Welcome to this review of Quillbot, an AI-powered tool to help you paraphrase, check grammar, and more.
I have a long list of proofreading software that I (and Dave) have reviewed, and Quillbot is a little different. Instead of a full on proofreading tool, they have other tools that are useful, but perhaps meant for a different writer audience.
That said, there is definitely a segment of the writer population that will find Quillbot useful.
So let's get into it…
- What Quillbot is
- How you can use Quillbot to improve your writing
- The most important features for authors
- If it's worth paying for
I rank Quillbot as #5 on my list of best proofreading software, but it might be the best for you, depending on your situation, so read on to learn more about what makes Quillbot so great.
Table of contents
- What Is Quillbot? A General Overview
- How Much Does Quillbot Cost? Quillbot Pricing:
- Quillbot Features: A Complete Overview
- Things I Liked about Quillbot
- Things I Didn't like about Quillbot
- Quillbot Alternatives (Especially for Authors)
- Is Quillbot Worth Buying?
- FAQ about Quillbot
Side note: some of the links below are affiliate links, so if you end up buying Quillbot Premium in the future, it costs you nothing extra, but we get a little bit for the coffee fund.
What Qualifies Me to Talk About Quillbot?
So I've been writing for many years, and writing professionally through both my books, Kindlepreneur, my other websites, and other forms of employment.
I've been using a spellchecker for all of that time.
Additionally, for this review, I tested Quillbot and a ton of other tools to really understand which was the best, and to understand the intricacies that make make a program like Quillbot more appropriate for some, while another program like ProWritingAid or Grammarly might be better for others.
Plus, before I put together this review, I reached out to Kindlepreneur's audience to get a general overview of what they thought was the best proofreading software.
Add to that the fact that, since Quillbot is an AI product, I actually have a YouTube channel all about AI for writers, which you can check out here. So I have a pretty solid understanding of what Quillbot and other products like it offer.
So with that in mind, let's dive in to the meat of the review.
What Is Quillbot? A General Overview
Quillbot started out as, and is still primarily, a paraphrasing tool. It uses AI to paraphrase content by rearranging word order and substituting some words for others.
However, it has evolved to be much more than that. Primarily of interest to us is the Quillbot grammar checker, which inspects your document for typos, spelling mistakes, and other grammatical issues.
But it doesn't stop there. Quillbot boasts the following tools:
- The paraphrasing tool
- A grammar checker
- A plagiarism checker
- The co-writer, which brings all of the other tools together
- The summarizer
- A citation generator
Quillbot was founded in 2017 by Anil Jason, Rohit Gupta, and David Silin. It has since taken off as an affordable and powerful tool, consistently adding new features.
Perhaps the best part about Quillbot is its price, which is very affordable for any kind of tool that boasts AI integration of any kind. When compared to other AI tools, like Jasper AI, the price difference is huge.
Let's take a closer look at pricing.
How Much Does Quillbot Cost? Quillbot Pricing:
The premium version of Quillbot comes in the following tiers:
- $19.95 when billed monthly
- $79.95/semiannually ($13.33/month)
- $99.95/annually ($8.33/month)
The premium version gets you all of the features, though it is worth noting that even some of the premium features, like the summarizer and the plagiarism checker, still have limits. You cannot summarize infinite articles all at once.
Is There a Free Plan of Quillbot?
There is a free version of Quillbot, and in fact, it is quite useful. The Quillbot free version gives you access to many of the tools (not the plagiarism checker), though the amount of usage you get is limited.
But I have already found that the free version is enough to paraphrase short snippets of text, or give myself a brief grammar check on something small.
Quillbot Features: A Complete Overview
Now that I've covered an overview of the software, and I looked at the pricing, it's time to look at the individual features that Quillbot offers, and whether or not they are useful for authors.
1. The Paraphrasing Tool
The paraphrasing tool or rewriter tool is similar to other such tools in the industry. Basically, it rearranges the sentence structure of your text, changes a few of the words, and presto: you have “fresh” text.
This is useful for avoiding plagiarism checkers, if that is something that you worry about.
Disclaimer: I do not encourage plagiarism in any way, even if you use a paraphrasing tool like this one to change it. Instead, this can be a useful tool to reword something you have written if you don't like the way it feels, or to repurpose your own content for social media.
In my experience testing the tool, it does a decent job for short paragraphs of text, especially if you are willing to give it a brief edit. There are often a few sentences that appear confusing.
If you are writing fiction, it will work as well, but I have found this to be slightly more awkward than something like a nonfiction article or an academic paper.
