Top 12 Free Online College Classes for Writing in 2022

As more and more college students migrate toward finance, math, business, and the sciences, becoming a writer may not be as impressive. The truth, however, is that career-wise, writing majors and professionals have a lot in store for them!

Free Online Course Writing - fact 1

Creative writing teaches you a whole set of skills. It improves your capacity to analyze critically and think deeply. It allows you to navigate modern and classic texts from across the globe. Plus, customizable curriculum tracks will allow you to tailor your course loads based on your interest. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics says that the careers for authors and writers are expected to increase by 8% between today and 2026. When you have a passion for writing, you can explore popular career tracks as a writer, a freelance editor, or a journalist. 

FAQs
How do you choose an Online Writing Course?
Is Signing Up for a Writing Class a Wise Idea?
What Do You Get from a Free Online College Class for Writing?

The Top 12 Free Online College Classes for Writing in 2022
Perfect Tenses and Modals (The University of California, Irvine via Coursera)
English Composition 1 (Duke University, via Coursera)
Writing and Editing: Revising (The University of Michigan, via Coursera)
English for Journalism (The University of Pennsylvania, via Coursera)
English for Journalists Part 1 (The University of California, Berkeley via edX)
Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop (California Institute of the Arts, via Coursera)
Creative Writing: The Craft of Character (Wesleyan University, via Coursera)
Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader (Wesleyan University, via Coursera)
Transmedia Writing (Michigan State University, via Coursera)
Academic and Business Writing (University of California, Berkeley, via edX)
Business Writing (The University of Colorado Boulder, via Coursera)
Write Professional Emails in English (Georgia Institute of Technology, via Coursera)

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you choose an Online Writing Course?

Below are some helpful guidelines for choosing an online writing course. 

  • Know your Goal. Before joining an online writing course, first, know your goals. What’s your reason for enrolling? Do you want to learn just basic writing skills? Or do you want to improve your grammar or learn other forms of writing like fiction writing, notification writing, nonfiction writing, etc.?
  • Determine Your Course Budget. Decide on your budget and time. Thankfully, there are so many online writing courses today offered for free. But if you want to be in a more advanced course on creative writing, chances are, you will need to pay for it. 
  • Identify Your Commitment Level. This is the essential factor for choosing your preferred online writing course. How much time (weekly or daily) are you willing to spend on your online class? You can find many online programs that are entirely self-paced. Meaning you can work on your materials based on your time. 
Free Online Course Writing - fact 2

Is Signing Up for a Writing Class a Wise Idea?

If you have the time, experts suggest that taking at least one writing class during college is a wise move. This class will give the right platform to enhance your real-world habits and become a good writer– all these while having fun with your imagination and creative thoughts. Thus, if you can squeeze in a class or two, have a writing class. It may sound challenging, but the rewards, in the end, are worth it. 

To better understand the importance of writing class, below are six reasons why you should be joining one, especially if you are not a writer in the first place. 

  1. You will learn to accept and give feedback. Most, if not all, creative writing classes usually require enrollees to make and share poetry and prose. After some time, discussing what and what doesn’t work in every piece is very stressful. However, sharing your ideas and working with your co-students is crucial not only for your success but also for others. 

There may be times when you think that a story is wrong, or worse, you might not even like that story. You just can’t say that. You have to learn how to communicate positive comments, which is suitable for your social skills. 

  1. You will get your creative juices flowing. In a creative writing course, you need to be creative. Imagine having to make up characters and worlds and events—far from the usual science class where you just rely on lectures and books. However, the rewards of successfully imagining up something that is unique are somewhat exciting and highly fulfilling. What’s great about creative writing is that anything practically goes. If you love dinosaurs, then you can write about dinosaurs. If you like romantic-comedy plots, go for it. Whatever you write, your goal is to make it your own.
  1. You will learn how to deal with deadlines.  If you are a procrastinator, then a writing class can be a challenge. Unbeknownst to many, writing a whole essay is not as easy as sitting on your table and writing your thoughts away. Most of the time, there’s a pressure that will stall whatever creative faculties you have in mind. And if you cannot manage your tasks, how do you expect to handle and finish your job on time?

In general, improving your time management skills is very important, and there is no other better time to start practicing this skill than with writing. Beating deadlines is critical in any job. But keep in mind that editors and writers are ALWAYS meeting a deadline. Therefore, a writing class is an excellent stepping stone to hone your time management skills. If you’re not good at it yet, don’t worry because you will learn along the way. 

