Preview

Professional Discourse & Communication

Advanced search

Using Grammarly to Enhance Students’ Academic Writing Skills

https://doi.org/10.24833/2687-0126-2021-3-4-51-63

Full Text:

Abstract

The paper aims to present the results of the experiment in applying the online writing assistant Grammarly.com to evaluate ESP students’ essay writing skills. One hundred master students’ papers were processed by the application to identify persisting errors at a master’s level. Quantitative and qualitative methods enabled the researchers to analyze the essays by setting five parameters: audience, formality, domain, tone, and intent. At the other end, the application broke down the outcome by five measurable factors: correctness, clarity, delivery, engagement, and style issues. The representative number of the essays fed into Grammarly.com provided a vivid and reliable picture of which lexis, grammar, structure, or style issues still need addressing. The most common mistakes detected by Grammarly.com were punctuation, wordy sentences, redundancy, and the abundance of personal pronouns in a formal style. They show that the gaps in students’ academic writing need a remedial course. Another objective of the research was to explore the potential of the online writing tool for students’ self-study. Grammarly.com cannot do work for students: it cannot think for them, neither can it write for them, but it can help learners identify the reoccurring writing problems, eliminate them, and monitor the progress. The application could be particularly useful for advanced students. The functionality of the Grammarly premium version allows for a choice of styles, type of addressee, tone of writing, and many other nuances, which could be beneficial not only for studies but in future professional life. Nonetheless, despite Grammarly’s advanced features, it only suggests a better variant, sometimes it errs, and in no way is it a substitute for a teacher.

About the Authors

N. A. Zinkevich
MGIMO University
Russian Federation

Nina A. Zinkevich is Cand. Sci. (Philology), Associate professor in the Department of the English language #4

Moscow



T. V. Ledeneva
MGIMO University
Russian Federation

Tatiana V. Ledeneva is Cand. Sci. (Philology), Associate professor in the Department of the English language #4

Moscow



References

1. Alexander, O., Argent, S., & Spencer, J. (2008). EAP Essentials: A teacher’s guide to principles and practice. Reading, UK: Garnet Publishing Ltd.

2. Bailey, S. (2010). Academic Writing. A Handbook for International Students. 3-d edition. London, UK: Routledge.

3. Burke, K. (1941). The Philosophy of Literary Form. Berkeley: University of California Press.

4. Cardiff Metropolitan University (n.d.). Academic Writing: Principles and Practice. Retrieved from: https://study.cardiffmet.ac.uk/AcSkills/Documents/Guides/AS_Guide_Academic_Writing.pdf (accessed: 30 October, 2021).

5. Chazal, E., & McCarter, S. (2012). Oxford EAP: A course of English for Academic Purposes. Oxford, UK: OUP.

6. Craswell, G. (2004). Writing for Academic Success. London: Sage Publications.

7. Four Levels of Academic Writing. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://academics.hse.ru/awc (accessed: 10 October, 2021).

8. Free Essay Writing Tools for Any Academic Need. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.essaytoolbox.com (accessed: 25 October, 2021).

9. Gillett, A. (n.d.). Features of Academic Writing. Retrieved from: http://www.uefap.com/writing/feature/featfram.htm (accessed: 9 October, 2021).

10. Giltrow, J., & Valiquette, M. (1994). Genres and knowledge: Students writing in the disciplines. In Freedman, A., & Medway, P. (Eds.). Learning and teaching genre. Portsmouth, NH: Boynton/ Cook (pp. 47-62).

11. Hounsell, D. (1995). Marking and Commenting on Essays/Tutoring and Demonstrating. In Foster, Honsell, & Thompson (Eds.). A Handbook. Centre for Teaching, Learning, and Assessment (pp. 51-64). Edinburgh, UK: The University of Edinburgh Press.

12. Kramer, L. (2021). What is Academic Writing? Retrieved from https://www.grammarly.com/blog/academic-writing/ (accessed: 10 October, 2021).

13. Oshima, A., & Hogue A. (2006). Writing Academic English. New York: Pearson.

14. Perkins, K. (1983). On the Use of Composition Scoring Techniques, Objective Measures, and Objective Tests to Evaluate ESL Writing Ability. TESOL Quarterly, № 177, 651-671.

15. Roozen, K. (2015). Texts Get Their Meaning from Other Texts. In Adler-Kassner & Wardle, (Eds.) Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts in Writing Studies. Logan: Utah State UP.

16. Smith, Sh. (2021). What is Academic Writing? Retrieved from https://www.eapfoundation.com/writing/what/ (accessed: 3 October, 2021).

17. Sowton, C. (2012). 50 Steps to Improving Your Academic Writing. Garnet Education.

18. Staffordshire University. (2021). Academic Writing. Retrieved from https://libguides.staffs.ac.uk/academic_writing/explained (accessed: 29 October, 2021).

19. Swales, J., & Feak, C. (2012). Academic Writing for Graduate Students: Essential Tasks and Skills (3rd ed.). Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press.

20. Thaiss, C., & Zawacki, T. (2006). Engaged Writers and Dynamic Disciplines: Research on the Academic Writing Life, Portsmouth: Boynton/Cook.

21. University of Leeds (2021). Academic Writing. Retrieved from https://library.leeds.ac.uk/info/14011/writing/106/academic_writing (accessed: 23 October, 2021).

22. White, E. M. (1994). Teaching and Assessing Writing. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.

23. Zinkevich, N. (Ed.). (2016). English Course for Management Masters: Preparing for the Future: Level С1. Moscow: MGIMO University.


Review

For citation:


Zinkevich N.A., Ledeneva T.V. Using Grammarly to Enhance Students’ Academic Writing Skills. Professional Discourse & Communication. 2021;3(4):51-63. https://doi.org/10.24833/2687-0126-2021-3-4-51-63



Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.


ISSN 2687-0126 (Online)