Online Graduate Writing Courses and Classes Overviews

Clear and effective writing is an important skill for many careers. Several colleges offer graduate-level online writing courses through their English and education programs that are aimed at helping students with writing-intensive careers improve their writing skills.

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Online Graduate Courses in Writing

The list below summarizes some commonly offered online graduate writing courses.

  • Technical Writing Course: This course reviews the theoretical applications and management of technical editing, including proper writing technique, language use and writing style. Students learn how to produce a variety of documents used for business and industrial purposes.
  • Literacy and Writing Studies Course: Students of English and education have the opportunity to examine the theories and issues surrounding literacy and writing within cultural, political and historical contexts. Topics include teaching methods for writing, the effect of technology on modern literacy and an evaluation of non-academic literacy.
  • Composition Practice and Theory Course: This in-depth study of composition theory is geared towards education majors planning to teach English and writing. The course reviews the theories that influence how writing is taught and practiced. Students gain familiarity with critical writing concepts and are encouraged to form their own ideas and expand their skills to bridge the gap between theory and classroom instruction.
  • Persuasive Writing Course: The course examines how to create compelling persuasive essays. Students learn how to find and present the facts necessary to construct an argument in written form. They also learn how to develop and state persuasive conclusions.
  • Business and Professional Writing Course: This course outlines the major elements of business writing, including knowing the audience, understanding and building the message and using specific tones and styles. The class is offered to English and business administration majors.
  • Principles of Writing with Technology Course: Technology's social and historical influence on writing is studied in this class, including the role of computers in modern-day communication, multimedia concepts and the development of online content. The course is geared towards journalism, education and English majors.
  • Manual and Instructional Writing Course: This class demonstrates how to develop and design clearly written, easy-to-read user manuals. Topics include creating an outline, the proper placement of visual aids and end-user testing.
  • Creative Writing for Educators Course: Education majors can use this course as a guide to develop effective lesson plans and strategies for their writing curriculum. The course also gives graduate students the opportunity to write for self-enrichment and to hone their own writing skills.
  • Advanced Playwriting Course: An in-depth look at various approaches to writing plays. The course will also include discussions and workshops of student writing.
  • Fundamentals of Screenwriting Course: The building blocks of screenplays, such as plot, structure and dialogue, will be explored in this course. Students will study produced screenplays and work on creating their own.
  • Fundamentals of Poetry Course: The course aims to help students master their understanding of the elements that make up a successful poem. The major movements of English and American poetry will be studied. Students will then be expected to produce their own poetry.

Program Information

Online writing courses are available through master's and doctoral degree programs in English, journalism, creative writing and technical writing. These courses are available in fully online formats and don't require any on-campus requirements. However, hybrid courses can also be found. Within these courses, students examine fiction writing, poetry, screenwriting and technical writing.

Online writing courses require the use of an Internet-ready computer with current word processing software. An undergraduate degree is usually completed prior to taking most graduate-level courses, with preference often given to English and education majors. A passing score on the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) and writing samples may also be required, along with completion of prerequisite English and composition courses.

Online graduate-level writing courses are readily available, generally as part of English or journalism programs. Those enrolled in these programs may study multiple types of writing, such as creative, business, technical and persuasive.

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