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 170 Free Online Writing Courses to Improve Your Skills
There are a variety of free online courses available for all types of writers and aspiring writers to improve their writing skills.
Becoming a better writer can help you achieve professional and personal goals. Whether you’re preparing for university studies, drafting résumés and cover letters, writing sales copy, or trying to preserve your own memories, you need to be able to communicate through writing. Fortunately, free writing courses abound to guide you in your writing journey.
Want to start writing fiction? There’s a course for that, several actually. There are also free writing online courses that will teach you to write better business emails, create compelling online posts and social media updates, and prepare technical reports. English language learners, teachers, and grammar nerds will also find some courses on this list. In short, whatever it is that you’re writing, chances are you can improve your craft with one or more of the courses below.
And for more resources, take a look at Learn English as a Second Language (ESL) with Hundreds of Courses and Sites .
Quick note: While many of these courses do come with fees, all of the featured courses in this article are available to audit in full or in part. If you want to explore paid courses to help you become a better writer, simply type your topic of interest into the search field or browse our Humanities subjects .
For more courses, browse Class Central’s catalog of over 100K online courses or find all our free certificates articles here . Or visit our Best Courses Guides for writing:
- 10 Best English Grammar Courses to Take in 2023
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- 8 Best Content Marketing Courses to Take in 2023
- 13 Best Copywriting Courses to Take in 2023
- 10 Best Creative Writing Courses to Take in 2023
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- Screenwriting/Script Writing Courses
- Grant Writing Courses
Free Grammar Courses
Grammar and Punctuation University of California, Irvine via Coursera After completing this course, you will be able to: – identify the correct verb tenses to use – use commas effectively – utilize several different sentence types – write more effectively in English ★★★★☆ ( 33 ratings )
Adjectives and Adjective Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera Adjectives and adjective clauses are very common in English, so students need to be able to understand them when they see them or hear them. ★★★☆☆ ( 5 ratings )
Perfect Tenses and Modals University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you will learn about important intermediate verb tenses, including present perfect, present perfect progressive, past perfect, and past perfect progressive. You will also learn about common modal verbs used in English. ★★★★★ ( 7 ratings )
Tricky English Grammar University of California, Irvine via Coursera While it’s easy for non-native speakers to get overwhelmed by confusing grammar rules, in this course, we’ll provide you with tips that will help you understand the rules more easily and give you lots of practice with the tricky grammar of everyday English. ★★★☆☆ ( 3 ratings )
Verb Tenses and Passives University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you will review the verb tenses that you learned in beginning English classes and learn about a few tenses you may not know very well. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Conjunctions, Connectives, and Adverb Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you will learn about a lot of different ways to join ideas to make more complex and interesting sentences.
Noun Clauses and Conditionals University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this class, you will learn about the advanced grammar concepts of noun clauses and conditionals.
Just Reading and Writing English 2 Tsinghua University via Coursera Do you want to read and write better in English? The course consists of 6 units with different topics: education, manners, personal communication, purpose of living, cultural studies, life science. From this course, you will have a good knowledge of intermediate English reading and writing skills.
Just Reading and Writing English 1 Tsinghua University via Coursera Do you want to communicate with English speakers fluently? The course consists of 6 units with different topics: feelings, staying healthy, learning, university, cultural differences, and cities. From this course, you will have a good knowledge of primary English reading and writing skills in your daily life.
Just Reading and Writing in English | 生活英语读写 Tsinghua University via edX Learn how to read and write in English in the context of lectures and academic texts. 以读促写，以写辅读！掌握正确的阅读技巧和写作技巧，让你实现一次英语读写的飞跃！ ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order University of Michigan via Coursera This course will teach you how to use your written words to become more persuasive. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Writing and Editing: Drafting University of Michigan via Coursera This third course in the “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” series will give you a number of strategies to help with what is often the most intimidating, even paralyzing part of the writing process: getting started. You’ll learn about the “planning fallacy” and “temptation bundling.” And you’ll continue to benefit, through our ongoing “Good Sentences” and “Takeaways” segments, from the models and advice of a diverse set of writers.
Writing and Editing: Structure and Organization University of Michigan via Coursera This second course in the Good with Words: Writing and Editing series will help you become an effective architect of information, both with your sentences and with your paragraphs. You’ll learn that the traditional advice to “Show, don’t tell” is incomplete and that skilled writers actually switch back and forth between showing and telling.
Writing and Editing: Revising University of Michigan via Coursera This fourth and final course in the “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” series will help you master perhaps the most important step in the writing process: revising. You’ll learn about the difference between editing and proofreading.
Effective Writing Indian Institute of Technology Roorkee via Swayam The purpose of this writing course is to familiarise students with the nuances of effective writing so that they can better understand the subtle art of writing. It allows them to write with clarity, precision, and subtlety to express their ideas on various occasions while considering the concepts of appropriateness and accuracy. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
English Grammar and Style University of Queensland via edX Learn key concepts and strategies in grammar and style to help enhance your writing and confidently respond to the demand of high levels of literacy in the 21st century. ★★★★☆ ( 34 ratings )
Enhance your Writing with Adverb Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera In the first part of the course, you’ll learn some basic information about adverb clauses. Then, we’ll dive into the categories of ideas that adverb clauses express, and you’ll practice using subordinating conjunctions–the many grammar words that start adverb clauses.
Enhance your Writing with Adjective Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera Do you have a hard time describing things, people, and places in English? This course will show you how to be more descriptive in your writing by incorporating adjective clauses in complex sentences.
Enhance your Writing with Noun Clauses University of California, Irvine via Coursera This course is designed to hold your hand step-by-step through the most basic concepts of noun clauses all the way to the end goal of writing a paragraph with varied noun clauses.
A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study University of Reading via FutureLearn Learn how to use English for study at university or college and develop your writing skills, vocabulary and grammar. ★★★★☆ ( 23 ratings )
English Grammar Lessons via YouTube
Common English Grammar Mistakes and How to Fix Them–Sampler via Udemy Master Your Grammar Errors, Master Commonly Confused Words and Phrases, and Achieve Success and Credibility as a Writer
English Grammar and Speaking Course: Essential Verb Tenses! via Udemy Practice using Essential Verb Tenses in Conversation!
English Foundation Course 2022: Grammar and Speaking Upgrade via Udemy Become fluent by improving all your English Skills. Build a strong English foundation in grammar, speaking, and more!
English Grammar via Udemy Learn the English grammar you need to understand and use English today!
Basic English Grammar Course in Hindi via Udemy Level 1 for beginners
Grammar via Independent Grammar is the collection of rules and conventions that make languages go. This section is about Standard American English, but there’s something here for everyone.
Grammar matters The Open University via OpenLearn Grammar matters because, combined with vocabulary choice, it is our main way of making meaning. This free course introduces you to one approach used to understand how meanings relate systematically…
Vocabulary, Phrases, Idioms, Grammar via YouTube ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Free Essay Writing Courses
Getting Started with Essay Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera By introducing you to three types of academic essays, this course will especially help prepare you for work in college classes, but anyone who wants to improve his or her writing skills can benefit from this course. ★★★★☆ ( 17 ratings )
How to Write an Essay University of California, Berkeley via edX An introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing. ★★★★☆ ( 26 ratings )
Advanced Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera After completing this course, you will be able to plan and write a more sophisticated argument essay. ★★★★☆ ( 7 ratings )
Writing a Personal Essay Wesleyan University via Coursera This class is the chance to create your personal essay or extend into a full memoir — from planning and structure to bold narrative brushstrokes to the layering of significant detail.
Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader Wesleyan University via Coursera The blank page can be the most daunting obstacle in writing. In this course, aspiring writers will assemble a “starter kit” for approaching the blank page by developing constructive ways to think about the writing process as a whole. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Writing your World: Finding yourself in the academic space University of Cape Town via Coursera In this course, we provide practical insights into how to write an academic essay. We show you how to develop the academic skills needed to be a competent academic writer. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Developing Your Research Project University of Southampton via FutureLearn Undertaking an Extended Project Qualification, IB extended essay or any other scholarly research? This guides you step-by-step. ★★★★☆ ( 6 ratings )
Writing Skills for University Success University of California, Irvine via Coursera In this course, you’ll learn how to write effectively in different academic formats, especially essays and longer research papers.
Essay Writing Course (Season 1) via YouTube
Essay Writing via YouTube
Introduction to Research for Essay Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera This is the last course in the Academic Writing specialization before the capstone project. By the end of this course, you will be able to complete all the steps in planning a research paper. ★★★★★ ( 8 ratings )
Essay and report writing skills The Open University via OpenLearn Writing reports and assignments can be a daunting prospect. Learn how to interpret questions and how to plan, structure and write your assignment or report. This free course, Essay and report …
The PTE 85+ Academic Essay Writing Course via Udemy Mastering the Writing Exam
Free Journalism Courses
Digital Culture and Writing University of Burgundy via EMMA Born from the desire to support a wide public facing the emergence of digital technology, the team of teachers from the university of Burgundy (uB), accompanied by colleagues from other universities, offers its MOOC DCW (Digital culture and Writing) publish and share on the web.” It provides an overview of the potentialities of digital writing and culture, for publish, share and communicate.
English for Journalists, Part 1 University of California, Berkeley via edX Improve your English grammar, vocabulary and writing skills through exciting topics in journalism and world news. ★★☆☆☆ ( 1 rating )
Writing and Disseminating Grey Literature Indian Institute for Human Settlements (IIHS) via Coursera If you are a researcher, academic, student, development sector professional or a practitioner who is keen to reach the research-based knowledge you have created to a wider audience, this course is for you. Using formats such as data stories, photo narratives, opinion pieces and infographics, digital, print, and multimedia channels can help researchers reach a much wider audience when they adopt newer writing techniques.
Print And Broadcast Journalism CEC via Swayam This 4 credit, 15 weeks MOOCs course is being offered for Post Graduate students interested in making a career in the field of Journalism. ★☆☆☆☆ ( 1 rating )
What is news? Michigan State University via Coursera This course will guide you through the basic elements of professional journalism and the news values and ethics of covering real-world issues and events. The overview and examples of the types of news coverage helps introduce the different types of journalism, such as social media, multimedia, print, visual and broadcast, and how professional journalists effectively use each format. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Effectively delivering the news to your audience Michigan State University via Coursera You will learn the process, planning, requirements of how journalists develop their news reports. There are many ways to report news reports, and you will learn different forms of how to perform reporting and writing to serve different audiences.
