ProWritingAid analyzes your writing and highlights potential improvements. Each report focuses on a particular area of your writing. Some reports will provide quick fixes that will allow you to polish up a short piece of writing. Other reports will go in depth and reveal areas where you can do more to improve your writing style.
While ProWritingAid is not going to do your job for you, it will make your job easier. You'll improve your writing style as you use the reports because you'll become more aware of the mistakes that you make, just like having a real-life writing coach guiding you. Not every suggestion will work for every writer, so you'll have to use your own judgement.
The Writing Style Report is one of the most popular and comprehensive reports that ProWritingAid offers. We all know that there is a lot more to good writing than just correct grammar, and these suggestions are based on the same ideas you would learn in a university writing course.
The Style Report highlights several areas of writing that should be revised to improve readability, including: passive and hidden verbs, over-reliance on adverbs, repeated sentence starts, emotional tells and much more. These suggestions are the same as a professional copyeditor would give you (in fact many of them use ProWritingAid). If you are going to send your writing to a copyeditor then, by fixing all these mistakes upfront, your editor will be able to focus on the more important aspects of your work, such as tone of voice. You'll get a more polished piece of writing as a reward.
The Grammar Report is like Microsoft Word's grammar checker but with super powers. We use the latest artificial-intelligence algorithms to catch all those issues that Word's grammar checker misses. What's more, our team of copy-editors have input thousands of specific checks that they have come across in their years of editing. For example, they noticed that many writers write “adverse” when they actually mean “averse”, so when this comes up, the software will offer a short explanation about how the two words are different. This additional understanding means you can make sure you select the correct word not just this time, but every time. You'll eliminate all the embarrassing errors from your text and learn not to make them in the future.
Writers should be wary of many words and phrases in the English language that are indicative of poor writing style. Intensifiers like "very", for example, actually weaken your writing, or hesitant words like "just" or "maybe" make your writing feel unconvincing. Words like these are fine in moderation, but when overused can undermine your ideas. In this report, we'll flag the problematic words and phrases that are commonly overused by writers, and help you to eliminate them. As you work through them, you will be begin to recognize and avoid using them in the first place.
Clichés are the crutch of the lazy writer! Don't rely on someone else's dusty old imagery, brainstorm for innovative new ways to express your ideas. Fresh metaphors will leave a much stronger impression on your reader.
Never use two words, when one will do the job. Redundant wording adds quantity to your writing, but not quality. Every word in your writing should be there for a reason. This report helps you eliminate the clutter.
Sticky sentences wobble around without getting to the point. They are hard to follow, and should be rewritten to increase clarity.
Every sentence contains some words that don't have any actual meaning; they just hold your sentence together: and, in, the, of, etc. These glue words are empty spaces in your writing that your reader needs to get through to reach your meaning. Statistics show that published texts have a low percentage of glue words, and so should your writing.
Being a great writer is not about using fancy words – it’s about communicating meaning to your readers. If they have to look up words or decipher your language in any way, they'll be distracted from your ideas. This report uses the top readability tools out there, including the popular Flesch Reading Ease Score, to analyze your writing and highlight those sentences that will be hard for your reader to understand.
Writers often mistakenly use the same word several times in the span of one paragraph because it’s foremost in their mind. But those repeats can set off an echo in the reader’s mind – that subconscious feeling of “Didn’t he just say that?” Too much of the same word or phrase can be irritating to read and, worse, it can detract from what you are trying to say. This report highlights repeated words and phrases in your document so you can use a more diverse vocabulary.
Writing that uses varying sentence lengths keeps the reader’s brain engaged. Some should be short and punchy, others should be long and flowing. Sentence variety adds an element of music to your writing.
ProWritingAid creates a visual representation of your sentence lengths so you can pick out areas where you should add more variety. Too many long sentences may result in a monotonous text, or too many short sentences may result in a choppy text. You can see at a glance where adding more short, medium or long sentences will round out the piece.
Inexperienced writers often rely on pronouns to keep the narrative moving: “He did this”, “She did that”, “They ran there”, “I found out.” It's dull. On average, published writing contains only 4-15% pronouns. If your writing contains a higher percentage than that, then you need to replace your pronoun-heavy passages with more dynamic wording.
Transition words are the road signs in writing—they help your reader move smoothly between ideas. Transitions like “similarly”, “nevertheless”, “in order to”, or “as a result” help you show your readers how separate points go together to support your larger idea. They illustrate agreement, contrast or show cause and effect. One in every four sentences (25%) should contain a transition. If your transition score is less than 25%, you should consider adding more road signs.
Consistency is essential in writing. It makes it feel professional and polished. The Consistency Check highlights inconsistency of spelling, hyphenation, capitalization, and punctuation. It also checks to make sure that you are consistently writing in either American English or British English.
Great fiction always contains fast-paced sections, such as dialogue and character action, as well as slow-paced sections, such as introspection and backstory. Both are essential to create a strong narrative and believable characters, but you never want your readers to feel bored or bogged down by too many long, slow passages. Use ProWritingAid to monitor your slow-paced sections to make sure your readers never lose interest.
Most dialogue tags, aside from "said" and "asked" break that cardinal rule of writing: show don't tell. If you write "Jane exclaimed" after her dialogue, you are depending on a word to get Jane's emotion across. Instead, show it to your reader with her actions. Describe how Jane's eyes bulge with shock. Make everyone in the room turn to look at her outburst. Use ProWritingAid to highlight all your dialogue tags and get your emotion across in a stronger way.
The contextual thesaurus allows you to explore a range of synonyms by double-clicking any word. Unlike most thesaurus suggestions, our report offers replacement words that fit within that context of that sentence.
When it comes to writing, less is more. Too often writers try to sound authoritative by saying simple things in wordy ways. Why write “has the ability to” when you can write “can”? You’re just using more words to say the same thing, which makes your writing less clear. We'll find these unnecessarily verbose phrases so you can make every word count.
Alliteration creates a pleasant rhythm when reading and so is often used in fiction, poetry and even advertising. Spark creativity by using ProWritingAid to highlight all instances of alliteration in your text.
Homonyms are words that sound the same but have different meanings — and they slip past spellcheckers all the time! If you write He lost his patients but really meant He lost his patience, your spellchecker won't flag it as an error. The ProWritingAid tool will highlight every word in your document with a homonym so you can double-check that you have the correct spelling.
The Acronym Report creates a list of all the acronyms you have used. Misspelled or inconsistent acronyms are not usually picked up by normal spell-checkers, so this list allows you to easily scan for errors. It can also help you create a glossary of acronyms for your text.
Create customized reports to look for specific issues based on your needs. If you are a sports writer, input all the players' names to make sure that they are spelled correctly. If you are a fashion designer, create a rule that "fall collection" should always be flagged and corrected to "autumn collection". If you’re writing for a client, you can input their style guide rules into ProWritingAid and the software will flag any deviations for you.
Create the ProWritingAid report that YOU need.
Plagiarism is a major concern for many people, especially those writing academic works. The plagiarism checks performed by ProWritingAid will check your work against over a billion web-pages and articles to make sure that you have correctly cited any unoriginal content. It is easy for unoriginal content to slip into your work, and the consequences can be disastrous.
You need to purchase credits to use our plagiarism checker, available from as little as $5.
We've just taken a look at some of our best writing and editing tools, and ProWritingAid is continually evolving to make sure writers have everything they need in one piece of software. Try our free version now and see what ProWritingAid can do for you.