Scribbr editors share a love of language, a wide range of academic expertise, and extensive experience in proofreading and editing.
Their hard work and commitment to helping students is the foundation of Scribbr’s success, and it’s reflected in our outstanding 9.8 score on Trustpilot.
First, we filter out the true language experts with our challenging Scribbr Language Quiz. You really have to know your grammar to pass!
Applicants who make it past the quiz tell us more about their qualifications. They complete a series of short editing assignments to test their skills.
In the Scribbr Academy training programme, editors learn the Scribbr style and edit trial orders, which are assessed by our Senior Editors and Quality Managers.
When we’re satisfied that editors can meet our stringent quality standards, they pass the Academy and join the team of qualified Scribbr editors.
My background is in Literature and Philosophy in which I have a PhD from the University of Sydney. I have worked for a number of years as a university lecturer teaching courses in literature, writing studies and critical thinking in Australia and New Zealand. I have also taught ESL as having a Japanese father and European mother meant growing up with an awareness of the vagaries of language. I have been in love with words since my mother first began reading me bedtime stories and, for this reason, desire always that every word be treated with respect. What does that look like? It means using the right word in the right place at the right time. Doing so almost guarantees that your readers will want to keep reading because they can fully grasp the ideas being communicated. How is it achieved? Curiosity. Curiosity about what it means to really think well, curiosity about those who have done so, and the certain knowledge that it is a skill that can be learned.
I’m a professional editor based in San Diego, California, with certificates in copyediting and technical writing. My passion for language blossomed at a tender age. From the time I first learned to read, I devoured any written material I could get my hands on—when I was six, my mother found me poring over the word problems in a mathematics textbook, for lack of anything better to read.
As I grew older, my interests led me in different directions: I studied biology in college, then went on to work as an IT systems administrator for twenty-six years. However, I never forgot my early love of the written word, and one of the most rewarding aspects of my IT job was using my language skills to make complex technical subjects understandable to laypeople. Eventually, I chose to pursue a career as an editor so I could focus exclusively on helping authors communicate more effectively.
In my leisure time, you can find me reading literary fiction, clicker training my border collie, and enjoying the Southern California sunshine.
My advice for improving your writing is to read—a lot. Although my formal education in writing and editing was important, my most valuable language lessons have come from years of reading and paying attention to how great writers construct their sentences and narratives.
I was born and raised in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, known by most of the world as "where's that?" I was interested in language all throughout my childhood, writing stories that were probably pretty decent for my age and challenging my teachers on their inaccurate grammar advice. Apparently, according to my parents, I could even roll my "R"s as a baby.
I discovered the joy of foreign languages in high school, when I unsuccessfully tried to learn Japanese. Since then, I have successfully learned German, French, and, to some extent, Swedish and Czech. Also on my language bucket list are Russian, Japanese (again), Korean, Greek, and—my dream languages—Finnish and Icelandic.
Although I originally enrolled in university as a computer science major, I switched to German after a year and now hold a B.A. in German. During my later university years, I started working as an online, freelance ESL teacher, and after graduating, I took a one-year position as a language assistant at a German high school, at which time I also started picking up freelance editing work in my spare time.
These days, I work full time as a freelance editor. When I'm not editing, I'm probably learning one of the languages I listed, thinking about learning one of the other languages I listed, or doing the neat little NACLO linguistics puzzles.
Writing tip: Be clear. Be concise. If you don't know what a word means, you probably shouldn't be using it. If you're using ten words when two would suffice, you should probably restructure the sentence. Don't fear simplicity—a simple but understandable text is always better than a sophisticated but incomprehensible text.
Hi there! I love editing because it brings together two of my passions: language and encouraging others. Whether it’s here at Scribbr or in my freelance editing business, I find it incredibly rewarding to be part of an author’s team, and I’m committed to delivering constructive criticism with kindness.
I live in the heart of a small city in the Midwest United States with my husband and our two active sons. I have a B.S. in cross-cultural studies and nearly a dozen years of experience working in the entrepreneurial world. When I’m not busy editing, I enjoy reading, baking, and spending time outdoors.
Tip: Passive voice has its place, but use it sparingly. Sentences in active voice are almost always clearer.
A lifelong reader and writer, I was born and raised in the United States and hold a BA in English and a certificate in copyediting. In addition to editing for research and literary journals, I've written research articles and fiction, which has given me experience with the editing process from both sides of the red pen. My favorite part of editing is continually learning about language and the many ways writers use it.
Tip for writing: Once you've finished your first draft, take a break. Go on a walk, read a book, watch something, hang out with friends. When you come back to edit, you'll be able to see it with fresh eyes. You'll see where your argument needs improvement, notice typos you glazed over before, and think of fresh ways to express your thoughts.
Born and brought up in Zimbabwe, I studied Classics at the University of Cape Town. Most of my career has been in the parliamentary field. I worked as a Hansard editor and translator at our national Parliament in Cape Town, and then spent 20 years as head of Hansard at the Eastern Cape Legislature.
Currently I am freelancing as an editor and translator in Cape Town, my other languages being Dutch, German and Russian. And I now have more time than before for my great passion – the piano.
Thought for the day: "I'm exhausted. I spent all morning taking out a comma, and all afternoon putting it back again." Oscar Wilde
I hold a BA (Honours) in English and political science from the University of Ottawa, as well as an MA in English and a JD from the University of Toronto. I am called to the bar in Ontario, Canada, and I have over 11 years of experience as a writer and editor in academic and legal contexts. I love editing for Scribbr because it is an opportunity to continue learning about new subjects while providing a helpful service for students.
Writing tip: “Read, read, read. Read everything - trash, classics, good and bad, and see how they do it. Just like a carpenter who works as an apprentice and studies the master. Read! You'll absorb it. Then write. If it's good, you'll find out. If it's not, throw it out of the window.” - William Faulkner
Language has always been my passion, and I have formally studied English, Latin, Ancient Greek, Ancient Hebrew, and Spanish. That knowledge of how language works has helped me live out my other passion: teaching others to use language. My experience includes a year of EFL instruction in Mexico and five years of high school English, Spanish, and Latin.
I also have earned a master's degree in education, writing my thesis on how to increase students' intrinsic motivation. That experience in the world of academia and research was so fulfilling that I now use my love of teaching and language to help other academics create their best possible work.
Writing tip: If you can say it in fewer words, you should!
I began tutoring others in English during my sophomore year of college. I found I loved helping people transform their writing into something they could be proud of, so I continued tutoring college students after I got my degree in English and began editing academic theses. I’ve now edited hundreds of theses and tutored countless students. Although I’ve expanded my editing services beyond academics, academic writing is still my favorite. I love learning about the varied topics each new thesis offers.
Quick Writing Tip: Don’t let a blank page daunt you. Just start writing without worrying about how every sentence sounds. It’s a lot easier to go back and revise once you've written down your general ideas than it is to write those perfect sentences the first time.
I'm a native New Yorker settled in Cape Town. I love our long summers, moody mountains and two oceans.
Good day to you. My name is Bill and I’m a freelance editor and writer currently residing in my home country, the United States. For several years I lived and worked overseas—mainly in Taiwan—where I delighted daily in helping nonnative speakers improve their English, whether through teaching or academic publishing. I continue to reap rewards from my profession because it requires that I never stop learning. With my attention to detail, reverence for the written word, and affinity for English, it is my mission to help you achieve your highest academic or professional aims.
I paraphrase Orwell to offer a tip that I continually follow: Learn the basic rules of effective writing, such as those for clear usage and concise phrasing, but never forget the final rule: Know when to break any of these rules, because sometimes you just might need to. I find that this suggestion parallels the occasionally necessary rule breaking of English pronunciation and spelling, a rather contradictory pursuit that most English students must learn on their first day of study.