Journalism 101 via YouTube This series covers topics such as Newswriting, finding story ideas, interviewing sources and quoting sources, leading a lead and organising news stories, covering breaking news and ethics in journalism. ★★★★★ ( 3 ratings )
English for Journalism via YouTube
Journalism, the future, and you! Michigan State University via Coursera You will explore areas such as being an international correspondent, self-publishing in journalism, as well as how to freelance in the field. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Investigative Journalism for the Digital Age Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent This self-directed course page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas’ massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Investigative reporting in the digital age.” The four-week course took place from February 3 to March 1, 2020. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who’s interested in investigative reporting and data journalism basics, including experienced investigators who seek to deepen their skills on complex investigations, collaborations and data journalism. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
Equity & ethics in data journalism: Hands-on approaches to getting your data right Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent During this four-week course, you will learn about tools and techniques that will help you tell data stories fairly and ethically. Specifically, this course will guide you hands-on through the process of learning to identify inequity and hidden bias at seven key stages of the data journalism lifecycle. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Data Journalism and Visualization with Free Tools Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent This resource page features course content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America’s massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Data Journalism and Visualization with Free Tools.” The six-week course took place from October 14 to November 24, 2019. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who’s interested in interested in data journalism and visualization. The course, which was powered by Google News Initiative, was taught by Alberto Cairo, Simon Rogers, and a great team of instructors. They created and curated the content for the course, which includes video classes, readings, exercises, and more. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas via Independent Produced in collaboration with the W.H.O., UNESCO and UNDP, this course helps journalists to improve their coverage of the pandemic. It’s also offered in French, Spanish and Portuguese. This self-directed course uses the content from the Knight Center for Journalism in the America’s massive open online course (MOOC) titled “Journalism in a pandemic: Covering COVID-19 now and in the future.” The four-week course took place from May 4 to May 31, 2020. We are now making the content free and available to students who took the course and anyone else who’s interested in interested in acquiring new knowledge and resources to improve your coverage and understanding of the pandemic.
Introduction to Journalism and Reporting University of Kent via FutureLearn Explore what makes good journalism as you learn about its origins and where news reporting stands today.
English for Journalists, Part 2 University of California, Berkeley via edX Improve your English grammar, vocabulary and writing skills through topics in journalism including free speech, sports, humor and broadcast writing.
Free Creative Writing Courses
Start Writing Fiction The Open University via FutureLearn Get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters, with this hands-on course. ★★★★☆ ( 21 ratings )
Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest Commonwealth Education Trust via Coursera This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. This course will guide you with a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors. ★★★★☆ ( 12 ratings )
Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot Wesleyan University via Coursera In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end. ★★★★☆ ( 17 ratings )
Creative Writing: The Craft of Style Wesleyan University via Coursera Your style is as unique and distinctive as your face, your voice, except that you can choose it, you can can work on it, enhance it. In this course we will introduce aspiring writers to the art of putting pressure on written language. We will study the use of metaphor and imagery, and demonstrate how clarity, grace, and inventiveness in word choice are imperative to a story’s success. ★★★★☆ ( 8 ratings )
Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course) Michigan State University via Coursera In this project-centered course, you will design a series bible and write a complete pilot episode for your own unique television or web series, be it drama or comedy or something in between. You’ll learn to break down the creative process into components, and you’ll discover a structured process that allows you to produce a polished and pitch-ready script in just a few weeks. ★★☆☆☆ ( 3 ratings )
Transmedia Writing Michigan State University via Coursera In this project-centered course you will develop your own, original, intellectual property (IP) into a transmedia project containing written versions of your IP on various platforms. You will begin your novel, adapt the first chapters of your novel into the opening scenes of a film or TV show and create a game design concept of your IP.
Writing in First Person Point of View Wesleyan University via Coursera If you have always wanted to tell your own story—in a memoir, first-person essay, or any other form of autobiographical non-fiction—but felt you lacked the tools or the framework, this is the class for you.
Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description Wesleyan University via Coursera In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. ★★★★☆ ( 12 ratings )
Writing Stories About Ourselves Wesleyan University via Coursera In this course, creative nonfiction writers will explore traditional storytelling methods, especially those which overlap between fiction and memoir.
Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop California Institute of the Arts via Coursera Why just write poems when you can write better ones? This course is built on the notion that the most exciting writing begins after the first draft. ★★★★☆ ( 19 ratings )
Writing successfully for the Stage University of Cambridge via edX Learn to structure your dramatic writing to a professional standard, as well as develop professionally transferable communication skills. This course will broaden your understanding of how to write engaging and interesting stories in order to attract producers and directors to your work. You will understand how to write effective dialogue, and how to edit your work.
Stand Up!; Comedy Writing and Performance Poetry University of Cambridge via edX Prepare to perform your comic writing and/or poetry to a live audience, as well as develop transferable writing skills and communication expertise that will be relevant in any profession. This course will broaden your understanding how to structure a stand-up comedy set, as well as allow you to understand how to use narrative form in your performance poetry texts. You will also reflect on the ways in which you might enhance the quality of your writing practice by being a performer yourself.
Finding your voice as a playwright University of Cambridge via edX Learn to deepen your creative practice as a playwright, as well as develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise. This course will broaden your understanding of how to start a career successfully as a professional dramatist, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
Write Your First Novel Michigan State University via Coursera Write your first novel.
Creative Writing Brigham Young University via YouTube I’m Brandon Sanderson, and I write stories of the fantastic: fantasy, science fiction, and thrillers. Learn about plot, wordbuilding, short stories, character, and publishing. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Video Game Writing Essentials The University of British Columbia via edX Learn the essentials of writing for video games, from how games are developed and what game writers do, to the ways game stories differ from other kinds of stories.
Writing Video Game Characters The University of British Columbia via edX Learn how to make effective, memorable video game characters, from protagonists and antagonists to NPCs.
Writing Video Game Scenes and Dialogue The University of British Columbia via edX Learn the fundamentals of writing cinematics, cutscenes, and in-game dialogue.
Working as a Game Writer The University of British Columbia via edX Learn what it takes to work as a video game writer: from resumes to writing tests to contracts and NDAs.
Interactive Narrative The University of British Columbia via edX Learn how to use player choice and interactivity to create compelling game experiences
Building your Screenplay University of Cambridge via edX Learn to strengthen you skills as a screenwriter, while diversifying your knowledge and understanding of the demands of global film and TV production. Find out how to become a powerful visual story-teller; understand how to build effective structure within your screenplay; develop professionally transferable writing skills and communication expertise. This course will broaden your understanding of how to start a career successfully as a professional screenwriter, as well as offer you insights in how to maximise and enjoy the processes of your personal creativity.
How to Write Your First Song The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn Get a practical introduction to the mechanics of songwriting and meet established songwriters with this free online course ★★★★★ ( 166 ratings )
Songwriting: Writing the Lyrics Berklee College of Music via Coursera There’s a songwriter lurking somewhere inside you, peeking around corners, wondering if it’s safe to come out. Now it is. This course is an invitation to let your inner songwriter step into the sunlight. All it takes is a simple “yes” and you’ll be climbing that windy hill, marveling at the view. ★★★★★ ( 25 ratings )
Creative Writing: The Craft of Character Wesleyan University via Coursera At the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters. ★★★★☆ ( 7 ratings )
Creative writing and critical reading The Open University via OpenLearn This free course, Creative writing and critical reading, explores the importance of reading as part of a creative writer’s development at the postgraduate level. You will gain inspiration and ideas…
Creative Writing – Writer’s Block Workbook Volume 1 Month 1 via Udemy Five weeks’ worth of beginnings to create 100+ new pieces with tips to help your writing ongoing. Plus bonus content.
Creative Writing – Writer’s Block Workbook Volume 2 Month 1 via Udemy Five weeks’ worth of keywords to create 100+ new pieces with tips to help your writing ongoing. Plus bonus content.
Free Copywriting Courses
Copywriting: Improve User Experience One Word at a Time via openSAP In this course, you’ll learn why copy is so important for your users’ experience and how copywriting fits into the design-led development process. Domain experts provide insights and best practices, and by participating in the exercises, you’ll get practical experience in writing copy. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Copywriting Foundations: Sell Using Your Words In 2020 via Udemy How To Listen To Your Target Market & Focus Your Message To Make Your Copywriting 10x As Effective
155 Years of Copywriting Insights Taught In 1.5 Hour Course! via Udemy “This is the most refreshing, clear, straight forward and useful course on copywriting you could wish for.” – Eva ★★★★★ ( 5 ratings )
Copywriting Secrets via YouTube Get tips on how to start your career as a copywriter, write better emails and increase your income as a copywriter ★★★★★ ( 7 ratings )
Learn Copywriting via YouTube
The Science Of Copywriting via YouTube ★★★★☆ ( 2 ratings )
Copywriting for Beginners and Pros Free Course With Exercises via YouTube Copywriting is the practice of composing persuading texts. Copywriting is used to sell products, ideas, ideologies, etc. Copywriting is an important component on web pages, in blog posts, advertisements, social media posts, videos, and podcasts. This video series is the first one in the free online copywriting course Professional Copywriting Made Easy. ★★★★☆ ( 18 ratings )
Free Copywriting Course via YouTube This playlist covers everything you need to know to start a freelance copywriting business in 2021. ★★★★★ ( 4 ratings )
Copywriting 101 – Training Sessions for Freelance Writers via YouTube
Copywriting Persuasion Challenge via YouTube ★★★★★ ( 3 ratings )
Copywriting para Iniciantes via Udemy Descubra o que é Copy, como funciona, para que serve e de que forma utilizar para aumentar suas vendas com persuasão
Free Academic Writing Courses
Writing in English at University Lund University via Coursera This course aims to give you an understanding of the conventions of academic writing in English and to teach you the components and benefits of what is called process writing.
Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal via FutureLearn Learn how to research and write a high-quality research proposal for postgraduate applications.
An Intermediate Guide to Writing in English for University Study University of Reading via FutureLearn Improve your academic English skills further, learning about critical analysis, using sources, avoiding plagiarism and more. ★★★★☆ ( 1 rating )
Project: Writing a Research Paper University of California, Irvine via Coursera Welcome to the capstone project for the Academic English: Writing Specialization! This project lets you apply everything you’ve learned and gives you the practice you need for college classes by having you write a research paper.
