Quillbot is one of the most popular AI-powered writing assistants on the planet. As your resident “AI writing guy,” I wanted to see what the fuss was about.
I thoroughly tested every aspect of Quilbot so you can decide if it’s worth spending the money on.
And while I won’t be keeping my subscription as a blogger, if I were a student or an academic, you’d have to hold me back from signing up. It is a powerful tool if you need help writing essays or your dissertation. It is the tool I wish I’d had, and if you can afford it is well worth signing up for.
What is Quillbot
Let’s hear it straight from the horse’s mouth:
“QuillBot is a paraphrasing and summarizing tool that helps millions of students and professionals cut their writing time by more than half using state-of-the-art AI to rewrite any sentence, paragraph, or article.”
Pros & Cons
- Excellent for making writing more academic
- Valuable tools like the citation generator for essays and dissertations
- Can quickly make your writing more professional sounding
- Built-in grammar tool
- Not much use for bloggers or content creators
- Translation tool isn’t anything to write home about
- You shouldn’t accept every suggestion unquestioningly
Who’s it best for
- Students needing to write formal essays
- Academics looking for a writing assistant
It’s not made for me.
I’m a content creator who writes articles and blog posts. Students and academics looking for a writing assistant are who Quillbot is for.
It’s the tool I wish I had as a university student. It would have helped me get a much better grade on my dissertation by showing me how to write in an academic language. I was a physics student, so I was much more comfortable with calculations than writing, and it showed.
Quillbot would have been a must, and should I ever find myself back in higher education, I will be subscribing.
Quillbot has a ton of different tools. There are nine various paraphrase tools to start with! You also have the grammar checker, plagiarism checker, co-writer, summarizer, citation generator, and translator.
I’ve tested them all and will review them one at a time, paraphrasing the introduction I wrote for my Scalenut Review.
This takes a section you’ve written and rewrites it in different styles. I had little hope this would come to anything, but I’m pleasantly surprised! It was helpful to read the intro in different styles.
Some valuable tools within all the styles:
- Freeze words you don’t want to be changed
- Rephrase specific words
- Ai-powered thesaurus to generate word choice
- You can choose to favor active voice (useful for online writing)
- You can opt whether or not to use contractions
- Adjust how many synonyms are used
There are a couple of sentences where I prefer the suggestions and a few where I like my choices. “Remain good” instead of “stay high” is weird. While technically that is correct, it’s different from how a fluent English speaker would talk or write.
I’d use this to paste in finished essays or articles and review the suggestions, deciding on a case-by-case basis if I want to take their advice. It’s like an additional proofreader who will highlight problems you have missed.
The only way I can describe this is that it tightens up your writing. “SEO is a highly competitive industry.” is a more concise version of my opening sentence. I prefer it and have updated my Scalenut review to include it.
If you tend to have long run-on sentences, this could make your writing more concise. But it only works if you understand what makes a good sentence.
I liked that the Formal paraphrasing doesn’t make it all unnecessarily wordy. I was worried the length would get increased in the interest of making you sound smart. But I copied in 549 words, and it paraphrased it to 560. I’m okay with that.
The main change I liked was that it removes contractions like can’t and don’t, making your writing more formal.
Another helpful tool for essay writing, but only accept some of the suggestions.
This does expand the text a lot. The section I pasted in was relatively brief and written in an informal tone, certainly with no intention of being academic. It turned 145 words into 204 words.
I have a physics degree and wish I’d had this tool for my dissertation. Writing was not my strong point then; my life would have been so much easier if I’d had this to help.
This I’m the most impressed with so far. Change note form into academic essay and dissertation style. You still need to understand the subject and correct it as needed. But in terms of time-saving and fine-tuning style, this is so powerful.
I have a simple writing style, so this didn’t do much for my sample piece. Using needless long words and sentences could help, but for me, this didn’t do much.
