Writing, Journalism & Grammar Courses

High-Impact Business Writing
ADD FREE always open
Effective writing is a powerful tool in the business environment. Learn how to articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will allow your ideas to be better understood by your readers. Improve your business writing skill by learning to select and use appropriate formats for your audience, use the correct medium and adjust your writing style accordingly, as well as identify your objective and communicate it clearly. You'll also learn to spot, correct and avoid the most common writing pitfalls, and gain valuable experience analyzing, writing and revising a wide spectrum of business documents.

Storytelling for Change
ADD FREE starts 8 May 2015
Whether you work in an office making presentations in the boardroom, as a teacher with 30 to 300 students, interacting with customers, or one-on-one with individuals, using the elements of story bring you closer to your audience. Using stories makes your messages memorable, gives your audience something to relate to, and above all captures their attention, motivating and inspiring them in new ways. A story taps into more than one element of communicating. Great storytellers are great communicators and effective leaders.

Start Writing Fiction
ADD FREE starts 27 April 2015
This hands-on course will help you get started with your own fiction writing, with a focus on the central skill of creating characters. You値l listen to established writers, such as Louis de Berni鑽es, Patricia Duncker, Alex Garland, Abdulrazak Gurnah, Tim Pears, Mich鑞e Roberts and Monique Roffey, talk about how they started writing. You値l consider the rituals of writing and the importance of keeping a journal. Throughout the course, you will learn how to develop your ideas and the importance of reflecting on writing and editing. You will also hear other writers talk about their approaches to research and consider ways of turning events into a plot. You値l have the opportunity to review and comment on the work of fellow writers, and receive peer feedback on your own story, with an emphasis on learning the importance of reading as a writer and how to receive and respond to feedback.

A Beginner' Guide to Writing in English for University Study
ADD FREE starts 4 May 2015
In this free online course, you will learn how to use English for study at university or college and develop your writing skills, vocabulary and grammar. The course will provide you with a brief introduction to academic writing, giving you an awareness and understanding of some key features of this kind of writing. You値l learn using a mix of video, on-screen examples, discussions, and quizzes. You値l develop some proficiency in a few key areas of "academic" grammar, learn about the stages in essay writing, and produce an essay of your own. By the end of the course, you should be able to write a good, basic academic essay.

Framing: Learn How to Debate and Create Powerful Messages
ADD FREE starts 21 April 2015
In today's world, you often need to reduce a complex reality to a concise and convincing message. Framing is an approach that deals with how we convey our message: our words, images and metaphors. When you participate in a debate, you might be faced with frames of your opponents, and you値l have to reframe the debate. This game of framing and reframing makes the debate look like a chess board made out of words. This course explores the inner workings of the game, how you can play the game, and how you can win.

High-Impact Business Writing
ADD FREE starts 6 Apr 2015
Effective writing is a powerful tool in business. This four-week course will teach you how to articulate your thoughts in a clear and concise manner that will allow readers to better understand your ideas. You値l improve your business writing skill by learning to select and use appropriate formats for your audience, use the correct medium, and adjust your writing style accordingly, as well as identify your objective and communicate it clearly. The course will also help you spot, correct and avoid the most common writing pitfalls. From a simple memo to a 20-page business report, learn how to put good business writing to work for you.

Plagues, Witches, and War: The Worlds of Historical Fiction
ADD FREE always open
A unique and exciting introduction to the genre and craft of historical fiction, for curious students, aspiring authors, and anyone with a passion for the past. Read classics of the genre, encounter bestselling writers of historical fiction, and discover your own historical archive while interacting with a global community of interested readers.

Grant Writing 101
ADD $30.00 always open
This short but in-depth course walks aspiring and novice grant writers through the steps of writing a grant proposal from start to finish. Students will learn how to research funding sources, how to understand the grant application, how to write a winning proposal, and the nine basic elements that must be included in all grant proposals including the Cover Letter, Introduction, Needs Assessment, Objectives, Procedures, Evaluation, Future Plans and Budget.

Your Screenwriting Career
ADD $48.00 always open
This very thorough course will give aspiring screenwriters an insider view of the business of screenwriting, as well as an overview of industry trends, historical perspectives, and a first-hand knowledge of the structure of a screenplay. Participants will learn how to successfully write for this glamorous and lucractive market. Veteran screenwriter and multi-title author Skip Press has been teaching this popular course to thousands of writers over the past twenty years.

The Art of Writing Horror
ADD $20.00 always open
In this workshop for aspiring and working writers, distinguished author and international educator Laurie Notch explores the art of writing horror fiction that will get published. The course presents detailed instructions on how to write horror fiction that will keep readers turning pages, eager for more. Learn how to structure your plot so that the story flows from beginning to end; create tension, conflict, and cliffhangers; use dialogue to reveal a character痴 evil motives, set a frightening mood, create fear, and heighten suspense. Whether you yearn to write about ghosts, creepy dolls, insane asylums, or terrifying maniacs, this writing workshop will help you discover the horror in everyday life and turn it into a potential bestseller.

Break the Block
ADD $8.00 always open
This short course presents helpful techniques for breaking through writer's block, a frustrating malady that affects every writer from time to time. Learn how to overcome inertia and unlock a wellspring of creative ideas through proven techniques such as freewriting, brainstorming, clustering and journaling. The course also examines how writers can use the Internet to gather ideas. If you have ever sat down to write and drawn a blank or experienced a numb, helpless feeling staring at a blank page, this workshop will help you break through writer's block and unleash your creativity.