College Composition Modern States via Independent This course will prepare you to pass the College Board’s CLEP College Composition exam
Writing in the Disciplines Professional Development Course (HE) Excelsior College via Canvas Network This course on Writing in the Disciplines offers a modular curriculum that explores the meaning of genre, why and how to develop genre-based writing assignments, and effective techniques for using writing to enhance learning.
Academic Writing in English for ESL Learners University College London via FutureLearn Develop your academic writing skills in English as a second language (ESL) learner and advance your English writing at university.
论文写作初阶（Academic Writing and Research） Peking University via Coursera 本课面向有志于学术研究和具有论文写作需求的高年级本科生和研究生同学，适合人文社会科学、特别是法学专业的学生学习，也欢迎理工科学生选修。教学内容主要集中于学术研究的基本方法与一般理念，既包括学术论文的提问、选题、谋篇、布局和实际写作，也包括学术资源特别是综合性与专业性数据库的检索和使用。
La recherche documentaire École Polytechnique via Coursera Ce cours vise principalement à permettre aux étudiants d’identifier les sources pertinentes dans un domaine donné, leur apprendre à construire un état de l’art et à évaluer les sources, en particulier celles en accès libre sur Internet. ★★★☆☆ ( 1 rating )
Academic English University of Queensland via edX A practical and introductory course to build your skills in academic writing. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
College Foundations for English Composition University System of Georgia via Desire2Learn English Learning Support Course is an English preparatory course focusing on the skills required for effective writing in a variety of contexts, with emphasis on exposition, analysis, and argumentation, and also including introductory use of a variety of research skills.
English Composition I Duke University via Coursera You will gain a foundation for college-level writing valuable for nearly any field. ★★★☆☆ ( 19 ratings )
Free Business Writing Courses
High-Impact Business Writing University of California, Irvine via Coursera Effective writing is a powerful tool in the business environment. Learn how to articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will allow your ideas to be better understood by your readers. ★★★☆☆ ( 8 ratings )
Writing Professional Email and Memos (Project-Centered Course) University System of Georgia via Coursera Want your workplace writing to make a positive impression? At the end of this course, you will be a more confident writer, able to create higher quality professional documents more quickly. ★★★★☆ ( 12 ratings )
Better Business Writing in English Georgia Institute of Technology via Coursera Do you need to write more easily and effectively in English? This course will provide the tools to help you do just that.
English for Effective Business Writing The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera This course aims to improve your Business English writing skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, understanding of different business writing genres, and your ability to write professional business documents. ★★★★☆ ( 1 rating )
Business Writing University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera This course will teach you how to apply the top ten principles of good business writing to your work, how to deploy simple tools to dramatically improve your writing, and how to execute organization, structure, and revision to communicate more masterfully than ever. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
Write Professional Emails in English Georgia Institute of Technology via Coursera This is a course to help you write effective business emails in English. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
Business Writing Techniques Doane University via edX Business Writing Techniques, will expand on the different communication styles and discuss the best practices of business writing by providing real-world scenarios and applications. Learners will examine how to use the 6 C’s to enhance their business messages. Learners will also discuss the proper etiquette of business writing and examine the use of emoji in business communications.
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking Harvard University via edX Gain critical communication skills in writing and public speaking with this introduction to American political rhetoric. ★★★★☆ ( 5 ratings )
English for Doing Business in Asia – Writing The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via edX Introducing strategies for developing your written English communication skills in the context of doing business in Asia.
Redacción de documentos empresariales de gran impacto University of California, Irvine via Coursera En el ambiente empresarial, el saber escribir con eficacia es una poderosa herramienta. Aprende a expresar tus pensamientos de una manera clara y concisa para que las personas que lean lo que escribes capten mejor tus ideas. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
(Business Writing) الكتابة في مجال الأعمال University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera لا شك أن إتقان الكتابة من أهم المهارات التي يمكنك تعلمها بُغية تحقيق النجاح في مجال الأعمال. وقد استخدمت أكثر من سبعين شركة وعشرين ألف طالب – من الكتاب المحترفين والموظفين الجدد والمتحدثين باللغة الإنجليزية لغير الناطقين بها وحتى المديرين المتمرسين – الأساليب المستخدمة في الكتابة في مجال الأعمال لتعزيز قدرتهم على التواصل وإطلاق أفكارهم. ستعلمك هذه الدورة التدريبية كيفية تطبيق المبادئ العشرة الأفضل للكتابة الجيدة في مجال الأعمال على عملك وكيفية نشر أدوات بسيطة لتحسين كتابتك بشكل كبير وكيفية تنفيذ التنظيم والبنية والمراجعة للتواصل بشكل أكثر براعة من أي وقت مضى.
English for Business and Entrepreneurship University of Pennsylvania via Coursera This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in learning more about the global business economy. ★★★★★ ( 7 ratings )
Using Email for Networking in English University of Washington via edX Improve your writing skills. Write effective emails including great subject lines, greetings, and closings. You’ll be more confident as you communicate for business, send messages, expand your network, and search for jobs in English. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Smart English Basics For Professionals | Spoken English | Communication Skills | Great Learning Great Learning via YouTube Great Learning brings you this video on “Smart English Basics For Professionals”. This course will help you improve your business communication in a professional environment.
Learn Business English | Learn Business English in 1 Hour | Great Learning Great Learning via YouTube
Free Technical Writing Courses
Writing in the Sciences Stanford University via Coursera This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences. ★★★★★ ( 14 ratings )
Discovering Science: Science Writing University of Leeds via FutureLearn What science discoveries will you choose to write about? ★★★★☆ ( 28 ratings )
How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (Project-Centered Course) École Polytechnique via Coursera In this project-based course, you will outline a complete scientific paper, choose an appropriate journal to which you’ll submit the finished paper for publication, and prepare a checklist that will allow you to independently judge whether your paper is ready to submit. ★★★★★ ( 5 ratings )
Writing Skills for Engineering Leaders Rice University via Coursera In this course, you’ll learn essential writing skills that you can apply in your daily activities on the job as an engineering leader.
Writing, Presenting and Submitting Scientific Papers in English | 英文科技论文写作与学术报告 Tsinghua University via edX Learn how to properly write a scientific paper, based on international standards, and effectively make a presentation to submit proposals for funding. 表达与交流是拔尖创新科技人才最重要的综合能力。培养英文科技论文写作与学术报告的能力，帮助你打开世界科坛大门，与国际同行平等交流。 ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Requirements Writing University of New South Wales via Coursera Welcome to “Requirements Writing”. As the title indicates, over the next four weeks, we will be looking at the important task of writing of text-based requirement statements.
Technical Report Writing for Engineers The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn Get an introduction to technical report writing. Find out how to communicate your ideas through well-written engineering reports. ★★★★★ ( 168 ratings )
English Language for Competitive Exams Indian Institute of Technology Madras via Swayam The course aims to help participants develop their English language skills, particularly those planning to appear for competitive exams that test their English language abilities.
Writing Case Studies: Science of Delivery Princeton University via edX Learn how to write “science of delivery” case studies, which help us understand how practitioners implement complex policies or programs.
The Language of Leaders: Learn to Write with Confidence State Bank of India via edX Enhance your leadership role through powerful writing skills. ****
NIeCer 103: Scientific Writing in Health Research AICTE via Swayam Communicating research findings to the scientific community is the responsibility of every researcher. Our course will explain the fundamental concepts in drafting a scientific manuscript to effectively communicate research findings.
Writing READMEs via Udacity Documentation is an important part of the development process. Learn to write READMEs using Markdown so your code can be used by other humans! ★★★☆☆ ( 2 ratings )
ENGL210: Technical Writing via Saylor Academy
Free Résumé Writing Courses
Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters University of Maryland, College Park via Coursera How can you bring your resume to the top of the pile? You will learn how to convert a boring resume into a dynamic asset statement that conveys your talents in the language that an employer understands. ★★★★☆ ( 6 ratings )
How to Succeed at: Writing Applications The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn This free three week course will help you produce a perfect CV, application and online profile when applying for a job or course. ★★★★★ ( 427 ratings )
How to Write a Resume (Project-Centered Course) State University of New York via Coursera In this project-centered course, you will craft an essential cornerstone of the modern-day job or internship search: the resume. When you complete the course, you’ll have an eye-catching resume that lets your professional strengths shine. ★★★★☆ ( 14 ratings )
Refresh Your Resume Grow with Google via Udacity Create a targeted resume that gets the attention of recruiters and lands you an interview in tech. ★★★☆☆ ( 2 ratings )
Craft Your Cover Letter via Udacity Write a compelling narrative that showcases your value to the company. ★★★★☆ ( 2 ratings )
How To Write A Winning Resume – Top Resume Writing Tips via YouTube
How To Write A Resume – Animated via YouTube
PRDV102: Resume Writing via Saylor Academy
Comprehensive guide for resume writing via Udemy Resume writing and template creation for all QA professionals. Learn some cool resume writing tricks to maximize calls.
Resume format | How to make a good resume | Resume for jobs | Great Learning Great Learning via YouTube Great Learning brings you this video on “How to Build a Good Resume’ where the video starts off by discussing the importance of a CV, followed by discussing six essential steps of writing your resume.
Free Screenwriting/Script Writing Courses
Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television Michigan State University via Coursera Write a Full Length Feature Film Script.
A Screenwriting Masterclass for Beginners via YouTube
Screenwriting via YouTube
Screenwriting Tips via YouTube
The Fundamentals Of Screenwriting Course via YouTube
The Screenwriting Life via YouTube
An Introduction to Screenwriting University of East Anglia via FutureLearn This online course explores the key concepts and fundamental principles involved in the process of screenwriting. ★★★★★ ( 5 ratings )
Free Grant Writing Courses
Grant Writing and Crowdfunding for Public Libraries University of Michigan via edX Learn how to increase your impact, innovate, and overcome often static funding through various fundraising and grant writing approaches.