Born and raised in Philadelphia, PA, I ventured to Chicago for my undergraduate degree in Medieval Studies, and then settled back in my hometown, where I spent six years as an editor at an independent publishing house. After earning my MFA in Creative Writing, I shifted my focus to my own publishing projects, and am now the published author of two YA novels and two picture books.
I love editing for the simple joy of helping writers strengthen and refine their thoughts. Academic editing in particular appeals to me because the work is important and the topics are fascinating—I learn so much!
Writing tip: Try not to "double up" on words or sentences. If an adverb and a verb imply the same kind of action, there's no need to use both (for example, "shouted loudly" is redundant—have you ever heard a quiet shout?).
My educational background in Journalism has provided me with a broad base from which to approach many topics, including business, management, leadership, social sciences, humanities, and social media. My experience as an associate editor at a regional magazine catering to CEOs and other top-level decision makers has also enhanced my skill in developing compelling content. Moreover, my stint as a manuscript consultant has afforded me the opportunity to work on the studies, dissertations, and books of academics from renowned business schools in Southeast Asia such as the Asian Institute of Management and the Ateneo Graduate School of Business.
I have been working with writing challenged clients for several years. My objective has always been to uphold the accuracy and consistency in messaging and style across all job orders and ensure the flawlessness of written material. This objective is complemented by my desire to help clients improve their writing.
My tip for writing: Spend a considerable time on preparing an outline before working on a paper. A detailed outline helps identify a strong thesis and follow up with ideas and examples to build on that thesis. Referring to an outline during the writing process gives you a better sense of focus.
After graduating in molecular biology and chemistry from Purdue in 2005, where I was also the newspaper editor, I moved to Columbus, OH, where I have since been an editor of science research journals. I spend my free time hiking, cooking, traveling, and planning those travels.
I grew up in the Midwestern United States, graduating with a BA in Psychology from the University of Wisconsin. Don't let that social sciences degree fool you -- language is, and has always been, my true love. Despite never having left the 48 contiguous states (or, perhaps, as a result of this fact), I have an insatiable curiosity for the cultures of and experiences offered by various countries around the world. Editing and learning from the theses and dissertations of students who not only attend universities from all over the world, but have conducted research in some of the most amazing places, is something that I am extremely grateful to be able to do.
Writing tip: Read. Your brain is constantly forming new connections, through every little stimulus it's given. As you read, you are subconsciously reinforcing the "right" connections -- the ones that tell you how a word should be spelled, where a comma should actually go, or which "there" (they're?) to use in a particular context. It's a simple, yet effective way to improve your grammar and spelling in the long term (no memorization required!).
Hi, I'm Chiara! I was born in Dublin, Ireland and raised in New York. I love art, dogs and scary movies. My academic background is in art history and literature, and I have work experience in editing, social media marketing and childcare/tutoring. I am currently pursuing my MA in British Studies and hope to continue on to a PhD. I want to help everyone to be as passionate about their field of study as I am about mine!
Courtney started with Scribbr as an editor in June 2017, and joined the team in the Amsterdam office writing content for the website in 2018. She has a Bachelor in Communication and a Master in Editing and Publishing, and has worked as a freelance writer and editor since 2013. She loves helping students and academics all over the world improve their writing (and learning about their research while doing so!).
My academic background is in journalism, international relations, and economics, and I have experience editing in newsroom, university, and policy settings. I enjoy reading others' work and seeing how to make it shine.
My writing tip: before finishing any piece of writing, do a final read-through to see if anything can be said in a more direct, precise manner. That way, the reader will understand and enjoy your writing more.
I am currently an MA student studying Gender and Women's Studies in the Middle East/North Africa at The American University in Cairo. Prior to this, I was working at a refugee organization in Cairo in education and community outreach. I believe strongly in writing as an important tool for shaping and clarifying our ideas, and it is always a tool that we can learn to use not only with a more critical outlook but also with more patience and generosity.
My writing tip would be to remember that the more complicated the argument your writing is, the more guidance your reader needs. Being clear and concise with your word choice becomes much more important than showing off your extensive vocabulary.
I'm driven by my deep love of the English language and have spent many years studying grammar as both a hobby and a passion. I was born and raised in Pennsylvania and received a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Penn State University. I currently reside in upstate New York, where I have worked as an electrical engineer in the office and an aspiring fiction author at home. By honing these skills every day, I have found that my combination of scientific and creative interests complement one another and diversify my lifestyle.
In addition to writing and engineering, I take great interest in film, application design, and website development. Above all else, I enjoy helping others. For this reason, I appreciate all that Scribbr has done for students worldwide, and I enjoy the opportunity to offer my service as a Scribbr editor.
Writing Tip: If you're struggling to explain a topic of your paper in writing, try explaining it out loud first, as though you were giving a presentation. Some of the spoken words may be too informal, the sentences in need of polish, or the structure repetitive, but these can be corrected when adapting your speech into text or during the revision step of the writing process. This can help you overcome your writer's block and aid in finishing your rough draft more easily.
Hello :). I'm David. I am a freelance editor, a PhD student and university seminar teacher.
I grew up in the UK, in the north of England, where I still live. Though I also spend a significant amount of time in Vienna. I have a social science BA and an MA in Gender Studies and (sociology) Research Methods.
I am currently doing my PhD in sociology, but I began my undergraduate degree in Law originally. I struggled a lot during my undergraduate degree, and it took me a long time to build my writing skills and become confident in my academic work. Academic writing didn't really click with me until I left university and started writing for pleasure.
I believe that this experience of struggling with writing has given me a strong position from which to help others who struggle with academic writing – whether that be via editing texts and giving feedback through Scribbr or when helping my students to understand difficult theoretical concepts in seminars.
Pay attention to structure first. Make sure your introduction tells the reader what you are going to be discussing, the order you will be discussing it in and what your conclusions will be. Make sure every section has an introduction that performs the same function for that section.
Make sure every paragraph has a single, clear point/topic and that each paragraph begins with an introductory sentence and ends with a sentence that links to the topic of the next paragraph.
Pay attention to that kind of communication first, and readers will often be able to understand you even if you make a few mistakes here and there.
I retired in March 2018 from a 41-year career as a daily newspaper editor, but I’ve found that I miss the fulfilling work of editing. Thanks to Scribbr, I’ll continue to have the opportunity!
My husband and I share a household with our daughter and 6-year-old grandson, so there’s always something lively going on here. We live in Daly City, Calif., a next-door suburb of San Francisco.
Writing tip: Simple, direct writing can be very powerful. When in doubt, use fewer words.
I came to proofreading in 2005, after recognising that I could be putting to good use my lifelong love of words, and competence with the English language – as well as to supplement my part-time work as a Complementary Therapist. I had studied English, Philosophy, and Classics at University, and had opted for Classics as my main degree. After ten years of proofreading a wide range of scripts – from marketing materials and websites, to guide books and novels – it was good to get immersed in academic texts again through Scribbr. I find the process of polishing a script, and making it ‘shine’, very satisfying, as well as getting to read about subjects I’d not otherwise encounter outside of this work. I like too the subtle art of correcting a text so that there is a seamless blending-in with the style and ‘feel’ of the client’s writing.
In terms of advice – well, there’s so much good advice on this site already… But I just want to say, in defence of grammar and punctuation, that it exists in order to help us communicate better with each other. It isn’t a form of punishment, or intended to make writing a trial (though it can seem that way sometimes!), but to give clarity and help us avoid confusion and misunderstanding. For that reason, I’m glad to be ‘doing my bit’ in upholding it, and helping ensure, in this ‘techy’ age, it’s still alive and well!
Hi! I love film and hope to live my life as if it is one (more Wenders than Leone though). I've taught English in Japan, was an adjunct professor in New York, and wrote blogs and books in London. I'd really like to help students with their theses and dissertations; I imagine I could learn a lot. :)
I live in South Africa and am proud to call it home.
