When you’re a writer (like I am) one of the first things you learn how to do is adopt various ‘voices’. I have a voice I use at work when I’m writing cold technical documents like user guides. I have a completely different voice that I use when I’m blogging because I’m more personal and conversational. It’s about being adaptable.
It’s also about knowing how to write.
I have a lot of people ask me how I manage to switch styles so often and so (seemingly) effortlessly. I wish I could say it was because I’m the greatest writer of all time but the truth of the matter is that I have a lot of help from a few different websites. Let’s face it, the spelling and grammar check in Microsoft Word is only going to get you so far (and it’s not very far).
If you want to become a better writer, and you want to do it without being publicly crucified by social media grammar Nazis, then I recommend these two easy-to-use sites:
I like to refer to Grammarly as “the best writing website ever.” Seriously, I just love it that much. It catches far more than Microsoft Word and I don’t take it as personally as I would if it was a live person making the edits. What does it do, exactly?
- It catches spelling and grammar errors, then suggests corrections.
- It recognizes ambiguity in your writing and offers suggestions for clarity.
- It calls out over-used words and recommends synonyms.
- It identifies contextual errors (such as confusing affect and effect) and offers assistance.
If you use Chrome (as I do) there is even a browser extension so it works as you write, eliminating the need for you to open another window or program. You can sign up here for free!
If you’ve ever had your humor perceived as rude, your bluntness perceived as harsh, or your kindness perceived as patronizing, then Tone Analyzer is a site you want to begin using for your writing.
It uses linguistic analysis to detect the emotional tones of your writing, then it offers synonyms to either soften or strengthen your tone, depending on your preference. It’s crazy easy, and extremely helpful.
I initially used the Tone Analyzer when I was writing welcome e-mails, business proposals, and notices of late payment for an invoice; I gradually began using it for e-mails and blog posts as well. It’s a fantastic tool and it is so simple.
I know you’re going to love it.
Once you try it once you’re going to be tone analyzing everything, just you wait and see.
What are your favorite writing resources? Do you use Grammarly or Tone Analyzer?