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List of Free English Composition Courses and Classes

Learn English composition with these free online courses. See the full list of free English composition courses and find the course that's right for you.

Online English Courses for Credit

Most free online courses don't offer college credit, so students interested in pursuing a college degree might consider looking into an online course that offers a credited option. Such courses typically charge a nominal fee, far less than students would pay for it through a traditional college program.

Education Portal offers one of the most efficient and affordable paths to college credit. The English 104: English Composition course consists of short and engaging video lessons that break down the concepts of writing, grammar and sourcing, and include a short quiz after each lesson for students to gauge their understanding of the material. Registered members can access the video lessons, which are taught by field experts, and each lesson includes a free written transcript. Chapters in the college composition course include:

  • English Usage - Lessons include topics in logic, clarity, sentence structure, and voice
  • English Grammar - Subjects covered include punctuation, sentence fragments, components of a sentence, and incorrectly placed modifiers
  • Using Source Materials - Learn how to use reference materials, cite sources, and avoid plagiarism
  • Revising an Essay - Understand the breakdown of an essay's parts, how to organize those parts, and build a strong argument
  • Parts of an Essay - Dig deeper into essay structure, learn how to write a thesis, and create an engaging introduction for an essay to capture the intended audience's attention
  • Essay Writing - Lessons show you how to write to different types of readers, maintain an essay's focus, and improve an essay through editing
  • Reading and Understanding Essays - This chapter's lessons help you understand the correlation between reading and writing, context, and the value of peer review

Free Online Non-Credited English Composition Courses

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT has free courses online that were initially offered for credit in traditional classrooms. Students typically have access to course materials that include lectures, assignments and exams but don't receive grades or credit. Lecture notes, assignments and materials can often be downloaded in PDF format; required readings and videos can generally be found online or purchased.

In Expository Writing: Social and Ethical Issues in Print, Photography and Film, students write essays on topics that range from homelessness to gender inequality, developing skills in argumentation and citation. Students accessing the OpenCourseWare materials for Writing About Literature may craft various types of essays that explore elements like theme and character. Through exposure to readings on biculturalism and bilingualism in Writing and Experience: Crossing Borders, students can develop the art of writing the narrative essay.

University of Massachusetts - Boston

UMass Boston provides access to course materials from several academic departments for free use by students and educators. Critical Reading and Writing I is a basic course to develop college-level research and writing skills, which uses reading and analysis of U.S. foreign policy as a springboard. Lecture notes aren't available, but students have access to a syllabus, an assignment list and the course website, which includes some text-based handouts on composition topics.

Utah State University (USU)

Utah State University offers free, online courses, which can lead to college credit. USU students may earn credit through options that include passing the CLEP, DANTES Standardized Subject Tests, International Baccalaureate exams or departmental exams.

Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose was originally offered as a basic undergrad writing class. The course requires no outside materials since all readings and assignments are included online in the course resources. Students learn how to craft essays and personal narratives, write about cultural issues, conduct research and perform oral presentations.

The course Intermediate Writing: Research Writing in a Persuasive Mode is meant to teach students how to think critically, conduct research and write strong arguments. The course also covers using multimedia resources and presentation skills. While not all the original assignments are geared to open independent study, such as those involving peer reviews, students have access to a variety of links to readings and essay assignments.

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