We guarantee that we only work with the best editors
- Linguistic expertise
- Professional experience with proofreading and editing
- Carefully selected, tested and assessed
- Familiar with your field of study
- Only native English speaking editors
I have always loved languages and have formally studied Spanish, Portuguese, Japanese, and German as well as the nuances of my own native English. I completed my B.A. at Washington University in St. Louis, where I specialized in Language, Culture, and Cognition and Spanish Literature.
I currently live in Mexico City and spend my time teaching English, visiting my favorite parks and markets, attending electronic music concerts, and writing and editing as a freelancer. I'm interested in critical theory, materialist feminism, and cities.
Tip for writing in English: Avoid passive constructions as much as possible. It can be tempting to use them because they are so common in academic writing, but your writing will often be clearer and more compelling if you focus on using the active voice.
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.
Currently based in Amsterdam, I was born in South Africa, grew up in Australia and have also lived in France. I have taught music (one of the most beautiful languages of all) and English as a private tutor and editor for a decade. I have intermediate fluency in French and am currently learning Dutch, so I understand the frustrations of trying to make yourself understood in a new language.
My tip for writing academically in English: eschew obfuscation. This is an ironic and memorable way to remind students to avoid being unclear. Fledgling academics often feel tempted to use rare or sophisticated words when a more simple term or phrase would be enough. State your point, support it with evidence, and avoid any possible confusion in the reader’s mind. Save the poetry for when you write your next novel!
Also: Microsoft Word’s “synonyms” function is not always your friend! Synonyms are loaded with nuance; they are to be used with caution.
Having been born and raised in Atlantic Canada, I am a native English speaker. I completed an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and English, followed by a degree in law. I have been a member of my provincial law society for almost 20 years, and I currently draft legislation when I am not editing papers for SCRiBBR. Legislative drafting is a very demanding discipline that has both accentuated my ability to express ideas clearly and improved my eye for detail. I love finding precisely the right word to convey an idea. I also enjoy applying these skills to the academic theses of students in many disciplines, because it gives me an opportunity to learn something new with each assignment.
I'm a native English speaker and an experienced editor. I really enjoy helping people to write effectively. During my career, I've edited over 750 books, working for various international publishers including Edinburgh University Press and Collins. For Edinburgh Napier University, I managed the distance-learning publications programme, which was a great way to get to know the work of all the departments in the university. One of the biggest challenges in my career was to organise editorial work - against the clock - on creating the Chambers Encyclopedic English English Dictionary, which had 1,724 pages. It was a big job! I run a publishing and writing consultancy and live near Edinburgh in Scotland. When I'm not working, I love nature photography and tennis.
Tip for writing: however complex the concept that you want to explain, your writing style should always help your reader to understand - and it should never be an obstacle to comprehension! The majority of people, including published authors, write their text and never read it themselves. It's important to take a break after writing: either work on something completely different for a while or, ideally, go away from your computer and think about something else. When you come back to it, imagine that you are the person who will read your text and then read the whole text from beginning to end. You will see it with a fresh eye and you will find many elements that you can easily improve or refine. If you can bear to do this twice, you will reap even more benefits!
I’m a native of Alabama and I have just recently been naturalised as a citizen of the Netherlands. I’ve been here 6 years and I love this country, except for the weather. I have a degree in music, but I’ve spent that last 11 years teaching English as a foreign language in Japan, the Czech Republic and back in the States in New York City. I currently work for a private language school in The Hague and enjoy editing on the side.
Tip for writing in English: Sentences are shorter in English. Most experts would agree that clear writing should have an average sentence length of 15 to 20 words. This does not mean making every sentence the same length. Vary your writing by mixing short sentences with longer ones.
I'm a native English speaker born and raised in the US, but I've adopted French and Arabic as secondary languages. I received my undergraduate degree from Harvard, which is also where I first began doing academic editing. As a long-time Arabic student, I understand what it's like to write papers in a non-native language -- I've spent many a night frustratedly flipping through dictionaries and grammar references. I've been editing and proofreading academic texts for several years, and as an academic myself, I love reading about practically any subject that comes my way.
