This is a guest post by Julie-Ann Amos, a freelance writer who covers topics such as online university rankings and reviews, elearning tools, and more.
Many people enjoy writing as a hobby, while others may actually choose to write for a living. Regardless of what type of writing you do, taking an open courseware class can allow you to improve your skills without costing you anything. These courses are offered by schools such as MIT and are literally the same program you would get in a traditional course, although typically there are no credits provided upon completion.
While there are literally hundreds of online free open courseware writing classes to choose from the 10 that will benefit most writers are summarized below.
1. Writing and Experience: Culture Shock! Writing, Editing and Publishing in Cyberspace – an excellent course for anyone interested in writing and publishing over the internet. The focus in on American culture and writing personal, experiential articles for the public. Offered through MIT OpenCourseWare.
2. Writing and Reading The Essay – an in depth look at nonfiction writing across different fields of study. Students will have a chance to read historical essays from early writers through to modern works. During the class both discussion and critique of writing as well as production of unique and original works by the students will be the focus. Offered through MIT OpenCourseWare this class is very popular with writers and students alike.
3. Introduction To Technical Writing – this course offered through MIT allows students to see examples of different types of technical writing across different fields of study. Emphasis is on developing clear, effective communication of technical information with the reader in a logical, structured format.
4. Writing and Reading Short Stories – through a study of outstanding short stories from the 17th century through modern times, students will learn the structure and conventions of effective short story writing. Throughout the course students will create their own short stories designed to hone skills learned through discussions. This program is offered through MIT.
5. Start Writing Fiction – offered through Open University OpenLearn, this program allows students to explore how to create characters and plots for works of fiction.
6. Writing For The Web – information on all you need to know to get started writing content for websites and blogs. This course is offered through ItrainOnline MMTK and provides all the basics to the advanced “must know” techniques to make an impact in online writing and publication.
7. Writing What You Know – a look at how writers use their own personal histories and identities to make their work their own. Students will delve into their own biases and perceptions that shade their writing and be aware of how this can contribute or distract from the writing. This course is offered through Open University OpenLearn.
8. Advanced Essay Writing – for those authors and students that want to go beyond the basics, this MIT OpenWareCourse is designed to allow an in depth study of how writing is developed. Throughout the course students will evaluate historical works and modern essays, plus critique their own works as well as those of others.
9. Technology for Professional Writers – offered through Utah State University OpenCourseWare, this course is designed for those already writing to update their technology skills. It is designed to be practical and provides examples of exercises to help writers improve and build on their current technical skills with regards to writing.
10. Digital Poetry – this MIT OpenCourseWare program allows students to explore and learn about the impact of technology on poetry and poetry creation. Animation, soundscapes and multimedia applications to digital poetry are all examined in the course of study.