Online Class: English Composition 101

Acquiring and developing the fundamentals of English composition is a vital skill that can be used in a variety of settings and situations. Being able to competently compose an essay and organize a thesis is not only useful in academic environments, but is also useful for business and personal applications.

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Course Description

Mastering English Composition: A Versatile Skillset for Modern Life

In the era of communication, where content is the cornerstone of digital platforms, and the ability to articulate ideas clearly is paramount, the craft of English composition stands tall. Studies from the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) reveal that written communication skills consistently rank among the top desired attributes by employers in their job candidates. However, effective writing goes beyond mere job qualifications—it is an essential life skill that elevates one's personal, academic, and professional journey.

Broadening Horizons Through Composition

The prowess of English composition stretches across varied domains:

  • Academic Excellence: A solid foundation in essay writing and thesis organization will bolster the performance of students in high school and college. Furthermore, for individuals gearing up for college or graduate school entrance exams, a refined skill set in composition can often be the difference between acceptance and rejection.

  • Business Acumen: As the business world continually evolves, professionals are expected to present their ideas, strategies, and reports in a lucid and compelling manner. Whether it's drafting an intricate proposal, creating an engaging presentation, or simply corresponding with colleagues, a strong grasp of composition is indispensable.

  • Interview Preparedness: For those navigating the job market, the capacity to produce articulate written material during interviews—whether it's answering email queries or completing on-the-spot assignments—can significantly increase one's chances of landing the desired role.

  • Leadership and Supervision: Individuals in managerial or supervisory roles often find themselves swamped with documentation, from employee feedback to project outlines. A proficiency in composition ensures clarity, conciseness, and effectiveness in such tasks.

  • Personal Communication: In our daily lives, be it writing a heartfelt letter, blogging, or even engaging on social media, the ability to communicate effectively is invaluable.

Structured Learning: Crafting the Art of Composition

This course is meticulously structured to take learners through the nuanced journey of English composition:

  1. Essay Writing as a Process: Understand the iterative nature of essay writing, emphasizing continuous refinement.
  2. A Review of Grammar and Punctuation: Brush up on the foundational elements that lend precision and clarity to any written piece.
  3. The Structures of an Essay: Dive deep into the anatomy of essays, analyzing each segment's purpose and execution.
  4. Outlining: Master the art of creating blueprints for essays, ensuring coherent flow and logical sequencing.
  5. Developing a Powerful Thesis Statement: Craft compelling central ideas that captivate readers and anchor your essays.
  6. Introduction to the Concept of Research: Navigate the world of information, discerning between credible sources and understanding citations.
  7. Rough Drafting or First Drafting: Learn the techniques to transform ideas into textual form, laying the groundwork for refinement.
  8. The Revision Process: Refine your drafts, enhancing their quality through iterations, feedback, and self-assessment.
  9. Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions: Discover the art of beginning with impact and ending with lasting impressions.
  10. The Final Draft: Assemble a polished piece, ready for submission or publication.
  11. Introduction to Style Guides: Familiarize yourself with various formatting standards, ensuring your writings meet professional benchmarks.
  12. Conclusion: Reflect on the acquired knowledge, assimilate learnings, and chart the path forward in your writing journey.

Write Your Way to Success

The dynamism of English composition is undeniably vast. Its applications permeate every facet of modern life. By investing in this course, learners don't just acquire a skill—they acquire a tool, a voice, a means to express, influence, and inspire.

Join us, and let the world resonate with your words. Discover the power of composition and harness it to craft stories, arguments, reports, and more, that leave an indelible mark. Let's write, refine, and revel in the magic of words!

Course Motivation

Essay writing, unlike fiction or poetry writing, is a method of addressing specific points that the author is trying to convey to their particular audience. While there is a myth that good essay writers are born that way, the truth is that this is a skill that can be learned. Just as with most skills in life or school, creating a well rounded, coherent essay is a process that can be learned, perfected, and developed with the right tools and information. And, as with learning other skills, practice allows you to become increasingly more adept at essay writing.