I am an independent translator/editor for a prominent publisher in South Africa, which I balance with the academic demands that editing theses placed on me. As a translator, I understand the mental gymnastics needed by students who are not writing in their mother tongue.
My advice to students who have a hard time with English:
If you have accepted the challenge of studying in a language that is not your home language, you have my greatest respect and admiration, and I will gladly help you polish your writing to perfection.
I grew up in the U.S. in New England (Massachusetts), so English is my native language. I have my B.A. in Russian Language and Linguistics, have spent time in Russia, and am a fluent Russian speaker. My interest in copyediting comes from my love of both reading and problem solving. I like figuring out how to make writing more beautiful and meaning more clear.
I am also a musician. I have a Master of Music degree in Early Music Vocal Performance, and I specialize in Renaissance and Baroque repertoire. I also teach music classes for infants and toddlers, who come to class with a parent. We simply have fun with music for forty-five minutes. It is like language immersion, only it is music immersion. The two learning processes are remarkably similar, and I believe that with the proper exposure and support in the years of early childhood, every child can learn to enjoy and participate actively in making music. Music-making is for everyone, not just professionals.
Tip for Writing in English: In English, possessives are usually formed by adding an apostrophe and an "s" to the end of a word, as in "Einstein's theory". We very rarely use the construction (which is common in other languages) "the theory of Einstein" – it often sounds awkward in English, although it is not technically incorrect. There is an exception to adding the apostrophe and "s": if you are referring to a pluralized family name, such as "the Smiths", the possessive is formed by adding only the apostrophe, as in "I had dinner at the Smiths' house".
The art of writing used to be a bit of a mystery for me, like most things in life. It wasn't until I took my first English course in university that I realized anyone can get this stuff (yes, even me). No one could be more surprised than me that I ended up majoring in English when I had intended to be an engineer. After I graduated from the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, I found myself in the world of teaching, and I would go on to spend over six years in the Hong Kong school system where I developed a life-long passion for special needs education. My degree in English has come in handy over the years, and it certainly has given me the skills to handle all the translation and editing work thrown my way. I have been working with Scribbr since 2014, and I'm thankful for the opportunity to keep learning!
Tip for writing! This tip applies to probably all areas in life: if you want to master a skill, learn from a master. When it comes to writing, learn how academics write, and then try it out. Keep reading articles in your field of study and try imitating how authors express their ideas. Which verbs do they use? How do the sentence patterns look like? How do the authors compose their topic sentences? Take note of these details at the sentence-level and then apply them to your own writing.
I am a PhD student in Archaeology at a major Midwestern university with a decade of experience in editing, proofreading, and translation. I studied everything from English Literature to History and Gaelic Studies during my undergraduate degree, and I still get excited whenever I can learn about a new discipline. In other words, I look forward to reading your theses and papers!
My writing tip isn't about writing at all; instead, I want to encourage anyone hoping to become a strong writer to read. Reading high-quality writing, whether it's John Banville's amazing novels or Ta-Nehisi Coates' top-notch journalism, is the best way to learn how to compose a text with an easy flow, clear argument, and elegant style.
My academic background is in urban planning and public policy; I hold a master's degree in urban planning from Tufts University. I've recently taken a break from my field to spend my summers studying Swedish in Uppsala, Sweden. As a student of foreign language, I understand how frustrating it can be to struggle to find the right word or phrase in English, and I strive to help students clearly express their ideas.
Writing tip: Keep it simple! It's better to write short, correct sentences than complex sentences containing many errors.
A love for language + perfectionism = a good basic formula for creating an editor! Add in being a voracious reader and avid Googler of all things (yes, all) and voilà! Esley branches out into a part-time career as a freelance editor :-)
That's the simplified version. The long version is that I was not a native English speaker as a young child, but developed a love and aptitude for the English language when I changed over to English-medium schooling at the age of nine. Eventually, I did a bachelor's degree majoring in English and Psychology, two consecutive honour's degrees in Psychology and Practical Theology (that's a story for another day) and began a long and varied career in both corporate and academic settings.
For the past five years I have been a home-schooling parent and thus made the scary but very rewarding change from having a permanent position at a large university to doing contract-based and freelance work from home.
My specialities are language editing, transcription, and qualitative data analysis.
Advice for writers: Simplify, clarify, and Google! Always ask yourself if your writing is as simple and as clear as possible, and find a few reputable websites (for example, Scribbr, Grammarly, Purdue OWL) where you can get assistance with improving your writing in general and grammar in particular. If you aren't sure, Google it! If you are sure, Google it anyway just to make double sure!
One side-effect of studying geosciences is the amazing quantity of geo-jargon that constantly surrounds you. Navigating this kind of technical language always reminds me that not only do I love a good rock, but I truly enjoy figuring out how to describe specific and often complex processes in an understandable way.
This realisation led me to work in science publishing for a couple of years in London after completing my Geology MSci. I'm now studying Marine Sciences in the Netherlands, and continue to enjoy editing all kinds of texts for Scribbr on the side.
Tip for writing in English: do not fear simplicity - the best way to communicate a complex process to your reader is to break it down into concise steps, remembering how you first learned to understand it!
I've made my living as a writer and editor for more than 30 years now. I have a BA in English literature from Fairfield University and an MFA in creative writing from the University of Michigan. During various stretches in my career I've crafted (and managed) communications for a large cancer research network, for one of the leading information science graduate schools in the US, and for a developer of K-12 school textbooks. I've also taught writing to undergraduates.
The most useful writing tip I can give is this: writing is rewriting. Good writers come in two flavors: those who spend most of their writing time reworking and polishing what they have put on the page, and those who lie about it.
I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa, but now reside in the Hague, the Netherlands, with my wife and two young boys. I have a PhD in Classics (Greek and Latin) from the University of Cape Town and spend most of my time working on arcane literary and philological topics which are best left undisclosed. My main area of linguistic interest is semiotics and semantics—uncovering the hidden meanings behind the words we use. I’m also a stickler for the Oxford comma.
Tips for academic writing. Economy. Try to condense your thoughts into tight sentences, where accuracy and simplicity combine.
I was born and raised in South Africa, but I’ve had the opportunity to travel and live in many countries: the USA, England, but mostly in South-East Asia and the Far East. After graduating with a degree in English and Philosophy, I qualified as a teacher, specialising in English and Business Studies. I’ve taught English as a first language for a long, long time, and EFL for more than 15 years, so I suppose you could say I’ve been ‘editing’ all my working life. At the moment, I mentor MSc and PhD students for whom English is a second or third language. I love seeing them reach the point where they don’t need me anymore, and our language sessions become coffee breaks!
The process of learning new languages myself, from Mandarin to isiXhosa, has made language teaching fascinating as I've shared the difficulties that my students experience. Helping them find ways to overcome those difficulties has been hugely rewarding.
A tip about writing: just DO it, and don’t expect to get it right the first time. Like any good craftsman, start with the rough outline, chop out the bits that don’t belong, add in bits that make it more satisfying, and then polish and refine it until you have something that you feel proud of. It takes time and practice, but every step is worth it. And ... don't leave it until the last minute!
As a Brit living in Amsterdam, I've joined the Scribbr team to put my lifelong love of language to good use. With an MA in literature and a habit of being immersed in three books at any given time, I've developed a pretty good intuition for language. And as someone still struggling to make myself understood in Dutch, I can sympathise if you're wrestling with English (whose rules are by all accounts much more arcane) as a second language.
Writing tip: 'Discrete' and 'discreet' are in fact discrete words. If you don't know the difference, try to be discreet about it.
(A lot of English words have very close neighbours with distinct meanings. Aside from the aforementioned, 'complementary' means something quite different from 'complimentary'; 'affect' and 'effect' are importantly different in both noun and verb form; and you definitely don't want to mix up 'comma' and 'coma'! Mistakes like these can be hard to notice, since your spell-check likely won't pick up on them. It's worth making sure you've got the meanings of tricky words memorised to avoid errors.)