Grant Writing Texas Instruments via YouTube ★★★★☆ ( 3 ratings )
Grant Writing For Beginners & Newbies via YouTube Grant Writing For Beginners playlist provides you with insight to help you write winning grant proposals that get funded! These videos help you to learn grant writing quickly. ★★★★★ ( 2 ratings )
Grant Writing for Nonprofits via YouTube We’ve included some videos on various Grant tips like Walmart Community 1 HR Grants, Grants in a Box and Grant Templates. Other helpful topics revolve around Program Officers, Letters of Inquiry (LOI), Unsolicited Proposals and various other Grant processes. ★★★★★ ( 1 rating )
Amazing People Share Nonprofit & Grant Writing Advice via YouTube
Sabihe Tavakoli 11/2/2014 at 11:26pm
I would like to write children books and I am interested in taking a course to help me with that.
Kiki 4/29/2019 at 10:07pm
Have you ever found any learning resources for that? I would also love to improve my children-book writing skills.
Looking forward to your reply!
Venu 11/12/2019 at 10:18pm
I really enjoyed this course. https://www.coursera.org/learn/writing-for-children
Purushottam Tamang 12/8/2014 at 10:20pm
I would like to improve my English writing skills that helps me for report writing and I am very interested in taking report writing course. please help me with that.
Augustine Kastherody 6/27/2015 at 1:44am
I enrolled already and want to do my master of Science in Infection Prevention and Control through online and I am interested in taking a course to assist me in managing my study.
P. Davis, Sr 5/21/2021 at 8:17am
I am a retired senior citizen [85 years] who enjoys writing. I have a Bachelors’s Degree and plan to enroll in a graduate humanities course that requires heavy writing. My plan is to refresh my writing skills and I am searching for an online [graduate level] academic writing refresher course. Any recommendations will be greatly appreciated. My e-mail address is [email protected] .
roV83 1/22/2015 at 8:55am
I am interested in non-fiction writing and want to learn the basics
J Sheen 5/27/2016 at 8:08pm
Have you found a creative nonfiction course online by chance you’d want to recommend?
mir shaukat ali 2/9/2015 at 2:43pm
Dear sir, I am engineer , i job iptv company but my writing English knowledge is very poor ,please tell me how to improve writing skill such as email writing, mag writing etc, please any body help me
Fatima Camelo 11/26/2018 at 12:39pm
My name is Fátima and I’m also an engineer but my friend you should read more and more because this way you’re going to write beter and will develop your english.
SH 4/27/2015 at 12:07am
This is a great collection. Thank you very much Mr Dhawal.
Nathanel TEGAYOMBI 4/28/2015 at 12:48pm
Dear sir,I appreciate your programs which help a big number of people from different corners of the world.So as a student of school of journalism,I would like to improve my English in terms of writing skills,and I wish you to help me become a future storyteller.Thanks
Cathy Johns 6/10/2015 at 5:32am
Am very intrested in this.
kakar 8/6/2015 at 3:32am
sir we have a lot of problem in English understanding as well as in writing so sir tell us the perfect way that help in all skill of english.
Arvind Ramanujam 8/9/2015 at 11:56pm
Thanks for the info.
Jaylee M Wayne 9/26/2015 at 8:49am
I would like to write a novel and I am also interested in taking coures
Alexiaga 9/28/2015 at 2:07pm
Whatever kind of English you want to write, mastering essential English grammar is essential. Here is a good site wher you can check out the main topics of English grammar, including points not always dealt with in grammars, such as style and sentence-structure. http://linguapress.com/grammar/
jaspreet singh 11/3/2015 at 9:51am
The one which i need to recommend is http://www.pariswritersretreat.com/online-courses.html this is not free but this can help you to enhance your skills
berna gurning 5/30/2016 at 8:41pm
Dear Disqus, i am interested in writing essays so i can write excellent journals, articles, and assignments as well
Mark Sandel 7/8/2016 at 4:43am
Thanks that an awesome course list. I was looking for “how to write better” courses for a long time until finding this one. The list looks reasonable and much longer than I have expected. However, I still have doubts, is it possible to learn how to write better, just interacting with a tutor online (and this is the best option) or watching the video? Well right now, I am pretty concerned with the quality of my writing and readers experience. Starting from the winter, I started to user style checkers http://www.paragraphchecker.com/ . They are a bit unusual for me but undoubtedly helpful.
kilopko 8/27/2016 at 5:12am
Free online courses are the best as well as sometimes it’s very much worthy way out to learn something innovative as well as profession in proper manner. in order to make the move precise as well as professional each stated way out is the key factors to do well in writing the essay part in proper manner so that anyone could get the possible approaches in precise manner.
Alexis 1/12/2017 at 6:22pm
If you’re looking how to make money online as a freelance writer, I highly recommend http:/ecareers.online. It’s a free e-course that teaches you how to get started as a freelance writer online. So far, it’s been amazing and membership is free!
Elisheva Reynolds 2/21/2017 at 7:52pm
I would like to write fantasy/romance/adventure type fiction novels…I would like to be an author, one whose books I would even read.
Damien Clarke 3/1/2017 at 9:12am
I am currently working on developing my writing skills, so as to tackle the various hot topics in my niche, which is technology. Can anyone advise if there are good topics, which work on this specifically ?
Susie Bell 4/30/2017 at 6:39am
I am writing stories for young people and adults. I have a learning difficulty so I can’t do any courses. I am a new writer who is an unsolicited writer, can’t find a literary agent. Susie Bell.
ellaalex 5/10/2017 at 1:30am
Article Snipper Online tool is a one-click article rewriter that requires no signup or registration if you want to use the free version. All you need to do is enter human readable text and you will get human readable text out. check our free article spinner tool: http://www.articlespinneronline.com
Wan Smith 1/7/2018 at 11:00pm
Surely one would be suggested with these online courses to develop a clear sense of writing and develop great story telling vibes in one self. if you lack the major ideas than you should take online classes as above mentioned that these classes provides well information and intense thinking skills.
homework doer 4/2/2018 at 5:05am
Firstly you have to know some basic tips for writer. They are pretty simple but forget about the. Reread on the next day. Many errors don`t come up right away. Re-reading the text immediately after writing will help cross out a couple of errors, but it’s best to do it after a while, ideally – the next day. So you can come up with a fresh mind to check your creativity, and I assure you that you will want to correct and remake a lot.
In the book “”American Psycho”” extensive descriptions of how the main character shaves, applies gel on the body and dresses in a suit from Brioni and shoes from Prada are an artistic feature. You’d better get rid of excess water. Don`t write as much as possible. Short sentences is only what is really needed. There is too much information on the Internet, and nobody will read meaningless paragraphs of the text. To write interesting, you should have interesting life. I came to this conclusion after spending five days at home, not going anywhere and doing nothing. I had no idea in my head, and there was no question of writing anything. You have to try something new, to leave the comfort zone, because without it you will be the same as everyone else. And you don`t want to, do you? Write every day
At least something. Don`t tell yourself that you have no ideas. They are always:
What you dreamed about today. What interesting things did you learn today / yesterday / this week. What would you do if you got a million dollars (you can even dream about a billion). Why this day was good. How could one live this day better. What would you like to change in today’s day. Why do you have no inspiration and what needs to be done to make it appear. What is useful you have done. What would you teach a stranger. Why do we need an appendix
Kathy Bretz 4/12/2018 at 10:13pm
I would like to learn technical writing, can I do this without a certificate or degree? thanks.
Author Thison Schultz 4/29/2018 at 7:12pm
I can’t afford a writing class, is this free? I want to follow my passion to become a writer. I need your advice how to write a novel. I really want to do this. I love to read mystery novels. I can’t do anything else, Except to become a writer. I can’t succeed if I don’t take this writing course. This is my only chance to become a writer. If don’t I will fail of my future. I can’t take this anymore. I really want to become a great writer. I don’t have the money to do it.
Isla 12/12/2018 at 3:03pm
i love to write and i wanna be a writer too
TB 1/10/2019 at 2:39pm
@ Dhawal Shah
I just wanted to point out that not all of these courses are actually free. For example the two UBCx How to Write courses are $295 each with no option, that I could find, to audit or even to take a limited version.
I’m sure there are others from this list as well, particular those on EdX as they (EdX) have been moving away from offering their courses for free.
mamta prasad 2/12/2019 at 11:20pm
great resources keep it up! ! !
Nihal Singh 3/22/2019 at 5:20am
Nice Article, Your article helps to improve the writing skills for all the thesis writers and the students and the online courses are helped to gain knowledge from home itself. Thanks for sharing.
Corpely.com 8/21/2019 at 3:51am
Learning how to write a good essay with a powerful introduction, clear arguments and well-crafted conclusion is a great way to build a foundation of writing skills. This 8-week course starts with the basics of grammar and sentence construction and quickly advances to thesis development and essay writing with tools for creating outlines and editing your work. Dr. Maggie Sokolik of the College Writing Programs at the University of California, Berkeley guides students through this excellent introductory writing course in which participants can get a great deal of practice writing and interact with other students from around the world. Links to optional online textbooks are provided.
David Walker 5/10/2020 at 3:28pm
I’m looking for a writing course that teaches you how to hand write smoothly and legibly. To have flow in writing , that looks elegant on the sheet of paper. Were all the letters are easily read by anyone. The art of writing.
DSW David Walker
David Walker 5/14/2020 at 2:22pm
Do you have a penmanship course?
Leave a reply
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11 free online writing courses for getting real good at words
Writing is a much-prized skill and a difficult one to master and, while some are naturally gifted in stringing sentences together, we all need to take the time to learn the craft.
Whether you want to write your first novel , pen a poignant poem, pull together a screenplay, or create better business content, there is a free, online course out there to help. We've rounded up a list of free, online writing courses so you can find the perfect program of study to help you write gooderer.
1. Rhetoric: The art of persuasive writing and public speaking (Harvard X) (Opens in a new tab)
This eight-week online writing course is an introduction to the theory and practice of rhetoric, the art of persuasive writing and speech. Using selected speeches from prominent 20th-century Americans — including Martin Luther King Jr., John F. Kennedy, Margaret Chase Smith, and Ronald Reagan — to explore and analyze rhetorical structure and style, this course will teach you when and how to employ a variety of rhetorical devices in writing and speaking.
It also covers how to differentiate between argument and rhetorical technique, how to write a persuasive opinion editorial, and how to evaluate and identify strengths of logical fallacies in arguments.
2. Creative writing: The craft of plot (Wesleyan University) (Opens in a new tab)
This short course can be completed in one day and is one of five modules in Wesleyan University's Creative Writing offerings.
