This is a guest post by Jane Bolto. With a background in Marketing, Jane currently works as a Content Specialist at Nybizdb.com. She’s always willing to share her passion for new marketing strategies.
Best Free Online Resources to Improve Your Writing Skills
Improving your writing skills can be difficult to accomplish on your own. We have compiled a list of resources, both online and offline, that you can easily access to get your technique, style, grammar and much more on point.
1. MIT’s OCW Program
The rise of MOOCs (Massive open online courses) has been a game changer for online education. MIT now offers interested students to access both graduate and undergraduate course materials. These materials include information about writing essays, expositors, and more technical writing. Aside from the pure information, students have the ability to work on assignments and other assessments to gauge their progress. Here is a link to their course index.
2. English Grammar and Essay Writing
Provided by the University of California at Berkeley, this course offers students the ability to improve their English grammar and communication skills. Students will learn about common grammatical mistakes in the English language, how to formulate an argument, edit an essay, and proofread it before final submission.
3. English for Journalists: Key Concepts
Another course from the University of California at Berkeley, this course is less focused on general writing concepts. It is created for those interested in journalism and is focused around writings based on current events and exciting topics in the news. The course was developed by a mixture of the United States Department of States, Voice of America, and English-language educators. Students learn how to write engaging and effective stories while improving their grammar and vocabulary. Since the course is focused on journalism, there are also lessons on ethics and fairness in the stories students write.
4. Preparing for the AP English Language and Composition Exam
Although this is a course focused on the AP test, the subject is all-encompassing enough that it is useful for anyone interested in improving their English writing skills. You will learn many different writing styles, ranging from persuasive to analytical. The course will help improve your writing skills and also improve your ability to comprehend written texts. In order to improve your writing skills, the course helps you to read and synthesize information before translating it into your own writing. The multi-functionality of this course makes it a great option.
5. English Writing and Composition
This course is provided by Arizona State University and is a college level introductory course to improve your writing skills. Since the course is introductory, it emphasizes building a strong foundation in writing and grammar skills. You will learn essential critical writing skills and practice many grammar exercises during this course. The course lasts for eight weeks and requires 18 hours of work per week.
6. How to Write an Essay
This is another course provided by the University of California at Berkeley. This course focuses specifically on essay writing and breaking down its individual parts. You will learn how to write a gripping introduction, relevant body paragraphs, and a satisfying conclusion. This course is 8 weeks long and begins with relatively simple concepts like basic grammar, and slowly progresses to more advanced topics like how to write a proper thesis. You will have the opportunity to be led by a talented professor and interact with students from all over the world.
7. Purdue University’s OWL
Purdue University also provides some online materials that student can get access to 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Students have access to online informational handouts, PowerPoint presentations, and instructional podcasts. The information covers a range of concepts, like grammar and syntax, professional writing styles, learning English as a second language, and research skills. The professional and technical writing materials help students write business letters and memos, and how to write scientific papers. Aside from formatting styles, the course also instructs you on the basic writing process, from writing a rough draft to creating a final copy. Visit Perdue University’s Online Writing Lab for more information.
Thanks for this list of resources. Have a wonderful weekend.
You too 🙂
Thanks for being on top of things as always Nicholas. 🙂
Aw, you 🙂
We writers always need to keep polishing our craft, right? There’s also a nonfiction writing conference online: https://nonfictionwritersconference.com/ 15 speakers over three days and the entire event is conducted via teleseminar.
Participate via phone or Skype. Local phone numbers available across the US, Canada, UK, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, South Africa, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Thank you for sharing that, Paula! Yes, absolutely: we need to keep polishing our craft all the time.
I’m loving the resources at the Purdue writing lab. Are there links to the other resources, or am I looking in the wrong place?
Sorry, that’s all I have 🙁
No worries. There’s a lot there to be getting on with!
Thanks, Jane and Nicholas, for this helpful information. 🙂 — Suzanne
I’m glad you found it interesting, Suzanne! I hope you had a lovely Easter 🙂
I’ve never considered an online class. Thanks for the resources!
Glad you found it interesting! I hope you had a lovely Easter 🙂
Thanks for the tips, Nicholas and Jane. Always useful!
Best wishes, Pete.
And you, always a gentleman. Thank you, Pete 🙂