In college at the University of Georgia, I thought I would be a government reporter, and that's what I did for about three years after graduation. When a copy editor position came open, I decided to try it and have been an editor ever since. Most of my editing work has been with newspapers, but in the last decade I have also worked in education and government. I am new to academic editing, so this work has been challenging and rewarding.
My main goal as an editor is to clarify the writing. If I have difficulty understanding the wording and the sentences, there is a strong chance that other readers will also struggle. Another key point is to understand your audience. Academic writing is more formal and sophisticated than other styles of writing. Another tip is to be careful with your word selection. Use an online dictionary (Merriam-Webster for American English, Cambridge for British English) if you are unsure.
I live in a suburb of Raleigh, the capital of North Carolina in the southeastern United States. I grew up in a town about 45 miles southwest of Atlanta and have lived in the Raleigh-Durham area for about 25 years. My wife is an English as a Second Language teacher at Duke University.
I was born in London, England, and have worked there for most of my professional life, writing and editing. I have also lectured in English in China for several years, preparing undergraduate and postgraduate students for further study abroad.
As any good writer will tell you, the best way to improve is to read as much good and bad writing as possible, and then go out and write badly, making mistakes and receiving criticism. In particular, I have to remind myself daily of Orwell’s third rule for good writing: ‘if it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.’ Of course, he also stipulated that this rule could – and should – be broken. For a writer in a language with more exceptions than rules, this sort of advice seems appropriate. To all who write in English as a second language, you have my complete empathy and I will always be happy to assist (or at least share in your despair), wherever I can.
I have decades of editing experience in fields ranging from the arts and humanities to science, medicine, psychology, and marketing. Most recently, I edited the upcoming book “Cultures in Bioethics” by internationally renowned scholar Hans-Martin Sass, formerly of the Kennedy Institute for Ethics. As the founding editor of a literary book review that ran for 10 years, I received the Women’s National Book Association’s “Bookwoman of the Year” award (for an “enduring and unique contribution to the world of books and through books, to society”) at a U.S. Library of Congress ceremony. I have a Master's degree in English Literature from the University of Virginia.
I am from Cape Town, South Africa, and have a BA Hons from the University of Cape Town. Before becoming a freelance editor, I worked for the South African parliament as a translator and editor for more than 20 years. As a freelancer, I have gained experience in a wide range of language-related skills, and have experience of editing and proofreading manuscripts, theses, academic articles and educational material, and translating a wide variety of texts. I enjoy editing because I love the challenge of taking a text and making it the best it can be. Also, it’s great fun to broaden my general knowledge by reading about different subjects!
Writing Tip: If you have any doubt about what a word means, look it up in a dictionary. A thesaurus is your friend. Writing with a thesaurus next to you (or using an online thesaurus) will assist you to find the most appropriate word to express what you wish to say. Also, remember that you express yourself most clearly when you use simple sentence structures.
I grew up in Springfield, Illinois, then went to the University of Illinois to pursue a degree in biology. Along the way, I taught myself proficiency with computers, and veered off into an IT career for the next 15 years. I later earned a Master's in Library and Information Science, and in 2010 I took a job managing websites, writing newsletters and press releases, and producing podcasts for researchers in the field of animal sciences.
For most of my career, I have had the privilege to support students and the faculty who teach them. It is deeply satisfying to know that somebody was able to accomplish their goals in part because of assistance I gave them. That's why, when I decided to work as a freelancer, I chose academic editing as a field where I could use my skills and continue to help students.
My writing tip is related to workflow. I use color coding to help myself see which parts of a paper are done, and which still need work. So I'll use blue text for the first draft, then turn sentences or paragraphs black when I decide that they're polished enough. This helps me see at a glance what I still need to focus on, and helps keep me from getting overwhelmed.
I grew up in rural Indiana, then attended school at Ball State and received a B.A. in English. After completing my degree, I moved to Kyrgyzstan with Peace Corps, where I worked as a volunteer English teacher while learning Kyrgyz and Russian. I also worked closely with native Kyrgyz teachers to improve their English ability and demonstrate new teaching methodologies and materials. Now that I'm back in the US, I'm happy to continue working with students through Scribbr!
Writing tip: If you aren't a native English speaker, don't let yourself get too frustrated! It can be easy to get hung up on the many small details of a sentence, but you should try to write what you mean first, then go back through and check your grammar. It will help make the writing process less painful, and you can pay better attention to your grammar afterward.
I am a law graduate from the University of Oxford and the University of California, Berkeley. I love writing and language, so becoming a Scribbr editor made perfect sense to me. I love reading different academic papers from different disciplines!
When writing in English, the best advice I can give is to write sentences that are as concise as possible. Your reader will thank you for it.
I’m an Australian-based freelance editor/proofreader. I came to editing after a journey through many other professions (including public relations) and business enterprises, and helping friends and relatives with their writing projects. I have a Bachelor of Arts with a triple major (Education, Sociology and German). My interests include hockey, swimming, reading, writing, music and drinking coffee.
Editing is ‘home’ for me: I love the written word and I love to learn. Editing provides me with many words and a wide range of learning experiences!
Writing English: ‘Keep it simple’ is always best. As a general rule, English sentences are not complex: don’t complicate them.
Born and raised in Scotland, I studied computer science at university before working as an IT developer in the telecommunications industry. I now work as a freelance copy-editor, using the attention to detail required by my background in computer science combined with my interest in language and linguistics to help others improve their writing.
My tip to improve your writing is to have someone else look it over. Another pair of eyes often catches mistakes you overlooked.
A native English speaker, I am an American born in Texas and raised in Indiana. I now live in New Mexico after spending a decade in Nebraska where I completed my B.A. in English and German. I enjoy working as an editor, as it allows me to immerse myself in the art of written expression while helping others improve their writing abilities. Quite fond of learning about other languages and cultures, I am also a voracious fiction reader, a lover of nature and the outdoors, and an avid student of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.
Writing tip: Perhaps less conventional, but take a break from writing and crack open a book! Reading forces your brain to process line after line of properly written text. This exposure helps imprint on your mind acceptable language use for whichever language you are trying to improve for writing. This experience with the more complex constructions of language likely to be found in published books can sharpen and expand your general written language knowledge, allowing you to better apply key principles and established conventions to your academic writing.
I am a Canadian living in Ontario. I hold a BA (hons) in English and another BA in anthropology. I am a freelance editor and an ESL writing teacher and tutor, and I study computer science and web development on the side. I have extensive experience working with professionals and academics coming to English from another language at all levels, from utter beginner to native fluency, and from many different fields.
I love editing because I love helping authors develop and improve their writing, and I love to learn about new topics from the writers I work with.
Language tip: Everyone needs an editor. It is a quality of the human brain to gloss over information we already know or have seen before, so we can miss mistakes when we are too close to our own writing. To edit your own writing, it helps to take a break from it so you're coming to it later with fresh eyes. It can also help to try reading your paper from the bottom sentence upwards, or try printing and reading it away from the screen, to trick your brain into thinking it's reading something new.
I have been a professional proofreader and copy editor for 16 years, having graduated with a BA in English and an MA in creative writing. I work for commercial clients too, but have a preference for academic proofreading and find it a joy to read essays and theses on such a diverse range of subjects.
In my spare time I write plays, read widely for pleasure, and take French lessons. I am British and living in France.
My writing tip is: precision. Precision gives strength to a statement. It cuts out background noise and allows the ideas to speak. Inflated phrasing, repetition, and redundancy obscure the meaning of a text, which is particularly problematic for high-level academic works. The more complex an idea, the greater the need for precise language. This view is central to my practice as a copy editor.
I'm a Michigan native and currently live in Tennessee. I have a degree in Music Business and have always been passionate about writing and language. As a native English speaker working on French and Italian, I understand the difficulties and frustrations of not being able to express yourself as well as you'd like with a new language.
