates Microsoft Office, and FireFox, in addition to being used as a stand-alone text editor. This program boasts it has been developed to support the grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors that are commonly associated with dyslexia and dysgraphia.
Ginger Software Ginger Software is features a grammar checker, punctuation, and spell checker. Ginger works with whichever device or platform you prefer. A unique feature is the Personal Trainer which lets you practice English online with personalized practice sessions based on your own mistakes and provides you with lessons targeted at improving those topics.
Grammarly is a free Safari extension that interacts anywhere you can write on the web. It offers grammar and spell checking, and a vocabulary enhancer. It probably has the most mixed reviews regarding accuracy; however, it is a tool nonetheless.
Trying to remember grammar and punctuation rules? Check out the iOS app called Grammar App. This app allows you to learn, take tests, play games, and monitor your progress. It offers an interactive book with a simple step by step guide and includes a quick check while taking a tutorial to test your understanding of what you just read. It has over 200 tutorials and over 1000 questions. Remember the School House Rock Grammar videos… “conjunction junction, what’s your function”? It will direct you to the videos.
An additional strategy is to always have what you wrote read aloud back to you via your computer. If you use the writing tools mentioned in the previous blog posts you can utilize the read aloud features in each program. Try your computer operating systems accessibility features as well. Look for the Text-To-Speech feature in the Mac and the Narrator feature in Windows. Often times you will catch some of your own errors by just listening.
Remember, writing is an essential skill for most jobs and life. Writing can be in the form of paper or electronic. Electronic options allow for more editing tools, whether it is on a computer, smart phone, or tablet. Technology is not always accurate, and I recommend you ask someone you know with great editing skills to do the final review on any written project that you deem to have high value or importance.