The first and most important part of writing a great essay is to START EARLY! It cannot be stressed enough that you must allow ample time to develop your argument, create an outline, perform research, create a rough draft, revise, and write a final draft. Most professors will tell you to start two to three weeks before your essay is due. However, if you have other obligations, such as work, children, household chores, and more, you should start even earlier. If you are one of the lucky few who has plenty of time on their hands, then you can start later. Never give yourself less than 10 day's time before the due date to start your essay though, no matter what your time freedom or restraints are. Last minute writing will receive a poor reception and most likely, a less than average grade.


Whether your writing assignment is academic, business, or personal, the process of all essay writing can be encapsulated into eight basic steps.

  1. Choose a Topic or Focus on the Assigned Topic.
  2. Develop your ideas.
  3. Create an Outline.
  4. Write a tentative thesis.
  5. Research.
  6. Create the first draft.
  7. Revise (multiple times).
  8. Create a Final draft.

These steps will be covered in great detail in this course, but it is important to understand what they are and why they play an important role in essay writing. Let's take a closer look at each process individually.

PROCESS ONE. Choose a topic or focus on your assigned topic.

In some cases you will be assigned or will have a topic to write about. This is often the case with business or personal essay writing. In some academic situations you may be asked to select your own specific topic within a broader subject range. For instance, you may have to write about Shakespearian tragedy, but the topic may be anything you desire in that arena. Having to select your own topic adds an additional step to this process, but either way you will have to hone in on specific points related to your central thesis or topic so that you will begin to develop a clear idea of where you plan on going with your writing.

PROCESS TWO. Develop your ideas.

The best way to generate the specific ideas you want to convey, research, or cover in your essay is to use the standard writing rules. With every essay, answer the following questions clearly for yourself:

  1. Who are your audience and what are you trying to tell them?
  2. What is the main purpose of your essay?
  3. Who are you? What image do you want to convey about yourself as a person and a writer?

Brainstorming may be helpful to begin with. (List a bunch of ideas without regard to exploring or judging them at the moment).


Creating an outline helps organize your information, points, and components into a cohesive, clear format. Often, in an academic setting, an outline will be requested and required before your topic is accepted or your essay is handed in. You may use alpha-numeric headings or decimal. Alpha-numeric is acceptable for most uses but it makes no difference which you use. You may ask your educator which they prefer if you are unsure about which to use. You will also be supplied with a blank alpha-numeric and a blank decimal outline that can be edited to your needs and printed out for your use.

PROCESS FOUR. Write a tentative thesis.

The best place to start is to understand what a thesis is. A thesis is defined as a central idea or single thread of thought. The entire body of your essay will come from this central idea, so, when formulating the thesis for your essay it is important to be clear and concise about the main point you are trying to present or prove. The reason you should keep it "tentative" is to allow room for change if you find that your research will not support your original thesis (ideas). This allows you to adjust the thesis as your ideas unfold and develop as you research and write. This course willl expand on the idea of the thesis statement and help you to create one that is well developed and concise.



Accurate, recordable research is vital in supporting the thesis you are presenting to your audience. Without research your essay is considered an opinion expressed by you and only you, and not supported by any other documentation or proof. Performing research is a time consuming task. It will be considerably less time consuming if your thesis or central idea is specific and clear. If your thesis is too broad, you will see this as you begin your research. If you are getting too much information, you probably need to narrow down your central theme. Think of research as an inverted pyramid process. Start with a wide range of opinions on your specific topic and then begin to narrow your reading down to those which are relevant to your thesis.

With researching the hardest part is often just getting started. So, where does this process begin? At the library! Whether it is a public, private, or school library, most of the documentation you will need can be found there. Other options for finding supporting documentation include the Internet, book stores, interviews with experts, and in business files. At this stage of the essay writing process you will be doing a lot of reading and note taking. You will read materials related to your thesis and then select those that are most relevant to supporting your point or points. You should, during this reading process, jot down the title, author name, page(s), verbiage and other information that is useful. 