  1. In writing, perfection doesn’t exist. You have to accept that no matter how perfect you think your article is, it just isn’t. And even if you write it subjectively, your piece won’t cut it as a magnum opus. Writing is about the progress you make, and writing courses will teach you that lesson. 
  1. Writing classes cultivate better writers. Maybe you’re not into writing. You hated it in high school. But keep in mind that no writer became an instant star author. You can perfect your craft only through practice! And with a writing class that exposes you to strategies and styles, you become better at what you do.

Another thing is that written communication is critical regardless of the career you’re planning to pursue. When you sound competent and professional, you can convey information that will help your working environment run smoothly.

  1. Writing classes are fun! Through a writing course, your imagination is endless. As long as you have drive to create, writing something will always be a fulfilling activity! And believe it or not, some of the best ideas don’t necessarily come from people with writing majors. Even if you do not write professionally, creating your poetry and fiction can be fun. 

What Do You Get from a Free Online College Class for Writing?

As more people are turning online for various online courses, you can find several free creative writing courses to teach you how to express yourself in words. There are even classes that train you about writing styles, general grammar, and other vital things related to writing instead of solely focusing on writing skills on fiction, nonfiction, or other scientific writing articles. 

Free Online Course Writing - fact 3

The Top 12 Free Online College Classes for Writing in 2022

Whether you are creating a cover letter, drafting resumes, writing sales emails, or simply preparing for college studies, it’s essential to communicate through good writing! Thankfully, there are so many free courses online that will guide you properly in your writing journey. Here are 12 of the hundreds of free online writing courses you might want to try. 

Perfect Tenses and Modals (The University of California, Irvine via Coursera)

1 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

This is a free online course and the first program in the Learn English: Intermediate Grammar specialization. Here, you will understand very intermediate tenses like the present perfect tenses, present perfect progressive tenses, past perfect tenses, and past perfect progressive tenses. Suitable for intermediate-level students, you will also study the common modal verbs we use in English. 

Perfect Tenses and Modals is designed for students who wish to enhance their everyday writing and speaking skills. This four-week class involves watching fun videos or practicing activities that will further help you understand the importance of grammar. Although this course is free, you have the option to get a paid certificate that allows you to join in discussions and peer reviews. However, you need to pass several assignments and quizzes for you to earn the Certificate. 

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Paid Certificate available
  • Delivered through Coursera, and comes in various languages: Arabic, French, Portuguese, Italian, German, Russian, English, and Spanish
  • Taught by Tamy Chapman of the University of California Irvine Division of Continuing Education), Emily Wong  of the University of California Irvine Extension, and Brad Gilpin.
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

English Composition 1 (Duke University, via Coursera)

2 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

This is a ten-week long online course offered for free by Duke University via Coursera and is perfect for beginners. Through this course, you gain a solid foundation for college-level writing that is important for practically any field. You will learn how to write powerful arguments, read carefully, understand how the writing process works, read carefully, cite accurately, engage with the ideas of others, and create powerful prose. 

Course Learning Objectives:

  • Analyze, summarize, ask, and check visual and written texts
  • Support and argue a position
  • Identify audience and disciplinary expectations
  • Recognize and utilize the different processes of writing
  • Identify the characteristics of a compelling prose
  • Discuss how you can apply your writing skills to other writing occasions
  • Practice putting citations properly

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Shareable Certificate
  • It takes about 25 hours to complete
  • Delivered in English, with subtitles in Arabic, Portuguese, French, Italian, German, Vietnamese, Russian, Javanese, and Spanish
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Writing and Editing: Revising (The University of Michigan, via Coursera)

3 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

The University of Michigan offers a free program called Writing and Editing: Revising and is delivered via Coursera. This 14-hour course is perfect for beginners and is the final course in the Good with Words: Writing and Editing series. In this program, you get to hone and master the most critical step in writing: revising. You will understand the difference between proofreading and editing, and you will practice “un-numbing” the numbers so that the statistics and data you use are compelling and clear. 

The course also introduces you to a framework for giving and receiving feedback that will systematize which content in your draft stays and which ones go. As with the first three programs in this 4-part series, you also get access to so many books and resources that you can use even after you complete the course, including:

  • The exercises and reading were given to students who underwent the in-person version of this program at the University of Chicago and University of Michigan;
  • Two digital libraries of the best writings from different collections of scientists, novelists, historians, poets, and entrepreneurs;
  • Monthly emails of “Good Sentences.”

