Online Courses That Will Improve Your Writing Skills

Being a good writer is, unfortunately, not the skill most of us are born with. It takes tones of hard work and, more importantly, practice. However, writing is an essential part of every learning process in any university or college, and that is the way you can show your understanding of the subject, express your thoughts and opinions. It goes without saying, in order to succeed, you have to write good.

Luckily, the art of writing is not a secret or mystery, and there are plenty of courses that can improve your writing skills. For free! Online, you don’t even have to leave your laptop or your couch.

So, just pick the one you like best of all and make progress with the best teachers:

English 104: College Composition writing course by Designed for college students, this course will teach about essay and thesis writing from development of ideas to essay structure and use of different types of sentences or punctuation.

How to Write an Essay by Berkeley University of California. It is an introductory course to academic writing in English with the focus on grammar, editing skills and essay development in general.

English Grammar and Essay Writing by Berkeley University of California. This course is part 2 for the previous one, and it is focused on proof-reading and self-editing as well as the tone and vocabulary of your writing piece. It helps to develop the persuasive writing techniques and will be a good fit for future students who are applying to college.

Next session: 11 Jan 2016

Writing what you know by Open University. This free course is aimed to develop descriptive writing skills and encourages students to see more detail in the everyday world.

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study by University of Reading. This course targets mainly international students who began their studies at English speaking countries. It will provide you a brief intro to academic writing and grammar specifics, give the outlook on stages in essay writing. The result is a well-written basic academic essay.

Next session: 18 Jan 2016

How to Succeed at: Writing Applications by the University of Sheffield. The course will help to write exceptional applications whether you are applying studies at the university or college and give you valuable tips on creating outstanding CVs, cover letters and personal statements. The course will include a lot of practice, which enables you to collect a good portfolio by the end of studies.

Academic and Business Writing by Berkeley University of California. This course is focused on writing specifics for different disciplines, particularly for science, engineering, social sciences and humanities. By the end of the course you should an expert in writing statements of purpose.

Next session: 18 Apr 2016

Writing in the Sciences online course by Stanford University. Designed for science students and researches, the course helps to become a more efficient writer starting from the principles of good writing and grammar, and ending with reviews, publishing, and even such problems like plagiarism and authorship.

11 Awesome Jack Kerouac Quotes

If you’ve never read “On The Road”, do it right now – this is classic which appears on almost every list of Top 100 American novels. Best known for this novel, Jack Kerouac was a pioneer of the Beat Generation and a remarkable writer.

To inspire you on making your own writing efforts, here are some of his most famous quotes.

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Tips to Develop Better Academic Writing Skills

Whatever you are writing – a thesis, paper, essay or research, your aim is not only to give some information on the topic and, hopefully, some unique point of view. What you should always keep in mind is that your piece of work has to be as clear and concise for the readers, as it is possible. It is a writing quality not easy to achieve, but getting such skills will make your writing truly impactful.

Here are the tips that can help you to improve your writing skills.

  1. Research your topic. To make your written piece impactful and with unique voice, you have to understand the topic and feel really confident about it. The more you read, listen, think about the topic, look for the answers – the more you actually have to say.
  2. Write a draft and re-write it. Writing a research paper of a thesis can be really overwhelming, as we all know, it’s a big thing. Start from small steps. Write a draft knowing this is not a finished thesis, it can be a section or a chapter. Write even when you think that you are not ready, not in the mood or your style sucks. That is why we need re-writing part. The next day or weeks after you will feel much confident and competent, and you’ll improve your piece significantly.
  3. Always edit and proofread.
  4. Get some feedback on your writing. It can be your supervisor or your peer, the aim here is to receive a structured feedback on the strengths and weaknesses of your work, both the writing style and the content, too.
  5. Avoid plagiarism, as well as over-quoting. While quoting is legitimate and necessary, unlike passing off someone else’s content as your own, try to minimize it. The paper stuffed with quotes seems like a borrowed content, and this is not what you’re striving for. You may simplify and paraphrise, just not forget to attribute those parts of your work to the original source.
  6. Keep language formal. Try to avoid the casual everyday style of speaking or writing. Academic writing should generally be quite formal and impersonal.
  7. Provide supporting evidence. You may be writing about theory and not having some experiments or studies to support your argument (use them, though, if you have). Having trustful sources and bibliography is a must for any kind of academic writing piece.
  8. Have a clear conclusion to prove your thesis.

