7 Lessons on Writing for Becoming a Standout Writer
4.5 (392 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,745 students enrolled

7 Lessons on Writing for Becoming a Standout Writer

Tested Techniques for Fast Writing Skills Improvement
4.5 (396 ratings)
Course Ratings are calculated from individual students’ ratings and a variety of other signals, like age of rating and reliability, to ensure that they reflect course quality fairly and accurately.
3,747 students enrolled
Created by Duncan Koerber
Last updated 8/2020
Current price: $139.99 Original price: $199.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
30-Day Money-Back Guarantee
This course includes
  • 2.5 hours on-demand video
  • 1 article
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
Training 5 or more people?

Get your team access to 4,000+ top Udemy courses anytime, anywhere.

Try Udemy for Business
What you'll learn
  • Write clear, precise, and direct prose
  • Find alternative ways of constructing sentences
  • Communicate better with readers
  • Avoid clichéd words and phrases
  • Develop greater command of the English language
  • Word processing software like Microsoft Word or OpenOffice
  • One of the high-rated writing courses on Udemy
  • 4.77 out of 5 all time student rating (95.4%)
  • 35 5-Star reviews
  • Taught by a UNIVERSITY PROFESSOR, Dr. Duncan Koerber
  • Submit your writing to Dr. Koerber for review within the course 

    What students say...

"Excellent--I rate it ten stars out of five."Julie Heyer, Udemy Student

"Take this course - improve your writing — end of story!" James Cochrane, Udemy Student

"The content is fantastic."
  — Chris Lewis, Udemy Student

"Information that you can apply right away."
Kim Ruby, Udemy Student

"I can tell he's passionate about his work and he shows it throughout the lessons."
Ana, Udemy Student

"I recommend this course to anyone who wants to improve their writing."
Sheverley Maye, Udemy Student

"This is an especially useful and remarkably good course." 
Avrohom Meir Greenhut,

Udemy Student

"The assignments forced me to become more objective and build better habits."
Marla Morris, Udemy Student 

"The explanation of parallelism and its usage was simply amazing."
Bindu Midha, Udemy Student

Do you want to impress employers, editors, or online readers with your writing? Do you want to get A grades on term papers and essays? Do you want to become a good writer – in creative non-fiction, journalism, fiction, or academic writing – as quickly as possible?

The secret to this writing success is not studying 200 grammar and style points in the writing textbooks. 

Instead, this course – designed by an experienced university professor and published author with Oxford University Press – shows you the sentence-level lessons you need to know to write well. These are the 7 most common problems found in people’s writing. These problems most likely lurk – like weeds – in your writing right now.

If you complete the lessons, exercises, and assignments honestly and fully as outlined in this course, then your writing will improve in just a few weeks of intensive study. If you do not find this course helpful, you may request a refund within 30 days, no questions asked.

These lessons, exercises, and assignments were designed and tested at the University of Toronto and York University with thousands of undergraduate students. Many students improved their grades by a whole grade category after completing these lessons, finding that this short list of key lessons provides clarity. Students have applied these lessons in the workplace to great success. 

Join now and complete this course to produce writing that gets you the job, earns you an A grade, lands you a writing contract, or impresses that magazine or newspaper editor.

In this comprehensive course, I will help you:

  • See sentences more objectively;
  • Understand the factors that interfere with communication;
  • Remove dead language – such as dead verbs and weak nouns – from your writing;
  • Avoid embarrassing clichés;
  • Write more clear, direct, and precise sentences;
  • Use adjectives and adverbs more carefully, in targeted ways;
  • Write poetically and rhythmically with parallelism and sentence variation;
  • Add detail to your writing;
  • Plant vivid images in readers’ minds; and,
  • Become an original writer, not a copy.

Your writing transformation awaits...

Who this course is for:
  • This course is primarily for beginning writers or intermediate writers looking to target trouble spots in their writing.
Course content
Expand all 43 lectures 02:36:19
+ Welcome from the Instructor
2 lectures 03:07

A welcome from the instructor. 

Preview 01:17

This video describes the various parts of the course and how they fit together. 

How to Make the Most of this Course
+ Writing Clearly for Publications, Work, and School
6 lectures 28:07

Remove wasted words and fillers from your sentences.


Little words like "very" contribute nothing to sentences. Remove them for better clarity. 

Phoney Intensifiers

Stretchers are words that prolong sentences unnecessarily. Why use them?


These kinds of words sound "big" but don't help you communicate. Avoid them. 


In this lecture, I respond to some questions students typically have about Economy. 

