About Margie


Margie Wakeman Wells has a bachelor of arts degree from the University of California Santa Barbara; did graduate work in education and linguistics at UCLA; and is certified as a CRI, Court Reporting Instructor. She holds a life teaching credential from the State of California and is into her sixth decade of a teaching career that includes high school Spanish; Peace Corps training; community work with Spanish-speaking women and senior citizens; and, since 1976, court reporting.

Margie has taught speedbuilding from theory to the exit speeds and everything in between and has helped design programs, write theory, and develop curriculum. Her love of English led her to a career teaching grammar, punctuation, spelling, word pairs, proofreading, and transcript production.

After a thirty-year career at a bricks and mortar school in Los Angeles, nine years with an online program, and ten years of proofreading reporter transcripts, Margie currently teaches English courses through Margie Holds Class, an online program she has designed and is managing, in addition to speaking at conventions and conferences and writing books.

Under the auspices of NCRA and various state and local reporting organizations, Margie has provided answers to the question “What do I do with this crazy, convoluted English in my transcript?” in over 300 seminars for reporters. In addition, she has shared her knowledge and ideas in numerous teacher and student seminars and writes articles for state newsletters.

Her published works include

  • Court Reporting: Bad Grammar/Good Punctuation: This book represents the culmination of these many years of work with English in relation to the court reporting transcript. Published in 2010, the book has become the definitive work in the field. It is often quoted by reporters and teachers alike on sites like Facebook and has been adopted by several court reporting programs as their choice of textbook for teaching students to punctuate.
  • Workbook: This book accompanies the text and provides practice exercises (with answers) to reinforce the concepts presented in the text.
  • Word Pares, Pears, Pairs: This book contains 2,000-plus word pairs with definitions, parts of speech, usage examples, and idiomatic expressions for the words and provides the only source for researching an alternate spelling for a word that simply doesn’t fit in a sentence.
  • All Things English: This book/workbook is intended to improve basic English skills for anyone who wants to work a few minutes a day on a vocab word, a spelling word, an idiom, a word pair, and a fun English fact.
  • Practice Really DOES Make Perfect: This series of eight practice books on various machine writing issues provides drills to improve accuracy in writing.

Margie has two grown sons and lives with her husband, Bill, in Culver City, California.