Where Can I Find Free Online Technical Writing Courses?

Free online technical writing courses are available in beginning through advanced levels. These non-credit courses can be accessed through several university OpenCourseWare websites, including The New Jersey and Massachusetts Institutes of Technology and Utah State University. Keep reading to learn more about your options for studying technical writing over the Internet. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Free online technical writing courses are geared toward both technical experts who need to learn how to write about technology and writers trying to break into the field of technical writing. You will also need to have a PDF reader installed on your computer along with applications that can play audio and video files to access some course materials. Additionally, one class provides instruction through a workshop and group assignment, but you can still gain knowledge on course content through links to additional resources and by purchasing recommended readings.


New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT)

NJIT offers an OpenCourseWare (OCW) Technical Writing class that provides students with practical skills and current theoretical approaches to technical writing. You have access to the same course taken by undergraduates on campus, but the materials provided in this are modified for an online audience.

What Topics Are Studied?

In this non-credit course, you study a variety of topics related to technical writing, including slang and jargon, mood, style, tone, target and persuasion. Broader topics are discussed, such as graphics and PowerPoint templates in addition to various technical writing forms like emails, letters and memos. You will also learn about resume building, interviewing and recommendation letters.

What Materials Are Provided?

The course consists of 39 lectures which are available for download. All lectures are provided in video format.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Available for online study is an Introduction to Technical Communication: Explorations in Scientific and Technical Writing course. This class can help you learn how to write concise, clear and effective technical or scientific documents. MIT originally offered this undergraduate course on-campus during Fall 2006. You can now access and complete the course materials for free without registering for the class.

What Topics Are Studied?

You will learn the fundamentals of good writing in addition to delving into topics specific to technical and scientific writing. Course topics include Web content writing and design, citation methods, graphics, oral presentations, research techniques and audience.

What Materials Are Provided?

A list of required and recommended texts is provided which includes books on the craft of writing as well as technical writing. Once you acquire these books, you can complete the assigned readings that are included. Links to related resources are also provided to supplement the course materials.

Utah State University

Utah State's free online course in Technology for Professional Writers can teach you what you need to know to enter the technical writing field. Utah State's Department of English offered this course to students in Spring 2005. You can complete all the course materials without credit at your own pace.

What Topics Are Studied?

You will study six chapters related to the history, origin and evolution of computing, including mainframe and personal computers. Topics include ancient computational techniques in addition to the development of the first computers. You'll also study threats that affect modern computers, such as spyware, viruses, hackers, Trojan horses and worms.

What Materials Are Provided?

An introduction of this course is available in audio format via a link. Each of the six chapters of this course offers lecture notes in PDF for you to download. Additionally, you have access to links that further explain the topics discussed in the lecture notes.

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

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