Answers to Some Questions
This is an exercise about wordiness. Have fun with this. Use examples of all four types of wordiness described in the lectures. Read your writing out loud and see how amusing it sounds.
Exercise #1
1 question
Now it's time to write as simply as possible, and this exercise provides that practice.
Exercise #2
1 question
Apply the lessons and exercises of this section by writing a story.
Story #1
1 question
+ How Dead Verbs Are Killing Your Writing
5 lectures 23:32

In this video, I outline the nature of verbs and some problems with verbs. 

Verbs Introduction

The best verbs are concrete or strong, which means they evoke images immediately. 

Preview 05:32

A step down from Concrete Verbs, Weak Verbs work -- sometimes -- but should be mostly avoided. 

Weak Verbs

Dead verbs are the worst verbs because they provide no images for the reader. Avoid them most of the time. 

Dead Verbs

Explains the outcomes of dead verbs on your writing.

The Consequences of Dead Verbs
This exercise encourages you to think of action words.
Exercise #3
1 question
This exercise requires you to revise a previous piece of writing.
Exercise #4
1 question
Here's another writing assignment to help you internalize the lessons.
Story #2
1 question
+ Become an Active Writer
5 lectures 20:12

The active voice word order is preferred over the passive voice. Learn why here. 

Active Voice Introduction

Active voice word order is explained with a formula. 

Active Voice

The passive voice word order is long and wordy -- see why. 

Passive Voice

Passive voice word order isn't just wordy, it can raise moral complications. 

Preview 04:20

There are a few instances when using the passive voice word order is okay.

Passive Voice Exceptions
This is the toughest exercise of the course. But if you can understand the concept and put it into practice, it will help your writing enormously.
Exercise #5
1 question
By now you should be familiar with writing clear and precise stories. Here's another assignment to push your development along.
Story #3
1 question
+ Create Pictures in Your Writing with Strong Nouns
5 lectures 18:13

This lecture provides an overview of the importance of strong nouns. 

Nouns Introduction

Understand what a noun is and how some nouns are better than others. 


Recognize how weak nouns are hurting your writing.

Preview 04:04

Recognize the function of a pronoun and how to best use them.


Understand that pronouns can cause problems in writing, particularly when they have an unclear reference.

When Pronouns Go Wrong
This exercise brings nouns to life.
Exercise #6
1 question
Here's another story assignment to apply the section's lessons.
Story #4
1 question
+ How to be an Original Writer and Avoid Clichés
5 lectures 16:21

A survey of the key ideas in this section. 

Original Writing Introduction

See exactly what a clichés is and why it's such a problem in writing. 


An examination of the reasons behind people's use of clichés.

Why Do People Use Clichés?

Occasionally, it's okay to use a cliché. Learn about those instances in this lecture. 

Preview 02:24

This lecture provides a final word on being original — it's not as hard as you think. 

Being Original
This exercise is fun. Once you get cliches out of your system, never use them again!
Exercise #7
1 question
Now that you know what a cliché is, and you’ve hopefully read some original writing in quality publications, it’s time for you to create original language.
Exercise #8
1 question
The fifth story deals with family -- you should have a great deal of material for this one!
Story #5
1 question
+ Prevent Train Wreck Sentences with Parallelism
9 lectures 27:09

A quick overview of the key principles of parallelism.

Preview 04:38

Be able to see parallelism both in its surface and under the surface forms. 

Surface and Under the Surface Parallelism

Add more verbs to your writing with verb lists. 

Verb Series

Add more strong nouns to your writing with noun series. 

Noun Series

Avoid sprinkling adjectives all over your writing by using -- occasionally -- adjective series.

Adjective Series

Avoid peppering your writing with adverbs by using -- occasionally -- adverb series. 

Adverb Series

Preposition series can provide useful effects in writing. 

Preposition Series

Taking the "series" idea further, this lecture shows how you can combine grammatical elements to make more meaning in your writing. 

Multiple Element Series

A few final thoughts on parallelism as a technique. 

Parallelism Conclusion
This exercise asks you to apply the simple types of parallelism.
Exercise #9
1 question
This exercise requires you to create more complex parallel structures.
Exercise #10
1 question
This story assignment makes a place into a character.
Story #6
1 question
+ Freshen your Sentences with Patterns and Length Variation
5 lectures 18:49

An overview of the principles of sentence variation discussed in this section. 

Sentence Variation Principles

Five patterns that students can use to vary their sentences. 

Sentence Patterns

Recognize how to use short sentences for effect in action and in presenting important points. 

Preview 02:53

The long sentence -- often called the freight-train sentences -- creates certain effects in writing. 

Long Sentences

See the contrast that occurs when a short sentence comes after a long one.

The Variation of Long and Short for Effect
This exercise helps you play with the length of sentences.
Exercise #11
1 question
You've made it to the final story assignment! Good work! You should be able to apply everything you've learned to this one.
Story #7
1 question
+ Bonus Lecture
1 lecture 00:49
Big Discounts on My Other Courses