In this writing course, aspiring wordsmiths will be introduced to the concept of plot. You will learn what keeps it moving and how it can manipulate readers’ feelings, expectations, and desires. The course examines the choices storytellers make to snag people's imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. You will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals, and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle, and end.
3. Business writing techniques (Opens in a new tab) (DoaneX)
Do you want an intensive writing course? This class that can take up to eight hours a week for four weeks, but the learning is self-paced so you do have some flexibility. It will help you to study the different communication styles and discuss the best practices of business writing by providing real-world scenarios and applications.
You will examine how to use the six Cs (spoiler: consideration, clarity, conciseness, coherence, correctness, and confidence) to enhance your business messages. This contemporary course also looks at the proper etiquette of business writing, and examines the use of emoji in business communications.
4. Songwriting: Writing the lyrics (Berklee College of Music) (Opens in a new tab)
Described as "an invitation to let your inner songwriter step into the sunlight," this online writing class will have you singing a tune (or that's the goal).
If you haven't written any or many songs, it promises to show you an efficient, effective process for tailoring songs to express your ideas and emotions. If you have, you’ll look at your process differently, taking control of aspects of the process you may have not noticed. This course will get you working both lyrically and musically, although it’s not necessary that you either read music or play an instrument — the course offers you a number of musical loops to work with that you can sing your melodies over. During this course you will create lyrics and/or melodies for peer review.
5. Writing successfully for the stage (University of Cambridge) (Opens in a new tab)
This course will teach you to structure your dramatic writing to a professional standard, as well as develop professionally transferable communication skills. This course is designed to improve your understanding of how to write engaging and interesting stories in order to attract producers and directors to your work.
You will be taught how to write effective dialogue, and how to edit your work. This course looks at the work of Brecht, Richard Schechner, Augusto Boal, Japanese Noh theatre, and other forms of theatre from around the world.
You will be sent writing exercises over the course of the module, keep a creativity journal, and by the end of the course you will have completed a plan for the structure of a new play.
6. How to write an essay (University of California, Berkeley) (Opens in a new tab)
This course is described as an introduction to academic writing, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing. This five-week course includes a review of basic grammar terminology and understanding, writing effective sentences and paragraphs, how to tackle writing introductions and conclusions, strategies for writing longer texts, and thesis statements. The course materials will be offered via readings and videos and you will participate in online discussions. You will complete an essay for this course.
7. Stand up: Comedy writing and performance poetry (University of Cambridge) (Opens in a new tab)
This course will give you specialized knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for stand-up comedy/performance poetry, as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within stand-up comedy/performance poetry. You will study contemporary critical, analytical, and narrative theories of stand-up comedy/performance poetry. It will arm you with detailed understanding of key performance components within the discipline, including ideational sources, body, space, image, sound, text, movement, and environment. This course aims to develop advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty, and unfamiliarity.
8. Memoir and personal essay: Write about yourself (Wesleyan University) (Opens in a new tab)
This course will teach you "how to write about yourself … so that someone else wants to read it." This is the heart of this specialization in memoir and personal essay from Wesleyan University.
You will get tips, prompts, exercises, readings, and challenges to help you imagine, construct, and write compelling pieces of non-fiction's most popular form: the personal narrative. Coursera says learners will develop a toolset to put pen to paper (or fingers to keys) and write the story of their life. As a result of taking this course, you will collect a portfolio of work that you can use as components of your memoir or essay.
9. Screenwriting: Building your Screenplay (University of Cambridge) (Opens in a new tab)
This course will teach you how to build a screenplay and the ins and outs of becoming a professional screenwriter. It's an intermediate course that requires no previous knowledge of screenwriting. The course will focus on visual storytelling, screenplay structure, and character development and how those work together to convey the central meaning of your work. It will also teach you concrete skills like script-editing, time management, and how to work as a screenwriter. In addition you will gain knowledge the history of film and film theory.
10. Become a journalist: Report the news (Michigan State University) (Opens in a new tab)
This course is a specialization that's part of a journalism study program from Michigan State University that's designed to develop and enhance your understanding of the global field of journalism.
You'll learn best practices and ethical standards for news gathering processes and compiling a news report through hands-on projects, peer-to-peer feedback, and issue exploration. You will also study journalism's impact on societal issues and trends, plus explore career opportunities in newspapers, magazines, social media, Internet multimedia, television, radio, corporate, and community journalism.
11. Write your first novel (Michigan State University) (Opens in a new tab)
This is a beginner level 26-week course that will guide you through the process of writing your first novel. The course boasts that you will leave the class with a 50,000 page manuscript. By breaking down the writing process and providing you with deadlines, the course can help make writing a novel a less daunting pursuit. It even schedules writing breaks for you. Additionally, the course will provide you with the space for peer review.
This post was originally published in April 2021 and was updated in January 2022.
Additional reporting by Elena Cavender.
Amy-Mae is a freelance writer covering tech at Mashable.
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Explore online writing courses and programs
Why learn writing skills.
The ability to write well is a foundational skill for communication in both personal and professional settings. Writing allows you to express thoughts, opinions, ideas, and emotions. It facilitates connections between people and allows them to engage in the type of discourse that can lead to discovery and progress.
Clear and concise writing that conveys information both accurately and precisely can help guide people’s decision making and actions. The style of writing can express the importance and sense of urgency behind a message. The flow of writing can change the emotions that people feel when reading those words.
Whether you are writing a script for a podcast, crafting an email to your colleagues, or penning a message to a family member, strong writing skills can significantly improve how the communication is delivered and how it is received.
Browse online writing classes
Stand out in your field, learn at your own pace, earn a valuable credential, related topics, online writing course curriculum.
With online writing courses, any learner can master the skills needed to become a strong writer. Start with the fundamentals in an online grammar course, where you can learn about the different parts of speech, punctuation, conjugation, and sentence structure. Or more advanced writers can practice their storytelling and persuasive writing skills with an essay writing course. Develop your own style by reading and analyzing the works of other writers, and explore how to write in different formats and tones in creative writing courses.
You can even find courses that teach writing for specific contexts. For example, a business writing class may cover how to relay tough feedback or how to adjust your tone to build consensus.
For learners interested in advancing their knowledge in a variety of subjects, edX offers a range of educational opportunities, including boot camps , as well as bachelor's degree programs, and master’s degree programs. Explore how online education can help you build the critical skills you need and get started learning today.
Explore writing jobs
Clear writing and communication skills are assets in nearly every industry. Regardless of whether you work as a lawyer or a mathematician, you will likely need to be capable of crafting a well-written message.
But for those who enjoy writing, there are careers that can leverage their talents, including:
Journalist: Writes news or feature articles for video, online, or print publications.
Novelist or author: Focuses on storytelling by writing longform fiction and nonfiction.
Copywriter: Writes marketing-driven copy such as advertisements and emails.
Communications or public relations specialist : Delivers strategic messages on behalf of a client or an organization.
Speech writer: Crafts speeches for individuals including leaders or lawmakers.
Screenwriter: Develops scripts for movies, television shows, and other visual media.
Editor: Reviews and revises written materials for accuracy, clarity, and style.
How to start a career in writing
Writing takes practice. If you are interested in pursuing a career in the field, it’s important to ensure that you have a mastery of the fundamentals of writing. You can build those skills through instruction and coursework in which you have to apply what you have learned. That means responding to prompts, writing essays, and critically reviewing your work to better understand how you can improve.
Writing also requires expertise. While you can be a general writer, somebody who wants to pursue a technical writing career, for example, will need background knowledge of that field in order to be able to understand what they are reporting on or writing about. A strong understanding of how to research, interview, and source can also be beneficial for aspiring professionals in this space.
If you dream of being the next great writer, begin honing your craft with online courses delivered through edX.
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Master's degrees, bachelor's degrees, writing faq.
Effective writing is clear and accurate and provides enough context to engage readers and help them understand the message you are trying to deliver. For example, journalists provide context by focusing on the “who, what, when, where, and why” of a situation.
There are many different types of writing including, but not limited to: persuasive writing, creative writing, poetry, script writing, journalism, nonfiction, academic writing, speech writing, and song writing.
Learners develop writing skills at their own pace. Developing mastery takes practice and time.
Sometimes grammatical rules are not universally applicable, which can make them difficult to remember. Everyone has different learning styles and speeds. Memorization can help, but practice is key.
There are online courses that can help you learn how to organize your ideas and develop your voice for a business setting. You can practice writing effective emails, reports, and presentations.
Aspiring creative writers can develop their skills by taking classes that not only teach them about the essential elements of storytelling, but also give them opportunities to practice writing and critiquing both their own work and the work of other writers.
Last updated February 2023
7 free online creative writing courses that you can enrol in right now
By Megha Sharma
As a form of expression , a means to escape the reality, and a medium to communicate a larger ideology, the act of writing can serve different purposes. And no matter what your reason to put pen to paper, or keys to screen, these virtual lessons could help you develop the techniques you will require on your creative journey. Here, find out all the free online courses you can join to begin now.
Creative Writing Specialisation
Covering three major creative writing genres—short story, narrative essay and memoir—the course will help you master the techniques of putting your ideas on paper as clearly as possible. So if you’ve been meaning to work some engrossing features in your already existing plot, or better highlight the setting of your story, or simply articulate in a stronger fashion, let this lesson be on your shortlist. In case you’re just starting out, the course is equally rewarding.
Write Your First Novel
Have you been wanting to pen down your thoughts and weave them into a well-written novel? Go for this virtual course where you will learn an end-to-end approach to producing a work of fiction. Through a stepwise process that will culminate in your individual production of a 50,000-word book, the learning course will provide you all the important pointers right from the top.
Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest
Complete with video lectures, online readings, peer reviews and guest appearances from renowned authors, the course will offer an all-inclusive guide to creative writing for students and young aspirers. Apart from that, you will also explore the cultural significance of notable works , analyse the ways in which art and words interact, and become familiar with standard elements of a narrative, that include dialogue, point of view, theme, plot and so on.
Write A Feature Length Screenplay for Film or Television
Whether your point of interest is serious dramas, romantic comedies or thrillers , the free virtual course will zoom in on every aspect of screenplay writing so you’re able to pursue the genre you want. Following in a well-structured process, you will have produced a pitch-ready script by the time the four-week programme is over. Along with learning how to create a basic idea and write loglines, you will be studying the Three Act Story Arc, and much more.