If there is a particular sentence or paragraph that you may decide to quote in your essay, you should make note of that passage. Although you probably won't use all of the information or materials you find, write down the information anyway. Later, during the drafting process, you can eliminate what is redundant or weak, keeping only the most relevant research for use in your essay. This course goes into more depth about the research process and teaches you the best methods of performing research for a well written essay.

PROCESS SIX. Creating the first draft.

The first draft is exactly that, a draft. Often referred to as a "rough" draft, this is the first stage of your essay writing process. The steps prior to this were to prepare you for this specific step. This is where you take what you know, what you want to communicate, and what you have researched and put it all together on paper (or, more accurately, in a computer word processing file). Your first draft does not have to be perfect, you should not be thinking about grammar, punctuation, spelling, or anything else except getting your ideas down in a "beginning, middle, end" format. Most people start with an introduction, however, if you find, like many people, that you get stuck at the introduction and have a hard time moving forward from there, skip the introduction and get right to the first paragraph. You can go back later and add your introduction if need be. Make sure to create a backup copy on a removable drive, or email yourself a copy so that if anything happens to your original, you will have a spare.
Always save your work frequently and make a spare copy at the end of the day.

It is helpful if you have your research materials, books, and other notes, on paper, and nearby as you write. This will make it easier to refer to them along the way. Just start writing.


The revision process is where you will put your rough draft into a clear, concise format and fix any errors or omissions. Prior to making revisions in your writing, you should use your spell check feature to correct any glaring spelling errors. Some useful steps for revision are as follows.

  1. Print out a hard copy.
  2. Read over and mark any sentences or paragraphs you want to change by deleting or adding to what you have written.
  3. Jot notes in margins or on a separate piece of paper wherever helpful.
  4. Rewrite (often).
  5. Check for spelling and grammatical errors again and correct.
The revision process can take two run-throughs, but this is rare. You may have to revise 3 to 20 times before you reach your final draft phase. Revise as many times as you need to get your essay ready for presentation. It helps to have a second set of eyes (someone else) to look over your work at this point or when you think you're ready for the final draft. Sometimes looking at the same writing over and over keeps us from catching errors that another person will spot easily. Have a friend or colleague look over your pre-final draft and ask them to mark off any problems or mistakes they encounter. Don't forget to also replace your backup copy with any new changes that you've made. 

PROCESS EIGHT. Create a Final draft.

The final draft is exactly that. It is the final printout of all your hard work and dedication. Don't be alarmed if you spot a few problems that need to be fixed in your final draft or a few things you may want to change. Just revise and reprint if need be. At some point, however, typos, spelling, and grammatical errors aside, you will need to reach an end point. Some writers are never satisfied with their work, and could go on editing and revising forever, but this is not possible. Your essay will need to be presented to its intended audience at some time. So, print out as many copies as you need and call it a day. Hopefully, you did the work you needed to do in the previous steps and your essay is exactly (or nearly) what you aimed for. Congratulate yourself for a job well done!



Essay writing is a learned process, just like riding a bike or learning to read. Practice will help you become a better writer over time. Create a clear thesis, brainstorm to develop your ideas, create a clear outline, find and use reliable research to support your thesis, write a rough draft, revise, revise, and revise again and then revel in the fruits of your labor in the form of your final draft! This course is here to help you create that great piece of English composition.
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Printable Lessons
  • Full HD Video  
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly
  • Accredited CEUs
Universal Class is an IACET Accredited Provider

Course Lessons

Average Lesson Rating:
4.4 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(1,597 votes)

Lesson 1. Essay Writing as a Process

Essay writing, unlike fiction or poetry writing, is a method of addressing specific points that the author is trying to convey to their particular audience. 36 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete Assignment: An Introduction
  • Complete: Lesson 1 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 1 Exam

Lesson 2. A Review of Grammar and Punctuation

The lesson will provide you with a clear, basic refresher of the most important rules of grammar and punctuation that you will need when creating essays of any kind. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. The Structures of an Essay. Essay Writing