English writing tip: Less is more. If you can remove extraneous words from a sentence or rephrase something to make it shorter, do so! English writing prizes clarity and conciseness, and flowery sentences can often obscure your meaning or make it difficult for the reader to follow your train of thought.
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!
I live in South Africa and am proud to call it home. Words, whether I am writing them or reading them, have always been a very important part of my life. So it was an easy decision to specialize in South African Literary studies at University.
After my studies, I translated Afrikaans policy documents into English for a few years and then taught high school English until recently. Now I do what I have always dreamed of doing--writing. The bulk of my days are filled with writing a long-promised-to-self novel OR helping others write great academic English.
My work at SCRiBBR keeps me balanced, as editing is completely different to creative writing. By keeping the logical AND creative sides of my brain happily engaged, my own writing is enhanced.
My advice to students who have a hard time with English:
- Relax. Take a deep breath. English is a beautiful and versatile language. Don't be scared of it.
- Don't try to sound smart by using difficult words and complex phrases. Keep it simple, because your supervisor is impressed by your knowledge of your subject, and it is difficult to convey that knowledge if you don't fully grasp the meanings of the words you are using.
- Make use of the SCRiBBR resources provided on the website. Everything you can possibly need to know is there. Print out the information and refer to it when you are unsure.
- Read your own writing aloud. Your ear is sometimes a better proofreader than your eye is.
- Read, read, read. English novels, classics, thrillers, romances--it doesn't matter what you choose to read. Reading is the most effective way of improving your English. Just by reading a simple novel, you learn about sentence structure and where to place your subjects and verbs. Without even knowing the technical requirements of an English sentence, you will be able to 'hear' if your sentence structure is correct--provided that you are an avid reader.
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".
I'm a native of New York based out of Berlin since 2014. I have a Bachelor in German and Cultural Studies but these days, I often work as an engineer for sound installations and radio production in addition to editing English and German texts.
My favorite aspect of editing is learning about other people's research and helping them express themselves and their ideas as clearly and simply as possible. One of the best ways to improve your writing, whether in your native language or a new one, is to read!
When surrounded by geo-jargon during my Geology MSci studies, I came to realise that my passion really lies in trying to simplify and communicate information. I always secretly enjoyed working on reports and diagrams just as much as the content itself and this led me to discover editing (although I do still love a good rock). Based in London, I currently work for an independent science and technology publisher on manuscripts translated from French. I'm also lucky to work with SCRiBBR on a range of assignments, where it's great fun to learn new things and work closely with so many different writing styles.
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 am a California native who has an instinct for grammar and a passion for philosophising. I was educated in both the United States and the United Kingdom, so I am comfortable with both versions of English. Indeed, my qualifications have been rather international; I have just completed an International Business Law LLM in the Netherlands following my graduation from Oxford University with a BA in Jurisprudence.
My editing experience was gained largely whilst working for several law firms, but I have a soft spot for the sciences and have always been able to engage with technical work. Recently, I have been conducting research into pharmaceutical regulation, which often involves dissecting texts in both medical and economics journals. Formulating persuasive arguments is part and parcel of my academic pursuits, so I value the opportunity to develop the breadth of my knowledge by reading others' writing. Editing is effectively another way for me to keep up with my various interests.
Writing tip: It is easy to get carried away with the descriptive power of synonyms in the English language. However, I would advise that you only use words that you understand in your writing because many synonymous words carry certain nuances. 'Synonyms' may not mean what you think they mean!
My interest in the English language started as a young teenager, trying to understand the lyrics of my favorite bands. As a huge music fan, this meant constant language practice. By now, I hold a BA in English Language and Culture and an MA in American Studies (the latter with honor). After my studies I went backpacking through South America for a year, adding Spanish to my language skills.
I first started editing during my studies, as I helped out fellow students by reviewing their papers and essays. I am excited to now turn this occasional hobby into paid work!
A tip to improve your English: make the learning process fun. Translate lyrics to practice your vocabulary and sing along with the songs for better pronunciation. Watch movies, or start with cartoons (like The Simpsons, fun and easy to understand), to practice your listening skills. Once you’re getting better at it, lose the subtitles! Whatever you do, try to keep it fun and combine the language with your daily hobbies.