By Hasina Khatib
By Devika Manghnani
By Selene Oliva
Memoir and Personal Essay: Write About Yourself Specialisation
Here, four published memoirists and essayists let you in on the tricks and tools of writing about yourself. Be prepared for professional tips, prompts, reading challenges and exercises among other interactive activities. Unlike many other courses where you will be producing a large body of work at the completion of the programme, here, you will be constructing a portfolio of work to use as valuable components later.
Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop
These lessons support the school of thought that poetry isn’t just a means of expression. Rather, using it for just that, is like “using the internet just for email”. If you too are willing to think beyond that, and take up the art to bring about a change in people’s thought and ideologies, the course is for you. Learn to use the several tools of poetic composition, study the works of contemporary poets and, of course, try your own hand at the skill.
Transmedia Storytelling: Narrative worlds, emerging technologies, and global audiences
In a world that believes in not just up-skilling, but also cross-skilling, this transmedia course serves to be an extremely well-rounded one. The description on the website states, “Transmedia storytelling is the practice of designing , sharing, and participating in a cohesive story experience across multiple traditional and digital delivery platforms - for entertainment, advertising and marketing, or social change.” So learn to develop expansive narratives and optimise your writing for mobile devices, social media communities, virtual and augmented realities and more.
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By Mihika Agarwal
By Almas Khateeb
Hone your craft with these wide-ranging online courses exploring how to become a great writer.
Topics related to Writing
Courses 17 courses.
Learn new skills, pursue your interests or advance your career with our short online courses.
How to Read a Novel
2 hrs per week
Included in Unlimited
Start Writing Fiction
3 hrs per week
Digital Copywriting Fundamentals
Fairy Tales: Meanings, Messages, and Morals
What Does It Mean to Be Human? An Introduction to the Humanities
What Is Poetry? An Introduction to Literary Analysis
Degrees 1 degree.
Discover online degrees from leading universities. Develop your knowledge with an undergraduate or postgraduate degree.
Bachelor of Arts
Enrich your mind, diversify your skills and safeguard your future with our new work-ready arts degree at the University of Newcastle (UON).
Writing is a skill that’s easy to learn but hard to master.
Words can be powerful tools that you can use for many different purposes, and an online writing course can help you hone your skills. By studying different forms of writing, you can also boost your skills in other areas.
Why take an online writing course?
The vast majority of us spend quite a bit of time writing each day, even if we don’t realise it.
Whether its work emails, messages to friends, or a journal or diary, the written word plays a huge role in our society. Understanding the process behind writing can help in many areas of life.
Whether you want to get your creative juices flowing, improve your storytelling abilities, or even work on your reading comprehension, a writing course can be the ideal choice for you. And, by studying online, you get a whole host of benefits.
Online writing courses give you the freedom to study whenever and wherever you want. You can plan your study time around your week, meaning you have fewer interruptions and more time to focus on study, work and leisure.
What types of online writing courses are available?
Writing is a diverse topic, meaning there’s a broad selection of courses available for you to try. You could start off with something like a course on how to start writing fiction. This will give you some of the fundamentals of creative writing.
If you’re into movies, an introduction to screenwriting course might be a good fit. We also have courses on academic writing.
For example, you could take a course on science writing to learn about the different types used in the scientific world. For those who love literature, you might want to learn how to do a literature review.
What types of writing qualifications are available?
On FutureLearn, you’ll find a wide variety of learning methods. When it comes to writing, you’ll find a selection of writing courses, as well as online degree options.
Courses give you a shorter learning experience, typically lasting a few weeks. With a degree, you can take a far deeper examination of the key principles and learning areas.
Whether you want to develop as a professional or discover a new hobby, there's an online course for that. You can even take your learning further with online microcredentials and degrees.
Join millions of people from around the world learning together. Online learning is as easy and natural as chatting with a group of friends.
Learn with experts
Meet educators from top universities and cultural institutions, who'll share their experience through videos, articles, quizzes and discussions.
10 Best FREE Online Writing Courses with Certificates (2023)
There are many beginner professionals who want to improve their writing skills and get ahead in their writing careers. Moreover, it is also not feasible for working professionals to go back to school and improve their scribing skills. Thankfully, you will find many online writing classes on the Internet that help you polish and enhance your writing and authoring skills.
Following is a handpicked list of the Top Online Writing Courses & Certifications to gather knowledge about this subject. The list contains both open source (free) and commercial (paid) courses.
BEST Free Online Writing Courses for Creative Writers & Beginners
1) writing articles (linkedin).
Specs: Duration: 29 minutes | Pricing: 1-month free trial | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Beginner | Mobile apps: iOS and Android
Articles effectively communicate complex ideas and stories in a friendly, credible, and easy-to-follow way. This course, Writing Articles , helps you learn how to write and publish an article of your own.
This free writing course explains how you can determine your writing approach, pitch your story to a publication, completely research your subject matter, and write and polish your article content. This course also discusses how you can submit a complete package to editors.
It is one of the best free online writing courses for new writers. It helps you to learn the skills you need to write a well-crafted article that connects with readers.
- Determining Your Article Writing Approach
- Gathering Content for your Article
- Producing Your Article
- Polishing and Submitting Your Article
- Promoting Your work
Enroll Now >>
2) Creative Writing Specialization (Coursera)
Specs: Duration: Approx. 6 months to complete (1 hour/week) | Pricing: Free | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Beginner | Languages: English, Arabic, French, Portuguese (European), Serbian, Chinese
This Creating Writing specialization course covers three important elements of writing genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir.
In this course, you will master the techniques that any good writer uses to create a story full of memorable characters. This beginner’s writing workshop also helps you to analyze and constructively evaluate peer writing. It is one of the best writing courses designed for anyone, from aspiring short story writers to established novelists.
- The Craft of Plot
- The Craft of Character
- Setting and Description
- The Craft of Style
- Self-Paced learning option for students
- HD quality course videos
- Practice quizzes
- Graded assignments with peer feedback
- Quizzes with Feedback
- Programming assignments
3) Writing with Impact (LinkedIn)
Specs: Duration: 1 hour 1 minute | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Intermediate
Writing with Impact is an online proofreading course that shows how to give your writing more impact, regardless of its purpose. In this online course, the writer and journalist Tom Geller help you to search reasons for writing with the demonstration. The writer also teaches you how to use those reasons to drive the words you select and the tone you take.
The author of this course also shares his understanding of grammar and sentence structure for writing with maximum impact. After completing this free online writing course, you will be equipped with plenty of practical writing tips to make your writing clear and crisp.
- Meaning of writing with impact
- Learning about your Readers
- Understanding How People Read
- Write Short, Clear, and Right
- Helps you qualify for continuing education units.
- Chapter quizzes.
- Professional author instructor.
- Certificate on completion.
4) Secret Sauce of Great Writing (Udemy)
Specs: Rating: 4.5 | Duration: 41 minutes of on-demand video | Pricing: Free | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Intermediate
Secret Sauce of Great Writing is a course designed by Shani Raja. This course will teach you the four main concepts of good writing: Simplicity, Clarity, Elegance, and Evocativeness. It will also help you learn how to add those ingredients skillfully.
At the end of this online writing course, you will have a good grasp of how professional writers create powerful and beautiful prose. In this online writing course, you can quickly identify your writing weaknesses, understand the principles, and fix and improve it significantly.
- The Secret Sauce of Flair
- The Four Crucial Ingredients
- How I Discovered the Sauce
- The Power of Simplicity
- Simplicity Exercises
- The Power of Clarity
- Clarity Exercises
- The Power of Elegance
- Elegance Exercises
- The Power of Evocativeness
- Evocativeness Exercises
- Online video content
- Instructor Q&A
- Instructor direct message
5) Essay Essentials: Improve Your Academic Writing (Udemy)
Specs: Rating: 4.4 | Duration: 1hr 14min of on-demand video | Certificate on Completion: Yes
Essay Essentials: Improve Your Academic Writing is a video course that helps you learn how to write essays. This free writer’s course will help you find the essay writing success you deserve by learning essay writing foundations.
- How the writing situation, process, and classroom resources.
- Brainstorm to create and use ideas that help you to develop the essay.
- Develop and structure introduction and conclusion paragraphs.
- Write a clear, specific, and well-connected thesis.
- Understand the organization of essay paragraphs.
- How to create detailed, specific, and appropriate content.
- Proof-read spelling and grammatical errors using helpful rules and tips.
- Certificate of completion accredited by universities.
6) Writing Ad Copy (LinkedIn)
Specs: Duration: 59 minutes | Pricing: 1-month free trial | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Intermediate | Mobile apps: iOS and Android
Writing Ad Copy is an online course that helps you create ad copy that effectively conveys your brand and drives traffic to convert clicks into sales. The course designer Michael Duquet also teaches you the rules for writing ads for different platforms.
The author of this course, Michael, explains how you can change your message and tone according to your target audience and customer personality.
In the last chapters, you will learn about some common dos and don’ts and explains about the future of advertising holds for copywriters.
- Rules of Ad Copy Writing
- Ad Copy Goals
- Writing Ad Copy for various media
- Understanding Your Audience
- Personas and Tone
- Do and Don’ts.
7) Craft Your Cover Letter (Udacity)
Specs: Duration: Approx. 1 Day | Pricing: Free | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Beginner
Craft Your Cover Letter is a short course where you will learn to use proven writing techniques to show why you are the best person to do this job.
In these writing classes for beginners, you will also learn how to research company values, target your writing pitch, and develop an authentic story. It offers the research and writing tools you need to show why you are the best person for the specific job!
- Target your applications to specific opportunities.
- Students are able to understand the purpose of a cover letter.
- Write an effective introduction, body, and conclusion.
- Rich Learning Content
- Interactive Quizzes
- Instructor videos
- Learn by doing exercises.
- Taught by industry professionals.
8) Write a Book! (Udemy)
Specs: Rating: 4.3 | Duration: 30 hours on-demand video | Certificate on Completion: Yes
Write a Book is an online writing course offered by Udemy. This course explains how to organize and begin writing a short story, novel, or nonfiction book with concepts similar for each form. This online course is ideal for someone looking to grasp the fundamentals of writing using the English language.
- Learn to write basics, like including punctuation, sentences, paragraphs, etc.
- Learn about advanced writing techniques.
