I can look at a sample of your text to show you ways to improve your writing. Among the things I consider:

  • Spelling and grammar (Some rules can be broken; some can’t.)
  • Wording (Are you saying what you think you’re saying? Does everyone understand it?)
  • Organization (You might have all the right words, but do they flow smoothly?)
  • Consistency (There’s so much to keep track of: capitalization, terminology, names . . .)

Have you thought about globalization?

The Internet has brought the world closer to your door. This is good news for your book, which can now reach a wider audience, but it also means you must pay more attention to how you write your text. Less than 10 percent of the world’s population speaks English as a first language. Colloquial expressions, slang, and complex grammar can cause confusion and imprecise understanding for those who do not know English as their native language. Even if your audience reads English fluently, you want to create a clear message.

Making meaning clear for everyone

What does “it’s as easy as pie” really mean? Change this to “it’s quick and easy” and everyone can understand what you mean. A date written out as numbers can cause confusion for European readers: 5/8/18 means May 8, 2018, in the United States, but elsewhere can be understood as August 5, 2018. Inconsistent capitalization, use of words with more than one meaning, and missing commas can all present problems to non-native speakers of English.

I currently write reading passages and test items for English learners in the New York School District. I’ve studied the science of learning and language and have taught English as a second language. I’ve lived in countries where I had to simplify my language to communicate, as well as learn the native language. As a technical editor at Microsoft, I worked with globalization teams to create text that could be easily translated into a variety of languages.

I understand and have dealt with the challenges of communicating with

“Mary was excellent to work with. She has great attention to detail and a good eye for polishing stories and following unique style rules. We were lucky to have her on the team at a crucial time as we were ramping up editorial standards across our site.”
~ Mandi Woodruff, Executive Editor,

How I can help you

Through my experiences, I have learned how to clarify English for those who speak and read it as a second language. Even if you write solely for your own exclusive community, thinking about how your words are interpreted by your audience is important for meaningful communication.

Let me look over what you’ve written — or tell me about what you want to write — and together we can produce clear text that anyone can read.

Free initial consultation

Contact Mary at