After completing my BA in English Literature and Linguistics, I headed out to Asia in the Spring of 2001 to teach budding young minds the language of Shakespeare, eventually becoming the headteacher of the largest literature academy in Seoul. I spend most of my days muttering about subject-verb agreement while fending off questions from young adults about why there aren't more apocalyptic dystopias on the curriculum.
Writing tip: One of the most troublesome aspects of writing in English is the use of prepositions. I have old students who are now experienced interpreters and translators who still email me with questions about them. I've seen students try to memorise them by printing out a sheet of the most commonly used ones, or devise complex mnemonics in order to hold them in their heads for a test. This is all very gruelling. Surely, the best way to learn prepositions is organically, by sitting down in a comfortable chair with a good novel, or reading as many articles in English as possible. It doesn't really matter what kind of thing you read, just as long as you read it regularly. The main reason my old students forgot their prepositions was because they stopped reading in English.
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!
Learning new languages, 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!
I hold a BA degree in English Language and Culture and an MA degree in Classical, Medieval, and Renaissance Studies. I have a passion for reading, collecting books, languages, and editing.
For me, being an editor is like being a detective. You hunt for mistakes to correct and clues to help uncover the writer’s intent; I love the thrill of finding that one mistake or clue. Another advantage is that editing satisfies my thirst for knowledge as I learn so much when plunging into a new project.
A writing tip: try to avoid using the same words and phrases throughout your text. It is nicer for the reader to have some variation, so do not be afraid to use synonyms. Yet, bear in mind that you cannot blindly trust a thesaurus.
“Intoxicated? The word did not express it by a mile. He was oiled, boiled, fried, plastered, whiffled, sozzled, and blotto.” – P.G. Wodehouse, Meet Mr. Mulliner
Hello. I'm a historian and a philosopher. I've spent several years at Australian and New Zealand universities cramping my hands over keyboards and teaching classes in the history of science and philosophy. It has always bugged me that there are so few services available to students for help with writing. Writing an essay isn't easy, and many of my students don't speak English as a first language. Now I'm happy to be doing some editing work alongside writing my own articles, to help people say what they want to in academic English.
As for a tip? 'Write drunk; edit sober' was what Ernest Hemingway is supposed to have said. I tried it for a while - it's lousy advice. And despite his reputation, it's unlikely Papa followed it either (or even said it). But maybe there's still a lesson to be learnt from him. For my money, a lot of the clearest, most vivid English writing is composed from short, concise sentences. Think Hemingway, or Joan Didion. But whatever your preference, when you read - fiction, academic articles, magazines, whatever - it will influence you and change how you go about your writing too. So read good writers!
I'm a Minneapolis native who spent three years after university studying, living, and working abroad in both Russia and the Netherlands. During my time in the Netherlands, I attended Leiden University and received my Master of Arts in Russian and Eurasian studies, graduating Cum Laude. I managed to find time for my coursework in between bicycling around the city, eating fresh stroopwafels, and traveling to Belgium once in a while to sample beer and chocolate. My Master's thesis focused on Russian performance art, and portions of my research are set for publication in the peer-reviewed journal "Russian Literature" in 2017.
Before pursuing my MA, I worked for two years as an English language instructor in St. Petersburg. In order to teach EFL in the Russian Federation, I had to take TEFL training and received formal certification. I enjoyed teaching EFL classes and helping my students improve their English language skills, and I also spent some of this time as a student myself, taking Russian language lessons to help me chat more freely with the "Sankt Peterburzh'si." My EFL teaching experience gave me a great background in the grammatical mechanics of English, and my love of teaching led me to work at SCRiBBR, where I continue to help students polish their formal writing and improve their academic English.
My tip for students tackling academic writing is to read as much formal writing as they can in their discipline and take careful note of the pervading style. Different fields have different writing conventions, so no particular academic style is one-size-fits-all. I'd also advise students to be careful when using linking, comparing, and transitional words and phrases- sometimes direct translations can yield strange results, so this is always a good place to double check your English vocabulary knowledge!