- Learn to write short nonfiction books.
- The advanced dialog to draw the reader into your story.
- How to use MS PowerPoint to create a book cover.
- How to discover your writing style.
- Learn how to self-edit your book manuscript.
- 28 articles
- Full lifetime access for students
- Access on mobile and TV
- Certificate of completion
9) The Complete Freelance Writing Course (Udemy)
Udemy offers a wide range of writing courses. This Complete Freelance Writing Course can be viewed on all devices connected to the Internet. You do not require any prequalification to take this course.
Udemy is an online platform that helps you create courses for business, writing, design, marketing, etc. You can develop new skills and achieve your goals by taking training and learning from the extensive library of various Udemy courses.
- Understand different forms of writing styles and methods as per target audience.
- Learn best practices for Blog Writing.
- Learn how to do screenwriting to tell a compelling story.
- Develop methods that help you to stay productive as a writer.
- Grant Writing for Nonprofits and Freelance Writers
- The Complete Freelance Writing Course
- How to Start a Freelance Writing Career
- The Complete Freelance Writing Online
- Freelance Copywriting: Write Dirty. Go Big
- How to Start Profitable Freelance Writing Business in 5 Weeks
10) Online Creative Writing Classes (Skillshare)
Skillshare is an online course platform that is focused on education. It includes various topics related to graphic design, data science, e-commerce, analytics, etc. This online course will expand your horizons to learn more about creative writing. You can try these online classes that teach about creative writing techniques, tools, and topics like character development, outlining, storytelling, creating a compelling plot, and how you can make your words more artful.
This course helps you to enhance and helps you to create character-driven stories with creative writing prompts. This online class is broken down into short lessons that include hands-on projects to complete and share.
- Learn creative writing in various genres like fiction, poetry, humor, etc.
- It helps you to find classes that are designed for real life.
- Get ideas for writing daily journals.
- Real creators teach the classes.
- You can learn from any device.
11) Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television (Coursera)
Specs: Rating: 4.5 | Duration: Approx. 93 hours to complete | Pricing: Free | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Beginner | Mobile apps: iOS and Android | Mobile Compatible: Yes
Write A Feature Length Screenplay For Film Or Television teaches you how to write a feature-length screenplay for film or television or web-series. In this screen playwriting course, you will also learn to break down the creative process into components. You will also discover a structured process that helps you produce a polished and pitch-ready script.
Completing this online course helps you to improve your confidence in your ideas and abilities. After learning this online course, you will feel prepared to pitch your first script and start with the next one.
- Creating The Idea.
- Logline and Dramatic Question.
- Create your character profile.
- The Three Act Story Arc.
- Screenplay Formatting and Software.
- Begin your screenplay.
- Write the final section.
- Table read your entire script.
- Finishing things up.
12) Start Writing Fiction (Future learn)
Specs: Rating: 4.7
Start Writing Fiction is a course that helps you to create how to develop your ideas, which reflect on your writing and editing. This online writing class is intended for those interested in writing fiction or improving their fiction writing.
- Creation of characters in fiction
- Different sources for characters in stories
- Ways of presenting characters in stories
- Reading as a writer
- Writing skill like creativity, research, observation, and editing
- It provides the freedom to keep access to any online course you’ve achieved a digital certificate of.
- It offers the flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year.
13) English Writing Skills–Revised (Alison)
Specs: Rating: 2.5 | Duration: 1.5-3 Hours | Pricing: Free | Certificate on Completion: Yes | Level: Intermediate | Mobile apps: iOS and Android | Mobile Compatible: Yes
English Writing skills is a free online English language course that will guide you through the most important English writing styles. It shows you how and when to apply each one verb and improve your knowledge about the correct usage of punctuation and grammar.
This online writing course helps you express yourself clearly and effectively in your writing. This online learning material also helps you fulfill your dream of becoming a professional writer or improving your English writing.
- English Writing Skills
- Story Writing
- Descriptive Writing
- Science Fiction, Nonfiction, Instructional, Opinionative
- Reflective Writing
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🏅 How to choose an Online Writing Course?
Here are some important guidelines for selecting an online writing course:
A. Identity your goal:
First, you need to find out your goal. Like you want to learn basic writing skills like improving your grammar, you want to learn notification writing, fiction writing, nonfiction writing, etc.
B. Set your course budget:
Then you need to decide yourself how much money you want to spend, both in terms of time and money. There are many free online writing courses. However, if you want to learn an advanced creative writing course, then you need to pay for that.
C. Pick a Commitment Level:
It is certainly the most important aspect for selecting the online writing course. How much daily or weekly time can you spend learning the course. There are many online courses that are completely self-paced, which means you work through the material on your own and take time as much as you want.
❓ What are the Pros And Cons Of Online Writing Courses?
Here are some important Pros and Cons of Online Writing Classes:
- These courses are meant for independent study, so you can learn at your own pace.
- Some courses do not even have homework assignments, writing exercises, or time constraints.
- Online courses give you exclusive information and learning materials.
- You are able to interact and learn with other writers using online communities, which helps you learn to write skills.
- Online writing course sometimes not allows any personal touch of classroom writing courses.
- You will never have face-to-face interactions with associate learners.
- Some online writing courses have no instructor feedback.
- The quality and price of online writing courses vary greatly.
⚡ What is the best app for writing letters?
Here are some of the best writing apps which help you to write professional letters:
- Grammarly: Grammarly is a widely used writing enhancement tool. It offers numerous writing styles, suggestions for grammar, vocabulary, and syntax. You can use this tool via the website, as a browser extension, or as an app that you can download to your computer.
- Prowritingaid: Prowritingaid is a tool that offers a world-class grammar and style checking facility. It helps you to edit documents faster. This software includes more than 1000 styles to improve your writing skills.
- Microsoft Word: Microsoft Word is a writing app that helps you transform documents into web pages. It offers a real-time translation facility with just one tap. This program enables you to read and edit documents attached to the email.
- Calmlywriter: Calmlywriter is free writing software. This online application is designed to help you focus on your writing skills. It has a “focus mode” option that can highlight the paragraph you are writing.
- FocusWriter : It is a writing tool that enables you to access the interface by moving the mouse to the edge of the screen. The software helps you to translate the content into more than 20 languages. It helps correct spelling effortlessly.
❗ What can you expect from a Free Creative Writing Class?
There are many free creative writing courses that help you to learn how to express yourself in words. A free writing course gives you training about general grammar, writing style, and other important stuff related to writing instead of teaching any specific fiction, nonfiction, or scientific writing skills.
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6 Free Online Writing Courses You Can Start Today
These free online writing courses will help you quickly build your skills as a writer, and have fun doing it.
Endless Story Ideas
E-mail course. Students receive one lesson per day for three days.
There are three elements that a story needs: a character, a setting, and a conflict.
In this course, you'll learn about each of these elements, and how they fit together into a story plot.
You'll learn how to come up with ideas for characters, settings, and conflicts, and how to develop those into story ideas!
What you'll learn:
- the essential elements of a story
- how to come up with story ideas whenever you need them
Fill out the form below to take this course for free.
E-mail course. Students receive one lesson per day for two days.
By building suspense into your stories, you can make them more exciting and harder to put down.
You can create suspense just by developing a character readers care about and putting that character in trouble.
Other ways of creating suspense:
- Slowing down a scene at dramatic moments.
- Foreshadowing, when you hint at what's coming.
- Raising questions in the reader's mind and delaying the answers.
- Cliffhangers, where you end a chapter or a scene at crucial points... and the reader has to wait or turn the page to find out what happens.
- Dramatic irony, where the reader knows something the character doesn't... so the reader waits for the other shoe to drop.
- How to build suspense into your stories through character development, narrative point of view, and description.
- How to control pacing to increase tension.
- How to strategically delay information to build curiosity.
Beginnings, Middles, Endings
The beginning of your story is where you capture reader's attention and make them decide to keep reading.
The middle of your story is where you develop your plot. It can be challenging to maintain energy and momentum throughout the middle of a story, but this course will show you how!
The ending of your story needs to seal readers' satisfaction with your story. A great ending will leave readers thinking and maybe talking about your story long after they've finished reading.
- What to put in the beginning, middle, and end of your story.
- How to pull readers into your story and keep their interest through the middle.
- How to write an ending that leaves readers satisfied.
Fill out the form below to take this course for free.
Intro to Character Development
If readers care about your characters, they'll care about your story.
The key is to create interesting, three-dimensional characters, and then make readers feel like they actually know them.
Readers can get to know your characters the same way we get to know people in real life; based on:
- what they do.
- what they say and how they say it.
- how other people react to them.
- their habits, clothing, homes, possessions, et cetera.
If you're writing the story from a particular character's point of view, you can also show that character's thoughts.
- How to develop characters.
- Tricks for making your characters more interesting.
- How to use "showing" instead of "telling" to bring your characters to life.
Intro to Mystery Writing
Most mystery novels are about someone trying to solve a crime; i.e., they're trying to find out who did it.
The person trying to solve the crime might be a professional sleuth such as a police detective, or an amateur sleuth -- for example, a small-town librarian who discovers a dead body in the stacks and decides to find out whodunit!
A mystery can be a kind of puzzle or game where the reader "competes" against the sleuth to try to to figure out the answer before the sleuth does.
But it should also be a well-developed story, with three-dimensional characters and a vivid setting.
You can add interest to a mystery plot with red herrings, twists and turns. And you can suspense with techniques like foreshadowing and cliffhangers, and by raising the stakes for your sleuth.
A great ending to a mystery often manages to surprise the reader at the same time that the reader thinks, "I should have known!"
- How to develop a story idea for a mystery.
- How to come up with the character of your sleuth.
- How to structure a mystery plot.
Intro to Description Writing
Good description writing is the secret to vivid stories.
Instead of just reading words on the page, readers feel like they're inside the story's world, seeing and hearing and experiencing everything first-hand.
This course will show you a trick for imagining your story's details more vividly so that you can make them vivid for your reader.
Then it will show you how to choose details and words to bring your scenes to life in the reader's imagination.
- How to invent and choose details for your story's descriptions.
- How to write descriptions from your character's point of view.
- How to choose the right words for your descriptions.
Free Online Writing Courses - Next Steps
Join our Advanced Notification List to stay informed when new free online writing courses become available.
Questions about our free online writing courses? Email us , and we'll help you.
