11 of the best free online writing courses for beginners in 2022

Going back to school to polish up your writing skills is just not practical. In this day and age, professionals need access to instant information when time allows. Luckily for you, if you are one of those looking to take your writing skills to the next level, there are many online writing courses available for you to get the information you are looking for.

Here is the low down on some of the better free online writing courses:

English writing skills - revised

This great free online writing course provided by Alison is geared towards those with some basic writing skills but does cover everything from grammar to punctuation. This course is a great option for those looking to become professional writers and when you complete it, you will receive a certificate.

Some of the key topics covered in the lessons include:

  • Descriptive writing
  • Reflective writing
  • Writing science fiction
  • Nonfiction
  • English writing skills 
  • Drafting stories 

The lessons are self-paced which makes them perfect for busy individuals and can be consumed on PC, laptops as well as both android and iOS platforms.

Craft your cover letter

This free short course on writing provided by Udacity is great for business writing in general. This course will show you how to use proven skills to get an edge over your competition. These classes are mostly at the beginner level, but you know what they say about starting with the basics. I cannot remember it, but it seems that would be the best place to start. No? You will cover how to research a company before creating a cover letter aimed specifically for a job at that company. Learn the skills to nail a writing pitch by being authentic and human.

This course includes key areas of discussion such as:

  • Learning to write a quality cover letter and understand why a cover letter is important.
  • Make the best use of words and your new skills to draft a punchy introduction, body, and conclusion to your cover letter.
  • Learn how to target specific audiences and companies.

This course is packed with quizzes, videos from the instructors, lots of great content, and some challenging exercises to practise. 

The secret sauce of great writing

Designed by Shani Raja, this writing course is tailored to teach the concepts of great writing. These include evocativeness, clarity, elegance, and simplicity. This course will teach the student how to apply these four concepts skillfully.

Upon completion of the course, the student will understand the methods that great writers use to create beautifully written work that has power. Learn to identify specific gaps in your writing skills and significantly improve in all aspects of writing.

Key topics:

  • Evocativeness exercises
  • The power of clarity
  • The secret sauce of flair
  • Elegance exercises
  • The power of evocativeness
  • The four crucial ingredients
  • How I discovered the sauce
  • The power of simplicity
  • Simplicity exercises
  • Clarity exercises
  • The power of elegance

Features include the following:

  • Instructor Q&A
  • Instructor direct message
  • Online video content

Writing with impact

This free writing course is hosted by LinkedIn and gives you the skills to write impactfully in all scenarios. This course is developed and taught by Thomas Geller and contains all the tips for creating and using inspiration to steer your word selection as well as retain the appropriate tone in your writing. Learn the correct use of sentence structure and grammar to take your writing to the next level. Upon completion of this course, the student will have a basket packed full of new skills to make your writing unique, clear, and impactful.

Key topics:

  • Write short, clear, and right
  • Learning about your readers
  • Meaning of writing with impact
  • Understanding how people read

Features:

  • Certificate on completion
  • Chapter quizzes
  • Helps you qualify for continuing education units
  • Professional author instructor

Creative writing specialisation

Created by Wesleyan University and hosted by Coursera, will teach students the vital components of effective writing. These are writing short stories, writing narrative essays, and writing a memoir.

Pick up and master the methods used by great writers to piece together a story with memorable characters. Learn the skills to critique and analyse the writing of other students in this beginner-level course. If you aspire to write short stories or even a novel, this is the course for you.

Key topics:

  • The craft of style
  • The craft of character
  • The craft of plot
  • Setting and description

Features:

  • Practice quizzes
  • Programming assignments
  • Graded assignments with peer feedback
  • Self-paced learning option for students
  • HD quality course videos
  • Quizzes with feedback

Essay essentials: improve your academic writing

Udemy has produced this great course on academic writing. Learn the skills to write effective essays by consuming each piece of the foundations at a time. This free course will take your academic writing to new places and help you with getting your point across.

Key topics:

  • The writing situation, process, and classroom resources.
  • Write a clear, specific, and well-connected thesis.
  • Proofread spelling and grammatical errors using helpful rules and tips.
  • Understand the organisation of essay paragraphs.
  • How to create detailed, specific, and appropriate content.
  • Brainstorm to create and use ideas that help you to develop the essay.
  • Develop and structure introduction and conclusion paragraphs.

Features included in this course:

  • Online video content
  • Instructor Q&A
  • Instructor direct message
  • Certificate of completion accredited by universities

Writing Articles

Let us thank LinkedIn for this excellent free course. Designed for beginners, this course will show you the tips and tricks to communicate ideas of any complexity in an easy-to-read and understand format. You will learn how to publish your articles upon completion of this course. 

If that was not enough, you will also learn how to create and decide on your writing approach as well as just how to go about pitching your work to a publisher, how to thoroughly research your subject and then of course how to write and add the final changes to a great article. You will understand how to create a complete basket of pieces that can be submitted to editors. Connect with your readers through great writing.

Key Topics: 

  • Promoting your work
  • Producing your article
  • Determining your article writing approach
  • Gathering content for your article
  • Polishing and submitting your article

Write a book!

Offered by Udemy, this online writing course is geared to those aspiring to draft short stories, nonfiction books, and even novels. You will start at the beginning by learning how to get organised before you begin writing. Gain an understanding of all the fundamentals of great English language writing.

Key topics:

  • How to discover your writing style.
  • Learn to write basics, like including punctuation, sentences, paragraphs, etc.
  • Learn about advanced writing techniques.
  • Learn how to self-edit your book manuscript.
  • How to use MS PowerPoint to create a book cover.
  • Learn to write short nonfiction books.
  • The advanced dialog draws the reader into your story.

Features:

  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of completion
  • 28 articles
  • Full lifetime access for students

Start writing fiction

Develop great ideas while learning the skills of great writing as well as editing. The class level is designed for those who are starting out writing fiction as well as those looking to hone their skills and possibly collect some new ones.

Key Topics:

  • Reading as a writer.
  • Ways of presenting characters in stories.
  • Diverse sources for characters in stories.
  • Writing skills like creativity, research, observation, and editing.
  • Creation of characters in fiction.

Features:

  • You can keep access to any online course you have achieved a digital certificate in.
  • It offers the flexibility to complete your choice of short courses in your own time within the year.

Write a feature-length screenplay for film or television

This free online course teaches students the art of writing feature-length screenplays for television, film, or online web series. Learn the skills of breaking down your creative process into easy to work with pieces. Learn the art of the processes and structures used to produce a great script that is ready to pitch.

Master your confidence and tap into great ideas with a fresh perspective.

Key Topics:

  • Logline and dramatic question.
  • Table read your entire script.
  • Screenplay formatting and software.
  • Begin your screenplay.
  • Creating the idea.
  • The three-act story arc.
  • Create your character profile.
  • Write the final section.
  • Finishing things up.

Online Creative Writing Classes

Learn more about creative writing with this Skillshare course. You will learn creative writing techniques, how to make use of tools and processes to create memorable characters, how to outline your story, and create a plot that is both compelling and artful. 

Enhance your characters specifically for character-driven novels and stories. The short lessons in this course include some projects for the student to complete and share with their peers.

Features:

  • It helps you to find classes that are designed for real life.
  • Learn how to write for various genres like humour, fiction, and even poetry.
  • Classes are taught by the creators.
  • Learn from any device.
  • Get ideas for writing daily journals.

When you are ready to take your writing further, look at our creative writing or screenwriting courses.

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