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Tech-Friendly: Use Polishmywriting.com to check your writing for style, spelling and grammar errors
By Paul Gorski
Polishmywriting.com is a free, online service that allows to you check your writing projects for style, spelling and grammar errors. It is not a word processor; it fills the proofing gaps in online word processors such as Google Docs and Zoho Writer (http://www.zoho.com/docs). Online word processors include basic spell checking, but little else when it comes to proofing your writing.
Polishmywriting.com checks: spelling, misused words, style and grammar, highlighting errors and offering suggestions via pop-up windows. The service is free and does not require registration. Simply visit the website and paste your copy into the window, then select the “Check Writing” button. If you choose to make the corrections within the proofing window, copy the text when you are done, then paste it into your favorite word processor. Polishmywriting.com does not allow you to save your work; your work is erased once you close the window.
Why is it free if it so good? Polishmywriting.com is the demonstration page for the technology driving the website: After The Deadline. After The Deadline is proofreading software brought to you by the makers of WordPress.com, one of the most popular website and blog publishing tools in the world. The developers offer the software for free so developers may build solutions based on it. For the purpose of this article, I will only focus on the Polishmywriting.com version.
Use style and grammar checkers like Polishmywriting.com for advice. Do not let them control your writing style. For example, Polishmywriting.com is very good at identifying “passive” phrases. “Letters should be proofread before sending them.” is an example passive voice. While not wrong, the sentence could be rewritten as: “Proofread letters before sending them.” The second version is more direct, active. Passive voice can be effective if used sparingly. Learn more about passive voice at http://writingcenter.unc.edu/handouts/passive-voice/.
Let me know if you found this article useful and/or if you would appreciate reading more articles regarding online publishing tools.
Paul Gorski (www.paulgorski.com) has been a technology manager nearly 20 years, specializing in workflow solutions for printing, publishing and advertising computer users. Originally destined to be a chemist, his interest in computers began in college when he wrote a program to analyze data from lab instruments he hard-wired to the back of an Apple IIe.
Posted July 24, 2014