Writing for English Composition: College Essays
4.2 (86 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.
676 students enrolled

Writing for English Composition: College Essays

Help and Advice for College Students
4.2 (86 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.
676 students enrolled
Created by Amy Lynn Hess
Last updated 2/2020
English [Auto]
Current price: $13.99 Original price: $19.99 Discount: 30% off
5 hours left at this price!
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This course includes
  • 1.5 hours on-demand video
  • 17 downloadable resources
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Assignments
  • Certificate of Completion
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What you'll learn
  • Apply the qualities of unity, coherence, and clarity to your own writing.
  • Complete prewriting using a variety of prewriting techniques.
  • Compose thesis statements and topic sentences.
  • Organize your essays on an outline.
  • Effectively revise and edit your essays.
  • Add support and evidence to your essays to make your audience say, "WOW!"
  • Microsoft Word or a compatible word processing program is recommended
  • Notebook paper
  • Pen or pencil

This 10-lecture course can be used as either a review or preview of what it means to write with the three main qualities of all effective writing: unity, coherence, and clarity.  I will explain what each of these terms mean, show you examples of effective and ineffective writing, and give you lots of hints and tips for completing paragraphs and essays that demonstrate these three qualities.  The course follows the writing process taught in most high school and undergraduate composition courses: prewriting and brainstorming, organizing and outlining, drafting, revising and editing, and formatting. The course also covers additional requirements that are sometimes difficult for students, including how to write effective thesis statements, creating topic sentences, drafting introductions and conclusions, and how to use transitional words and phrases.

The course includes an opportunity to write a final essay for evaluation. Best wishes for a successful course!

Who this course is for:
  • College students who need help with academic writing
  • New writers who want to improve skills for blogging or online writing
  • Job seekers who want to impress potential employers
  • Employees wishing to improve writing skills
  • Students currently enrolled in a composition course who may need additional assistance!
Course content
Expand all 11 lectures 01:45:38
+ The Writing Process Lectures
10 lectures 01:33:38

What's it mean for writing to "work" for you?  Aren't you the one doing the work?

This is the first lecture in a ten-lecture series about writing effectively.  When we write effectively, our words have power to enlighten, entertain, persuade, or give clear information to others.  When we see readers or hear from readers who agree with and appreciate our ideas, our writing has "worked."

In this first lecture we talk about reasons why it is important to be a better writer outside of the extrinsic value, and we look at reasons for you to stay motivated as you learn to write more effectively. If you encounter challenges, I offer a few suggestions for overcoming those, too.

When the video is complete, please finish the first writing prompt as a way to practice and retain information from the lecture.

Preview 12:59

This lecture introduces the three qualitites of effective writing: unity, coherence, and clarity.  I'll give you a few examples of paragraphs that have and do not have these qualities.  In future lessons I offer much more help and advice about how to repair these errors or ensure your writing has these qualities, but for now I offer a preview to get you started. 

Lecture 2 - The Three Qualities of Effective Writing: Unity, Coherence, and Clarity

Welcome to the third lecture in this ten-lecture series.  This lecture introduces you to the steps in the writing process.  Subsequent lectures will explore each step individually.

When complete, please complete the third writing prompt for practice and retention. 

Preview 05:25

This is the fourth lecture in this ten-lecture series.

There are three reasons to prewrite: to focus your topic in terms of what you're going to say, why you're going to say it, and to whom it will be said.

When you complete this lecture, feel free to complete the fourth writing prompt to help you process and retain the information contained in the lecture.

Preview 09:59

Yep.  This one is long, but thesis statements and topic sentences are inarguably the most important part of any essay or paragraph.

And speaking of paragraphs, I do mention an idea during this lecture that stems from an essay by Sherman Alexie entitled "Superman and Me."  Feel free to read the essay as an excellent example of a narrative essay and for more information about how paragraphs are like fences.

Writing prompt five will help you process and retain the information contained in this lecture.

Lecture 5 - Thesis Statements and Topic Sentences

This is the sixth lecture in the series. This lecture explains how to create an outline and why a writer creates an outline before drafting an essay, during the revision process, and as an active reader.

Although it may seem "silly" to outline short essays, they practice it gives you makes it much easier to apply your outlining skills to longer and more in-depth research papers. I have included an outline template for research papers in the downloadable files. Can you see how it's comprised of a series of essay outlines? I hope it's helpful! Enjoy!

Please complete the sixth writing prompt to help you practice and retain the skills covered in this lecture.

Lecture 6 - The Outline

Remember those three qualities of writing: unity, coherence, and clarity? We have to apply them, now, to our prose paragraphs. It's time to start your rough draft!

To read more about coherence in an essay, you can link to my article “Using Transitional Words to Make your Essays Flow” on my blog, Gypsy Daughter Essays.

Please feel free to complete the seventh writing prompt to help you process and retain the information in this lecture.

Lecture 7 - Drafting

This is the last step you need to take in order to complete your document.  In this lecture we talk about some of the rules and requirements you may be asked to meet by a client, a professor, a manager, or a publisher.  Your writing project is not complete until you make sure you have met all of the requirements.

You may complete the ninth writing prompt to help you process and retain the information given in this lecture.

Lecture 9 - Finalizing

To revise is to make changes that make your writing more effective.  This lecture discuss the "how-to" process involved in revising, editing, and proofreading your completed draft.

Please complete the eighth writing prompt for additional help practicing these skills and retaining this information.

Lecture 8 - Revision

Congrats!  You've made it all the way through the course.  Here is a summary of the concepts we have covered.  I hope you were able to use these ideas to complete a written product you are proud to submit.

Lecture 10 - Summary
+ Writing Prompts One Through Ten
1 lecture 00:00

These are the writing prompts that pertain to each individual lecture.  Completing these prompts will help you review and retain the information included in the lectures while helping you practice your writing.

Writing Prompts One through Ten
12 pages
Can you test your new skills? Write an essay that explains (an expository essay) the qualities of unity, coherence, and clarity. Remember to add an introduction and conclusion that work together like bookends to convey the thesis and the importance of your explanation. Aim for 600-900 words.
Writing Prompt
1 question