My favorite aspects of editing are that I get to help students strengthen their academic writing skills and become more confident writers.
One of my favorite Ernest Hemingway quotes comes from his memoirs, A Moveable Feast, when he struggles with writer's block. Hemingway looks out over the roofs of Paris and thinks, "Do not worry. You have always written before and you will write now."
Although Hemingway's words were in reference to a different kind of writing, it's easy to get discouraged in the world of academic writing as well. Sometimes it helps to step back, take a deep breath, and know that the words will come to you.
Another tip I have for writing is to read, read, read! When you experience different types of vocabulary and varieties of sentence construction through reading, you will inevitably become a better writer.
I grew up in a small rural town in the US and received my BA in sociology and international affairs. After that, I started my career in Egypt, and I recently moved to Myanmar. Living abroad and working in various communications-related jobs has given me a much greater appreciation of just how challenging (and really impressive!) it is for people to navigate in different languages when working and studying.
I work with Scribbr because I like help students both improve their papers and learn to become better writers. For me, editing is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. You have to rearrange and tweak the pieces until all of the words fit together logically and the writer’s meaning is clear. It’s also a great way to read and learn about new topics!
Writing tip: If you know that you struggle with a specific aspect of writing, make an effort to notice and correct it in your next academic paper. When I was in secondary school, I had a tendency to repeat the same words in my writing. To correct this, my teacher limited me to using most words no more than three times in a single paragraph. After months of painstakingly editing my papers and researching appropriate synonyms, the work started to become much easier. My writing style also became much more dynamic. Scribbr feedback letters are a great place to learn about areas for improvement!
I currently live in the state of Kentucky after covering a good portion of the United States in previous legs of my journey. I earned my BA in Russian at the University of Tennessee and my PhD in Russian and Soviet literature at the University of Wisconsin. After initially pursuing an academic career, I decided to switch to translating and editing. I enjoy both because of the breadth of subject matter that I get to work with. While I am helping you improve your English, you are helping me learn about new subjects and ideas!
English writing tip: know and use the best reference resources. Use the most reputable dictionaries if possible: the Oxford English Dictionary for general reference and for British spelling and usage, and Webster for American English. Use corpora to check usages and collocations: the Corpus of Contemporary American English and the British National Corpus are available online for free and are incredibly useful. Learning how to use these will give you a valuable tool for years to come. Even as a native speaker and professional editor I find that I use these resources more, not less, as I get older.
Born in the United States but raised mainly in Canada, I have always been fascinated by the many different cultures found both in North America and around the world. Most interesting to me is how our cultures set us all apart but communication--no matter the language--brings us all together. Our various abilities and passions allow us to tell engaging and inspiring stories, and through those stories, we connect with one another. This fascination with culture and communication is what led me to complete a BA in Honours English, a certificate program on publishing, and a certification course on TESL. With the hope of helping others to refine their writing skills, I have been working as a freelance editor ever since.
I am thrilled to be a Scribbr editor because it means I will have the chance to connect with both editors and students from those many different cultures I mentioned and not only learn from them but also share my own North American culture, English language, editing abilities, and passion for reading (and learning from) all the things. After all, a well-written and informative thesis can and should be just as engaging and inspiring as a work of fiction, and the best advice I can offer to any writer, let alone academic writers, is to read voraciously and try to learn as much as you can from the writing. Fiction, non-fiction--anything and everything will do.
"If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time (or the tools) to write. Simple as that."
-- Stephen King
I currently live in Seattle, although I have lived and worked all over the world, including in Greece, Australia, and Nepal. I have an MA in Public Administration and a BA in English and Political Science. For the past 14 years, I have worked as a freelance and newspaper editor, and as a writer, researcher, and English teacher. My students include both native and non-native English speakers, and over the years I have taught everything from business English to Shakespeare.
My favorite part of teaching English is helping others to improve their writing. I pay very close attention to detail, and I assure you that I treat your papers and theses with as much care as if they were my own. Helping you to improve your written English and to succeed academically is extremely rewarding for me. The other amazing part of working for SCRiBBR is that I learn something new from every paper I edit.
When I am not working, you will most likely find me dangling off a cliff somewhere in the mountains. I am an avid rock climber and mountaineer, and I still occasionally work as a guide and outdoor educator.
Tip for Writing in English: Although he was not likely thinking about theses at the time, Albert Einstein had great advice for writers everywhere: “Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler.” Keep your sentences as short and concise as you can, without sacrificing meaning. In many cases, two shorter sentences are much better than one longer sentence.
I am a Hungarian–American, born and raised in the USA and currently living in Budapest. Before moving to Hungary, I worked in Holland as a freelance English instructor and editor, helping on countless theses and copy-editing two books. My work and personal academic experiences have provided me with an intensive exposure to academic writing and have fueled my obsessions with grammar and etymology!
In Budapest, I am working as an ESL teacher and freelance editor while attending a university program in Hungarian language. I love languages and have studied Latin, Italian, and Mandarin Chinese while earning a BA in international studies from Kenyon College (USA). After graduating, I moved to Shanghai where I earned an ESL degree and taught English full time.
I understand the common diffulties and problems faced when trying to master English, and I love helping my students not only correct, but also understand their mistakes so that they can be avoided in the future.
Writing tip: It is easy to get lost in specific terminology when describing a complex topic, and sentences often become lengthy, confusing, and equally as complex! I always encourage my students to try to be as clear as possible and try to read their own sentences from the perspective of someone who is not familiar with the topic. Clarity and consistency can go a long way in making a complex concept easy to understand.
My background is in the humanities. I hold a PhD in Medieval Art History, an MA in Contemporary Art Theory and Criticism, and BAs in Art History and French Language, Literature and Culture. I'm originally from Colorado, but have moved all over the US, and since 2013 I have been living and working in Paris.
Having just finished my own dissertation, I am intimately familiar with the challenges of academic writing, and am looking forward to passing along many of the tips and tricks that I learned along the way to you in my work as a SCRiBBR editor. I am also very well acquainted with the difficulties of writing in a foreign language. I am currently working to receive French equivalency for my American PhD - a process which includes re-writing or translating a good portion of my dissertation into French!
Additionally, I have experience as an ESL teacher, having spent a year working as an English teaching assistant in a high school outside of Grenoble, France. As an instructor at a large American university during my doctoral work, I also have many years of experience working with non-native English speakers in a university classroom. I'm happy to bring all of these years of experience to my work as an academic editor.
Writing tip: When you're feeling stuck, find a quiet place and read what you've written out loud! This can help you catch instances of awkward syntax, missing words, and repeated words or phrases. It also helps to give you a different "vision" of your text because it forces you to slow down and read each word carefully and consider your text in a new way.
I am a New Jersey native living in The Netherlands since August 2015. After receiving a BA in Anthropology and Religious Studies at a small liberal arts college in the United States, I moved to Utrecht to pursue a Master's degree in Gender Studies, which I have recently completed. My attraction to editing for SCRiBBR originates foremost from a desire to make use of my well-honed academic writing skills; however, since I am no longer a student for the first time in eighteen years, I am also quite excited by the range of subjects and disciplines I get to learn about from reading the work of SCRiBBR students! I suppose I must also admit that any opportunity to correct Dutch students' English makes me feel a bit better about the many corrections I get on my Dutch on a daily basis. ;)
Writing tip: A thesaurus can be a great tool for producing dynamic writing that is more lively with minimal repetition. For example, instead of analyzing something over and over, you can be inspecting, evaluating, and investigating it! However, be wary of a thesaurus's more "colorful" offerings, or you may end up sounding too old-fashioned (getting down to brass tacks), slangy (talking game), or even unexpectedly violent (beating a dead horse) - none of which will benefit your academic writing!
