Overall, I would say that it was most useful when it was pointing out things like passive voice or cliches, and less useful when telling me to replace relatively simple words or phrases with even simpler ones. Some of the words were things like: "feedback", "solicit", "desire", etc. We could certainly replace these with "opinion", "ask for", and "want", but some of the meaning and nuance is lost, especially given the context.
I may not be the most eloquent writer, but I'm not writing for a group of 4th-graders. The "dumbing down" of language leads to dumbing down of thought in the long run.
In the "real world" I quickly discovered that eloquence and "getting the message across" are inversely proportional.
Look at any novel and notice that nearly all the dialogue uses the word "said". Amateurs always switch this out with words like "exclaimed" and "retorted".
Pros know that the goal is to simply seduce the reader into their narrative as quickly and quietly as possible.
Given the choice, I'd much rather write the kinds of articles you see in Scientific American or the Economist. By writing for the masses, you must write for the lowest common denominator. No thanks.
Joyce takes it to an extreme: only a dash separates dialog from narration.
Perhaps an awesome feature would be the ability for them to use your site and then have the copy-edited stuff published directly to the blog, maybe via xml-rpc or something.
The main addition I would like to see is an "accept" option in addition to the "ignore" button. When a list of suggestions is given, I would like to be able to select one and see that reflected in the text.
This needs no unpolishing, yes?
I think the "instant improvement" button should be renamed. I was looking for a "submit" button or a "show suggestions" button. Instant improvement almost implies that the changes will be made automatically.
Please try to avoid Comic Sans whenever possible. The background distracts from your logo a bit. That area could be simplified.
The whole thing is so simple it could look as clean as Google's homepage plus a couple of ads.
Overall, it's a neat tool.
PS. Great service. Definitely has value.
Your suggestions don't always actually fit, but that's true of certain large, expensive pieces of software (Microsoft Word) too.
Also, allowing people to upload files (at least text files, maybe rtf and doc if you can parse them into text) might be nice so they don't have to select and paste it all.
Overall it looks like a very useful site though.
I've run a couple of draft essays through it, and it has helped speed up my revision quite a bit.
Just FYI, about 50% of the suggestions are useful. It's particularly good at picking up the passive voice. I find the word suggestions less useful. They work okay on relatively unpolished bits of my writing, but are mostly superfluous on the more polished bits. The reason, I guess, is that in the more polished bits the word choice is already quite careful.
I'm spreading word around on my blog, and on FriendFeed.
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Apache/2.2.3 (CentOS) Server at www.polishmywriting.com Port 80"
polish = "make shiny"
Polish = something related to Poland
I think you need a different name.