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Writing 101: 10 Free Online Writing Classes

Nov 05, 2010

Authors emerge from all walks of life. While many scribes complete formal college programs in creative writing, journalism and other specializations of the craft, others come to writing from different disciplines. In this way, writing is an egalitarian pursuit. Regardless of your background, you can polish your writing skills by taking these free classes.

free writing classes

Writing and Reading Short Stories

Maybe National Novel Writing Month has inspired you to start that book you've always had in the back of your mind. But if the idea of writing a novel might be a little overwhelming with all of your responsibilities, consider starting smaller. This course provides instruction in crafting short stories. And who knows? Maybe that amazing story you write will one day become your first novel.

Writing and Reading Poems

If even a short story seems like it will require more time and attention than you have at the moment, you might look to poetry as a form of expression. In this course, you can learn about different structures and elements present in some classic poems. Students then have the opportunity to complete their own writing assignments.

Writing About Literature

A great way for authors to improve their abilities is to write about the work of others. This class gives you the opportunity to do just that. Learn about different literary forms and gain theoretical knowledge for evaluating fiction, poetry and drama. By developing your powers of literary observation, you can work to improve your own writing.

Writing and Experience

You may have heard the old clichéd advice to 'write what you know.' This isn't at all bad advice. You bring a lot of different experiences to your craft that no one else has. This class provides advice on how you can mine your background for writing material while showing how others have integrated cultural, ethnic and other traditions into their work.

free writing classes

Technical Writing

Writing can take forms of all kinds. Many authors their own experiences or create fictional worlds in their work. Other writers use their words for entirely different purposes. This course provides students with an opportunity to train as technical writers. Topics addressed include rhetorical theory, audience awareness and document design.

Proposal Writing

Another important form of professional authorship is proposal writing. Persuasive, well-crafted documents are needed by organizations of all kinds and sizes. That's why people with proposal writing skills tend to be in high demand. Learn methods for crafting powerful prose that get results.

Writing and Reading the Essay

Essays are also very dependent upon persuasive writing. There is a lot of flexibility with this format as long as you're able to make your argument in way others will be convinced by. This class gives you the opportunity bring techniques from classic essays into your own writing.

Writing on Contemporary Issues: Social and Ethical Issues

Once you've mastered the art of the essay, you'll be in prime position to offer commentary on different aspects of society. This class offers insight for writing about difficult challenges our world faces, including social injustices, economic inequalities and political abuses.

free writing classes

Writing and the Environment

Another important topic in the public discourse is the environment. Scientific consensus reveals that global warming and other environmental challenges have the potential to drastically change how we live on this planet. This class can provide you with perspectives on conservation as well as persuasive methods for writing about the Earth.

Becoming Digital: Writing about Media Change

When it comes to contemporary affairs, few subjects are more dynamic than the changing landscape of media. Digital media forms and practices will powerfully impact our society of years to come, which makes it all the more important to be knowledgeable about them. This class can bring you up to speed on how the media is changing.

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Popular Schools

The schools in the listing below are not free but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED

    What is your highest level of education?

  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be a high school graduate or have completed GED
    • Eligibility and relevancy of sample programs below will vary by article and program

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  • Minimum eligibility requirements:
    • Must be 21 years of age or older and have completed some college or 24 years of age or older and a high school graduate for a Bachelor's degree
    • Masters degree applicants must have a Bachelors degree
    • Doctorate degree applicants must have a Masters degree

    Online Programs

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Other Schools:

  • Areas of study you may find at Michigan State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Coursework
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
        • Writing
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • Areas of study you may find at Iowa State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • English Composition
        • Writing
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising
  • Areas of study you may find at James Madison University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • English Composition
        • Writing
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • Areas of study you may find at George Mason University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • English Composition
        • Creative Writing, General
        • Writing
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • Areas of study you may find at Washington State University include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Non-Degree: Certificate, Coursework
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate, Postbaccalaureate Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Comparative Language Studies and Services
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
        • Writing
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
  • Areas of study you may find at University of Idaho include:
      • Graduate: Doctorate, First Professional Degree, Master
      • Post Degree Certificate: Post Master's Certificate
      • Undergraduate: Bachelor
    • Communications and Journalism
      • Communication Studies
      • Digital, Radio, and Television Communication
      • English Composition
        • Creative Writing, General
        • Writing
      • English Language and Literature
      • Foreign Language and Literature
      • Journalism
      • Public Relations and Advertising

Popular Schools

The schools in the listing below are not free but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

Avg. Wages For Related Jobs

Source: Bureau of Labor Statistics