This one I also liked it. It spiced up the sample piece with some more interesting word choices. Now and again, I write a blog post that reads a little boring. This would solve that problem by highlighting ways it could be more creative and less repetitive.
This is an excellent way to check for alternative word choices if you do creative writing. Again, don’t mindlessly take all its suggestions; look for the gems that make your writing shine and leave the rest.
Making writing longer isn’t something I’m in the habit of doing. And this would only be useful if you have notes you’re looking to expand. For instance, take a bullet point list and ask it to expand on each of your points.
You could turn each expanded bullet point into a paragraph.
Generally, if you’re writing online, the shorter you can make your piece, the better. This will help you see if you can make your work more concise.
OK…. Love this. I asked it to rewrite the piece like it was “written by a comedian” just to see what it could do. It delivered. I don’t see why I would need this specifically, but it was fun trying out. The suggestions are along the lines of “like a CEO” or “professional,” all of which are much better uses.
You can tailor the voice you use to whatever situation you need. For instance, you can get it paraphrased like it was “written for an English essay,” and it does a great job. Students have never had this many tools at their disposal that can help.
If you don’t have Grammarly, the Grammar checker is pretty damn cool. My Grammar is not the best, so I need spell checkers to help me before publishing anything.
You copy and paste into the tool or get the Chrome extension, which will grammar-check you wherever you go. It’s not as thorough as Grammarly, but I quite liked that. I was accepting more of the suggestions from Quillbot than I did from Grammarly.
One feature is that you can accept all, and it auto-accepts all its suggestions. Please thoroughly read through it after you’ve done this in case any of its recommendations were wrong. It’s not an original tool but as part of the “suite of tools” you get with premium? I’ll take it.
From the Quillbot website:
“QuillBot is committed to promoting and protecting academic integrity. Our Plagiarism Checker, Citation Generator, and guides are built to educate students on best practices to avoid unintentional plagiarism.
Here’s the thing: even paraphrased writing needs citations. Ideas can be plagiarized just as easily as words, so if you take someone’s idea and reword it, it needs to be cited all the same. Trying to pass off someone else’s idea as your own, with fresh language, is just as unethical as ripping a quote off. Everything that did not originate in your brain needs to be accurately cited. “
I love everything about that as a philosophy. I see people asking if Quillbot is cheating, and it all depends on how you use it. It’s just a tool. Using it to pass off work you didn’t do as your own is cheating. Using it as a tool to make your work better isn’t cheating.
My first test was to see how it thought my Scalenut review was. But of course, it’s already been published, so it came up as 97% plagiarised. The 3% are changes I made between Google Docs and the finished piece. So it’s telling me I plagiarised myself. Obviously…
I can’t test this out because I’m not a student who writes essays. It seems like a great tool, but it’s not one I need. I also checked out some content from Scalenut that passed with zero plagiarism detected, which is obviously great news.
The Quillbot Co-writer is their built-in word-processing tool. It can generate an outline for an Essay or a blog post and suggest text you can input. Like this:
“The Quillbot Co-writer is a valuable tool for writers who need assistance with generating outlines and text suggestions. It streamlines the writing process by providing helpful prompts and ideas, making it easier to create high-quality essays or blog posts. With its user-friendly interface and efficient features, the Quillbot Co-writer is a reliable companion for any writer seeking to enhance their productivity and creativity.”
So, while that above is all true, it’s not very personal. Just factual. But this kind of factual information can be handy depending on what you’re writing. You can also add your citations and make rough notes on the sidebar. Plus, the grammar checker is built in, which you can see with all the red lines in the image.
I’m stuck in my ways on Google Docs but to each their own on their word processor of choice.
This allows you to put in a section of text, and it summarises it either into a shorter paragraph or bullet points. It’s nothing ChatGPT can’t do, and it’s free, but if you have the tool, I recommend it for summarizing complex paragraphs from research papers.
