List of Free Online Business Writing Courses and Classes

Jan 04, 2019

Discover where you can take business writing courses online and at no cost by exploring our list. You'll learn which free online business writing courses are available and what topics they cover to find the course that's right for you.

Online Business Writing Courses for Academic Credit

If you're interested in learning how to write for business and would like access to free online courses, we can help you locate them. There are plenty of institutions offering free business writing courses that don't charge any money for online access. These courses typically offer a complete learning experience, but don't usually lead to academic credit. A good alternative is's online video courses, which help students prepare for credit-by-exam tests. Fun courses like the following are available for a reasonable membership fee.

Free Online Business Writing Courses

There are multiple schools and organizations that offer free online courses related to business writing. These classes may include videos, audio files, lecture notes or even homework assignments, but they do not award academic credit.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

The online materials for these MIT courses include the same lecture notes, homework and exams offered in on-campus degree programs; however, none of the free online courses are graded or have college credit value. Online students can download PDF files of lecture notes, assignments and reading materials.

  • Management Communication for Undergraduates is designed to improve a student's ability to write business memos and letters. The course's lecture notes discuss standard business-style writing and offer writing tips like emphasizing actions in sentences and choosing concrete words. Students can access PDF assignments featuring problem sets, writing projects and oral presentations. Readings for the course include the textbook Leadership: Executive Strategies for Tough Times.
  • Argumentation and Communication is a graduate-level course that focuses on analytical and persuasive writing styles frequently used in business settings. In this course, students learn how to think critically and present a point-of-view through business memos, essays and briefs. The course includes lecture notes and assignments with no examples. To attain the greatest learning experience, it is strongly recommended that students acquire the textbook The Craft of Argument.
  • Communication for Managers is designed for students interested in improving their business leadership skills through persuasive writing and presentations. The graduate-level course offers a variety of strategies and methods and shares examples to help students become better communicators. Lecture notes are not included with this course, but students may find homework and readings on intercultural business communication and resumes helpful. A primary reading recommendation for this course is Guide to Managerial Communication: Effective Business Writing and Speaking.

University of California, Irvine

The University of California, Irvine, offers free online courses through the online learning platform Coursera. These courses can teach students everything from macroeconomics and microeconomics to pre-calculus and money management. In order to access these courses, students are required to create a free Coursera account using their email or Facebook account.

  • High-Impact Business Writing is offered through UCI's Division of Continuing Education and features approximately 6 hours of videos, readings and quizzes focused on the processes required to write effectively in business. Students can enjoy a thorough introduction to business writing then delve into the basics of spelling and grammar, types of documents and how to write for informal spaces and social media. In order to take the course for free, students need to audit the course.

Northwestern University

Students can enjoy access to numerous free online courses and lectures through Northwestern University. While Coursera is the primary platform through which to access free courses, the university has made course lectures available free of charge on other platforms like YouTube.

  • Effective Business Writing is a video that was originally presented to students at the university's McCormick School of Engineering. The lecture covers how to write the forms of business correspondence usually needed to get or leave a job, including cover letters, emails, letters of acceptance and resignation letters. Students can access this video on Northwestern University's YouTube channel.

University of Southern California

The University of Southern California Marshall School of Business offers numerous videos on its YouTube channel, sharing lectures presented through its Executive Education program. The lectures are free to access and average about 20-30 minutes each. Students can learn all about marketing, leadership coaching, sales force engagement and supply chain management.

  • Executive Communication and Business Writing is a webinar that uncovers current forms of written communication used in most organizations. The lecturer discusses email, blog, video and social networking communications, as well as the issues inherent to these forms of business communication. Students learn through this 30-minute lecture how to become better communicators within an organization and assist others in an organization to improve their communication.

U.S. Small Business Administration

Individuals interested in learning how to start, manage or grow a business can take advantage of free and informative courses from the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). Through the SBA's Learning Center, anyone can learn how to buy a business, attract investors, grow an established company and more. The courses typically consist of short videos and may include downloadable worksheets and video transcripts. Students do not have to register.

  • How to Write a Business Plan goes over the steps to writing an effective business plan. Approximately 30 minutes in length, this video course discusses the ability to organize and describe business models, marketing plans and financial requirements and why this is important to earning the financial support generally needed to start a new business. Included is a transcript of the video along with downloadable PDF worksheets focused on balance sheets, income statements and cash flow statements.

University of Colorado Boulder

The University of Colorado Boulder presents a variety of free online courses through Coursera. By signing up for a free online account, students can gain access to courses focused on the science of exercise and teamwork skills, among other topics. Auditing is typically a required step to gain free access. Credits are not available with these courses.

  • Business Writing is a beginner course designed to teach students what it takes to write well in a business environment. Lessons explore the top 10 principles of quality writing and also share strategies for communicating effectively. The course offers 13 hours of content and features dozens of videos, multiple readings and more than 20 quizzes.
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