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I am encountering some problems for making my research in English, due that this is not my native language. Even though my ideas are crystal clear in my language I find it extremely hard to express them in English.

For checking issues related to grammar and syntax I have been using Proofread Bot, it is an online grammar and syntax reviewer, but their results are not so accurate. I have been checking some persons that make this task, but their fees are pretty high (almost 200 USD for a 3 pages articles); and I would not like to be paying this amount every time that I want to submit something.

Does anybody knows another software reliable english editor tools online?

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  • I can't testify for the accuracy of the software listed here academia.stackexchange.com/questions/2137/…. However, have you not asked some friends to proofread your papers for you? – PatW Aug 12 '13 at 16:02
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    Although language can be a problem, comfort yourself with the fact that problems in reasoning are far harder to correct than grammar and spelling. – Paul Hiemstra Aug 12 '13 at 16:32
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    Bear in mind that in some cases being good at language is not enough - some phrases may be rooted deep in one discipline, or in some cases minute English corrections can affect the content (e.g. , which vs that or that is vs for instance). So, nothing beats proofreading by a colleague (native speaker > fluent but with a different mother's tongue > fluent but with the same mother's tongue). – Piotr Migdal Mar 12 '14 at 18:27
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Whatever spelling or grammar checkers you use, you may rely only on their ability to detect a problem, not on their suggested solutions. Alas, if your paper is not completely trivial, this applies to most human professional editors as well no matter how much they charge or how many years of experience they claim. So, in the end, it'll all come back to you no matter what. I have been writing and speaking in broken English for 20 years and the only people who complained were the undergraduate students who, as far as I can judge, would hate me even if I had spoken with perfect Cambridge pronunciation and Oxford grammar. Just write in short simple sentences and you'll be fine. It will not be an exaggeration to say that, no matter what field you are in and what subject you are writing upon, the probability that an attempt of expressing your thought in an overly flamboyant manner, including all nuances and sideline remarks into a single sentence, and alluding to the arguments described in several previous passages at once (especially when the the latter are structured similarly to the phrase under consideration and the references to them can hardly be called unambiguous), will not throw the reader off for good somewhere in the middle of an elaborate construction you have built with utmost patience and verified against all spelling and grammar tools at your disposal is nearing that of the event that a layman be able to recite a sophisticated ten page legal contract with all details including each and every involved party and covenant therein in a single outpour flowing as effortlessly and graciously as a wide river in a deep valley after a quick look at it, i.e., zero. Just make sure that your thought is clear. Then yor massage wll cam thru evn if wrds r misspld and wrng grmmar.

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    "Write in short simple sentences" is excellent advice for everyone, native speakers included. The sentence after that ("It will not be an exaggeration...") was great! :-) – debray Aug 14 '13 at 19:16
  • If you can compose a sentence like that long one in your answer (independent of the advisability of doing so), you are no longer writing in broken English. – Peter Shor Aug 18 '13 at 17:09
  • I can do it with enough effort and concentration, not on the fly. When writing a long paper or standing at a blackboard, I just do not have enough time to check everything and my tongue and hand slip much more often than I would like them to... (sigh!) – fedja Aug 18 '13 at 21:45
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I am sympathetic to your problem since I had (and have) it, too, as a non-native English speaker.

Spellcheckers are easy to use and reliable, so use them everywhere you can. Even as I am typing this answer I get a squiggly line below every incorrect word.

Grammar is completely different though. As far as I know there is no easy way to check it in an automated way. Some software tools are listed in this thread on tex.se, but even an intermediate English speaker would find most of them disappointing; they do catch some missing 's', but with so many false positives and negatives that it's hardly worth the effort to go through the results.

My suggestions would be: either (1) find some English exchange student willing to proofread at much cheaper rates, or (2) ignore the issue; it's not so important. I am not a native speaker myself, so I am not in the best position to judge, but your English looks clear enough to me. As long as the paper is understandable to the referees, it shouldn't be a problem if there are occasional grammar errors. After acceptance, the journal's copy editors should make a full grammar check and proofread for you for free as part of the publication process. By going through their correction you can identify the typical mistakes in your English prose and try to improve when writing the next paper.

I work in mathematics; if you are in the liberal arts the situation could be very different though.

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    +1 for "find a native English speaker to proofread the document", -1 for "ignore the issue". You can ignore the issue at your own peril; if your English is poor, get someone to review it; otherwise you may end up being with to understand text, and possibly even implying things you did not indend. – eykanal Aug 14 '13 at 16:23
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    "After acceptance, the journal's copy editors should make a full grammar check and proofread for you for free as part of the publication process": You are a funny, funny man. – Nate Eldredge Mar 13 '14 at 14:35

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