100 Open Courses to Take Your Writing to the Next Level

This article, from Suzane Smith, originally appeared on the Online University Reviews site in November of 2009.

Whether you are in high school, a graduate student, or a professional writer, there is [lots] of help on the web for your writing. [Communication is] an essential part to any career, everyone from journalists to managers to politicians needs to have an impressive [command of] prose. Those low on funds will find a wide array of tools to take their writing to the next level with these 100 open courses [offered by] everyone from leading universities to private companies.

MIT Undergraduate Open Courses To Take Your Writing To The Next Level

Start your free education off right by taking the same writing classes as the undergraduates of this leading Ivy League school.

  1. The Nature of Creativity : Get your writing to the next level by getting your creative juices flowing with this open course. It is an introduction to problems about creativity as it pervades human experience and behavior.
  2. Writing About Literature : Up your writing skills by writing about famous works of literature, poetry, and more. Goals of the course include increasing students skills in reading, knowing a single writer deeply, and encouraging independent decisions.
  3. New Media Literacies : Study literacy theory through media context in this course from ancient Greece to the present. Readings include Plato, Graff, Brandt, Heath, Lemke, Gee, Alvermann, Jenkins, Hobbs, Pratt, and Lankshear and Knobel.
  4. Shakespeare, Film and Media : A master of writing, study Shakespeare on film with this open course. Most of the work will involve analysis of the film text, aided by videotape, DVD, the Shakespeare Electronic Archive.
  5. Media in Cultural Context: Popular Readerships : This course will introduce students to the history of popular reading and to controversies about taste and gender that have characterized its development. Learn how to write for both men and women, different tastes, and more by taking this open course.
  6. International Women’s Voices : Learn how to take your writing to the next level by studying these leading women in history. Contemporary women writers studied will be from Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Latin America, and North America.
  7. The Linguistic Study of Bilingualism : If you speak more than one language and want to improve your writing, try this course. It examines the development of bilingualism in human history from Lucy to present day.
  8. Expository Writing for Bilingual Students : Similar to the above, this course specifically targets student’s abilities to write in two or more languages. It includes an extensive set of general writing guide handouts, located in the study materials section.
  9. Foreign Languages and Literatures : Examine the terms “avant garde” and “Kulturindustrie” in French and German culture of the early twentieth century through this open course. Figures considered include everyone from Adorno to Tzara.
  10. Advanced Spanish Conversation and Composition : This course examines perspectives on technology and culture in the language of Spanish. For fluent speakers only, students work on taking both their speaking and writing to the next level.
  11. Philosophy in Film and Other Media : See how philosophers have influenced writing and other media with this open course. It examines works of film in relation to thematic issues of philosophical importance that also occur in other arts, particularly literature and opera.
  12. The Art of the Probable: Literature and Probability : The objective of this open course is to focus on the formal, thematic, and rhetorical features that imaginative literature shares with texts in the history of probability. These issues include the causes for phenomena that are knowable only in their effects and the question of what it means to think and act rationally in an uncertain world.
  13. Technologies of Humanism : This open course explores the properties of narratives as they have evolved from print to digital media. Works covered range from the Talmud, classics of non-linear novels, experimental literature, early sound and film experiments to recent multi-linear and interactive films and games.

Read the rest of the article, which provides information and links for 87 additional free, online courses and seminars in writing, literature, communication, how to use software programs (a big help in the author platform area) and much more, offered by such respected names as MIT, Hewlett Packard, the United States Small Business Administration, Microsoft, Adobe and more, on the Online University Reviews site.

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