I grew up in El Paso, Texas and now live and work in Durham, North Carolina in the U.S. I got a B.S. in psychology and English from Duke University and an MFA in creative writing and translation from Columbia University. I taught English in Turkey for one year after college, which was a fascinating experience and helped me understand the ins-and-outs of the English language from the perspective of ESL students. I have also worked in publishing for a few years and currently work as a freelance writer and editor. I spend the rest of my time reading, cooking, hiking, and playing with my little brown hound.
I grew up in a bilingual household, so I grew up fascinated by language, its similarities and differences in different languages, and the complexities of its construction. This inherent interest in language led me to a life of writing, editing, and translating.
Writing tip: Less is more. Often, trying to "sound smart," using unfamiliar synonyms, or trying to write complicated sentences to make writing sound formal can backfire. There's nothing wrong with sticking with simpler constructions—and they often make your writing smoother and your points clearer.
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.
I’m a native English speaker, and I’ve been doing editorial work for nearly thirty years. I grew up in Amarillo, Texas, and attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas. Initially, I studied petroleum engineering – it was the family business – but I changed my major to English after my academic advisor astutely noted that I was far better at expressing myself with words than than with numbers.
After graduation, I moved to New York City and landed a job copyediting peer-reviewed engineering journals. I went on to work on many kinds of technical and scientific publications, including books, magazines, newsletters, reports, white papers, training materials, documentation, and academic papers. Over the years, I broadened my repertoire to include the social sciences, economics, political science, finance, business, medicine, and theology. I branched out from academic and technical publishing to take on editing assignments from trade publishers and have gotten to work on everything from poetry and fiction to cookbooks and comics. I really enjoy helping people bring their ideas to life on the page.
I live in New York City with my boyfriend and our cat. I love to read, knit, cook, swim, practice yoga, and listen to music. I still love exploring NYC. It never gets old.
Best tip for writers: Relax and keep it simple. My favorite line from Strunk & White’s Elements of Style is this: Omit needless words. That’s good advice for writing and life.
I'm an American living in Europe, enjoying dense city life. I studied English literature at New York University, then worked in publishing for three years. There, I worked for specialized in the odd combination of thrillers, mysteries set in small towns with abnormally high homicide rates, and erotic romance novels of the 50 Shades variety. So, in short, I've been exposed to a lot of ridiculous writing. I am currently teaching English as a foreign language, so I am well aware of all the difficult nuances of the English language!
Writing tip: "Of" as a possessive is not used as often as you would think. When you're talking about the relationship between two people and a person and an object, you should use 's. But more importantly, describing the relationship between two objects or ideas, you can place the possessing noun in an adjectival position. So instead of writing "the color of her hair," you can write, "her hair color." This construction facilitates clarity.
A Virginia native, I graduated with a BA in Middle Eastern Studies from the University of Virginia. Shortly after graduation, I moved 5000 miles away from home to Cairo, Egypt and began working in communications. Having a communications position right out of college challenged me to become a better writer and editor, and now I'm excited to help others improve their own writing by working as an editor at SCRiBBR.
Writing Tip: Make a "mind map" before your start writing to help yourself figure out exactly what you want to say. This will help you structure your argument. It will also help you make your writing clear and concise.
I grew up in a small rural town in Western Pennsylvania and received a BA in sociology and international affairs from Gettysburg College. Now I’m living and working in Cairo, Egypt. Living here has given me a much greater appreciation of just how difficult it is for people to function professionally in a second language. I’m excited to work with SCRiBBR and to help students both improve their papers and learn how 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. To give an example, when I was in secondary school, I had a tendency to repeatedly use the same words in my writing. To correct this, my teacher limited me to using a word (other than strictly necessary ones like articles and the verb “to be”) 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!
A california native, I recently graduated with a BA in English literature. I have spent the last several years editing academic papers and writing original content. I spent two consecutive semesters studying abroad (in London, England and Budapest, Hungary respectively), and spent the previous summer living in Corsica, France as an English tutor. I have an intense love of the written word, and when I'm not reading, I'm writing. Languages fascinate me and I'm currently working on learning French and Hungarian.
The #1 tip I would give to improve academic writing, is NEVER EVER write in the second person. Avoid the pronouns "you," "your," "we" and "us" at all costs. There are only a tiny number of exceptions when the use of such words is acceptable within an academic text.
