Share article
Disclosure: To support our site, Class Central may be compensated by some course providers.

75 Free Online Courses to Improve Your Writing Skills

Written by Dhawal Shah
17 minute read
29 Comments

You can never go wrong by becoming a better writer. Whether you’re preparing for university studies, drafting resumes and cover letters, writing sales emails, or trying to preserve your own memories, you need to be able to communicate through writing. Fortunately, free courses abound to guide you in your writing journey.

Want to start writing fiction? There’s a course for that, several actually. There are also courses that will teach you to write better business emails, create compelling blog posts and social media updates, and prepare technical reports. English language learners, teachers, and grammar nerds, you’ll also find a few courses on this list. In short, whatever it is that you’re writing, chances are you can improve your craft with one or more of the courses below.

Quick note: While many of these courses do come with fees, all of them are available to audit in full or in part. If you’re new to MOOCs and want to learn more (including how fees work in these courses), check out our Beginner’s Guide to Massive Open Online Courses.  

Basic Writing and Composition Courses
Journalism and Blogging Courses
Creative Writing Courses
Business Writing Courses
Applied and Technical Writing Courses

Basic Writing & Composition

Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge
An Online Skillshare Class by Emily Gould

Creative Writing for All: A 10-Day Journaling Challenge (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
Internationally acclaimed author Emily Gould walks you through a 10-day creative writing challenge! Filled with inspiring examples, observation prompts, and clever revision tricks, it’s perfect for writers and enthusiasts eager to rekindle creativity in a personal and artful way.
Self Paced

English Grammar and Style
University of Queensland via edX
Learn key concepts and strategies in grammar and style to help enhance your writing and confidently respond to the demand of high levels of literacy in the 21st century.
★★★★☆ (28 ratings)

Grammar and Punctuation
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
Do you need to review English grammar? Have you forgotten the grammar you once studied? If so, this course is perfect for you.
★★★★☆ (26 ratings)

How to Write an Essay
University of California, Berkeley via edX
An introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing.
★★★★☆ (25 ratings)

A Beginner’s Guide to Writing in English for University Study
University of Reading via FutureLearn
Learn how to use English for study at university or college and develop your writing skills, vocabulary and grammar.
★★★★☆ (21 ratings)

English Composition I
Duke University via Coursera
In this course you will learn how to read carefully, write effective arguments, understand the writing process, engage with others’ ideas, cite accurately, and craft powerful prose.
★★★☆☆ (19 ratings)

Getting Started with Essay Writing
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
In this course you will learn to create effective thesis statements for your essays; plan and write compare/contrast, cause/effect, and argument essays; and write well-developed body paragraphs.
★★★★☆ (12 ratings)

Scribble: Writing for New Writers
via OpenLearning
This course will take students through the process of writing from simple paragraphs to more complex writing structures and eventually research writing.
★★★☆☆ (10 ratings)

Advanced Writing
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
This course will teach you to plan and write a more sophisticated argument essay, identify plagiarism and explain how to prevent it, read and analyze several articles to form your own opinion on a topic, make connections between several articles, form thesis statements from your readings, and use sources effectively when writing an essay.
★★★★☆ (5 ratings)

Adjectives and Adjective Clauses
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
Being able to adeptly use adjective clauses in speaking and writing is useful for upper level English learners. Adjectives and adjective clauses are very common in English, so students need to be able to understand them when they see them or hear them. Please note that all of the lectures and practice activities are available for free, but taking the quizzes and getting feedback on assignments are only available in the paid version
★★★☆☆ (4 ratings)

Perfect Tenses and Modals
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
This course is designed for learners who have a basic understanding of English grammar but who want to learn more and improve their skills for everyday speaking or writing, as well as for academics.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)

English Composition
Arizona State University via edX
This introductory writing course will help you develop and express ideas effectively for a variety of purposes, audiences and occasions.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)

Tricky English Grammar
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
Learning English can be tricky, and in this class you’ll focus on some of those tricky issues. You’ll get clear explanations about the difficult grammar points and practice in using them correctly.
★★☆☆☆ (2 ratings)

Introduction to Research for Essay Writing
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
By the end of this course, you will be able to complete all the steps in planning a research paper.
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

Writing for Graduate School
Barry University via Canvas Network
This course serves as an introduction to Writing for Graduate School. The course will cover MLA and APA style, citing sources, the Writing Process, various writing activities you may encounter in graduate school, and how to improve your writing.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Verb Tenses and Passives
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
This is the first course in the Learn English: Advanced Grammar and Punctuation specialty. In this course, you will review the verb tenses that you learned in beginning English classes and learn about a few tenses you may not know very well.

