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50+ Open Courseware Writing Classes from the World's Leading Universities

Although technical courses tend to get more attention, the availability of writing courses online is impressive. Whether you want to learn how to write for business or just brush up on grammar, you're sure to find what you're looking for. We've compiled more than 50 of these classes, and they're open for anyone to take.

Introductory Courses

Get beginning writing knowledge from these courses.

  1. Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose: In this course, you'll learn how to write for an academic audience. [Utah State University]
  2. Essay and Report Writing Skills: Learn how to write assignments and reports for academic purposes in this course. [The Open University]
  3. Introduction to Literature: In this introductory course, you'll take a look at character, imagery, poetic language, and much more. [Western Kentucky University]
  4. What is Good Writing?: Consider what good writing is and the importance of effective writing in this course. [The Open University]

Grammar & Language

Use these courses to perfect your writing mechanics.

  1. English Grammar in Context: This course will teach you about the importance of grammar, features of speech, and more. [The Open University]
  2. Language and Communications: This course covers rhetorical awareness, research, writing, and reasoning. [Western Governors University]
  3. Form and Uses of Language: Here you'll examine different ways language is used, specifically by looking at the varied works of Siegfried Sassoon. [The Open University]
  4. The Syntax of Natural Language: Understand theories and technical aspects of grammar and language with this course. [University of Pennsylvania]
  5. Introducing Representation: This course discusses language as a way to convey thoughts. [The Open University]

Research

Whether you're researching for pleasure, work, or school, these courses will steer you in the right direction.

  1. Intermediate Writing: Research Writing in a Persuasive Mode: In this 16-week course, you'll learn how to use critical reading and thinking skills to create persuasive research writing. [Utah State University]
  2. Advanced Writing Seminar: Designed for post-gradute students, this seminar focuses on developing research and arguments. [MIT]
  3. Finding Information in Modern Languages: Here you'll find out how to find and use information for academic research writing and beyond. [The Open University]
  4. Expository Writing: Analyzing Mass Media: This course asks you to think of writing as self-discovery, critical thinking, and communicating. [MIT]
  5. Research, Writing, and Oral Presentation Task: Learn how to present information, from research to writing and presenting. [Western Governors University]
  6. City to City: Comparing, Researching, and Writing About Cities: Designed for city planning students, you'll learn how to research and write, and present your ideas on two different cities. [MIT]

Creative Writing

Learn how to write poetry, challenge yourself, and even create an autobiography using these courses.

  1. Writing What You Know: This course will allow you to develop your memory, observation, and senses for creative writing. [The Open University]
  2. Poetry: Learn about the form and elements of poetry in this course. [College of DuPage]
  3. Writing Challenges: Here you'll be led through a series of creative writing challenges. [Warwick University]
  4. The Creative Spark: Learn how to create your own creative process with this course. [MIT]
  5. Expository Writing: Autobiography: This course focuses on narration, critique, argument, and persuasion in autobiographical writing. [MIT]
  6. Start Writing Fiction: Delve into characters, settings, genres, and more with Start Writing Fiction. [The Open University]
  7. Playwriting: Take a look at the craft of writing for the theater in this playwriting course. [MIT]
  8. Introduction to Creative Writing: This course will help you develop your skills in creative writing, offering elementary skills and structures. [University of Utah]
  9. Theory and Practice of Non-linear and Interactive Narrative: Learn the techniques of creating a computer-based narrative that's both interactive and non-linear. [MIT]

Business Writing

Take these courses, and your business writing will be more professional and effective.

  1. Management Communication for Undergraduates: Here you'll develop communication skills, specfically writing, necessary for management. [MIT]
  2. Advanced Managerial Communication: Learn how to write and communicate as a manager with this course. [MIT]
  3. Making Decisions: This course will teach you about writing to persuade others about business decisions. [The Open University]
  4. Advanced Workshop in Writing for Science and Engineering: This course focuses on technical writing like memos and journal articles. [MIT]
  5. Research and Writing for Professional Programs: Learn how to conduct research and write professionally with this course. [York]

Persuasive Writing

Learn the fine art of persuasion with these courses.

  1. Rhetoric: Learn about the history, theory and practice of persuasion. [MIT]
  2. Rhetoric of Science: You can learn about persuasive writing in scientific knowledge in this course. [MIT]
  3. Advanced Essay Workshop: You'll get an advanced study of rhetoric and prose style techniques in this course. [MIT]
  4. Expository Writing: Exploring Social and Ethical Issues Through Film and Print: Learn how to write about the social and ethical issues that you care about with this course. [MIT]
  5. Rhetorical and Critical Writing Assessment: You'll learn how to fit an audience, distinguish between fact, and fiction, and support a position. [Western Governmors University]
  6. Classical Rhetoric and Modern Politics: Explore rhetoric as it relates to modern politics. [MIT]

Scientific Writing

If you're technically skilled, but your writing could use some help, check out these courses.

  1. Writing and the Environment: Learn how to create a call to action and persuade others to see your point when writing about the environment. [MIT]
  2. Introduction to Technical Communication: Perspectives on Medicine and Public Health: Take a look at the writings of health practicioners to learn the basics of this sector of technical communication. [MIT]
  3. Science and Engineering Writing: Take a look at technical writing and learn how the mechanics of writing for science and engineering in this course. [MIT]
  4. The Science Essay: In this course, you'll write about science and use literary tools like narrative, science, and structure. [MIT]
  5. Communicating in Technical Organizations: In this course, you'll learn how to write technical documents in a clear style. [MIT]
  6. Writing About Nature and Environmental Issues: Explore nature writing and environmentalist essays in this course. [MIT]

Art & Social Writing

In these courses, you'll learn how to write about topics in comedy, culture, and more.

  1. Artistic Writing: You'll increase your skill in reading and writing about literary text with this course. [MIT]
  2. Writing About Race: In this course, you'll learn how to write about racial issues. [MIT]
  3. Becoming Digital: Writing About Media Change: Consider and write about how technology has changed the scope of media. [MIT]
  4. Consumer Culture: In this course, you'll write about shopping and consumer culture. [MIT]
  5. Comedy: In this course, you'll produce comedic writing assignments. [MIT]
  6. Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace: Learn how to write for a public audience online with this course. [MIT]
  7. Writing and Experience: Here you'll write about differing social experiences. [MIT]

Supplemental Courses

Get even more out of your writing education by taking these courses.

  1. Technology for Professional Writers: Get the technological skills you'll need to succeed in the writing industry with this course. [Utah State University]
  2. Text as Property/Property as Text: This class takes a look at ownership, plagiarism, and lots of other moral and legal topics in writing. [Rice]
  3. Word and Image: This course discusses how visual communication can supplement writing. [The Open University]
  4. Communicating in Cyberspace: This course discusses writing and communcation as it relates to the web. [MIT]

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