Writing Center Cohort Response

Response to “Revisiting Grammarly” by Dorothy Mayne

The author values and acknowledges the existence of correct grammar, which may influence her perspective Grammarly’s suggestions. She is judging them against a set standard of correctness. She does admit that the situations in which she envisioned using it were ones with less crucial issues, but that still is reinforcing a specific hierarchy.

I appreciated the citation of Dembsey’s research, which pointed out some differences between Grammarly and writing centers. These include how WCs incorporate fewer comments, positive feedback, and more comprehensive responses. 

Mayne makes an interesting point about how feedback software can undermine our goal of linguistic justice, arguing that “the types of errors the Grammarly fixes aren’t important at all”. In writing, the larger content, voice, and meaning outweigh the minor errors Grammarly is designed to find.  

I liked that she mentioned discussing this type of software with students and  interrogating how they use it. An open dialogue would be very helpful with some of the clients we see who may be using Grammarly or another software to “fix” perceived errors, which can end up causing more problems and eliminating their individuality.

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