Additionally, Quillbot has multiple speech styles that you can select, so the paraphraser will adapt to those writing modes. These styles include:
You can also select an option to shorten or expand your text, if you want to do either. I found the shorten option to be very useful for making my paragraphs more succinct. For example, here is a sample text from one of my books:
“For the first time in over a year, the bolt to Una’s cell crunched through rust and dust as someone took off the lock. Una raised her head from where she lay in the corner. A trickle of light came from a barred window at the top of her cell, through a hole that led all the way down, but since she was in the deepest part of the dungeon, it was barely enough to see by. Despite that, she knew the city of Londinium bustled just outside.”
And here it is again after going through the Quillbot paraphraser to shorten it:
“For the first time in over a year, someone unlocked Una's cell. Una sat up from the corner. A barred window at the top of her cell let in a trickle of light via a hole that led down, but it was hardly enough to see by. She knew Londinium bustled outside.”
Not perfect, but it could easily be useful when you have an overly-wordy paragraph and need shortened, paraphrased content.
While this is great for rewording small passages, if you are looking for a bulk article rewriter, or a spin rewriter, I would maybe look at other tools like Spinner Chief, WordAI, or Chimp Rewriter.
2. The Grammar Checker
Another great tool of particular interest to authors is the grammar checker. Like the other features, it is powered by AI, which is useful when trying to find the most common ways of using that style of grammar.
When I tested it against ProWritingAid, I found that they covered many of the same errors. However, ProWritingAid did catch a few more, and Quillbot does not color-code the issues based on the type of grammar that you are dealing with. ProWritingAid, on the other hand, did a much better job at telling me exactly what kind of grammar mistakes I had.
Nevertheless, I definitely give this feature a thumbs up for effort. And it is still better than the in-built systems in MS Word.
3. The Plagiarism Checker
The Quillbot plagiarism checker is great for academics and online writers. It quickly spotted anything that looked even mildly plagiarized.
However, even with the premium account, you are limited to 20 pages per month. That's fine if you only need this for the occasional paper, but if you write for a living, that is not nearly enough.
You can purchase more pages, but who wants to pay extra for a product they are already paying for?
4. The Co-writer
The co-writer is a tool that allows you to take all of the other tools and package them into one outlet.
It contains a basic word processing window, where you can write your article or essay, and allows you to use the paraphrasing tool, the summarizer, the citation tool, and more, all in one place.
It also allows you to save these documents in the cloud, which is a handy feature.
Another great attribute of the co-writer is the research tab, which allows you to look up any topic on the web, and it will summarize each of the articles that come up for that topic. It's a great way to get an overview of the topic, and maybe outline some key points to cover in an essay or article on the subject.
5. The Summarizer
The summarizer is another AI-powered tool that Quillbot uses to reduce articles, papers, or other documents to its key points.
I found this incredibly interesting, as it can help you identify the most important phrases in any block of text. You can do this in two ways: identify the key sentences, or create a paragraph summarizing everything.
However, I am not sure how necessary this is for most authors. While we do need to summarize our books in a book description, the process of doing this is quite different, and this text summarizer would not be ideal.
Plus, the summarizer has a limit of 1200 words for the free version, and 6000 words for the premium version. The fact that there is any limit at all on the premium version is a bit of a downer.
6. Citation Generator
The citation generator is another handy tool, especially if you're writing nonfiction or an academic article and need to cite your sources.
Quillbot makes it easy to enter the book or the article that you are citing, enter the citation style that you want, and it will automatically churn out what you need.
However, while this is useful, there are many free tools out there that will do the same thing, so I am not sure how much this adds to the overall quality of the product. That said, when combined with everything else, it can be a real timesaver.
7. Built-in Thesaurus Powered by AI
It's easy to have a thesaurus on hand when you need to substitute a different word. But with AI, this process becomes easier. With AI, you can not only have the thesaurus, but you can know which options are more commonly used.
This helps your paragraphs sound natural, and avoid becoming repetitive.
8. Compare Mode
If you have the premium version, you can compare different versions of your text in the paraphraser, so you can see several examples and pick the one you want.
This is useful if you are unsure about the text you get, or you just want to see more examples.
In addition to the web-based tool, which is primarily what I used, you can get a Quillbot extension for a variety of software.
Quillbot offers extensions for the following products:
- Google Chrome
- Microsoft Word
- Google Docs
I found the Chrome extension to be straightforward and easy to use, and that covers most of the different areas that I write with online, such as WordPress and Atticus.
Things I Liked about Quillbot
While not every feature that Quillbot offers works well for writing long-form content, there are a number of things that I liked about the service:
- The free account goes a long way: I was actually impressed by how much I could do without paying a dime. It is hard to find AI writing tools that let you paraphrase or summarize content at any price tier, and the fact that you can do a little of that for free is really helpful.
- Clean interface and easy to use: once you dig into Quillbot, you will find that it is incredibly intuitive. I had no trouble figuring out what to do, where to go, or how to use the tools in any way.