The first lesson of this course focused on the 8 processes of creating any essay. This lesson will delve deeper and discuss the importance of specific portions and the intent of essay writing. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 3 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 3 Exam

Lesson 4. Outlining

Outlining will assist you in planning your essay and will help you to organize your information so you will have a step-by-step structure, on paper, to guide you through the development, research, and writing process. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Exam

Lesson 5. Developing a Powerful Thesis Statement

This lesson will provide you with the tools needed to produce a highly effective thesis statement no matter what your topic or subject may be. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Exam

Lesson 6. Introduction to the Concept of Research

Accurate and thorough research is as essential to your essay as a well developed thesis statement. This lesson will provide tools and knowledge about performing research that will help expedite the process for you. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Exam

Lesson 7. Rough Drafting or First Drafting

Rough drafting is an important step in creating a well rounded, well written essay. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Exam

Lesson 8. The Revision Process

This lesson will help clarify the finer points of revision and teach you some tips and hints that have been used by academics and professionals to create a satisfying, well written final product. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Exam

Lesson 9. Writing Effective Introductions and Conclusions

This lesson will help you to write beginnings and ends that will have your audience anxious to read on and be satisfied at the finish. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. The Final Draft

This Lesson will teach you how to wrap up the loose ends associated with your completed essay. It is mostly concerned with the final tasks you must complete before handing in or presenting your essay. 33 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 10 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11. Introduction to Style Guides

Using the proper style guide is important in creating standard, well formatted essays. You can use all of these guides as you would a dictionary or other reference guide. 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12. Conclusion

Developing your writing to the point of achieving your desired results every time, takes work, experience, and effort. 54 Total Points
  • Lesson discussions: Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: Final Assignment
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Demonstrate correct usage of grammar and punctuation.
  • Describe the structure of an essay.
  • Create an outline.
  • Develop a powerful thesis statement.
  • Conduct research.
  • Create a rough draft.
  • Summarize the revision process.
  • Write effective introductions and conclusions.
  • Develop a final draft.
  • Describe appropriate style guide usage.
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Additional Course Information

Online CEU Certificate
  • Document Your Lifelong Learning Achievements
  • Earn an Official Certificate Documenting Course Hours and CEUs
  • Verify Your Certificate with a Unique Serial Number Online
  • View and Share Your Certificate Online or Download/Print as PDF
  • Display Your Certificate on Your Resume and Promote Your Achievements Using Social Media
Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: English Composition 101
Course Number: 57700118
Lessons Rating: 4.4 / 5 Stars (1,597 votes)
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Availability: This course is online and available in all 50 states including: California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Texas.
Last Updated: December 2023
Course Type: Self-Paced, Online Class
CEU Value: 1.1 IACET CEUs (Continuing Education Units)
CE Accreditation: Universal Class, Inc. has been accredited as an Authorized Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET).
Grading Policy: Earn a final grade of 70% or higher to receive an online/downloadable CEU Certification documenting CEUs earned.
Assessment Method: Lesson assignments and review exams
Instructor: Dana Kristan
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "I found the course very challenging. I wasn't sure at the onset if I would be cut out for it and was amazed at how easily I was able to comprehend and complete the course requirements. That says a lot about the instructor, that I did so well." -- Laura G.
  • "It was very helpful and effective, in a short time I refreshed my knowledge and it reminded me how I can write a great essay." -- Kelly Y.
  • "This course has helped me expand my knowledge with essay writing Immensely!" -- Elianna S.
  • "She is a knowlegeable and caring instructor." -- Joe O.
  • "This was a fantastic course and I believe the Instructor was a large part of why that was. She was extremely helpful when I had any questions and always available!" -- Donna N.
  • "I really enjoyed learning in this course. It helped improve my keyboarding skills and writing expereince." -- Carolyn W.
  • "This was a very helpful class. My writing grades have improved after taking this course." -- Alaina C.