Last updated: January 4, 2024

Best Writing Courses Online: A Comprehensive Guide

Learn from expert instructors and improve your writing today!

Online learning has become increasingly popular, and writing courses are no exception. Whether you're looking to become a professional writer, improve your written communication skills for your career, or enjoy writing as a hobby, there are online courses that can help you achieve your goals.

Editor's Choice

Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization, University of Michigan

Runner- up

Creative Writing Specialization, Wesleyan University

Best Value

Masterclass Writing Courses

FTC Disclosure: Bad Grammarian may receive compensation from the companies whose courses and products we showcase with no added cost to you. We only partner with the very best and most reputable companies. Bad Grammarian is independently owned, and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Writing Online Courses Detailed Product Reviews

#1 Writing Online Course Recommendation – Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization, University of Michigan

University of Michigan block logoThe “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” course from the University of Michigan is a comprehensive and engaging four-part series designed to help improve your writing skills. This online class will equip you with the tools and techniques to become a better writer, no matter your starting level.

The first part of the course, “Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order,” focuses on helping you become more persuasive in your writing. You’ll learn to use syntax creatively, improve your storytelling skills, and organize complex information effectively.

In addition, you’ll professionalize your use of punctuation and develop your unique style. The course also includes access to various resources, including readings and exercises.

The second part of the course, “Writing and Editing: Structure and Organization,” builds upon the skills learned. Here, you’ll learn how to arrange information within sentences and across paragraphs effectively. You will also build upon time management techniques.

The third part, “Writing and Editing: Drafting,” will provide strategies for overcoming writer’s block and give you the confidence to write before you’re entirely ready. You’ll also continue to benefit from the diverse writing models and advice provided throughout the course.

Finally, the fourth and final part of the course, “Writing and Editing: Revising,” is focused on helping you master the revision process. You’ll learn the difference between editing and proofreading and will learn a framework for giving and receiving feedback that will help you to keep the correct elements in each draft.

Overall, this course is a valuable investment for anyone looking to improve their writing skills. Whether you’re just starting or looking to take your writing to the next level, this course has everything you need to succeed. With access to a wide range of resources and the guidance of experienced instructors, you’re sure to see your writing skills improve in no time.

PROS

  • Learn the habits needed to complete both short-term and long-term projects.
  • Ability to earn a certificate to show on LinkedIn and your resume.
  • Try for Free: Enroll to start a 7-day full-access trial.

CONS

  • This course is comprehensive, so it may take longer than the other choices below, so you must make a time commitment.
  • This Specialization doesn’t carry university credit.

Runner-up Writing Online Course – Creative Writing Specialization, Wesleyan University

This Specialization in creative writing covers three significant genres: short story, narrative essay, and memoir. The writing courses are designed for aspiring and established writers and provide the tools to achieve your writing goals.

The courses in this Specialization teach the critical aspects of writing, including plot, character, setting and description, and style, culminating in the Capstone project where you will write an original work.

The first course, Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot, teaches how to outline and structure a plot, how to manipulate the audience’s emotions and expectations, and how to connect the beginning, middle, and end of a story.

In the second course, Creative Writing: The Craft of Character, you will learn how to build complex and vivid characters and bring them to life on the page. The course covers inner and outer character development and how to use your experiences and those of others to enhance your storytelling.

In Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description, you will learn techniques used by master fiction writers to ground a story in the concrete world. The course covers physical world description, research, and creative meditation exercises to deepen your understanding of your story world.

Lady writing at computerIn Creative Writing: The Craft of Style, you will learn the art of putting pressure on written language and how to use metaphor and imagery, clarity, grace, and word choice to enhance your storytelling.

In the final Capstone Project: Your Story, you will bring everything together as you draft a complete story, narrative essay, or memoir of 8-15 pages. With the advice of peer readers, you will revise, rewrite, and complete your work. This course covers the revision skills essential to all writers and the steps professional writers take to bring their work into the public world.

Overall, this Specialization in creative writing is a comprehensive and engaging program that will teach you the skills you need to hone your craft and become a more confident and compelling storyteller.

Best Value Writing Online Courses – Masterclass

Masterclass LogoOur best value pick is Masterclass. While it’s not one specific course as our other picks, Masterclass offers 20+ online writing courses taught by some of the industry’s most successful and celebrated authors, screenwriters, and playwrights for the price of one annual membership. 

You pay for a membership and have access to a wide array of courses from our favorite writers, including Malcolm Gladwell, Walter Mosley, RL Stein, and more. 

The writing courses offered by Masterclass provide you with the tools and knowledge you need to take your writing to the next level. Here’s a summary of all the writing courses offered by Masterclass:

  1. Margaret Atwood Teaches Creative Writing: Margaret Atwood, the award-winning author of The Handmaid’s Tale, teaches you the art of storytelling, characterization, and world-building in this comprehensive course.
  2. James Patterson Teaches Writing: James Patterson, the bestselling author of Alex Cross and the Women’s Murder Club series, shares his approach to writing page-turners and creating captivating characters in this course.
  3. David Mamet Teaches Screenwriting: David Mamet, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and screenwriter, teaches you the techniques he uses to write powerful and impactful scripts in this course.
  4. Dan Brown Teaches Writing Thrillers: Dan Brown, the bestselling author of The Da Vinci Code and Inferno, shares his secrets to writing page-turners, creating complex plots, and developing unforgettable characters in this course.
  5. Shonda Rhimes Teaches Writing for Television: Shonda Rhimes, the creator and executive producer of Grey’s Anatomy and Scandal, teaches you the skills she uses to create hit television shows in this course.
  6. Aaron Sorkin Teaches Screenwriting: Aaron Sorkin, the Academy Award-winning screenwriter of The Social Network and The West Wing, shares his approach to writing captivating dialogue, developing complex characters, and crafting compelling stories in this course.
  7. Neil Gaiman Teaches The Art of Storytelling: Neil Gaiman, the bestselling author of American Gods and The Sandman, teaches you the art of storytelling, from creating compelling characters to building worlds that captivate and engage readers in this course.
  8. Robert McKee Teaches Story: Robert McKee, the legendary screenwriting guru, shares his insights and techniques for crafting captivating stories in this comprehensive course.

