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Abstract

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 fill 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 filling these gaps and offers suggestions for multiple mediums, new services, and strategies for sentence-level concerns.

Citation

Dembsey, J. M. (2017). Closing the Grammarly® gaps: A study of claims and feedback from an online grammar program. The Writing Center Journal, 36(1), 63-100.