Strongly written academic piece is a positive image of you and a great boost for your (future) scientific career.

12 Inspiring Quotes About Writing [Infographic]

Writing isn’t easy. It can be especially hard during the period of exams, term papers and numerous essays that should all be written during a week. Challenging, isn’t it?

You may be surprised, but even professional, no, even writers by calling can have hard times with lack of inspiration, confidence and creativity. Here are 12 quotes by famous authors, speakers and scientists on how to find your voice, your style and do a great job!

Get inspired!

Quotes about writing СР (2)

Advice to students from their professors

  1. If you plan on skipping class because you are “sick” you probably shouldn’t write a status update involving how you have a hangover. We don’t count hangovers as being sick. When you have class the next day we count them as stupid. Same goes for incriminating pics. Also, don’t come to campus intoxicated. If you aren’t responsible enough to come to class sober, then you are likely too irresponsible to be in college.
  2. If you want to skip class, I won’t stop you. You paid in advance $20+ for each lecture I give you. If you take out student loans to pay for classes you don’t attend and are a chronic absentee, you are likely doing poorly in class. You are literally paying money to flunk school. Save your money; don’t go to college if you won’t go to class.
  3. If you are having trouble in class, come see me. I don’t mind. In fact, the university requires I have at minimum number of hours to wait on you every week in my office. I’m not even doing you a favor, it’s a part of my job description. Keep me company and ask me questions. It is usually good for your grade. If your prof/TA won’t do this, talk to their boss.
  4. It takes me MUCH longer to grade F papers than A papers. If you’re failing because you aren’t trying, I’d prefer it if you just didn’t turn in anything. It will save us both a lot of time, and you a lot of money. Also, I WILL get pissed off if I can tell I spent more time grading your paper than you took to write it.
  5. Over half of freshmen flunk out. You will find yourself up a creek if you have to pay back loans and you have no degree. You will be eligible for the same jobs you had in high school but now have a considerable monthly payment. You are literally worse off than if you just stayed at the burger joint. If you aren’t sure you want to do college, check out programs at tech schools. You will get a job much sooner for much cheaper and you will likely make as much money as many 4 year degree holders.
  6. If something major and detrimental happens in your life, let me know. You don’t have to tell me details if you aren’t comfortable, but I’ll be in a better position to give you an incomplete for the term, let you make up an assignment, etc… I will bend my own rules for you. I’m allowed. They’re my rules. I bend them for students who need it.
  7. Listen to advice from people who know what they are talking about. If you have a 2.5 GPA and are pre-med, your advisor will tell you to have a solid plan B. Have one. They are telling you that because they know you stand a minuscule chance of getting into that program/job/etc…
  8. Make use of your campus facilities. Your tuition money goes to pay for things like tutoring centers, health clinics, gym facilities, concerts, and cultural centers. You don’t have to use all of them, but use some of them. You paid for it, and you may find them helpful or fun.
  9. Don’t talk about your professors to other students. Every single semester I get a very loyal student who rats out a classmate for talking about me. Loyal students who like professors get REALLY upset when they hear trash talk. I won’t grade you harder, but when you ask for a letter or recommendation, I will tell you no and you will have a very awkward conversation with me about your comments.
  10. As a grad student I took out $11K in student loans when interest rates were really low. My monthly payment was $85. Many of you will take out $40-200K for your bachelors education. Your payments every month will be higher than what you spend on your car, or even your apartment. To minimize costs, take as many classes a semester as you can while maintaining your grades. Don’t get below a C in class. Follow what your advisor says so you don’t end up taking classes you don’t need. Don’t transfer schools if you can help it, unless it will save you a lot of money (you almost always lose classes you took when transferring). Get tutoring if you need it. If you advisor sucks, get another one. Know the course catalog for your major so you aren’t relying on someone else to tell you what to take. Pay for as much of your tuition upfront as you can.

© Unknown college professor

How to improve everything you write


There are several steps we want to share with you. They’ll help to improve your essays, or other writing works. Feel free to try it!

Fist thing we need is to open our ready essay file in comfortable editor(like Word), and press CTRL+H – find and replace function. Read More →

A joke to start

– Who are you?

– We are Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse: Conquest, War, Famine and Death.

– And who is your fifth friend?

– This is Writing Assignment.

– Why is he sleeping?

– His time will come!