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Ideal for Beginners
  • The program only takes 14 hours to complete
  • Course readings and videos
  • Self-paced learning options
  • Taught by Patrick Barry, Clinical Assistance Professor of Law from Michigan Law School
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

English for Journalism (The University of Pennsylvania, via Coursera)

4 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

This course is offered for free by the University of Pennsylvania and delivered via Coursera. The US Department of State Bureau of Education and Cultural Affairs, Office of English Language Program funds this free online course. However, the free version does not offer a certificate, although you can secure one if you choose the entire path with a $49 fee.

This 43-hour course is perfect for non-native English speakers who would love to develop their skills to secure a career in modern journalism. As you enroll in the program, you will discover digital and print media through video lectures and authentic readings. As a result, your vocabulary also improves, and your ability to research, read, and develop news stories (both local and global) will be significantly enhanced. 

In the first part of the program, you are introduced to the principles and history of journalism. Unit 2 is where you will learn how to pitch, research, and conduct interviews. Unit 3 follows where you focus keenly on the language required to write magazine and newspaper articles, while the fourth unit discusses the basics of news broadcasting. Finally, the last unit will teach you how you can analyze the challenges, growth, and impact of digital news while doing a reflection assignment that lets you discuss the changes in journalism. 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • You get a certificate for $49
  • The program takes five weeks, with 42 hours worth of material
  • Taught by John Cotton (Manager of Instructional Staff Development, English Language Programs), and Eve Litt (Language Specialist, English Language Programs)
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

English for Journalists Part 1 (The University of California, Berkeley via edX)

5 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

This is a free online course with instructions in English language development, especially if you are already studying journalism or working as a journalist but want to enhance your proficiency in English. If you have a basic understanding and a passion for journalism, this course is highly encouraged.

Running for five weeks at 3-4 hours weekly, you get to learn all the necessary topics vital to journalists worldwide. The topics include:

  • The jobs of a journalist
  • Journalism Ethics
  • Local vs. Global Journalism
  • Inclusive Journalism
  • Citizen Journalism

You also learn more about the many issues in the English vocabulary, grammar, and idioms. The US Department of State sponsors the 5-week program. It is created in partnership with the Regional English Language Office in Southeastern and Central Europe, the English language educators across Eastern and Central Europe, and the Voice of America. 

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Certificate Available for $99
  • The course only takes five weeks, at 3-4 hours per week
  • Self-paced
  • Suitable for the intermediate learners
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Sharpened Visions: A Poetry Workshop (California Institute of the Arts, via Coursera)

6 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

If you’re into poetry and you love to write poems, why not write better ones? This free online course is created based on the belief the most fantastic writing starts after you make your first draft. This is specifically for people who believe that by writing poems, they are also expressing themselves. In poetry, it can change how people look at the world. Poetry can break new ground for language. It can turn a plain blank sheet of paper into something full of music and voices.

Although everyone has that general potential to create essential poems, it takes special skills and understanding to see how poetic compositions are used (or misused). This is where you will stand out if you join this online class. The course will cover fundamental poetic devices and terms by carefully studying poems by contemporary and modern poets. You will then get to experience writing new poem drafts from different prompts, and from there, get feedback from your output. 

Best Features: 

  • 100% online and free
  • Flexible deadlines
  • It takes 8 hours to complete
  • Perfect for beginners
  • Taught by Douglas Kearney, Assistant Professor of the Program in Creative Writing, College of Liberal Arts, University of Minnesota
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Creative Writing: The Craft of Character (Wesleyan University, via Coursera)

7 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

After the story plot, the next center of a compelling story is its character. This free course from Wesleyan University lets you explore and bring to life vivid, complex, and unforgettable characters. As a writer, your choices on getting all your characters to life in your story are carefully studied. In addition, there are written exercises to do, aimed at developing a variety of writing and pre-writing techniques to come up with a variety of characters. 

Your inner thoughts and feelings are also developed through this course, along with the outer (habits, appearance, behavior) lives of the characters you create. You will know how you can use the people you know (and how not to), as well as your own life experiences. When you can incorporate these things into your story, this leads to a richer and more exciting output. Your main goal here is to breathe life into the story’s characters, and in turn, allow those characters to surprise you. 

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Flexible deadlines
  • Shareable certificates
  • It takes about 6 hours to complete
  • Taught by Amy Bloom, Distinguished University Writer in Residence and Director of the Shapiro Center for Creative Writing
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing Your Relationship with the Reader (Wesleyan University, via Coursera)

8 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

In any writing project, a blank page is something you don’t want to come across. In this course designed for aspiring writers, you will assemble a “starter kit” on how you can approach a blank page. The system helps you develop constructive ways to look at the writing process as a whole. Subsequent courses in the series strongly focus on the mechanics of good writing. 

