Writing is an important skill for mystery shoppers. If you think your writing skills could be better (and whose couldn’t?) there are several ways to get the education you need. You do not have to enroll in a degree program to take advantage of college writing courses. Here, guest poster Alexis Bonari shares some of her favorite resources.
Many college graduates didn’t get to take every class they wanted to try while they were officially enrolled, so it’s common to have areas of interest that might benefit from a little extra instruction. If writing was one of those areas for you, some of the writing instruction available from online colleges and universities might be of interest. The options discussed below include both free instruction and paid college courses that award credit, so you can decide what’s best for you and your writing skills.
MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) and Other Free Writing Courses
MIT’s OCW website is an online publication of virtually all MIT course content and provides everything you’d expect of a class except for contact with the professor and college credits. These classes are no replacement for a college education, they don’t award any certificates or credits, and they won’t connect you to any faculty members. However, you can get free access to all course materials, reading lists, assignments, syllabi, and even video lectures. If you’re self-motivated and willing to invest some serious time and energy into improving your writing skills, you can benefit from choosing and taking one or more of these classes.
Check out the Writing and Humanistic Studies program for some great classes that cover techniques, forms, and traditions of several types of writing. Topics range from writing on contemporary issues to technical communication and rhetoric, so you’ll be sure to find something that interests you in the list of 48 undergraduate and 4 graduate courses. For example, to improve your technical communication skills, you might select Introduction to Technical Communication: Perspectives on Medicine and Public Health. This course explores writings from physicians and other health professionals, including William Carlos Williams, with writing assignments that require you to thoroughly analyze your audience’s needs in order to communicate successfully about public health issues. No matter what you need to do to improve your writing skills, these free courses can help you achieve your goals efficiently.
If you go to this CollegeDegree page, you’ll find over 50 free open courseware classes you can take online that address writing. Again, there is no professor interaction or submission of assignments to be graded, but you can complete the work from real college courses on your own and enjoy the benefits of self-motivated learning. These courses are categorized as introductory, grammar and language, research, creative writing, business writing, persuasive writing, scientific writing, art and social writing, and supplemental courses. This wide variety should provide you with the tools you need to improve your writing skills.
Taking College Courses for Credit
With eLearners, you can check out both online programs and single courses that are offered on the topic of writing. Pricing varies with state residence and the number of credits you want to earn, with most courses ranging from an in-state 3-credit fee of $405 to an out-of-state 5-credit fee of $1,415. Many of the classes focus on fiction, poetry, literature, and other artistic writing, but there is one “Freelance Writer” course along with several composition, rhetoric, and grammar courses. The freelance course is through Penn Foster Career School and teaches you about reference sources for writers, how to interact with agents and editors, how to submit manuscripts, and even how to set up your home office. This course allows you to work from home at your own pace and includes textbooks, lessons, and learning aids. You can request additional free information on the course here.
Alexis Bonari is a freelance writer and blog junkie. She is currently a resident education blogger and performs research surrounding College Scholarships. In her spare time, she enjoys square-foot gardening, swimming, and avoiding her laptop.