Thursday, December 31, 2015

Awesome Free English Proofreading Tool

What exactly is Document Grader?

Firstly, it's a grammar and language usage tool.  Document Grader is designed to dive more deeply into your writing than any proofreading tool currently available.  If you simply need a second set of eyes before you hit that "send" button, or before you print that final draft, then you would do well to see what this app thinks of it first.

At the very least, Document Grader will encourage you to re-think your writing, and potentially inspire you to think of a better way to express a word, phrase or sentence.  Better writing is a product of thinking about what you have already written again and again.  As the saying goes, "Writing is a process."

On a longer timeline, Doc Grader is designed to turn you into a better writer.  Over time you will detect repeating patterns in your writing that you can correct yourself ahead of time.  When you instinctively check for a particular issue ahead of time (thanks to Doc Grader bringing them to your attention over and over), then you will have made a major step toward becoming a better writer.  Your goal should be to progress as a writer, even beyond the issues that Docucument Grader might help you find.

Also, the app is free.  

So what are you waiting for?  Give it a try and let me know what you think.  Any and all feedback is welcome. 

Thursday, December 10, 2015

New Feature - Automatic Document Saving

Here is a new feature to Document Grader to help you continue where you left off in your proofreading work, and avoid the risk of losing your work in general: Auto-save!

If you change anything in your document, it will be saved automatically within a few seconds.  You also have the option of manually saving your document if the auto-save function is not fast enough for you.  

If your computer or browser crashes, or if you are logged out from inactivity, then when you log back into your account, the latest version of the essay you were working on will be automatically reloaded and re-graded.  You can thus continue where you left off without losing any of your hard work.

Let me know what you think about this new feature.  Also, any feedback is appreciated!

Try out Document Grader today, for free!


Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Text Box Editing Shortcuts for Windows and Mac - Ace Editor Magic!

The text box you are using when entering / editing text for Document Grader to proofread is based on the open source text editor called Ace Editor.  As such, there are a variety of built in "tricks" that you can utilize to make your document editing experience easier.

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- Undo

When the cursor is in the text editing box, you can simultaneously press the keys "Control + z" for Windows or "Command + z" for Mac to undo the last change that was done to your text.  This is already standard for these operating systems.  This will undo the last change regardless of whether you typed / deleted / pasted something, or if the document was automatically changed by Document Grader when you clicked the button to instruct the service to do so.

- Redo

This shortcut is also the same as standard commands for Windows and Mac.  To redo in Windows, press "Control + y".  To redo in Mac, press "Command + Shift + y".

- Text Find / Search

This shortcut is also the same as standard commands for Windows and Mac.  To search for text in Windows, press "Control + f", then a search widget appears and you can type in and search for your text.  For Mac, use "Command + f".

- Select a Word

Double Click.

- Select a Paraphraph

Triple Click.

- Shift Highlighted Text to left or right (Change Tab / Margin)

First highlight the line or paragraph you want to shift to the left or the right.  To shift the text to the right, press "Tab"  To move the text to the left, press "Shift + Tab."

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There are other tricks available for Ace Editor (Google it if you want the full rundown), but I feel that these are the most relevant shortcuts for the purpose of proofreading essays.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Being Critical of Your Own Writing

It's difficult to be critical of your own writing.  

Mustering the energy to write in the first place is difficult.  Then, after you have pounded out what seems to be an awesome essay, you have to go back to the beginning and start again, as if you are writing it for the first time.

But, if you want to present your best written work, you have to be very critical of it. No word, phrase, sentence or paragraph is safe from the threat of revision.  Don't be afraid of re-thinking everything that sounded fine the first time around.

You might ask: How should I be critical?  What should I look for?  Should I literally consider rewriting every word?

Document Grader answers these questions to a great extent by highlighting portions of your writing that are worth reconsidering.  The service was designed to find potential proofreading issues so that you, the writer, can quickly focus on problem areas in your writing.  Ideally, you should also take into account the surrounding sentences and paragraph, making changes as needs to improve your writing beyond what DocGrader finds for you.

Practice is vital if you want to improve as a writer.  As you invest time and energy into your essay, you are also investing in yourself as a writer.  Consider the suggestions/examples Document Grader gives you and you will learn to recognize bad versus good writing patterns.  The more you rethink your writing according to these examples, the more effective your editorial instincts will become.  

Try out Document Grader today!