"It Makes Me Aware": Undergraduates' Perceptions Toward Using Automated Corrective Feedback Program (Grammarly) to Improve Their Writing Skills

Maha Saad Alotaibi


This research aims to investigate undergraduate students' perceptions of using Grammarly's automated corrective feedback to improve their academic writing skills. A qualitative approach was used to thoroughly investigate their perceptions; therefore, online semi-structured interviews were conducted with ten Saudi EFL undergraduate students. To analyze the data, the researcher followed Braun and Clarke's (2006) approach to thematic analysis technique by using QDA Miner Lite program to code and theme the information. The findings revealed that the participants viewed Grammarly positively because it played a role in raising their awareness of their common writing issues, ensuring their writing confidence, and developing their grammar and sentence structures. The participants were also aware of Grammarly's limitations and considered them. This study suggests that new technologies (e.g., Grammarly) can bridge the gap between students' current abilities and what they need to be accomplished with the assistance of a more capable entity, which is known as the Zone of Proximal Development (ZPD), to take the students to the level where they are supposed to be.


Grammarly; automated corrective feedback; writing skills; perceptions; Saudi EFL undergraduate students

Full Text:



Al-Ahdal, A. (2020). Using computer software as a tool of error analysis: Giving EFL teachers and learners a much-needed impetus. International Journal of Innovation, Creativity and Change, 12(2).â€

Aidil, T. M. (2021). Exploring Students’ Perception On The Effectiveness Of “Grammarly Software†In Academic Writing (Doctoral dissertation, UIN Ar-Raniry).â€

Ali, S. S., & Ramana, V. L. (2018). Academic writing challenges at Universities in Saudi Arabia and solutions. International Journal of English Language and Humanities, 4(10), 291-298.â€

Alsaweed, W. (2022). Saudi Graduate Students’ Perceptions Toward Automated Writing Feedback for Improving Academic Writing. International Journal of English Linguistics, 12(6).â€

Bahanshal, D. (2021). The Effect of Online Grammatical Error Check on the Improvement of L2 Writing.†Current Journal of Applied Science and Technology, 40(33), 18-31.

Braun, V., & Clarke, V. (2006). Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative research in psychology, 3(2), 77-101.â€

Brown, S. C., Stevens, R. A., Jr., Troiano, P. F., & Schneider, M. K. (2002). Exploring complex phenomena: Grounded theory in student affairs research. Journal of College Student Development, 43, 173-183.

Cavaleri, M. R., & Dianati, S. (2016). You want me to check your grammar again? The usefulness of an online grammar checker as perceived by students. Journal of Academic Language and Learning, 10(1), A223-A236.â€

Creswell, J. (2009). Research Design: Qualitative, Quantitative, and Mixed Methods Approaches. London: Sage publications.

Creswell, J. (2014). Educational Research: Planning, Conducting and Evaluating Quantitative and Qualitative Research. Pearson.

Cotos, E. (2018) Automated writing evaluation. Cotos, E. (2018). Automated writing evaluation. In J.I. Liontas (Ed.), the TESOL Encyclopedia of English Language Teaching. Wiley: New Jersey.

Ellis, R. (2015). Understanding Second Language Acquisition 2nd Edition-Oxford Applied Linguistics. Oxford university press.

Fitriana, K., & Nurazni, L. (2022). Exploring students' perception of using Grammarly to check grammar in their writing. JET (Journal of English Teaching), 8(1), 15-25.â€

Ghufron, M. A., & Rosyida, F. (2018). The role of grammarly in assessing English as a Foreign Language (EFL) writing. Lingua Cultura, 12(4), 395-403. https://doi.org/10.21512/lc.v12i4.4582

Haque, S. I. (2022). Comparing Arab ‘EFL learners and instructors’ perceptions of using online writing tools during COVID-19. Journal of Positive School Psychology, 3228-3245.â€

Hattie, J., & Timperley, H. (2007). The power of feedback. Review of educational research, 77(1), 81-112.â€

Hignett, S., & McDermott, H. (2015). Qualitative methodology. Evaluation of human work, 119-138.â€

Huang, H. W., Li, Z., & Taylor, L. (2020, May). The Effectiveness of Using Grammarly to Improve Students' Writing Skills. In Proceedings of the 5th International Conference on Distance Education and Learning (pp. 122-127).†https://doi.org/10.1145/3402569.3402594

Jayavalan, K., Razali, A. B., & Abu, B. (2018). Effectiveness of online grammar checker to improve secondary students’ English narrative essay writing. International Research Journal of Education and Sciences, 2(1), 1-6.

Leong, L. C., Hassan, N., Isa, F. M., & Ab Jalil, H. (2018). Mobile x-space design, teaching strategies and undergraduate studentsâ collaborative learning behaviour: A case study in Taylorâs university, Malaysia. Malaysian Journal of Learning and Instruction, 15(2), 175-205.â€

Lytvyn, M. (2022, November 9). A history of innovation at Grammarly. Grammarly Blog. https://www.grammarly.com/blog/grammarly-12-year-history/

Mackey, A. & Gass, S. (Ed.). (2022). Second Language Research: Methodology and Design. Routledge.

Nova, M. (2018). Utilizing Grammarly in evaluating academic writing: A narrative research on EFL students' experience. Premise: Journal of English Education, 7(1), 80-96. https://doi.org/10.24127/pj.v7i1.1332

ONeill, R., & Russell, A. (2019). Stop! Grammar time: University students’ perceptions of the automated feedback program Grammarly. Australasian Journal of Educational Technology, 35(1), 42-56.

Parra G, L., & Calero S, X. (2019). Automated writing evaluation tools in the improvement of the writing skill. International Journal of Instruction, 12(2), 209-226.â€

Polly, D., & Byker, E. (2020). Considering the role of Zone of Proximal Development and constructivism in supporting teachers’ TPACK and effective use of technology. Revista de Educación a Distancia (RED), 20(64), 1-20.

Qassemzadeh, A., & Soleimani, H. (2016). The impact of feedback provision by Grammarly software and teachers on learning passive structures by Iranian EFL learners. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 6(9), 1884-1894.

Richards, J., C., & Schmidt, R. (2010). Longman Dictionary Language Teaching & Applied Linguistics. Great Britain: Pearson education limited.

Sharma, P., & Hannafin, M. J. (2007). Scaffolding in technology-enhanced learning environments. Interactive learning environments, 15(1), 27-46.


Stevenson, M., & Phakiti, A. (2019). Automated feedback and second language writing. Feedback in second language writing: Contexts and issues, 125-142.â€

Sanosi, A. B. (2022). The impact of automated written corrective feedback on EFL learners' academic writing accuracy. Journal of Teaching English for Specific and Academic Purposes, 10(2), 301-317.â€

Ummah, L. K. (2022). EFL students' perception of Grammarly premium's feedback and how they deal with the inaccuracy (Doctoral dissertation, Universitas Islam Negeri Maulana Malik Ibrahim).â€

Vygotsky, L. S. (1978). Mind in Society: The Development of Higher Psychological Processes. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press.

Wiggins, G. (2012). Seven keys to effective feedback. Educational Leadership: Feedback for Learning, 70(1), 10-16.

Zhang, J., Ozer, H., & Bayazeed, R. (2020). Grammarly vs. face-to-face tutoring at the writing center: ESL student writers’ perceptions. Praxis: A Writing Center Journal, 17(2), 33-47.

Zhang, Z., & Hyland, K. (2018). Student engagement with teacher and automated feedback on L2 writing. Assessing Writing, 36, 90−102. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.asw.2018.02.004


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Copyright (c) 2023 Journal of Applied Linguistics and Language Research