- AI-powered: Artificial intelligence tools are great, but they can often be expensive. The fact that you get the power of Quillbot AI for the price tag that they offer, is just incredible.
- A lot of useful functions (especially for academic papers): while most of the features that Quillbot offers are not groundbreaking in and of themselves, there are a lot of them. Taken all together, Quillbot could prove a useful service for specific writers.
- Affordable: even when you buy the premium version, Quillbot is still very affordable. The fact that you can have all of the service for under $10 a month if you get the annual plan, is unheard of in this space, at least for AI tools. There are other proofreading tools that you can get for cheaper (such as ProWritingAid on the lifetime price), but for the number of tools you get with Quillbot, this is a very affordable price.
Things I Didn't like about Quillbot
For all its great features, Quillbot doesn't hit the mark on some things:
- Not a robust grammar checker: this is probably the most important feature for authors, and it sadly leaves much to be desired. While it does a decent job of finding errors to fix, its interface is basic, and it doesn't have nearly the complexity that you get with a service like ProWritingAid. It would be nice to have more reports and more detail about the grammar that it checks for.
- Word limitations, even with premium: when you buy premium, the amount of words that you can run through the Quillbot summarizer tool and other services increases, but there is still a limit. In fact, if you write a lot, that limit is not much better. And other tools like the plagiarism checker only give you a couple of pages a month, otherwise you have to pay more. This seems like a major downside, and perhaps a better solution would be to have another premium tier that lets you have unlimited access. I understand that it might cost them a lot to run the plagiarism checker, but not having a way to get unlimited access is incredibly frustrating.
- Not good for long-form content: for authors who write books, i.e. most of us reading this article, Quillbot just doesn't work well. Quillbot is better suited for articles and academic papers, and their primary audience appears to be students, those with less of a budget who still need solid paper analysis. The word limits, even on the premium version, mean that none of these features work well if you need them in bulk.
Quillbot Alternatives (Especially for Authors)
If you are looking for other AI-driven products, or simply a solid proofreading product that are similar to Quillbot, there are two that I would mention:
Jasper AI is a lot more expensive than Quillbot, but is far the superior AI tool. It will also give you a paraphrasing tool, or a summarizer tool, but it comes with much more than that. Jasper AI will actually let you compose new text, and it does an excellent job of it.
See this review of Jasper AI for authors, written by Derek Murphy.
As another Quillbot alternative, it's no secret that my top pick for best proofreading software is ProWritingAid, which has most of the features that authors would need in a service like Quillbot.
ProWritingAid has 25 different grammar reports, which you can customize and turn on and off, so that you get the most thorough grammar checking technology possible.
Plus, it works much better for long-form content, which makes it the best choice for authors.
See my list of the best proofreading tools for a full comparison between ProWritingAid, Grammarly, Quillbot, and more.
Is Quillbot Worth Buying?
If you routinely need to rewrite certain topics, perhaps providing summaries of a chapter, or creating the introduction to a blog post, or summarizing an academic paper, Quillbot will be extremely helpful for you.
For instance, if you want to repurpose some of your content and rephrase it, without having to think it through yourself, the paraphrasing tool can be useful. The same goes for the summarizing tool.
However, as a grammar checker, and for long-form content needs, I much prefer ProWritingAid, which is why it is still my number one choice.
Thankfully, Quillbot is not exclusively a grammar checker, and so authors may still get something good out of it. I just don't recommend it for proofreading.
Be sure to check out my full comparison with the other best proofreading tools out there, along with individual reviews of the following:
- ProWritingAid (my top recommendation, check this link for 20% off with code KINDLEPRENEUR20)
- Slick Write
FAQ about Quillbot
Which is better, Quillbot or Grammarly?
This depends on what you need. As a grammar checker and a plagiarism checker, Grammarly is much better than Quillbot. Grammarly is also cheaper on the monthly plan. However, Grammarly does not have a paraphrasing tool or a summarizer tool, so if you need either of those, Quillbot is better.
Is Quillbot a good grammar checker?
Quillbot's grammar checker does a decent job, especially considering it's free, but there are other grammar checkers out there that are much better at not only checking your grammar, but also finding ways to improve the quality of your writing. I recommend ProWritingAid instead of Quillbot.
How accurate is Quillbot?
While not as precise as Jasper AI for its summarizer and paraphrasing tools, and not as thorough as ProWritingAid in its grammar checking, Quillbot is still a powerful tool considering its pricing. It is best for students who need an affordable option to check their papers.
Is Quillbot expensive?
Quillbot is very affordable for what you get, especially considering it is powered by AI. Most quality paraphrasing and summarizing tools will cost a lot more than Quillbot, and so you are getting a good deal here. Quillbot also has a free pricing tier, which has a surprising amount of useful features on its own.