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.
I'm an editor and Spanish > English translator specializing in art, religion and gender. I hold a Master's in Hispanic Language and Literature from Boston University, where I also earned a Bachelor's in English and Spanish. I translate and edit mainly for museums and academic presses, though I am slowly but surely breaking into the world of literary translation.
Good thinking makes good writing. If you're feeling uninspired, take a step back and rethink your topic. Do you believe your own arguments? Are you invested in your paper's ideas? Try to tap into something you're passionate about and your paper will practically write itself.
I am an Australian currently living in Germany. I have always wanted to live in Europe, and in March 2015, I made the big move with all of my worldly possessions packed in a couple of suitcases. I adore the European lifestyle, and the people I have met so far have been friendly, welcoming, and very patient with my attempts to speak German! I have a Bachelors degree in Media, and recently completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology. In October, I will commence a Masters in Neuro-Cognitive Psychology in Munich. I have seven years professional experience in communications, public relations, and marketing, which has incorporated a great deal of proof-reading and editing. I have worked in a range of industries, from a professional sporting organisation, an animal welfare non-profit, and a couple of government agencies. My professional experience has included producing material ranging from media releases, articles, magazines, and speeches, to social media and website content, blogs, and corporate correspondence. Most recently, I was contracted to produce website content for the South Australian Government's principle research and development institute.
As well as enjoying the opportunity to work with a great team, being an editor at SCRiBBR satisfies my natural curiosity as I get the chance read interesting theses from varying fields. And best of all, it allows me to help non-native English speakers improve their academic English.
Tip: Non-native English speakers have trouble with many of the issues non-natives face. Be kind to yourself and learn from your mistakes. Ensure you make use of the SCRiBBR knowledge base articles, they’re a goldmine of helpful tips!
Also, in English, commas and decimal places are not always used in the same way, e.g. €1.50 not €1,50. Or 1.7% not 1,7%. And €435,000, not €435.000.
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 live in Ohio with two daughters and three cats. I've been teaching English for ten years. I have degrees in literature and creative writing. Essentially, I love reading and writing and talking about reading and writing.
Writing Tip: Avoid passive voice, forms of the verb to be. Passive voice contributes to wordiness and dull writing. Whenever possible, use active, lively verbs.
I am a Hungarian–American, born and raised in the USA and currently living in Budapest. Before moving to Hungary, I worked in Amsterdam as a freelance English instructor and editor. I helped on hundreds of theses, including a Ph.D dissertation which was published in May 2016. My work and personal academic experiences have provided me with an intensive exposure to academic writing. I have become very familiar with common corrections that can help a good thesis become great and have developed an appreciation for precise grammar.
In Budapest, I am working as an ESL teacher and freelance editor while attending a university program in Hungarian language. I love languages and 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 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.
Having grown up and been educated in the US, I’m a native English speaker, but I’ve been living in the Netherlands for the past 20 years. I’ve come to editing through the perhaps unexpected route of … math.
I am one of those strange beings who have always loved math, so it’s no surprise that I have a BS degree in Mathematics (from Haverford College, a liberal arts college just outside Philadelphia). After college, I went to work for a civil engineer, and then later at a series of health insurance companies. There I used my analytical skills to figure out how to model and measure all kinds of phenomena. And I discovered that what I really enjoyed was explaining complicated subjects in as easy a way as possible to managers, directors and others who don’t necessarily understand (or want to understand) all the details.
After working in New Hampshire (where I grew up), Philadelphia and New York City, I moved with my Dutch husband to the Netherlands. I edited his chemistry whitepapers for years while raising children and managing other projects in our busy household. Three years ago, I looked for flexible work that would take advantage of my educational, work and life experiences, and I started translating all sorts of texts from Dutch to English. I found that I really enjoy this, that this traditional translation is an extension of the ‘translation’ of difficult analytical concepts to ‘lay people’ in my previous line of work. Soon after, I discovered SCRiBBR, and I have found that my analytical approach and attention to detail can be very beneficial to thesis writers ;-). Try not to take my comments too personally – it’s just the analyst in me! The ultimate goal is to have your thesis make sense and be easily understandable to the people who read it.