Conjunctions, Connectives, and Adverb Clauses
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
This is the second course in the Learn English: Advanced Grammar and Punctuation specialty. In this course, you will learn about a lot of different ways to join ideas to make more complex and interesting sentences.

Writing in English at University
Lund University via Coursera
Acquiring good academic research and writing skills early on is essential for your success both at university and in your professional life.

Preparing for College: Writing Proficiency
Parkland College via Canvas Network
This is the third in a series of four courses aimed at helping students improve their scores on placement tests while preparing for college-level courses. This course focuses on writing skills.

Journalism and Blogging

Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth
An Online Skillshare Class by Eric Siu

Content Marketing: Blogging for Growth (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
Explore how entrepreneur Eric Siu creates content not just for the sake of writing, but for hitting your own goals. In this 80-minute deep dive class, you’ll learn Eric’s step-by-step structure for creating compelling blog content — the same process that has helped him build a seven-figure business, Single Grain and the five-star-rated podcast, Growth Everywhere.
Self Paced

English for Journalism
University of Pennsylvania via Coursera
This course is designed for non-native English speakers who are interested in developing the skills needed for a career in modern journalism.
★★★☆☆ (5 ratings)

Journalism for Social Change
University of California, Berkeley via edX
Learn how to use solution-based journalism to impel positive social change.
★★★★☆ (2 ratings)

Media Writing and Editing
Ohio State University via Canvas Network
In this virtual newsroom, you will learn reporting, writing, researching and multimedia techniques for all news media platforms, and then dig deeper into how social media, community-centered journalism, and multimedia elements can enhance coverage.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Doing Journalism with Data: First Steps, Skills and Tools
European Journalism Centre via Canvas Network
This free 5-module online introductory course gives you the essential concepts, techniques and skills to effectively work with data and produce compelling data stories under tight deadlines.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Creative Writing

Storytelling Fundamentals: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft
An Online Skillshare Class by Daniel José Older

Storytelling Fundamentals: Character, Conflict, Context, Craft (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
How do you write a story that feels alive? What makes a story different from an anecdote? Join renowned urban fantasy writer Daniel José Older for a 40-minute dive into the fundamentals of narrative storytelling!
Self Paced

Start Writing Fiction
The Open University via FutureLearn
Get started with your own fiction writing, focusing on the central skill of creating characters, with this hands-on course.
★★★★☆ (19 ratings)

Adventures in Writing
Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
Welcome to Adventures in Writing, a series of graphic-novel style learning modules designed to help you learn more about and practice a range of effective written communication skills.
★★★☆☆ (13 ratings)

Writing for Young Readers: Opening the Treasure Chest
Commonwealth Education Trust via Coursera
This course is for curious students and aspiring authors with a passion for writing for young readers. This course will guide you with a combination of video lectures, online readings, peer reviews, and guest appearances from world-renowned children’s authors.
★★★★☆ (12 ratings)

Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot
Wesleyan University via Coursera
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end.
★★★★☆ (11 ratings)

Creative Writing: The Craft of Setting and Description
Wesleyan University via Coursera
In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to the techniques that masters of fiction use to ground a story in a concrete world. From the most realist settings to the most fantastical, writers will learn how to describe the physical world in sharp, sensory detail.
★★★★☆ (11 ratings)

Creative Writing: The Craft of Style
Wesleyan University via Coursera
Your style is as unique and distinctive as your face, your voice, except that you can choose it, you can can work on it, enhance it. In this course we will study the use of metaphor and imagery, and demonstrate how clarity, grace, and inventiveness in word choice are imperative to a story’s success.
★★★★☆ (8 ratings)

Creative Writing: The Craft of Character
Wesleyan University via Coursera
At the center of a good story are the characters in it. In this course aspiring writers will discover how to build and bring to life complex, vivid and unforgettable characters.
★★★★☆ (7 ratings)

