Where Can I Find Free English Composition Courses?

We all need a little help from time to time with grammar or writing rules for a school paper, business document or other writing endeavor. Fortunately, a variety of colleges and universities offer free online English composition courses. Keep reading to learn about where you can find them, what you can learn, and the materials you might need to access them. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

English composition incorporates many aspects of writing, including conducting research, composing essays and establishing arguments. All types of writing require a strong logical vocabulary, a solid grasp of the rhetorical situation and the use of appropriate language. You can build these skills through free, online English composition courses, which are offered in a noncredit format by schools including Utah State University and Purdue University. To access all course materials, you might need PowerPoint and/or a media plugin. Instructor interaction, however, is not available.


Purdue University

This free tutorial from the Purdue University Online Writing Lab offers information about academic writing on a series of Web pages. The materials are available in a printable version.

What Topics Are Included?

The academic writing tutorial is comprised of 14 sections, which discuss argumentative and essay writing, sentence variety, adding emphasis and conciseness. You will also learn about writing in the active and passive voice, email etiquette and writing concisely. Each section has multiple chapters of further information, text examples and summaries.

How Will These Materials Help Me?

Whether you are a student looking for tips on creating compelling essays, or you simply want to master another aspect of English composition, these free materials offer a variety of information. The included examples illustrate each technique, and the general writing guidelines may help you in other types of writing as well.

What Materials Will I Need?

Some of the sections offer an accompanying PowerPoint Presentation (PPT) file, which requires Microsoft Office or a similar program to view. Access to a notepad or document computer program in order to take notes, experiment with the techniques and record your impressions may be helpful, but is not required.

University of Richmond

Learn about many aspects of writing with this free tutorial from the University of Richmond on writing in English disciplines, which offers information on a series of Web pages. The materials are also available for printing.

What Topics Are Included?

The tutorial has various sections, including a list of resources and examples with commentary. Information about the basics of writing English and analytical research papers are outlined, plus recommended steps for the writing process. You will learn about writing and ethics, the Modern Language Association (MLA) style of writing, important terms and more.

How Will These Materials Help Me?

The specific information, steps and examples for writing research papers may help you both with academic writing and with essays. You can learn about the MLA style and how to format research sources in that style. You can become familiar with ethical considerations for writers. The faculty feedback section provides insight into what some English teachers expect in essays and research papers, which may help you edit your writing.

What Materials Will I Need?

The MLA style chapter includes an embedded video file, which requires an updated browser with Adobe Flash Player or a similar media player to view. Access to the reference books and materials may be helpful, but isn't required to use the tutorial.

Utah State University

This non-credit course on intermediate research writing is presented in a series of Web pages, with required reading excerpts and assignments. The contents are available for download.

What Topics Are Included?

The class emphasizes critical reading, persuasive research and writing strategies. You will learn how to argue your points on paper, practice writing with research sources and develop further awareness of how to write for specific audiences. The contents are divided into 16 weeks, each with additional writing objectives.

What Assignments Will I Complete?

Each of the 16 weeks includes an assignment, which could be an essay, project outline or research paper. Required reading materials are also provided most weeks, with an objective outline and description.

How Will These Materials Help Me?

Research, academic and essay writing require specific skills, guidelines and considerations. Whether you are a student or you merely want to learn more about these techniques, the wealth of free information in this non-credit course will help you to understand the steps in creating compelling, well researched, credible papers.

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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