I have an honors degree in BA Journalism, a certificate in Professional Education, and an MA in Educational Psychology. I have been an English teacher for almost 15 years. I have taught various classes in speaking, reading, writing, literature, and research to high school students. I have authored three textbooks in English used by private schools in Manila.
I recently moved to the Netherlands. Aside from attending my Dutch classes, I spend my time exploring every bookshelf at the public library and helping a number of students prepare for the Cambridge English Test.
Writing tip: KEEP IT SIMPLE. As Kurt Vonnegut puts it, “Remember that two great masters of language, William Shakespeare and James Joyce, wrote sentences which were almost childlike when their subjects were most profound. ‘To be or not to be?’ asks Shakespeare’s Hamlet. The longest word is three letters long.”
As a child, I loved the library. My passions included cats, my cousins, and re-reading Harry Potter ad nauseam. While I (eventually) graduated from that phase of my literary development, I continue to have a passion for writing that conveys a message with clarity and conviction. After completing an undergraduate degree in Political Science and Latin American studies at UC Berkeley, I taught English as a foreign language for two years. I have lived in five countries: the United States, Colombia, Morocco, Spain and Mexico. Recently, I completed a master's degree in Secondary Education, with a focus in History, Geography, and Art History. I just finished my master's thesis, so I very much empathize with your thesis-writing woes.
A quick tried-and-tested writing tip, given to me by my mother: When you are revising your writing, go back and circle the prepositions. Try to eliminate prepositions wherever they are not necessary. The more deeply you understand your topic and the more passionately you care about it, the fewer prepositions you will see in your writing. If you don't believe me (or her!), take a look at something you wrote when you were really fired up: an angry email, a passionate speech, or a text to a friend who did something really nice for you. You'll find it's full of vivid verbs and very few prepositions.
My mom often tells the story of my first day of kindergarten: apparently I came home from school furious that I hadn't learned how to read yet. I quickly became a voracious reader, devouring every available bit of text--cereal boxes, shampoo bottles, and junk mail were my daily fodder. I remember clearly the moment in third grade when diagramming sentences suddenly made sense to me. I've had a love affair with words ever since.
I still love to read--and I still read cereal boxes.
I enjoy editing because I delight in the process of enabling ideas to shine brightly. I've been privileged to edit in different fields throughout my career; I began by working for several real estate magazines, and then I was employed in the nonprofit sector, where I edited newsletters, donor support letters, books, and conference materials. After my sons were born, I volunteered for any editing I could get my hands on, which usually consisted of scads of newsletters and the occasional newspaper article. Editing academic work is especially interesting because of the wide array of topics I encounter.
My tip: serial commas, also known as Oxford commas, are your friend. They eliminate confusion and lend a rhythmic cadence to your writing.
Hi! I'm Megan. I live in Bloomington, Indiana. I have a PhD in Hispanic linguistics and enjoy academic writing and editing very much. I used to be a university professor, but now work in research development, providing editing and project management services to faculty applying for grants. I also run my own freelance academic editing business (Beeline Editing) on the side. During graduate school, I worked as an editorial assistant for a journal focused on second language acquisition.
My main academic writing tip would be to try to be as clear and direct as possible. It is easy to get caught up in using fancy words or trying to sound smart but more important is that readers understand your project or argument.
I come from Massachusetts and am currently living in New Orleans. I studied English at the undergraduate and graduate levels.
I love to read, write, travel and learn new languages. I am thankful for the opportunity to hone my editing skills with SCRiBBR, while reading interesting academic work.
Tip for writing in English: A lot of grammar and style rules in English are up for debate and not particularly strict. My number one tip for writers is to be consistent in your grammar and style choices throughout your writing project.
I live in South Africa and I specialise in editing academic papers for second-language English speakers. I am a published academic with a doctorate of philosophy in theology - so I have a keen sense of logical consistency and will point out any logical difficulties with your text. I also have more than 20 years experience in the newspaper industry, where I "subbed" and rewrote stories (mostly for second-language English writers), and also mentored reporters. The newspaper environment is a fantastic training ground for learning all the little tricks of the trade, such as common mistakes to look out for and little things you can do to improve the writing. You cannot imagine all the details involved in editing copy!
Tip for students: if English is not your first language and you are studying in English, read, read, read and read some more English books! I mean good, classic novels - not just articles on the internet, which are often full of mistakes. This will give you a good feel for the language. Begin by getting an English copy of a novel you have already read in Dutch. Then you will have a sense of the content. Read a chapter a night, taking special note of the use of prepositions. These are non-native speakers' greatest difficulty with English. Keep doing this until you are thinking in English.
I am a language acquisition and language assessment expert, and I have been conducting research in these areas for over 15 years. I veered into testing and assessment after obtaining my PhD in theoretical linguistics from the University of Cambridge, UK, where I also worked for a few years before moving to the US. I currently live in San Diego, where I investigate language development of students learning the so-called less commonly taught languages. Although I love research and find it very rewarding, editing provides a healthy dose of variety to my daily work: I enjoy reading students’ work because I learn so much from it. Also, I don’t get much opportunity to teach these days, so helping students with their writing helps fill this void.
When I am not at work, I spend time with my family, play percussion with a few local bands, and climb rocks.
A writing tip: Remember, thesis writing is not a race to the highest page count; don’t waste time padding. Also, keep in mind that some readers will read your work from start to finish, some will read only the introductory and concluding chapters, some might scan or search for what they need, and some might only flip through it: a well-structured thesis will satisfy them all!
I’ve been a voracious reader and a committed writer since the time I learned to string sentences together. I have two post-graduate degrees, one in Business Communication and one in Creative Brand Communication. I’ve worn the informal title of Pro Wordsmith, both professionally and as a favour to fellow writer friends and clients, throughout my very colourful career. I write opinion pieces for various reputable publications and online sites, including my own website. I’m a self-published author. And I’m going to keep writing – more books, more opinion pieces, more words of encouragement – because it makes me feel alive and expressed and of service.
All of this is to say that I have a deep and on-going love affair with language. I’m delighted that I get to continue the affair here at Scribbr, and I'm especially thankful that you're going to benefit from it.
Writing tip: Keep it simple. Keep it clear. Keep to your topic. All of this helps to make your academic writing elegant and easy to understand.
I’m from Dublin but currently live in Galway on the west coast of Ireland. I hold a PhD in English, an MA in Modernity, Literature and Culture, a BA in English and Philosophy, and a Diploma in Fine Art. In addition to working as an editor, I am a researcher of contemporary literature and theory. My current research is based on close stylistic analysis of literary texts, so I am especially alert to linguistic nuance and to the myriad ways in which meaning is generated not only by what we have to express but also through the very means of expression. I enjoy tinkering with sentences to find out how they work, and I take pleasure and pride in honing my craft as an editor.
Writing tip: learn to edit your own writing. Understand that getting your ideas onto paper and producing polished prose cannot be done all in one step. Allow yourself to write badly, and then revise, revise, revise. If your expectations for your first draft are too high, you will inevitably feel disheartened, because the passage from head to page rarely runs smooth. Writing is thinking, and thinking, especially when it entails engaging deeply with new ideas, is often messy and unpredictable. Embrace disorder in your early drafts, but respect your ideas—and your reader—enough to strive for elegance in the editing phase.
I grew up in the Canadian prairie provinces of Alberta and Saskatchewan and continue to make Saskatchewan my home. I have a BA in Humanities with a focus in English literature, and I have also studied English literature at the graduate level. During my years of formal education, I worked as a writing centre tutor and faculty assistant and found that I really enjoy helping students learn to communicate more clearly through their writing, which is what excites me about working for Scribbr.
My best writing tip is that the better you want to write, the more you need to read! All kinds of reading are beneficial, but it's especially helpful to read academic texts in your field to get a feel for the style of language your discipline requires. Also, read your own writing! Proofreading carefully and even reading your work aloud will greatly improve your writing.
