Where Can I Find Free Online Writer's Workshops and Courses?

Improve your writing skills through free online writers' workshops and courses. Keep reading to find out where you can find these resources on the Internet. Schools offering English Reading & Writing degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

Several accredited colleges and universities offer free, non-credit writing workshops and courses online for beginning through advanced writers. These courses are generally self-guided, and many require a PDF reader to access course materials. Some courses may also require finding print copies of textbooks and other reading materials.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Courses that were originally taught on campus at MIT are now available in a self-guided format through MIT's OpenCourseWare (OCW) program. For most OCW classes, you can download PDFs of course materials online and access YouTube and iTunesU for audiovisual materials. You won't interact with faculty or students in these self-guided classes.

What Topics Will Be Covered?

The Creative Spark course provides training intended to sharpen communication skills and help writers gain a better understanding of their own ideas. By following along with the original course's syllabus, you can learn to take advantage of your creativity. The goal of the Expository Writing: Social and Ethical Issues in Print, Photography and Film course is to enhance your ability to write about social issues. Readings were selected with this goal in mind, and include novels like The Handmaid's Tale, sociological nonfiction like The Feminine Mystique and writing guides with a focus on writing about issues in society.

What is the Work Like?

Coursework will include classic and popular readings that relate to the course topic. You may want to think about your interest in writing about the subjects covered in the course before engaging the course material.

What Will I Write?

Students in the original courses were assigned essays, as well as sideline assignments, such as a personal journal. PDF descriptions of these assignments can be downloaded as part of the course materials, and some courses also come with guides for idea-gathering, revision instructions, or other exercises or worksheets. However, because the course is self-guided, MIT faculty will not review your writing.

What Other Materials are Provided?

While some courses only include a list of external reading resources, othoers include PDFs and links to a variety of reading, visual, audio, and even video materials. For example, the Expository Writing: Social and Ethical Issues in Print, Photography and Film includes links to a documentary on death row via the PBS website, a collection of photographs of child laborers from the early 20th century and links to writing competition websites.

Utah State University (USU)

The course materials are all available on the school's website and can be downloaded as a package or as individual PDF documents.

Who is the Target Student?

Technology for Professional Writers is not an introductory course, so you might not want to take it if you're new to the field; it's aimed at already-accomplished writers. The purpose of the class is to provide a basic understanding of technology so professional writers can expand their areas of writing proficiency.

What Information is Covered?

The main subjects covered in the course are the history and origin of computing technology, the personal computer, the current use of computers and a discussion of common computer dangers. You won't interact with faculty or other students while taking the course, so you can pick and choose which elements of the syllabus you want to cover.

Are Additional Materials Available?

In addition to lecture notes in PDF format, most of the classes (which are presented as 'Chapters') are accompanied by a list of links for supplemental reading. These links range from a more detailed history of Sumerian language to a discussion of transistors on Intel's website.

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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