BlogThe Writing ProcessAn Epic List of Online Writing Courses

An Epic List of Online Writing Courses

Some writers are lucky enough to know what they want to be before college. They choose majors that will help them hone their craft and give them a head start in their careers. But there are people who knew too late that writing was their calling. So now that they want to be a better writer, going back to school seems a bit too late.

However, technology has a solution for that dilemma. Wherever you are and whatever you do, you can easily access writing resources that will help you achieve your dreams of being a writer. You can take online courses for a myriad of subjects, and luckily there's an abundance of writing courses.

If sitting behind a computer while studying seem strange to you, take note that academic officers say that the learning outcome is also better than face-to-face instruction. This kind of learning may be different to the one you're accustomed to, but it has been accredited as a credible form of education. This increase in positive feedback is reflected in the gowing number of online students. It's still a developing education technology, but by 2013 there were already 6.7 million online learning students.

What's great about this trend is how major universities are joining in. Take the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for example. They have MIT OpenCourseWare that encourages free open education. They make their course materials widely available to anyone. The site receives a million visis each month.

Aspiring writers can take full advantage of this EdTech. If you're ready, then check out these courses online:

  1. The Creative Spark (MIT) – Something every writer must have is creativity. In this course, you'll be taught to tap into your most creative ideas and to talk about the creative process.
  2. Writing and Experience (MIT) – The course brings to light one's cultural experience and how it affects writing. Written works are examined based on multiple cultural influences of a person.
  3. Writing and Reading the [Essay](/art/984/a-teacher%e2%80%99s-7-tips-for-writing-effective-essays.aspx) (MIT) – Essay writing can benefit the style of fiction writers, novelists, and poets. In this course, the process of reading and writing essays is explored.
  4. Writing and Reading Short Stories (MIT) – Learn how to write short stories, discuss great ones, and learn to read based on historical and cultural contexts.
  5. The Science Essay (MIT) – If you want to go into more technical writing, this is the course you're looking for. It studies how to write essays about science and make your subject matter more approachable.
  6. Writing on Contemporary Issues: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing, and Publishing in Cyberspace (MIT) – This course teaches you how to write from a personal approach about popular culture. It also touches on the concepts behind publishing for the web.
  7. Advanced Essay Workshop (MIT) – For someone who already has experience in essay and non-fiction writing, this course further improves their skills by looking at identity and using it to develop good writing.
  8. Writing for the Web (MIT) – If you want to make a career in online writing, then this course can give you an idea what it's all about. It's not just about writing but also includes a bit about web design and structure.
  9. Planning Your Novel: Starting from Scratch (Stanford) – Do you have loads of ideas for a good story but don't know where to start? In this course, you'll be guided through the process of novel writing.
  10. Targeting Your Audiences: Finding Your Niche (NEWSU) – When it comes to writing for print and the internet, it's crucial that you know your audience. If you want your work to grab attention, understanding your readers is important.
  11. Principles of Research and Problem Solving (UMICH) – Research is a necessary part of writing that enhances the credibility and authority of a writer's word. This course can help them enhance their analytical, organizational and researching skills.
  12. What is good writing? (Open University) – Good writing doesn't just involve using the biggest word in the dictionary. This course focuses on finding how to explain concepts and delivering your message through your writing.
  13. Intensive Grammar Workshop (About) – Hone your grammar skills and understanding with this simple course. Refining your grammar is one of the basic steps in becoming a better writer.
  14. Free Writing Courses (Writers Helper) – The website offers three writing courses for free, specifically: Writing Verse For Children, Writing for the Web and Make Your Price Sell.
  15. Principles of Written English, Part 2 (BerkeleyX) – The course focuses on honing your essay writing skills, grammar correctness and editing. It's a good course for those who need to understand the basics of writing.
  16. Creative Writing: A Master Class – Learn through the insights of well-known authors. This course will hone your skills and deepen your knowledge of the writing craft.
  17. English 104: College Composition  - Though this course focuses on academic writing, it still covers the basics that every writer should understand. It also teaches research and citation methods.
  18. Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose(USU)* –* An introductory course to academic writing. It hones the critical thinking faculty of students. Something every writer needs.
  19. Writing Basics 101 – If you're interested in earning a certificate, this course is probably what you're looking for. It covers all the basics and tracks your progress.
  20. Endless Story Ideas – Have trouble coming up with another story idea? This 3-day course can teach you techniques on how to generate ideas for your next story.

What's next?

Once you've decided which writing course you'll take, you need to allocate time for it. Don't be a part of the statistic of registrants who fail to follow through with their lessons.  Be one of the students who diligently reads through course materials and takes something great from the learning process.

When it comes down to it, the success of an online course depends on the student. If you devote time and effort to make sure you learn from the course, then it'll be a success. But of course, the only way you can gauge if you’ve learned something is by putting it into practice. Only then will you realize if taking online writing courses is for you.

Looking for more courses for writers? Check out this post from our friends at The Write Life.

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Dorothy Hunter is a writer and blogger for She juggles two online writing courses and hopes that it'll help her achieve her dreams of being a novelist. Follow her on Twitter.