PaperRater: An online tool to help write and grade written papers.

If a teacher assigns gives an assignment to students, the teacher should grade and give feedback to that assignment.  Students are smart and know which teachers grade carefully and which just give a grade.  I had a foreign exchange student live with us for a year.  When she first got to the US, she did everything perfect or as well as she could.  By the time she left, she completed her assignment only half-heartedly.  The main reason for this is that she had teacher who assigned grades instead of grading and giving feedback.  An example, would be that the very first assignment she turned in, she worked really hard on.  She show my family and I her project and was proud of her accomplishment.  The next day she turns in the assignment, the teacher looks at it and says, "It looks nice, good job," give her a 100% and puts it on the back table, never to be displayed or given feedback on.  She never saw it again.  

Now some students, this would bother, because they believe the grade is the end all be all and getting a 100% would make their day.  There are students however, that want feedback on their assignments.  If a student is given work to complete, the teacher should give feedback.  It is through feedback that a student can discover methods of completing better work.

I preface this post with the story above, because I just got done grading and giving feedback on 80 different 2 page research papers.  I assigned it, therefore I graded it.  I am not the best grammar or spelling guy.  I also believe that students' work ought to be original.  I don't have a budget to buy software that will check for plagiarism and check for errors in spelling and grammar.  While grading the papers, I came across an online proofreader tool called PaperRater.  Below is a quick tutorial and demonstration of what a teacher and a student can do with PaperRater.


Go to:

  1. Copy and paste the text of the student's paper into the larger text box.  
  2. One part of the PaperRater that is unique is that you can paste your students' "Works Cited" page into the second text box.
  3. Select the education level of your student by using the dropdown arrows.  This is great to use, because the tool tries to determine your students level of writing.
  4. Next select the type of paper your students are writing.  There are many to choose from.
  5. I always use the "Originality detection" tool as well.  This will check for plagiarism and even give you the sources that it came from.  When you use the dropdown box you will notice that it says "Slower."  I didn't find the speed to be an issue at all.  It is quite quick.
  6. Leave the default of American English.  You can change it to British of course, if you are from England or your students are using British English.
  7. You will need to prove that you are not a robot by typing in the letters and numbers seen in the "Captcha."
  8. Check the "I have read and agree to the terms of use" box.
  9. Click the Get Report button.

You should play with this App if you haven't ever tried it before.  It is worth it.  Let your students know about the app as well.  They can see some of their error write away and correct them before turning it in. What I really like about it, is that it color codes spelling, grammar, and word choice options. Click on the highlighted areas for options.

The program will even give a grade.  Please do not use the grade in your gradebook though.  I find that it is very difficult to get an "A" if you do, and there are some very good student writers who write well.  The program just tries to take a guess based on originality, grammar, word choice, sentence structure, and vocabulary difficulty.