I'm currently editing all old articles that I have published here on the site and when I look at some of the things that I wrote back then, I can only say that my writing has improved a lot over time. It is still not perfect and most native speakers probably realize at once that I'm not a native speaker, but I'm getting there.
Slick Write is a free web service that is also available as an extension for the Chrome and Firefox web browsers, Open Office, Libre Office, and as a WordPress plugin. Unlike other services of its kind, it is completely free to use without any restrictions, at least for now.
Since it is web-based, you do not really have to install any of the extensions or plugins to get started, and the only thing they add is that they make it more comfortable to submit text to the service.
You can copy and paste up to 200,000 characters into the form on the website, and hit the proofread button afterwards to have the writing analyzed by Slick Write.
From here no out, it is just a matter of switching between the different tabs the service makes available after analysis of the text.
- Stats displays in-depth information about the text. This includes the number of words, word length, sentences and paragraphs, as well as information about the use of adverbs, pronouns, uncommon words or the overall readability index.
- Flow displays a graphical representation of the structural, sentence length and word length flow.
- Structure looks at the sentence structure of the document and displays information about the number of words used. Sentences are color coded so that it is easy to spot sentences that may be too long or too short.
- Critique highlights stylistic features and flows within the document. You can hover the mouse cursor over items highlighted here to receive additional information about them.
- A click on any highlighted words or phrases displays a short description of what is meant by it on the right screen border. You can click on a link that leads to a page that offers additional - in-depth - information.
- Edit allows you to make modifications to the document to correct issues that have been identified by the web application. You do need to hit the proofread button afterwards again to process the changes.
Before you start, click on the configure tab to change preferences. Here you can select what is going to be analyzed by the program. Items are grouped into sections such as professional language, sentences, objectivity or concise language. Here you can remove specific checks that you are not interested in or add new checks that you want included. The service can for instance check for bias language or gender-specific pronouns, something which it does not do by default.
You can use one of the available presets, with fiction being selected by default, if you prefer to not make individual preference changes here.
Slick Write helps you the most if you read the detailed information that it makes available. These do include examples so that it is relatively easy to understand what is being criticized.