Over 15 Online Courses to Improve Your Writing Skills


Writing is something that we do in every occupation.  Nobody can get out of writing something to somebody.  Writing fiction?  Writing non-fiction?  Writing a business proposal?  Or even writing the terms and conditions for the FairGo casino login?  They are all writing in one form or another.  And although writing a sentence or a paragraph is not much different in one type of writing vs another, when we go beyond a paragraph, the type of writing we are writing, the purpose of our writing, and our intended audience plays a much more crucial role.

Take a look at these different writing courses offered at TheGreatCourses and TheGreatCoursesPlus.  TheGreatCourses sells the courses individually and TheGreatCoursesPlus sells the courses as a subscription service similar to Netflix.

Writing Your Story

Writing your own story is traditionally called a biography, but when this is done on webpage is called the About Page.  Whether you are writing a whole book (biography) or you are writing one to five pages for a website, what is needed to write a great story that your readers will find engaging, exciting, and memorable will be the same.

Writing About Anything


No matter what type of writing you are writing, there are certain skills that every writer needs.

  • Being an effective reader
  • Knowing your voice (how you write)
  • Knowing your reader
  • Organizing your writing
  • Editing 
  • Power of words

And many other general writing topics.

The Art of Storytelling

A well-told story can make us laugh, weep, swell with pride, or rise with indignation.  A story poorly told can be not just boring or uncomfortable, but even sometimes painful to read.  Humans love to tell stories, both oral and written.  We write out momentous events as well as the small everyday experiences.  Together they form life.

Writing Great Fiction

Learn the fundamentals of writing engaging fiction.  How are characters in a story are different from real people?  Major characters.  Minor characters.  Dialog.  Narration.  Turning a story into a plot.  First-person narrative vs. third-person narrative.  The setting.  The Scenes.  All of these together create the final work of fiction.  

How To Write Best Selling Fiction

In this course, the student is going to look at examples of writing by different authors to learn how they created the best selling fiction.  Structuring your novel, the conflict, the resolution, how to get the characters to jump off the page, bringing the characters to life, point of view, dialogue, voice and style, subplots and parallel plots, emotion, and more.

Writing Creative Nonfiction

Writing non-fiction is a different type of writing than writing fiction.  Although you want to engage your reader and keep their attention, nonfiction is the truth.

Finding the story, “show, don’t tell” -- the art of descriptive writing, the narrative in nonfiction, cliffhangers and page-turners -- just because your story is nonfiction, does not mean that it has to be boring, emotion to nonfiction writing, revealing characters in words and action, character psychology, dialogue, and also how to present characters in a way that tells who they are in a way that people can relate.

Plus more.

Written Communication: Being Heard and Understood

Whether you are writing business letters, memos, emails, reports, announcements, or some other professional communication, how your communication is just as important as what you are trying to communicate.

Every writer has his or her own style of writing.  In 2020, everybody has heard about President Trump’s famous Tweets.  Some are great, and some should never have been written.  But, they are all Trump.  

Culture, word choice, punctuation, grammar, what message are you trying to tell your readers, perfecting your writing, developing your professional voice, and using communication to build relationships.

Effective Communication Skills

Communication goes beyond the written word.  We also use talking to communicate, and even our body language provides communication.  This specific course deals with verbal communication that one does every day in business and social settings.

Writing Great Essays

Writing an essay is different than writing a book.   The most obvious difference is the length.  Essays as much shorter than books.  In school, these were called essays.  But outside of school, they are called Blog Articles or just Articles.  As with books, these can be either fiction or nonfiction.  In the area of nonfiction, they can either be an opinion or the article can stick to the facts.

But many writing techniques remain the same: the direction of the essay, voice, emotion, adding visual effects to the essay, and other topics.

Screenwriting 101

Screenwriting is a dialog with directions telling the actors/actresses what they are supposed to do.  The visual, the dialog, and how the characters interact with the environment and each other, creates the whole story.

Traditionally we think of screenwriting as movies, but with YouTube videos and online courses, a lot more people are getting involved in this type of writing.  But making a great video is not just standing in front of a camera and talking, great screenwriting involves great storytelling.  This is something that many amateur videos creators forget.

Public Speaking

Public speaking.  Are you delivering a corporate presentation or interviewing for a new job or creating a video for your personal or professional website?  They are all forms of public speaking.

But public speaking is not just about the words that are being spoken.  It is also about body language and how the words are said.

Building A Better Vocabulary

Words are all around us.  But different words can convey different meanings.  Even words that mean the same can convey different emotions or depth.  Are you hungry or are you famished?  Is it raining, snowing, sleeting, or hailing?

Take an in-depth look at different categories of words that can give greater clarity or emotion to your writing.

Building Great Sentences

Great writing begins with great sentences.  This course works on helping you take your basic sentence and make it into a great sentence.

High School Language Arts

This is not actually an independent course.  This is just a series of segments from other courses that TheGreatCourses though are appropriate and of interest to Middle School and High School students.  Since the content comes from other courses, each segment is from a different teacher and the length is between 4 - 10 minutes each.

How To Publish Your Book

Although with ebooks, a lot more people can get their book self published.  But many of these traditional lessons on how to get a book published still apply even in today’s digital book and self-publishing market.

How To Be A Superstar Student

I included this course because it talks about how people learn.  Reading is one form of learning, but other people learn the material through other senses: touch, smell, physical movement, listening, talking, etc.  Understanding how people learn can help you in your writing when you want to reach different people.

A person who learns better visually would benefit from an essay with visuals.  A person who learns better auditorially would benefit from audio or video presentation.  If a person is more logical, they are going to want to see the cold hard facts.  If a person has strength in language, a written presentation would work.  And if a person is physical, you may need to include a “do this” exercise in your writing.

English Grammar Bootcamp

Yes, grammar can be boring, but understanding grammar is needed for good writing.  It is one of those things that when a person does it wrong, you can tell it is wrong, even if you don’t know exactly why it is wrong.

Not to mention that scam artists purposely write with bad grammar, because they know that if a person still responds, the person is tagged as having low intelligence and an easy target to take advantage of.  So understanding grammar (and recognizing bad grammar in writing) is one way to protect yourself from scam artists. 


The Great Courses and The Great Courses Plus has some excellent courses in the area of writing no matter what type of writing or communication you are interested in.  And at a price of $10/month (billed quarterly) it is within the price range of Netflix and other streaming services, but a lot more educational.

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