I was born and raised in South Africa’s Eastern Cape, and currently divide my time between Botswana and South Africa. I have been an avid reader from an early age, and in my twenties discovered that editing could be a way of making a living. I enjoy the challenge of assisting writers to formulate the best way to express their work.
In the 1990s, I studied literature at Rhodes University in Grahamstown, and more recently have been pursuing an MA in linguistics, combining corpus linguistics and discourse analysis to examine media representations of industrial strikes in South Africa.
After completing my undergraduate degree, I worked as a researcher at a literature museum and thereafter moved to commercial publishing as a managing editor for, consecutively, a number of media start-ups in Cape Town. More recently, I worked as an associate editor at the Dictionary Unit for South African English (DSAE). Since then leaving the DSAE, I have maintained an interest in English lexicography, especially that of the local variety of the language. In addition, over the years, I have been engaged as a freelance researcher, writer and editor for a variety of newspapers, magazines and publishing houses.
Writing tip: Keep it simple. Don’t get involved in constructing overly complex sentences that are difficult to decipher. Read the sentence aloud to yourself. If you struggle to get through it, your reader will too. Rather break one long sentence into two, or even three, simpler ones. Try to avoid jargon and ‘big words’ – these too will stand in the way of your reader understanding what you mean.
I'm an English-speaking South African currently pursuing a PhD in Linguistics. My educational background includes a Bachelor in Linguistics, English Literature and Philosophy; and an Honours and two Masters degrees in Linguistics.
In the past I have tutored first-year university English, and I have extensive experience in editing academic texts and theses.
A tip for writing in English (or any language that is not your mother tongue): First and foremost, try to express yourself clearly. Using complex sentences or 'fancy-sounding' words that you've found in a thesaurus often makes your argument harder to follow.
I’m Sabrina, and I love words—how they originated, how they’re put together, how we use them to express ourselves. That’s what got me into editing, and I love what I do. I’m also a lifelong learner. After high school, I did a BA in economics at Queen’s University in Ontario, Canada, and then after working and parenting, I went back to school to get a BA in classics and an MA in history at the University of Windsor. I started freelance editing about ten years ago, and I have worked on both nonfiction and fiction. While doing my MA, I had the opportunity to edit student papers, and it was incredibly rewarding to help my students find the right words and improve their writing. I also love to travel, and I worked on an archaeological dig in Greece as part of my classics degree.
My best tip to improve your writing is to always read your work out loud. This helps you find run-on sentences, fragments, and subject/verb disagreements that your eye might skip over when you’ve read your paper on the page or screen so many times.
I was born and raised in the US, but I’ve spent periods of my life living in China, France, and Spain. I earned my bachelor’s degree in the unlikely trio of mathematics, philosophy, and French (I entered university planning to become an engineer, but gradually fell in love with the study of language and literature). Since then, I’ve worked as an editor and English teacher in the US and abroad. I currently live in Spain, where I am pursuing a master’s degree in literary studies with the ultimate goal of completing a PhD and working in academia.
I’m happy to work for Scribbr, as it allows me to help other writers improve their craft while reading interesting work from scholars in various fields. I no longer harbor plans of becoming an engineer, but I like to think my mathematics training has helped me as an editor, since academic writing, like math, involves making logical arguments in language that is clear and precise in order to help one's readers understand complex issues.
Writing tip: Like any form of language, the principal purpose of writing is communication. Always keep your readers in mind; try to convey your ideas and arguments as simply and clearly as possible to ensure their comprehension.
I grew up in a small town in the Western US in a home full of stories. My mother raised me and my brother on folklore from around the world, and my father worked as an English and Spanish professor. Reading was a favorite pastime in our home. As a result, language skills have always come naturally to me.
I attended university near where I grew up, but I spent two semesters studying abroad in Spain and one semester in Chile. During this time, I worked informally as an English editor/tutor and enjoyed helping my international friends improve their written and spoken English. I also experienced firsthand the challenges of studying and learning to write in a second language.
After completing a Masters in Plant Science and publishing a handful of scientific articles, I decided to pursue a career as a dairy farmer and cheesemaker. Nonetheless, the challenge of academic work continues to draw me in. I am thankful for the opportunity to continue practicing my language skills at Scribbr by helping students improve their writing.
Writing tip: Practice every day. Writing is a skill, and the only way to improve is through practice. When you need a break from the keyboard, try pen and paper. When you need a break from writing, read. Counterintuitive though it may seem, reading is excellent writing practice.
Hi! I grew up in the great state of Wisconsin in the northern USA, and I now live in California. I have a BS in history and Classics from the University of Wisconsin and a PhD in Classical Archaeology from Harvard. One of the things I have loved most about doing history, Classics, and archaeology is the opportunity to learn languages ("dead" and living!) and travel and live throughout Italy and Greece while playing in the dirt :)
My personal philosophy of life is that everything is connected. I love learning new things and making exciting connections across time and space. Recently I have been learning Norwegian and getting into Norse and Viking history, and it's been a lot of fun to jump into a new world! I enjoy reading and editing academic writing because I am guaranteed to learn something new on every page.
My writing tip is to always read your paper out loud to yourself when proofreading or improving a draft. Lots of mistakes and poor word choices that you may not catch on the page will jump out when you read them aloud.
I grew up in Oregon and have been interested in language and writing from a young age. In high school, I had the opportunity to study Latin, Italian, and French, which helped me understand and appreciate English grammar. I am studying history and political thought in Central and Eastern Europe and am currently based in New York City. In addition to editing for Scribbr, I am the editorial assistant for a literary journal and have worked variously as a language tutor and copy editor.
I grew up in rural Ontario and spent a few years after high school making music at cafés and bars, before leaving for my university education. At Dalhousie University in Halifax, Nova Scotia, I completed a combined honours degree, first class, in Philosophy and English, returning the next year to complete an MA in English. My undergraduate work focused on philosophy of language and feminist philosophy, while my master’s thesis focused on ecology and contemporary Canadian poetry.
While at the school my writing interests were broadened well beyond the scope of my own disciplines. As I completed my undergrad, I spent five years as a university writing tutor, seeing students at all levels of education (from entrance level to PhD) and treating writing in most academic styles: scientific, creative, business, journalistic, argumentative, and so forth. About half of the students who came to the centre were accomplished writers in their native tongues. These students worked with our tutors to learn the nuances of English writing specifically, and they gave me plenty of practice working with writers who come to English from other languages. During these five years I also graded for the Engineering, Commerce, English, and Philosophy departments, and gained some teaching experience along the way. I work in writing because I find it gratifying to read interesting papers on subjects or arguments I’ve not been exposed to.
Tip for writing in English: English speakers find that writing tends to be clearest when the main verb in a sentence is close to the beginning of that sentence, whereas it is more common in other languages to push the main verb further into a sentence. Try to be attentive to the placement of that main verb, and try to place it early. This advice, of course, does not apply to all sentences, but works well as a general writing guideline.
Language has played an important role in my life since I was a child. Inspired by my Spanish-speaking neighbors and my German-speaking grandmother, I told my parents I would learn everything I could about languages. I was seven years old at the time, and it didn't take me long to start learning Spanish, French, Kaqchikel (a Mayan language), Portuguese, Korean, Mongolian, Chinese, Thai, and Laos.
I am happy to say that I still get to use most of my language skills on a regular basis with my students and with my friends (ok--I don't get to practice Mongolian anymore because I don't have any Mongolian friends near me!). Having studied at the master's level in France, I know how it feels to put together long presentations and papers in a second (or third!) language. I hope that comes through in the edits I do here at Scribbr.
My only writing tip would be to try your best to remember the advice you receive from editors, teachers, and other mentors. The fast pace of life can make it tempting to just correct a text, submit it, and forget it, but if you spend a little extra time internalizing some of the corrections made to your papers, you'll actually become a better writer in the end.