Fantasy Writing Workshop
ADD $20.00 always open

Fantasy author Andrea Stanet invites you to join her in this hands-on e-course where you will learn the basic steps to writing a short fantasy story. The course covers the unique issues confronting writers who work in this genre such as creating worlds, creatures, or magic systems. It begins with an overview of the sub-categories of Fantasy genre and ends with the student completing a short fantasy story. The final lesson covers the publication process and breaks down some of the writers markets students may want to explore. This is a learn-by-doing workshop and participants will be asked to submit their short stories for critiques.

Writing and Experience:
Exploring Self in Society

ADD FREE always open
Develop your ability to translate the material of life experience into vivid, reflective, well-organized and persuasive prose that expresses a clear perspective or central idea. By the end of this course, you will have written about 25 pages of revised prose, as well as your regular journal writing assignments. You can draw upon a wide variety of types of experience including your own life story, life narratives of family members, and experiences you致e heard or read about in books of viewed in films or on TV.

Crafting an Effective Writer
ADD FREE always open
Become an effective writer using the basic tools of grammar, punctuation and sentence building. In this course, you will learn to use the eight parts of speech and grammar to develop the four basic sentence types into cohesive paragraphs. This course is designed for anyone who wants to become a better writer for work, in college or for a current writing project.

The Creative Spark
ADD FREE always open
Creativity is much prized in the arts, science, business and the classroom. What does the creative process look like? Under what conditions does it flourish - what ignites the creative spark? This course developed by Dr. Karen Boiko for MIT attempts to answer these questions, exploring ways creativity has been understood in Western culture: what we prize and fear about creativity and its wellsprings; how writers, artists, scientists and inventors have described their own creative processes; how psychologists and philosophers have theorized it; ways in which creativity has been represented in Western culture, particularly in 20th century films; and creativity in everyday life, including our own lives. In addition to selected readings, we値l watch video profiles of choreographer Paul Taylor, architect Maya Lin and jazz musician Dave Brubeck. We値l keep journals in which we note our own observations and reflections on creative process.

Reading and Writing Short Stories
ADD FREE always open
In this e-course, we値l focus on the craft of the short story, which is explored through reading great short stories, writers speaking about writing, writing exercises and conducting workshops on original stories. A writer reads with a different eye. In this class, we will be reading stories and analyzing them with a focus on narrative technique to understand ways in which different writers have addressed issues of plot, character, place and theme. We will use exercises and the workshop environment to put these principles into practice. Throughout, we will analyze the writers process so participants can begin to understand and develop their personal process and relationship to the material.

The Camera Never Lies
ADD FREE always open
This course introduces e-learners to the use of images and other media as historical evidence in the 20th century. It examines issues of authenticity and manipulation, and the role of film and historical adoptions as public history. The course is designed for those who have a general interest in history that draws on photojournalism as primary evidence, and films based on historical events.

Digital Poetry
ADD FREE always open
In this course developed by Dr. Edward C. Barrett at MIT, learners investigate theory and practice of digital or new media poetry. Students examine published examples of digital poetry in a variety of forms including soundscapes, hypertext poetry, animation, code poems, interactive games, location-based poems using handheld devices, digital video and wikis.

Writing and the Environment
ADD FREE always open
Environmentalists have traditionally relied upon the power of their prose to transform the thoughts and behavior of their contemporaries. In this class, we will do our best to follow in their footsteps. We will consider the strategies of popular science writers, lesser-known geologists, biologists, and hydrologists, and famous environmentalists. Students will have a chance to try out several ways of characterizing and explaining natural environments. Weekly writing exercises will help students develop and explore material for the longer papers.

Grammar Basics
ADD FREE always open
Would you say that "it痴 hard" to keep certain words straight, or that "its hard"? Is that "you池e problem" or "your problem"? Getting English grammar right can be tricky, and most of the explanations you値l find online are preachy or boring. This series of lessons and videos will make learning grammar easy and fun! Refresh your knowledge of common grammar rules with one-page briefs, and learn the difference between often confused words with short grammar videos.

Writing, Editing and Publishing in Cyberspace
ADD FREE always open
This e-course is an introduction to writing prose for a public audience -- specifically, prose that is both critical and personal, that features your ideas, your perspective, and your voice to engage readers. The focus of our reading and your writing will be American popular culture, broadly defined. That is, you will write essays that critically engage elements and aspects of contemporary American popular culture and that do so via a vivid personal voice and presence. In the coming weeks we will read a number of pieces that address current issues in popular culture. These readings will address a great many subjects from the contemporary world to launch and elaborate an argument or position or refined observation. And you yourselves will write a great deal, attending always to the ways your purpose in writing and your intended audience shape what and how you write.

Writing on Contemporary Issues:
Imagining the Future

ADD FREE always open
In this course, we will read and write about how some writers and filmmakers have responded to the present as a way of imagining and warning about possible worlds to come. We will scrutinize our own present and construct our own visions of the future through close readings of the texts as well as of some aspects of contemporary culture urban and environmental crises, economic imperialism, sexual and reproductive politics, the ethics of biotechnologies, issues of race and gender, the romance of technology, robotics and cyborg cultures, media saturation, language and representation and the persistent questions they pose about what it means to be human in this 21st century.

Genre Fiction Workshop
ADD FREE always open
This e-course examines these different agreements of what the reader wants and what the writer provides under the aegis of different genres. We will look at how genres are divided into subgenres, and how they are combined into cross-genre work, always keeping in mind the Reader-Writer Contract that is at the heart of genre writing. We will also examine how crossing genres has led to the establishment of new genres (steampunk, preternatural romance) and strongly established subgenres (historical mystery, urban fantasy).

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