Tip: Use the SCRiBBR knowledge base articles, particularly the one about the structure and organization of a thesis. Create a working Table of Contents and use it like a ‘coatrack’ to ‘hang’ your sections on. This will help keep your thoughts organized and at the same time help you keep track of what you still have to do.
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 was born in the Netherlands and grew up in Germany, France, and New York, where I attended International and American schools. English became my dominant and preferred language at a very young age, so I chose to continue my studies at international universities where I would be taught in English and be surrounded by English-speaking students. I completed my BA in Social Science with a focus on Psychology at University College Roosevelt (Middelburg, NL), and a Research Master in Clinical and Developmental Psychopathology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam. After graduating I worked with children with Autism and spent a few months traveling and volunteering in Southern Africa.
My interest in editing began during my MSc when international classmates came to me for help with their English academic writing. More recently, I have edited PhD students’ articles in preparation for publication. I greatly enjoy helping students improve their written English, and I get to be enlightened with new topics each time.
Writing tip! To get your ideas across clearly, keep your sentences simple and concise. By doing this you’ll make it easier for your readers to follow your train of thought and avoid losing their attention. There is also no need to use 'fancy' synonyms when regular words get the idea across just as well. Clarity is key!
Born in Sweden, raised and educated in English and having lived in Austria for many years, I am actually trilingual. English has, however, always been my first language, and the language closest to my heart. It was thus quite natural to pursue a career as a German>English translator. Meanwhile I have 30+ years of working experience, which includes consecutive interpretation, journalism, language teaching, and working as an international civil servant for various UN organisations. Now I and my husband Malcolm, who is an English writer and poet, very much enjoy working for SCRiBBR. We live in beautiful Wales.
As to tips for writing in English, there is no need to improve upon Orwell:
“If it is possible to cut a word out, always cut it out.”
And as a contemporary addition: stay away from online translations tools!
I was born in the south of England but have spent most of my adult life in North Wales, where as a mature student I gained an English degree at Bangor University. By practice and instinct I am a poet, and I ran for some years my own literary magazine before meeting my wife, Liz (who is also a SCRiBBR editor), and coming to live with her in Austria a few years ago. Literary work of one sort or another has always been the only kind of work I could ever take seriously, and a volume of my poetry was published in 2000 in England. I have also recently completed a metrical novel on the life of Shakespeare. I am delighted to be able to help students to produce a fluent and articulate thesis, and sometimes I am asked to improve on a student’s English style. Whole libraries have been written on the subject of style, but one of the most memorable definitions is still that of Jonathan Swift, who simply defined style as proper words in proper places.
I am a native New Zealander currently based in Amsterdam, and the exact and messy business of English language has been my passion for as long as I can remember. Since falling in love with the literature during my studies, I’ve spent many years teaching, editing, proofreading, translating and writing, all of which has forced me to look hard at what makes a sentence work (or not). I am a fixer. My number one tip is to spend time on the planning. It shows – and besides, there’s nothing worse than finding yourself way off track with a deadline looming.
Originally from Texas, US, I have lived in a number of places throughout the US as well as in China and Switzerland. Always eager for new experiences, I continually pursue adventures and interests in a wide range of areas. As a successful freelancer (writing and editing) and independent yoga teacher, I strive to find balance not just in my professional endeavors, but my life as a whole. Editing and writing allow me to utilize my master's degree in English while providing me with constant intellectual stimulation.
My editing work has ranged from full-time to freelance jobs, including managing other editors and doubling the size of an in-house editing team for a global company. Additionally, I have done substantive editing, copyediting, and proofreading on a book that my coauthor and I have been collaborating on through several years of research, development, revising, and re-visioning. I am excited to be self-publishing this book in 2016. This project has also complemented my work as a reader and copyeditor on published books and articles. One of my favorite projects was for a friend who needed copyediting on his historical analysis of policing practices at a political convention in 2000. My contributions to his book helped him get it published in 2015. Since publication, I have participated in two book release events with him on his national tour.
Writing Tip! Make it simple.