The program offers you many ways on how to think about your relationship to your materials. From there, you will ultimately develop your unique writing style. This free 5-hour online course is perfect for beginners and is delivered via Coursera. 

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Suitable for Beginners
  • It takes about 5 hours to complete
  • Graded assignments and quizzes with feedbacks
  • Self-paced learning option
  • Taught by Greg Pardio
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Transmedia Writing (Michigan State University, via Coursera)

9 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

Transmedia Writing is offered online for free via Coursera by Michigan State University. Handled by David Wheeler, a Creative Research Faculty from The Hub for Innovation, this 22-hour program is perfect for aspiring writers. Do you love to write a screenplay or a novel? Or even design a video game? This project-centered course will help you hone your intellectual property (IP) into a transmedia project containing written versions of your IP secured in different platforms. 

This course is based on “Active Learning.” Most of the actual learning happens within your activities—writing. In short, you learn just by doing. The instructor is a firm believer in experiential learning. Thus, his lectures are temporary and are created in a step-by-step process necessary to the success of your becoming a writer. He will show and guide you on reaching your goals, although it doesn’t mean that he will show you how and what to write. Everything is up to the student. After all, only you can illustrate what’s inside your mind and put it into writing.

The assignments of this course are all peer-reviewed. During every stage of the process, you post your written work and review your classmates’ outcomes. In this course, the peer review element is very crucial. Getting and giving feedback is essential to developing your growth and critical thinking as a writer, after all. 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Suitable for beginners
  • Shareable Certificate
  • The course takes 22 hours to complete
  • Taught by David Wheeler
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Academic and Business Writing (University of California, Berkeley, via edX)

10 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

This course introduces academic, and business writing for English Language Learners and focuses on vocabulary, grammar, editing, structure, and publication. In this course, you will study the many demands of different writing styles and improve your grammatical correctness, editing and revision skills, and vocabulary development. 

Academic and Business Writing is a five-week program that includes diction, tone, vocabulary, and editing. You will have the chance to work on several ideas and topics that focuses primarily on your areas of interest. The course materials are via videos and readings. Some of the assignments include quizzes, short writing assignments, long essays, and journal entries. 

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Introductory level class, perfect for beginners
  • Verified Certificate is available for $199
  • Taught by Maggie Sokolik, Director, College Writing Programs from University of California, Berkeley
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Business Writing (The University of Colorado Boulder, via Coursera)

11 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

This is a free online course of the University of Colorado Boulder and is part of the Effective Communication: Writing, Design, and Presentation Specialization Course. This specialized course is ideal for beginners and teaches you to apply the principles of good business writing, utilize essential tools to improve your writing, and correctly execute structure, organization, and revision so you can communicate more masterfully. 

Always remember that your ideas are compelling. Thus, this needs to be delivered with the impact and clarity it deserves. The principles you learn in the course will help you become a fantastic business writer! You are also provided with the proper foundation to level up into 

Graphic Design and Successful Presentation. 

Best Features:

  • 100% online and free
  • Shareable Certificate
  • Perfect for Beginners
  • The program takes 11 hours to complete
  • Taught by Dr. Quentin McAndrew from the Department of English, University of Colorado Boulder 
Free Online College Classes for Writing - Divider

Write Professional Emails in English (Georgia Institute of Technology, via Coursera)

12 - Free Online College Classes for Writing

Delivered via Coursera, Write Professional Emails in English is part of the Improve Your English Communication Skills Specialization program of Georgia Institute of Technology. The program is aimed at helping you effectively write business emails in English. Each module of the course is unique because not only does it provide you with tips on how to write emails professionally, but you will also have lessons on how you can improve your English writing skills.

Thus, you improve your vocabulary and grammar skills for writing emails and boost your cross-cultural knowledge to make more successful and influential business communications. In addition, you will check email formats to analyze the formality levels, tone, and other organizational styles. This course will let you write and revise up to 5 emails and complete several comprehension quizzes. 

Best Features:

  • 100% free and online
  • Shareable Certificate
  • The course takes 11 hours to complete
  • Taught by Gerry Landers from Georgia Tech Language Institute 

Writing and storytelling is a human experience. People will always try to create narratives in their heads and hopefully convey these thoughts more excitingly and creatively. With a writing class, you will not only learn about the basics of writing, but you will also gain more definable skills that will further improve your creativity. Free school courses from top accredited online colleges-universities are becoming more common and freely accessible these days, leaving students some wonderful choices to get their college life started.