Browse more online creative writing courses .
"I am so enjoying the course. I have always wanted to write and have found, over the years, every excuse under the sun to not write. After reading through your material and the wonderful tips and suggestions I began on my three characters. I actually had to drag myself off to bed, reluctantly. I just couldn't stop." - Laura McCarthy
"There is so much to learn, and had I not done this course my writing would still be at the starting gate." - Josephine Webster
"Both courses I have taken have with Creative Writing Now have been amazing. Each time I have learned something new. The one thing I love, you take everything apart and give examples." - Katlen Skye
"I feel a weight has been lifted off my creative muscles." - Christine Laputka
I recently completed my first novel - 67,400 words. It derives from two separate assignments posted from two of your courses. I had turned both into short stories which I then combined and extended. Currently exploring publication offers - all thanks to Creative Writing Now! - John Butler
"As usual - I already love the course on Irresistible Fiction, rewriting a lot and improving greatly even after the first lesson. Thanks so much for the great courses." - Kitty Safken
"This course helped me to come out of my writer’s block." - Rachel Giordano
"I really have learned many things that have changed the way I think about writing. I've taken many college, even Masters level writing courses, and must tell you that I have learned much more from your courses than I have from any of those classroom courses." - Prue Prentice
“Essentials of Fiction proved that I could indeed write and I wrote every day, much to my boyfriend's dismay (waa sniff).” - Jill Gardner
"This course is amazing – definitely the most beneficial class that I have taken." - Kimberly Daroogar
"I'm enjoying the weekly email course, Essentials of Poetry Writing. Thank you for offering a basic, no nonsense basic poetry course at a reasonable price." - Michele
"This course has given me the courage and the confidence to finally start the book I have wanted to write for years!" - Patricia Birchfield
"Thank you for all the material in this course. I have learnt so much." - Jacqueline Tasik
"I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the lessons and feel they were very helpful in introducing new ideas and perspectives to my writing. I am sure I will go back frequently to review them for reference during many of my future writing projects. Thanks again!" - Jenny Jacks
"Thanks very much for this course. It's been really helpful and well-explained. I look forward to any more courses you run." - Robin Gott
"I'm learning so much. This course is amazing." - Karl Tobar
"Thank you so much!! You're always there... The course is great. You are always looking forward to the next lesson like a good novel!!!" - Nuria Alberti
"Thank you for a course that builds writing skills with direction to excellence. Everything was included, possibly more than college courses can offer." - Janett Lee Wawrzyniak
"This course has provided me with structure, creative thinking, and confidence. My writing has really blossomed and found its footing. " - Heatherly Kates
"It was a nice journey for me to be able to write in answer to your e-mail lessons. Being able to post the answers on WordPress is exciting. I had not done that before taking your writing class. I plan to take another of your e-mail class, either the 8-week descriptive or the new poetry class." - James Sciullo
"I thought my starting to write was just a hobby; it has definitely become more. Thank you Nancy for giving us all that great opportunity." - Caroline DiMatteo
"I am loving the course and the peer interaction on the blog is fantastic!!!" - Bill Lane
"Writing every day and the tips this course gave improved my writing 100%." - Gila Segelov
"The Irresistible Fiction course is going well. I see why it's a bestseller. I can't wait for the next email." - Kayode
"Thank you so much for putting together this writing course. It was of good value to me as it got me started thinking more deeply about my characters. I don't have a lot of time to write, working two jobs, but I am doing the ten-minute exercise with each lesson, and each evening, trying to get in the habit of sitting myself down to write... I would recommend the course to anyone." - Barrie Creamer
"I did enjoy every aspect of the course and did learned quite a lot. Thank you!… It has motivated me to further work on a novel that I left in the revision stage three years ago." - Nair del Vecchio
"This was an amazing experience. If you are having roadblocks with your dream of being a writer, take this class." - Michelle Denier
"Must say I'm SOO glad I opted into this class, it's been eye-opening on many levels." - Courtenay Schurman
"I will add the comment that I love this course, I have taken it several times. The first time I took it was after a time I had stopped writing for several years, and the course really re-ignited my writing spirit!" - Mary Ellen Hancock
"This course has jump started my daily writing and made me excited to write every day. I wake up happy and brimming with ideas to start my writing for the day." - Katherine Brand
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"I want to thank you for all of your support and the wonderful writing lessons that you provide. I have learned so much about the craft of writing and I am finally doing what my heart desires." - Dorothy Anderson
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Creative Writing (Free)
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Creative Writing Specialization
Craft Your Story Like the Great Writers. Craft an original story that will absorb a reader’s interest from the beginning to end.
Financial aid available
Skills you will gain
- Short Story Writing
- Fiction Writing
- Copy Editing
About this Specialization
No prior experience required.
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How the Specialization Works
A Coursera Specialization is a series of courses that helps you master a skill. To begin, enroll in the Specialization directly, or review its courses and choose the one you'd like to start with. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. It’s okay to complete just one course — you can pause your learning or end your subscription at any time. Visit your learner dashboard to track your course enrollments and your progress.
Every Specialization includes a hands-on project. You'll need to successfully finish the project(s) to complete the Specialization and earn your certificate. If the Specialization includes a separate course for the hands-on project, you'll need to finish each of the other courses before you can start it.
Earn a Certificate
When you finish every course and complete the hands-on project, you'll earn a Certificate that you can share with prospective employers and your professional network.
There are 5 Courses in this Specialization
Creative writing: the craft of plot.
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the choices storytellers make to snag our imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end.
Creative Writing: The Craft of Character
At the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters. We will study the choices a writer makes to bring all characters to life on the page, and we will perform written exercises in order to develop a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques, in order to create a variety of characters. We will learn how to use our own life experiences, and the people we know (and how not to!). We will develop inner (thoughts and feelings) and outer (appearance, habits, behavior) lives for our characters and see how that can lead us to richer and more interesting stories. We will breathe life into our characters and let them surprise us.
Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail. We will also learn how to build credibility through research, and to use creative meditation exercises to deepen our own understanding of our story worlds, so that our readers can see all that we imagine.
Creative Writing: The Craft of Style
Your style is as unique and distinctive as your face, your voice, except that you can choose it, you can can work on it, enhance it. In this course we will introduce aspiring writers to the art of putting pressure on written language. We will study the use of metaphor and imagery, and demonstrate how clarity, grace, and inventiveness in word choice are imperative to a story’s success. Writers will emerge with the revision skills essential to all writers of good stories and good prose.
Wesleyan University, founded in 1831, is a diverse, energetic liberal arts community where critical thinking and practical idealism go hand in hand. With our distinctive scholar-teacher culture, creative programming, and commitment to interdisciplinary learning, Wesleyan challenges students to explore new ideas and change the world. Our graduates go on to lead and innovate in a wide variety of industries, including government, business, entertainment, and science.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the refund policy?
If you subscribed, you get a 7-day free trial during which you can cancel at no penalty. After that, we don’t give refunds, but you can cancel your subscription at any time. See our full refund policy .
Can I just enroll in a single course?
Yes! To get started, click the course card that interests you and enroll. You can enroll and complete the course to earn a shareable certificate, or you can audit it to view the course materials for free. When you subscribe to a course that is part of a Specialization, you’re automatically subscribed to the full Specialization. Visit your learner dashboard to track your progress.
Is financial aid available?
Yes. In select learning programs, you can apply for financial aid or a scholarship if you can’t afford the enrollment fee. If fin aid or scholarship is available for your learning program selection, you’ll find a link to apply on the description page.
Can I take the course for free?
When you enroll in the course, you get access to all of the courses in the Specialization, and you earn a certificate when you complete the work. If you only want to read and view the course content, you can audit the course for free. If you cannot afford the fee, you can apply for financial aid .
Is this course really 100% online? Do I need to attend any classes in person?
This course is completely online, so there’s no need to show up to a classroom in person. You can access your lectures, readings and assignments anytime and anywhere via the web or your mobile device.
Will I earn university credit for completing the Specialization?
This Specialization doesn't carry university credit, but some universities may choose to accept Specialization Certificates for credit. Check with your institution to learn more.
How long does it take to complete the Specialization?
This Specialization will take 3-6 months to complete.
How often is each course in the Specialization offered?
The courses in this Specialization will be offered continually on demand. The capstone will be offered 4 times per year.
What background knowledge is necessary?
The Specialization courses will be rigorous and taught at the college level, but will be accessible to advanced high school students as well.
Do I need to take the courses in a specific order?
No, courses do not need to be taken in a specific order - the courses have staggered opening times to allow you to jump in to whichever course fits your schedule best!
What will I be able to do upon completing the Specialization?
After completing this Specialization, students will be able to craft an original story, whether fictional or taken from life, that will absorb a reader’s interest from the beginning and hold it through the end.
Who are the instructors?
Each course is taught by an esteemed author and professor. Collectively, they have published over a dozen novels and won numerous awards, including features in such publications as The New York Times, The Washington Post, and O: The Oprah Magazine. More information about each author is provided in their individual biographies.
Who are the partners?
Write Brothers (www.write-bros.com) offers several different tools for writers to craft their stories in an environment dedicated to writing, including Dramatica Pro, Outline 4D, and Movie Magic Screenwriter. The software is designed to help with all phases of writing, from brainstorming to outlining to formatting.
Scrivener (https://www.literatureandlatte.com/scrivener.php) is a powerful content-generation tool for writers that allows you to concentrate on composing and structuring long and difficult documents. While it gives you complete control of the formatting, its focus is on helping you get to the end of that awkward first draft.
Scribophile (www.scribophile.com) is a writing community focused on feedback, a central tenet of the Specialization you're embarking on here. Share your work, receive thoughtful critiques from other writers, improve your writing craft, and engage in a strong community of "the friendliest and most successful writing workshop online."
More questions? Visit the Learner Help Center .
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When placing degrees after a name, a comma should come after the last name and then the initials for the degrees in order should be included. The major or field of study isn’t specified with the initials for the degree type. Each degree abb...
Creative accounting refers to any accounting practice that is technically correct but deviates from how accounting policies were intended to be used. The Enron scandal is one of the most prominent examples of creative accounting. In 2001, t...
A graduate or postgraduate degree is a master’s or doctoral degree that follows the completion of a bachelor’s degree. A graduate degree is necessary for many professions, such as a doctor, lawyer or professor.
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