Closing the Grammarly® Gaps: A Study of Claims and Feedback from an Online Grammar Program (2017)


asynchronous, Grammarly, automated technology, grammar, access, pedagogy, best/effective practices, research study


From 2012 to 2015, the online grammar program Grammarly® was claimed to complement writing center services by 1. increasing student access to writing support; and 2. addressing sentence-level issues, such as grammar. To test if Grammarly® could close these two gaps in writing center services, this article revisits the results of a Spring 2014 study that compared Grammarly®’s comment cards to the written feedback of 10 asynchronous online consultants. The results showed that both Grammarly® and some consultants strayed from effective practices regarding limiting feedback, avoiding technical language, and providing accurate information about grammatical structure. However, the consultants’ weaknesses could be addressed with enhanced or focused training, and their strengths allowed for important learning opportunities that enable student access to information across mediums and help students establish connections between their sentences and the larger whole. This article concludes that each writing center should consider their own way of closing these gaps and offers suggestions for multiple consultation genres, new services, and strategies for sentence-level concerns.

Citation Information

Type of Source: Journal Article

Author: J. M. Dembsey

Year of Publication: 2017

Title: “Closing the Grammarly Gaps: A Study of Claims and Feedback from an Online Grammar Program

Publication: Writing Center Journal, Volume 36, Issue 1

Page Range: 63-100