I have always had a love for languages. I studied English and Spanish and I have been working full time as a language practitioner since 2010. I do copy editing, proofreading and translation in three languages (English, Afrikaans and Spanish). Besides working on manuscripts for academic books and articles for academic journals, I am also involved in children’s books (fiction and non-fiction) and the development of school textbooks.
Many people underestimate the contribution that an excellent language practitioner can make to the success of a project. I enjoy finding the most appropriate solutions to problems, taking into account the complex interplay between content, style and tone, clarity of expression, and time and space limitations – always with the needs of the intended audience in mind. I feel a deep sense of responsibility and accountability for every text I work on.
Above all I love helping authors develop and improve their texts. Clarity of thought and clarity of expression are two necessary ingredients for a good text. I believe that it is essential for future academics to develop their writing skills, so that they are able to express their ideas in the clearest, most accessible way possible.
Writing tip: Many writers assume that long, complex sentences will make their writing come across as formal and academic. The trend in English in recent years is towards ‘plain English’. This means generally keeping your sentences short and simple. You can create the appropriate formal tone by your choice of vocabulary. Avoid unnecessarily long and convoluted sentences.
I am a Canadian expat living in the Netherlands. I have an MA in Media Studies with a specialization in Publishing Studies. Before becoming a freelance editor, I worked for a prominent research institute in the Netherlands; I am therefore very familiar with the conventions of academic writing.
Since then, I have gained a lot of experience editing texts for non-native English speakers and, as someone learning Dutch myself, I understand the difficulties that come with trying to express yourself in a foreign language. I love to help students improve not only the clarity of their present text, but also their writing skills for any future academic endeavours.
I am from Tarpon Springs, Florida and earned a BA in Sociology from the University of Virginia in 2016. For the past several years, I have been completing a Masters in Anthropology and working as a Graduate Teaching Assistant teaching philosophy and anthropology courses. I have always loved reading and writing, and I aspire to be an anthropology professor eventually after completing a PhD in Anthropology. I also really enjoy songwriting, attending activist events, doing crafts, and making music with other people.
The writing tip that really helped me become a better writer was the advice that one should begin the writing process by allowing oneself to write stream of consciousness. This can get the ball rolling so that one can then go back and edit. This approach has helped me overcome writer's block and procrastination so many times.
I was born in Colorado but grew up in Tennessee and Virginia. I earned my BA in Anthropology from the University of Virginia in 2015. I am currently a graduate student at Florida Atlantic University and have worked as a teaching assistant for the past two years in anthropology and philosophy undergraduate classes. My research interests include indigenous rights, political ecology, philosophical anthropology, and the culture of the Himalayan region. I am passionate about anthropology and my ultimate goal is to become an anthropology professor. My other interests include music, guitar, and hiking.
During my time as a teaching assistant, I received many useful writing instruction tips and participated in several seminars where graduate students rated and 'normed' undergraduate papers to standardize the grading system. One of the most helpful conclusions to come out of this process was that what differentiated a good paper from a great paper was having a conclusion that synthesized information in a new way rather than simply restating the thesis. This was generally a hallmark of a great writer because they did not write in a formulaic way.
I'm a South African by birth and residence. In addition to being a professional editor, I'm a writer and wellness counsellor. My degrees are BA English, BA Honours psychology, and MA research psychology (all with distinction). I often edit technical work and am statistically literate. My interests are broad but I prefer working on post-graduate papers.
Tip for academic writers: Keep your sentences short, and aim to include only one main idea in each sentence. Inexperienced writers often try to cram too much into a sentence, which makes it very hard to read.
I am originally from Wales but now live in the south of France with my wife and dog. After studying Theology (including a year in Israel) at university I headed off to teach English as a foreign language in South Korea. It was there that I met my wife. I returned to Britain and to university in Cardiff where I completed both a masters and PhD. in archaeology, graduating with the latter in 2010. Another couple of years in South Korea followed before we moved to France in 2012.
I adore reading, am an avid football (soccer) fan, and I am also trying to write a novel.
Writing Tip: Keep it simple! When writing an essay, dissertation, or thesis it is important to use formal, academic language, but this does not mean you should try too hard to impress with unnecessarily long or difficult words. The subject being written about is often specialized and complex enough, do not make it more so. Using simple, straightforward language to explain your ideas and opinions will make it much easier for the reader to understand.
I come from Ohio in the United States, and I currently live in Amsterdam. My educational backgrounds are in politics, literature, creative writing, cultural studies, and the history of science. I earned my Ph.D. from the University of Amsterdam in 2015, where I also now teach in rhetoric, literature, literary theory, and cultural analysis. My own academic research and writing investigates the ways neuroscience weaves its way into popular and literary fiction. I am continuously struck curious by the ability for a sequence of words, commas, and metaphors to make characters fleshy, neurological, and humorously neurotic.
One moment that unites us all as writers—through sheer terror—is opening up a fresh Word document and encountering that icy, white blankness. Even if you’re the most well-funded chemist, cloistered in your laboratory for twelve hours a day, at some point you’re going to need to articulate your brilliant research to others. Ditto for students who shooed their final essays away for weeks until the night before. My advice? Free-write. If you’re under a deadline and your head feels like it’s in a pressure cooker, this is actually the optimal time to close your computer, shut down your mobile phone, grab a sheet of paper, and just write. Let it out: random phrases, thoughts, fragments of lyrics, etc. Don’t edit, don’t stop, don’t look back. Just keep that pen touching the paper. Do this non-stop for fifteen minutes. This is an exercise I’ve done in the mornings for years now, and it’s also a workout my students perennially find valuable. It’s like flushing the gunk out of your mind. Ahh, that’s better. Now, go forth and fill that Word document with what you really wanted to express!
I am a native English speaker and an experienced editor and writer. I was a UK academic for many years working with undergraduate, MA and PhD students on their essays and theses. I have a BA and MPhil from Oxford University in English Language and Literature. I have an MA in Creative Writing and a PhD in Contemporary Curating and Critical Writing. I enjoy working with language and texts, just as a sculptor enjoys working with stone or a painter with oils and watercolours. I write fiction and non-fiction. My books – early medieval novels, future fiction, art history – are published by Impress Books, Phaidon, Routledge, Palgrave and others. My novels have won and been short-listed for a number of prizes including Impress Prize, Rome Film Festival Book Initiative, Santander Research Award, Literature Wales Writers Bursary and Authors Foundation Award. I also write book reviews for Times Higher Education and Historical Novels Review and a regular column about writers living abroad for The Displaced Nation. Currently I am teaching art history to American Study Abroad students in France and running creative writing workshops. I was formerly senior lecturer in art history and theory at Oxford Brookes University and Dartington College of Arts and guest professor at Bauhaus University, Weimar and Piet Zwart Institute, Rotterdam. I divide my time between the UK and France. When I’m not working I’m playing with my grandson, reading books, chatting and walking with family and friends. I am an avid swimmer and own a waterproof Kindle.
Tips for writing: Notice what your bad habits and repeat errors are in writing and make sure you read through your text to edit them out. For example, I use “that” too often. We all have little tics that are a kind of throat-clearing in writing. Keep an eye on incorrect apostrophes especially in its/it’s. If you are struggling with your sentences or the flow or coherence of your writing, read it aloud to yourself. Think about who your readers are, what they know and don’t know, to help you decide what you need to tell them, how to keep their interest. The best way to learn how to write is to read constantly. Read anything that interests you: English newspapers, magazines, blogs, novels and textbooks.
I have 15+ years of experience editing a variety of documents, including theses, dissertations, and juried academic articles. She has a B.A. in English and an M.A. in Communications, both from Texas Tech University. I've spent much of my professional career helping students in one way or another, and I'm very pleased to help you with your writing. Thanks for letting me contribute a bit to your academic career.