I live in Ontario Canada and work as a full-time freelance editor. I've always been drawn to reading and academia, and have developed an aptitude for language and formal tone. I have a BSc in nutraceutical science and an MSc in pharmaceutical science. I am therefore familiar with writing for an academic audience, including supervisors, committee members, and journal editors. I also have experience teaching university students; through this experience, I have learned to provide helpful feedback for writing assignments.
When I'm not reading or editing I enjoy participating in obscure sports, like slacklining and skydiving. I enjoy working for SCRiBBR because I am constantly learning new and interesting facts by editing different papers. The fact that I can travel and work at the same time is also a huge bonus.
A tip: When learning anything new, including a new language, be kind to yourself and don't give up. Be proud that you have the courage to try!
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 studied poetry and Latin at university. The two disciplines often overlapped, of course - in their own ways, each subject has taught me to be both playful and exact with language. Currently, I'm based out of Berlin, where I continue to write poems, articles, and interviews for various publications. I also work as a proofreader and editor for a magazine.
Working with text across so many different formats and styles only convinces me further that proofreading is like a collaboration. I love editing other people's writing because I learn something - not only about the subject of the thesis or article, but about how the writer's mind works. My goal is always to get a feel for the writer's intentions and strategies of structuring an argument or line of thought, and then do all that I can to help those intentions be realized in language!
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 an American-Chilean with studies in Veterinary Medicine and Commercial Engineering. I'm fully bilingual (Spanish and English) and, in addition to editing, I translate documents for the mining, legal and financial sectors.
I am an aspiring anthropologist currently residing in Vienna, Austria. I grew up in my home town, Vienna, and in Paris, France, which has been my second home ever since. Despite growing up in non-English speaking countries, English is my native language as I attended only English speaking educational institutions and I spoke English at home with my mother. My love for the English language developed early on in my childhood when I began to read with my grandmother at the age of three.
After completing the International Baccaulreate diploma programme in 2010, I commenced my BA in the same year at the University of Durham in the UK. Here I took courses in physical and social anthropology, Mandarin, philosophy, business management, art history, and English literature. My dissertation concerned the rhetoric of contemporary social movements in the United States, focusing significantly on the invocation of the nation as a means of voicing criticism in these contexts.
In 2013, I earned a First Class Honours BA in Combined Honours in Social Sciences and continued onto the M.Sc. course in Social Anthropology at the University of Oxford in the Fall of the same year. Here I continued my research on global social movements and political imagination - how it is shaping new ways of thinking as well as helping people unlearn conventional political mechanisms and embracing the informal.
Since November 2014, I have been living in Vienna and taking part in university courses in African and translation studies, while simultaneously volunteering as an English tutor at local youth centres and as a helper in asylum centres. I have been engaged in part time work as a research assistant as well as a copy-writer, but have recently come to focus more on editing for SCRiBBR, a vocation I am thouroughly enjoying. It has been a very interesting experience so far and it continues to help me reflect on academic writing and what it means to me. I am planning to continue my academic career as a PhD student abroad as of next year. My current areas of interest are indigenous communities and their movements, nationalism both as part of and separate from state structures, collective memory, identity, religion, gender studies, and cultural ambiguity.
But that is quite enough about me - here's a tip for you: when I was a student in the IB, my English teacher told me, "Your sentences are too long!" When I started to pay more attention to this, I realised that I had internalised the notion that long sentences invariably make me sound more erudite and sophisticated. Yet particularly after my academic experience, today I can say that simple sentences can convey just as much, if not more, with their crisp clarity. In fact, they can be just as heavy with meaning and confounding as a ten line sentence! Thus, my advice to you is to keep your sentences short. Be precise and use simpler diction if you feel it more correctly expresses what you mean to say - your readers and examiners will appreciate this.
I grew up in Arizona and California and now live in North Carolina. I have a BA in linguistics (more on that later) and a PhD in developmental psychology. I am a research professional specializing in communications. For 10 years I worked at a small research and development company where I built and directed the editorial team. Before that, I was a book sales representative and actually got paid to travel around the Southwest visiting independent and university bookstores – pure heaven.
I was brought up in a family that loves playing with words, and as an undergraduate at UCLA, I discovered that majoring in linguistics would let me do just that. My favorite assignments were listening to unknown – usually tonal – languages and transcribing them phonetically, and reading sentences in unfamiliar – often Native American – languages and describing their syntactic structure. I also had the opportunity to take introductory courses in five languages, including Japanese and Hebrew.
