Online writing tools are extremely popular today among students. The latter use them all the time when writing their papers, essays, and even emails. These tools usually review the complexity of sentences and vocabulary, plagiarism, grammar, punctuation, prepositions, and word order. Yet, let’s go through the reasons you can’t be sure about the correctness of your text only relying on such tools.

Grammar Checkers

They Don’t Understand the Sense of the Sentence

When you write (be it a letter, a post, an essay, or a thesis), your thoughts drift away from time to time. Usually, it influences the quality of your work. Another case where quality can be compromised is when you are in a hurry or simply at a loss – the uneasiness muddles the thoughts and in the end, you may produce an almost fully correct text in terms of grammar but not coherence.

Even the most enthusiastic writers can lose the train of thought and write something that doesn’t make sense, and that’s okay. That’s why essay writing help experts always take time before submitting the final versions. They need to put the text aside for some time and then edit it to ensure that the client receives a polished version. The first full draft can never be final since you may have to restructure your essay after you read it in a day or so.

Meanwhile, the machine can’t check whether the sentence:

  • is relevant to the topic;
  • is logical;
  • is connected to the previous arguments;
  • or makes sense at all.

You may even write some gibberish like “Robots doesn’t garden the pool before it is afternoon in the evening.” – the only thing the grammar checker will ask you to correct is “doesn’t”.

They Are Good Mostly At Spelling… But Not Always

In-built and independent tools like Grammarly still do not fully agree on some rules. For instance, the word ‘tradeshows’ is marked as incorrect in online Google docs, while Grammarly accepts the word. There are always issues with writing in UK or US English. The best tools have settings to avoid this problem, yet, few are aware of that.

In addition, there are cases when one corrects the mistake according to the recommendation from the tool, and the latter gives a new tip, which basically suggests writing the word just like the first time. Doesn’t seem reliable, does it?

They Give Messy Punctuation Recommendations

This point overlaps with the previous one. Writing words separately or with a hyphen is also a matter that fans of online tools have to deal with. Checkers may give different suggestions.

In addition, they may recommend making senseless additions: “Many people become IT recruiters because…’ -> ‘Many people become IT, recruiters, because…’. The issue is probably about the abbreviation. So, as you can see, such things can also confuse the computer, and a human review is a must in this case too.

Plagiarism Checkers

They Have Different Levels of Access

Free online plagiarism checking tools are not always as good as we’d like them to be. You can’t be sure your essay (or any other written work for that matter) is original – free tools have limited access. It takes a lot of time (hence effort and funds) to handle all the complex algorithms and develop a tool that would connect to the unified database of all the texts in the world that have ever been submitted and published.

So, a truly reliable plag checker can’t be free. Some of the latter can detect no similarities if you simply shuffle the sentences copied from Wikipedia, isn’t that frustrating? One more sad fact is that today, the most reliable checker – Turnitin – can be accessed only via a teacher’s account. Therefore, even if you plagiarize unintentionally or borrow some info from your friend’s paper, there are still chances that you won’t find any trace of plagiarism online, but your teacher will.

To avoid such issues, use the help of professionals you can find based on or at least always quote directly the parts you’d like to build your arguments on. That way, you will always know which part of the text is yours and which is not. It’s easy to forget about such a simple thing when you have to write many pages.

Readability Checkers

They Do Not Consider the Specifics of the Assignment

Writing an essay on philosophy presupposes that you develop long and tangled arguments. Also, there are words repeated over and over again as you try to get to the bottom of the thesis statement. How would a readability checker like Hemingway or a keyword density tool evaluate your work? Well, the first one would ask you to simplify your writing, the second one – to reduce the number of some words. As a result, your essay may sound childish or/and senseless because of poor synonyms.

They Are Easy to Trick

Sometimes, to make a text readable, you may need to add a couple of lists or senselessly split sentences in half – that’s all. Yet, splitting coherent sentences just for the sake of meeting the criteria of an online checker may lead to creating incomplete sentences and disconnected arguments. In the worst-case scenario, it will seem like you are not aware of syntax rules.


To sum up, online tools are pretty valuable these days, even the free ones. They can help you when you’re in a hurry, but you shouldn’t rely on them exclusively. They do spot serious grammar mistakes but there are limits to their functionality, and they do make mistakes, just like humans.

The difference is that humans can analyze a text within a context, and you should learn how to do that too. Only after you re-read your essay in full and ensure that it is logical and coherent, you can make the final touches by using some prompts from the computer.

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Nicolas Desjardins

Hello everyone, I am the main writer for SIND Canada. I’ve been writing articles for more than 10 years and I like sharing my knowledge. I’m currently writing for many websites and newspaper. All my ideas come from my very active lifestyle. I always keep myself very informed to give you the best information. In all my years as computer scientist made me become an incredible researcher. I believe that any information should be free, we want to know more every day because we learn everyday. You can contact me on our forum or by email at: [email protected].