Where Can I Find Free Technical Writing Courses Online?

Several universities offer free online technical writing classes, including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Pennsylvania State University. Free technical writing classes are available through open course applications and PowerPoint presentations, though they offer no college credit, nor do they lead to degrees or certificates. Learn more about free technical writing courses here. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

About Technical Writing

Technical writing courses teach students to communicate scientific or technological terminology into easy-to-understand documents. Technical writers work with subject matter experts (SMEs) to translate such information so that the average reader can comprehend it. Technical writers create user manuals, training guides, software documents and other technical materials.

Important Facts About Technical Writers

Median Salary (2014) $69,030
Entry-level Education Bachelor's degree
Job Outlook (2012-2022) 15%
Similar Occupations Reporters and correspondents, editors, copy writers

Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MIT's OpenCourseWare is an online educational collection that offers hundreds of courses, many of which are related to writing. The website offers technical writing courses that cover topics ranging from science to computer software. Each course uses a combination of writing assignments and required readings. They are designed to teach students the basics of of the discipline through practical lessons. Students could become proficient in many areas of technical writing, including:

  • Public health and medicine
  • Ethical values in technical writing
  • Writing for science and technology
  • Communication in technical writing

Pennsylvania State University

Pennsylvania State University offers a free technical writing presentation that is used by more than 400 professors at multiple universities and laboratories. This PowerPoint presentation gives users an in-depth discussion of technical writing basics. The presentation teaches technical formatting, grammar, communication mechanics, document structuring and the importance of accurate technical language. The presentation has more than 100 slides from which students can learn. Supportive text accompanies many of the slides. Users explore technical writing concepts such as these:

  • Technical editing
  • Brainstorming technical ideas
  • Translating technical jargon
  • Interviewing SMEs
  • Learning document layouts
  • Establishing an audience and objectives

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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