Writing Tip: When writing the discussion section, don’t be afraid to show a little enthusiasm! Academic writing is, by definition, objective. However, if you are fascinated by your research topic, the discussion section is where you can, to some extent, let that fascination surface. Remember, you want to inspire your readers to continue this line of research.
I'm a native English-speaking South African currently pursuing a Research Masters in Linguistics in the Netherlands. My educational background includes a Bachelor in Linguistics, English Literature and Philosophy; I also hold an Honours and a Masters degree in Linguistics from a South African university.
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.
Growing up in Australia taught me two things. One: sunburn hurts. Two: staying inside with a good book helps to avoid sunburn. I continued these sun-avoidance techniques for several years at university, which eventually resulted in a Bachelors degree in Medical Research and a PhD in Medicine. I’m currently studying to be a Medical Doctor in the Netherlands, where it’s possible to avoid the sun almost completely, without even trying.
Post my preparation and publication of piles of professional papers, I have a couple of tips for your academic writing. Clarity tops quantity every time. Learn the difference between passive and active sentences, and try to write mostly in the latter. And read lots of papers in your area of study, so that you can get a sense of the ‘academic voice.’
I know the pain of constantly editing and rewriting your own thesis – it can be like a searing sunburn. I can take some of that pain from you. Let’s turn that sunburn into the glow of success.
When I was growing up in Minnesota, my father (an English professor who also writes and edits) would pay me a nickel for every typo I could spot in manuscripts. In retrospect, this may have been my first internship! The experience certainly helped to instill in me a passion for working with the written word that has only intensified with age.
I have lived, studied, and worked in ten countries, both as an English teacher and as a staff member of international organizations. My academic background includes a Master of Arts in English (with an emphasis on Teaching English as a Second Language), a Master of International Affairs degree, and a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. I am passionate about working with people from other cultures and anything to do with language. Editing truly brings me great joy – I love the challenge of finding the perfect formulation or wording and derive much satisfaction from helping students take their academic writing up a notch.
My tip is not to be afraid of punctuation. Theses and dissertations generally contain information and ideas that are quite complex, and using tools such as commas, semi-colons, and parentheses can really help to keep things clear for your reader.
During my time at university and shortly after, I have tried to satiate my obsession with travel, which has given me the amazing opportunity to meet people from all over the world and be a constant language-learner through my adventures. In the past five years, I have traveled to approximately 15 countries. When I wasn't traveling, I was writing papers, reading papers, writing for internships and jobs, and translating and editing texts. Most recently, I settled down in Cairo for a year after graduating with my B.A. in Cognitive Sciences and Policy Studies from Rice University. In Cairo, I tutored adults in English for placement exams and gained a more nuanced perspective of the English-learning process. As a student of foreign languages and linguistics, editing and revising papers with SCRiBBR is my way of paying it forward to all my gracious language partners throughout my travels.
My tip for academic writing is to have a strong idea for not only your paper, but also each paragraph. Then, execute your idea with clear and concise sentences whenever possible! As a visual person, I find it helps me to create a "map" or outline and draw out where I want my points to go and how they all connect in the end.
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.
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 was born in Dundee and raised in Vryheid, which are both in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa. I'm a third-born of a family of nine, who now lives in Johannesburg with his twin daughters. Since primary school, I've been a good reader and writer. I am an MSc in Physical Sciences graduate of the University of the Western Cape. Most of the books I read are in business studies, philosophy and psychology, science and technology, and spirituality. Besides editing, I have worked as a research scientist for Eskom (South Africa's power-generating company).
I have been a language editor for more than a decade now. I started out editing for my fellow postgraduate students and colleagues. My clients range from master's students to book authors to university professors. I don't limit myself in terms of the areas of study I edit because enjoy variety and learning new things every day.
Tips for academic writing: Clarity and simplicity in writing help us relay a clear message to the reader. Avoid using mainly jargon: Remember, your writing is not only for people in your field of study. Always try to have sentences that are not more than three lines long.
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 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.