These are just a few of the many writing courses offered by Masterclass. 

Whether you’re interested in writing fiction, screenplays, or anything in between, Masterclass has a course that can help you improve your writing skills and achieve your writing goals.

Additional Writing Online Courses Recommendations

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking

Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking” from Harvard University offers a comprehensive and engaging overview of persuasive writing and speech theory and practice. With the guidance of Professor James Engell, learners will gain an understanding of rhetorical structure and style and how it can be applied to compelling arguments.

Harvard University LogoOne of the key benefits of this course is that it uses speeches from prominent Americans to explore and analyze the art of persuasion. Furthermore, learners will learn to employ various rhetorical devices in writing and speaking, write a persuasive opinion editorial and short speech, evaluate the strength of an argument, and identify logical fallacies.

Overall, this online writing course provides an excellent opportunity for anyone looking to improve their writing and public speaking skills. Whether you are a student, aspiring writer, or professional, this course will help you develop the skills necessary to persuade and influence others with your words.

Creative Writing: Crafting Personal Essays with Impact

In Roxane Gay’s online writing course, students can delve into the creative writing process with one of today’s most prominent writers. Gay, known for her writing on race, gender identity, and culture, shares her insights and personal approach to crafting powerful personal essays.

Roxane Gay Writing Course SkillshareWith eight video lessons, students will learn how to find a specific purpose for telling their story, connect their work to more significant conversations, conduct crucial research, navigate personal memories, write and revise their final piece, and even submit it for publication. This course provides practical guidance and actionable tactics. It includes a worksheet to support your ongoing writing practice and additional resources. Whether you’re an experienced writer or just starting, this class is a great way to jumpstart finding your voice and sharing your story with the world.

Writing With Flair: How To Become An Exceptional Writer

This online writing course, taught by Shani Raja, a former Wall Street Journal editor, provides a comprehensive writing system designed to transform students into exceptional writers. 

writing with flair udemyThe course covers the four key ingredients of writing: simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness. You will learn to optimize these four ingredients to make your writing extraordinary. You will learn to write in plain language, steer clear of jargon, maintain consistency, and add variety to your sentences. The course also covers preventing confusion, creating elegant narratives, avoiding clichés, and giving life and character to your writing. 

The skills learned in this course can help students become confident authors of blogs, books, and business writing in as little as a few weeks. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, this course offers something to everyone looking to improve their writing skills.

This online writing course, taught by Shani Raja, a former Wall Street Journal editor, provides a comprehensive writing system designed to transform students into exceptional writers.
The course covers the four key ingredients of writing: simplicity, clarity, elegance, and evocativeness. You will learn to optimize these four ingredients to make your writing extraordinary. You will learn to write in plain language, steer clear of jargon, maintain consistency, and add variety to your sentences. The course also covers preventing confusion, creating elegant narratives, avoiding clichés, and giving life and character to your writing.
The skills learned in this course can help students become confident authors of blogs, books, and business writing in as little as a few weeks. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced writer, this course offers something to everyone looking to improve their writing skills.

FTC Disclosure: Bad Grammarian may receive compensation from the companies whose courses and products we showcase with no added cost to you. We only partner with the very best and most reputable companies. Bad Grammarian is independently owned, and the opinions expressed here are our own.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Whether online writing courses are worth it depends on individual needs and preferences. Some people find online writing courses convenient and a flexible way to learn new writing skills. In contrast, others may prefer traditional in-person classes. Additionally, the value of an online writing course will depend on the quality of the content and materials, the experience and expertise of the instructor, and the level of interaction and feedback provided to students.

Improving your writing skills online can be done by taking online writing courses, practicing writing regularly, reading and analyzing writing from other authors, receiving feedback from peers or professionals, and utilizing writing tools and resources to enhance your skills.

To improve your writing skills, you can practice writing regularly, study grammar and style, read widely, get feedback from others, and experiment with different writing styles and techniques.
Joining writing workshops or taking online courses can also provide structured learning and valuable tips and insights from experienced writers. Being persistent, dedicated, and open to learning and improvement is essential.

Yes, you can be a writer without a degree. Writing is a skill that can be learned and developed through practice and experience. While a degree in writing can provide a solid foundation, success often depends on writing ability, creativity, perseverance, and dedication to the craft. Many successful writers have built their careers without a traditional writing degree.

Conclusion

There are many online writing courses available that offer various approaches to improving one’s writing skills. With interactive lessons, expert instructors, and opportunities for peer review and feedback, an online writing course can be a valuable investment in one’s personal and professional development. Whether starting out or looking to sharpen your skills, a writing course is available to suit your needs and help you reach your writing goals. Which one is your favorite? Comment below.

Our #1 Writing Online Courses Recommendation

Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization, University of Michigan

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