Tell Your Story in English: Reading & Writing Skills for Language Learners
University of Oregon via Canvas Network
Develop English language skills by reading and writing personal stories.
★★★★☆ (5 ratings)

Script Writing: Write a Pilot Episode for a TV or Web Series (Project-Centered Course)
Michigan State University via Coursera
In this course, you will design a series bible and write a complete pilot episode for your own unique television or web series, be it drama or comedy or something in between. You’ll learn to break down the creative process into components, and you’ll discover a structured process that allows you to produce a polished and pitch-ready script in just a few weeks.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

Transmedia Writing
Michigan State University via Coursera
Do you have a desire to write a novel, write a screenplay, design a video game? In this project-centered course you will develop your own, original, intellectual property (IP) into a transmedia project containing written versions of your IP on various platforms.

Writing in First Person Point of View
Wesleyan University via Coursera
If you have always wanted to tell your own story—in a memoir, first-person essay, or any other form of autobiographical non-fiction—but felt you lacked the tools or the framework, this is the class for you. We will learn how successful first-person writing is structured to offer the reader a sense of propulsive motion, and is guided by a narrator who is deliberately crafted.

Writing a Personal Essay
Wesleyan University via Coursera
This class is the chance to create your personal essay or extend into a full memoir — from planning and structure to bold narrative brushstrokes to the layering of significant detail. This is the chance to tell your story in a way that invites readers in; your story, written to be read.

Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader
Wesleyan University via Coursera
In this course, aspiring writers will assemble a “starter kit” for approaching the blank page by developing constructive ways to think about the writing process as a whole.

How To Make A Poem
Manchester University via FutureLearn
Learn how to ‘make’ your own poetry by exploring different poetic techniques and styles.

Business Writing

High-Impact Business Writing
University of California, Irvine via Coursera
Improve your business writing skill by learning to select and use appropriate formats for your audience, use the correct medium and adjust your writing style accordingly, as well as identify your objective and communicate it clearly.
★★★☆☆ (8 ratings)

Academic and Business Writing
University of California, Berkeley via edX
An introduction to academic and business writing for English Language Learners, focusing on grammar, vocabulary, structure, editing, and publication.
★★★★☆ (7 ratings)

Business Writing
University of Colorado Boulder via Coursera
This course will teach you how to apply the top ten principles of good business writing to your work, how to deploy simple tools to dramatically improve your writing, and how to execute organization, structure, and revision to communicate more masterfully than ever.
★★★★★ (3 ratings)

Writing Winning Resumes and Cover Letters
University of Maryland, College Park via Coursera
How can you bring your resume to the top of the pile? How can you present yourself to prospective employers using the language they already speak inside their organization? In this course, you will learn how to convert a boring resume into a dynamic asset statement that conveys your talents in the language that an employer understands.
★★★★★ (2 ratings)

Writing Professional Email and Memos (Project-Centered Course)
University System of Georgia via Coursera
This course is at the introductory or beginner level and focuses on mastering the basics of email etiquette and communication. At the end of this course, you will be a more confident writer, able to create higher quality professional documents more quickly.
★★★★☆ (2 ratings)

Certificate Course in Writing for a Global Market
JER Online via Canvas Network
With the industrial, technical, and commercial market becoming more and more global, it is imperative that writers understand the importance of writing for a worldwide market. Become aware of, and consider how to prepare and write for multiple languages to reach diverse populations, cultures, and communities through this course.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

The Writing Process
University of California, Berkeley via edX
A guide to the writing process. Learn and practice strategies for writing and revising effective business documents.

Better Business Writing in English
Georgia Institute of Technology via Coursera
This course will provide the tools to help you write more easily and effectively in English. You will learn and practice specific writing skills to use in different types of business communications including cover letters, mission and vision statements, proposals , instructions and reports.

English for Effective Business Writing
The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology via Coursera
This course aims to improve your Business English writing skills by developing your use of vocabulary, grammar, understanding of different business writing genres, and your ability to write professional business documents.