I wish I’d had this while I was at University. The ability to quickly make citations from papers and have them all be precisely the same style would have been incredible.
They have hundreds of different referencing styles available, so make sure you understand which one you should use.
You can use this along with the co-writer to effectively generate essays. You’ll still need to do the work yourself. I’d search by the DOI number if you’re looking at referencing journals. Otherwise, finding the journal you are reading in Quillbot can be tricky.
To test this, I got a piece of German writing and translated it into English. I then compared that to Google Translate. The results? About the same. Neither of them stood out as being better than the other. There was just the odd word choice that was different across both of them. I don’t do much translating, so I’ll stick to Google Translate when needed.
As with any good AI tool, you get a Chrome browser extension. You also get an add-in for Microsoft Word if that’s your preference.
The grammar tips are helpful. And paraphrasing sentences on the fly was more useful than I thought it might be. I’ve got it activated to write this article, and there have been a few times where I’ve looked at a sentence that wasn’t working and paraphrased it for a better one.
My writing is riddled with grammar mistakes, so saying yes to them is a must. It does Google Docs page by page, which I feel is a mistake, and I can’t tell if it makes it more manageable or annoying… Undecided on that front.
As with all software, the longer you sign up, the better value you get. Their monthly plan is quite costly, but if you only need it to finalize a bunch of essays, then it might be perfect for you.
But they also have a free plan, so if you just need a little bit of simple paraphrasing, you don’t need to spend any money. However, if you are a student, you’ll need to spend a little to access the formal and academic paraphrasers and the suggested rewrites.
How does it work
According to Quillbot, they aren’t an AI writing tool but a paraphrasing tool. They want to help students and academics write better essays by providing resources for writing and citations.
It works by suggesting alternative word choices and sentence structure that alter the tone of your writing. This is especially useful in making your writing more or less formal and academic.
So, how does it work on the inside? Well, as with all AI-powered tools. Lots of smart people have got together to do very smart things. I use the tools; I don’t understand how they function in any detail. But Quillbot wrote a cool article explaining the maths and modeling that go into the back end.
Quillbot Vs Grammarly
I prefer Grammarly for my grammar needs. I’ve been using Grammarly for years and plan on sticking with it for my last edit before publishing. The suggestions Grammarly makes are better overall, even if I don’t accept every single one of them.
Quillbot Vs ChatGPT
ChatGPT is still my go-to assistant if I want things summarised. It can work well for paraphrasing, but you have to set up the prompts correctly. You have to ask it to “Paraphrase this as if you were writing for a scientific journal,” for instance.
The better you get at giving it a prompt, the better your results will be. The advantage of Quillbot is that the refined prompts are baked right into it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is Quillbot cheating?
By itself? No. You can use Quillbot to cheat by getting it to rewrite work that isn’t yours and submitting it. But you can also use it to help elevate and improve your work. So you can use it to cheat. But please don’t.
Is QuillBot Premium worth it?
If you’re a student or an academic, the premium will likely be worth it. As a blogger and content creator, it’s not worth it. I won’t be taking out a subscription.
Is QuillBot as good as Turnitin?
In terms of plagiarism, I’ve heard that, no, it’s not as good as Turnitin.
Can QuillBot be trusted?
You shouldn’t trust AI completely. They will lie to you with the best poker face in the world. So, while it can be trusted to correct your grammar and create your citations, I wouldn’t trust it with 100% accuracy to paraphrase into sentences that make sense.
Quillbot won’t be a subscription I keep. Once upon a time, bloggers used tools like this to “spin content,” where it would sort of rewrite a blog post, and they’d fire it off as a guest post. I wasn’t onboard with it then, and I’m still not interested in doing it now. And because of that, I never looked further into it.
If you want to use Quillbot as your writing assistant/or proofreader, you’ll get on just fine.
It can’t do the work for you. At least not all of it. And teachers and professors will be able to tell if your essay reads nothing like any of your other work, so proceed with caution.