Best Online Writing Courses for Remote Workers
Written communication is one of the most highly required skillsets for remote workers, according to Remote.co’s interviews with more than 140 remote companies and teams. No matter your career focus, show remote employers you have strong writing skills by completing some of the courses below. Each course can be added to your resume to demonstrate your qualifications as a remote worker.
Duke University | Coursera | Free | 25 hrs
If you’re looking to improve your ability to write persuasively, this class could be the right fit for you. The course will help you break writing projects into several small steps and stages to make writing essays and extended arguments not feel like such a daunting task. You will also learn how to summarize and critically read written texts and argue and support positions.
One aspect that sets this class apart is that Duke University professor Dr. Denise Corner assigns short writing assignments throughout the course. These assignments include writing an editorial piece, creating an annotated list of references, and writing a case study. These tasks will not only prepare you for more advanced writing courses if you so choose, but also help you to become a stronger communicator in the workplace.
Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order
University of Michigan | Coursera | Free | 15 hrs
While other courses may focus on how to make your arguments stronger to make your proposals and workplace documents more persuasive, this course focuses on something slightly different but no less important: word choice and word order. Have you ever wondered why sometimes even when two people appear to be making the same argument, one argument can seem significantly more persuasive than the other? This course demonstrates how and why that happens.
You will learn how to make your writing more persuasive by utilizing creative uses of syntax, effective storytelling techniques, and clever methods to arrange large amounts of information in an accessible way. Chapter quizzes enable students to practice their new writing techniques. If you wish to learn additional similar skills, this course is the first course of a four course specialization on Coursera entitled, “Writing and Editing”.
University of California, Irvine | Coursera | Free | 17 hrs
If you need a refresher on grammar to make your writing more professional for the workplace, this course is a good one for you. This short course reviews a few choice concepts, such as how to identify and use correct verb tenses and how to use commas correctly. The next lesson talks about how to use a variety of sentence types in your writing to make your writing flow better and feel more professional. Finally, the course wraps up with a section on comma use and parallel structure in sentences.
Good with Words: Writing and Editing Specialization
University of Michigan | Coursera | $39 per month | 64 hrs
This 4-course specialization will help readers with all stages of the writing process. While this specialization is quite a bit longer than others, it also will give students a more comprehensive understanding of how to become better persuasive writers, which can be especially helpful in the workplace.
The first course focuses on how students can use word choice and word order to become more persuasive writers, teaching students what sophisticated writing looks like and how to ensure their writing contains those sophisticated attributes. The second course is on improving the structure and organization of essays. The third course focuses on the process of drafting an essay. The fourth and final course focuses on editing and revising an essay. Throughout the specialization, you will be given the same readings and exercises provided to the students who took the in-person version of this course at the University of Michigan.
University of California, Berkeley | edX | Free | 30 hrs
If you want to learn how to write a traditional academic essay, either for school or to help you communicate your arguments more clearly in the workplace, this is a good introductory course. Maggie Sokolik, the Director of College Writing Programs at UC Berkeley, will help students review basic grammar terminology. Then, as with many other writing courses, the course builds from writing effective sentences to writing paragraphs to, eventually, writing entire essays.
Sokolik also addresses the purpose of introductions and conclusions, and provides strategies for writing strong thesis statements. Students will be required to complete an essay for this course, and also participate in online discussion and peer review of other students’ essays.
Writing Professional Email and Memos
University System of Georgia | Coursera | Free | 19 hrs
Do you spend a half hour checking and re-checking an email before hitting the send button? This introductory writing course will help you gain confidence in your writing and write professional documents more quickly.
Tamara Michele Powell and Tiffani Kristine Reardon of the University of Georgia will help students gain an understanding of the different types of emails and memos found in the workplace setting, and how to write most effectively to achieve the purpose of each different type of memo. During the final two weeks of the course, students will actually write a memo, turn it in, and get feedback on it. While the course is written at an introductory level, it is designed to be beneficial to all writers; even seasoned professional email and memo writers can learn something from this course. In fact, the teachers encourage a wide variety of learners so that everyone can learn from each other.
Stanford University | Coursera | Free | 30 hrs
This introductory-level writing course is heavily geared toward scientists looking to improve how they present their research. Many scientists have anxiety about writing, and Dr. Kristin Sainani talks about how to write less anxiously and more quickly in addition to a more general discussion of how to improve writing skills.
Dr. Sainani covers the sections of a scientific manuscript, the different types of writing required for each one, and the peer review process. The course wraps up with a week devoted to improving science writing for broad audiences. If you are looking to improve not only your ability to write but also the public’s ability to understand your writing about your research, this could be the right introductory course for you.
Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking
Harvard University | edX | Free | 24 hrs
Ever feel like you never get your way in disagreements? This course may not fix that, but it will help you write more persuasively and learn how to engage in civil discourse. This is a good companion to an English composition course because, while that will help you learn how to read critically, this one heavily focuses on analyzing arguments.
The topics that James Engell, professor of English at Harvard University, covers include what rhetorical devices are and how to employ them in writing and speaking, how to write persuasive editorials and short speeches, how to evaluate the strength of an argument, and how to recognize logical fallacies in arguments. Engell also provides an introduction to American political rhetoric. Learning how to write persuasively will also help you improve workplace skills in areas such as proposal writing.
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