Online English Writing Course and Class Overviews

Online Courses in English Writing

The following are descriptions of commonly offered online English writing courses and classes.

  • English Fundamentals Course: Enrollees study the basic rules of proper grammar usage, sentence structure and punctuation; this may include learning to recognize and avoid particular errors. More advanced online courses allow students to compare modern English usage with past or more traditional styles.
  • English Composition Course: Students develop and improve basic writing skills. They go through the various stages of writing, including drafting, revising and editing. Emphasis may be placed on developing a writing voice and style while practicing various types of composition and using analytical and critical approaches to improving one's work.
  • Creative Writing Introductory Course: Students learn the various styles and forms involved in writing fiction, poetry and creative nonfiction, along with other genres. Coursework is completed in a workshop fashion. Assignments can be completed and submitted using various Web sources, such as e-mail.
  • Technical Writing Course: Individuals taking this course study the succinct, clear style of writing used in business, government and industry. They learn to write proposals, reports, resumes, letters and other technical works related to a business environment. Proper writing mechanics and grammar are reviewed.
  • Writing in the Sciences: Students enrolled in this course learn to communicate effectively in the science field and practice writing for academic journals and publications. Students learn through examples of good and bad writing in this field.
  • Travel Writing Course: Students in this course will learn about crafting a pitch to newspapers and various travel publications. Additionally, what makes for an interesting story idea and how to successfully write it will be analyzed.
  • Multimedia Composition Course: This course will teach students about writing that incorporates media like still images, music and video. Basic practices with digital multimedia and design tools will be explored.
  • Contemporary Writers and Publishing Course: Students in this course will engage in an online seminar that will cover contemporary authors, as well as a history of the publishing industry. The influences of the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize on literary careers will be discussed. Students will also learn how to submit their own work to literary publications.

Program Information

Many colleges and universities offer individual English or writing courses online for personal enrichment through a continuing education division. Additionally, classes covering composition, grammar and vocabulary usage basics, as well as introductory courses in creative writing and other forms, may be available as part of a bachelor's degree program in English. Those who wish to focus their writing skills in fiction or nonfiction can do so online through a master's degree program or by earning a certificate in a particular type of writing, such as technical writing, screenwriting, professional or proposal writing. Some English or writing classes are conducted completely online, while others are hybrid courses involving regularly scheduled face-to-face meetings with instructors.

Online English writing courses are available as standalone courses. Undergraduate and graduate degree programs are also available online, in addition to certificate programs. Many course topics are offered in areas like creative writing, travel writing, and the fundamentals of the English language.

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