Applied and Technical Writing

Content Curation: How To Create A Viral Site From Scratch
An Online Skillshare Class by Greg Jeffries

Content Curation: How To Create A Viral Site From Scratch (1 month free trial)
via Skillshare
About This Class Ever wonder how those sites like ViralNova or GodVine get so much TRAFFIC and literally blew up overnight? Oh, and did I also mention sites like that generally tend to generate over six figures per month and usually sell for tens of millions?
Self Paced

How to Succeed at: Writing Applications
The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn
This free three week course will help you produce a perfect CV, application and online profile when applying for a job or course.
★★★★★ (71 ratings)

Writing in the Sciences
Stanford University via Stanford OpenEdx
This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, and issues in publication and peer review. Students from non-science disciplines can benefit from the training provided in the first four weeks (on general principles of effective writing).
★★★★☆ (17 ratings)

Technical Report Writing for Engineers
The University of Sheffield via FutureLearn
Get an introduction to technical report writing. Find out how to communicate your ideas through well-written engineering reports.
★★★★★ (13 ratings)

Writing in the Sciences
Stanford University via Coursera
This course teaches scientists to become more effective writers, using practical examples and exercises. Topics include: principles of good writing, tricks for writing faster and with less anxiety, the format of a scientific manuscript, peer review, grant writing, ethical issues in scientific publication, and writing for general audiences.
★★★★★ (8 ratings)

Discovering Science: Science Writing
University of Leeds via FutureLearn
What science discoveries will you choose to write about?
★★★★☆ (2 ratings)

Academic Literacy
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology via Coursera
This is the first course of the English for Research Publication Purposes Specialization. The course is an introduction to what you need to know about academic discourse. You’ll gain important critical reading skills to help you develop as a self-critical scientific writer. You will learn practical tools and effective strategies for increasing your academic vocabulary and grammar so that you will write well-structured coherent academic texts.
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

Writing READMEs
via Udacity
Documentation is an important part of the development process. Learn to write READMEs using Markdown so your code can be used by other humans!
★★★☆☆ (2 ratings)

Technical Writing
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology via Coursera
The course develops technical writing skills necessary to communicate information gained through a process of technical or experimental work. The course highlights the factors that determine the degree of technicality of the language and concepts involved. You will learn how to write different technical reports, e.g., laboratory reports, research reports, design and feasibility reports, progress reports, consulting reports, etc. The course also approaches several language, structure, style, and content issues that you can encounter while reporting the results of your research.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

How to Write and Publish a Scientific Paper (Project-Centered Course)
École Polytechnique via Coursera
This course is designed for students who have previous experience with academic research – you should be eager to adapt our writing and publishing advice to an existing personal project. If you just finished your graduate dissertation, just began your PhD, or are at a different stage of your academic journey or career and just want to publish your work, this course is for you.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Writing your World: Finding yourself in the academic space
University of Cape Town via Coursera
This course teaches academic writing skills through getting you to write and reflect on your understanding of identity. We show you how to develop the academic skills needed to be a competent academic writer.
★★★★★ (1 rating)

Writing for Social Media
University of California, Berkeley via edX
This course provides a framework for writing for social media by focusing on purpose, content and audiences, helping you be more effective at using these powerful platforms to deliver your messages.

Writing Skills for Engineering Leaders
Rice University via Coursera
Engineering leaders must write extensively for their jobs, and their writing needs to be professional, reader-focused, and error-free. In this course, you’ll learn essential writing skills that you can apply in your daily activities on the job as an engineering leader.

English language for Competitive exams
Indian Institute of Technology Madras via NPTEL
The course aims to help participants develop their English language skills , particularly those planning to appear for competitive exams that test their English language abilities. During a span of 30 hours, students will be exposed to material that facilitates aspects of grammar, writing and vocabulary.

Scholarly Communication
Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology via Coursera
Scholarly Communication is a concise but comprehensive course on how to write research papers in English. The course will help you gain a better understanding of the rhetorical conventions of English and the common challenges you may face as an academic writer.

Be Persuasive: Write a Convincing Position Paper or Policy Advice (Project-Centered Course)
Leiden University via Coursera
In this project-centered course, you will learn everything you need to research and present an effective and persuasive position paper or policy advice.

Writing Skills for Health Care Providers
Concordia University Wisconsin via Open Education by Blackboard
This MOOC offers a short study of writing skills designed especially for those in health care professions. If you’re looking for valuable tips on written communication and using APA formatting in the health care field, this is the course for you.

Discovering Your PhD Potential: Writing a Research Proposal
via FutureLearn
Learn how to research and write a high-quality research proposal for postgraduate applications.