Online Class: Essay Writing 101

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Course Description



Essays are a vital part of writing, both in academic circles and in many professions. Being able to write good essays is a rare ability and those that can demonstrate a mastery of this writing form will quickly distinguish themselves from those who write poorly. In school, this can be the difference between a good grade and a poor one; in industry, it can mean being passed over for a promotion, creating a safety hazard, or even limiting an applicant's prospective job pool.

Learning to write good essays will boost academic performance in school and college, but will also be a valuable skill in today's increasingly competitive job market. Creating concise, informative, and compelling essays can form the basis of many careers, such as authoring non-fiction books, getting into print journalism, writing legal briefs, rendering judicial opinions, or just creating some persuasive advertising text for a business (McClain & Roth, 1999). The ability to write a good essay is a foundational block that can unlock great numbers of opportunities.

This course will examine the nature, history, and structure of essays; the various types of essays; and provide a refresher course in English grammar, focusing on the parts of speech and rules for good syntax. Further, examples will be provided of good writing and poor writing, as well as common mistakes to avoid when creating an essay. When completed, this series of lessons should enable the student to better understand how good essays are written and how to go about writing them for academic or professional use.

Course Requirements

This course will not require you to have previous experience in any particular area but you should have a high school reading level. No books will be required.

Course Topics


  • Lesson 1: Anatomy of an Essay
  • Lesson 2: Grammar Basics, Part I -- The Parts of Speech
  • Lesson 3: Grammar Basics, Part II -- Capitalization & Punctuation
  • Lesson 4: Grammar Basics, Part III -- Subject-Verb Agreement & Other Writing Mishaps
  • Lesson 5: Types of Essays
  • Lesson 6: Topic & Thesis Selection
  • Lesson 7: The Argument, Research & Citations
  • Lesson 8: Outlining the Essay
  • Lesson 9: The Introduction
  • Lesson 10: The Body and Conclusion
  • Lesson 11: Revisions & Finishing Touches
  • Lesson 12: Some Final Writing Pitfalls To Avoid

Course Materials

All course material will be provided in the lessons and netlinks. There are no required materials to purchase before taking the class.

Grading Policy

Each lesson will include a lesson review quiz along with one or two assignments. Students will successfully complete this course by mastering all learning outcomes with 70% or higher overall grade.

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Describe the anatomy of an essay.
  • Define the parts of speech.
  • Demonstrate capitalization and punctuation usage.
  • Recognize subject-verb agreement and other writing mishaps.
  • Describe types of essays.
  • Formulate topic and thesis.
  • Define the argument, conduct research and record citations.
  • Outline the essay.
  • Create the introduction.
  • Create the body and conclusion.
  • Revise the essay, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.

Assessment Guide

Assessment Points
An Introduction1
Lesson 1 Assignment25
Lesson 1: Anatomy of an Essay10
Lesson 2 Assignment25
Lesson 2: Grammar Basics, Part I – The Parts of Speech10
Lesson 3 Assignment25
Lesson 3: Grammar Basics, Part II – Capitalization & Punctuation8
Lesson 4 Assignment25
Lesson 4: Grammar Basics, Part III – Subject-Verb Agreement & Other Writing Mishaps9
Lesson 5 Assignment25
Lesson 5: Types of Essays10
Lesson 6 Assignment25
Lesson 6: Topic & Thesis Selection9
Lesson 7 Assignment25
Lesson 7: The Argument, Research & Citations9
Lesson 8 Assignment25
Lesson 8: Outlining the Essay9
Lesson 9 Assignment25
Lesson 9: The Introduction8
Lesson 10 Assignment25
Lesson 10: The Body and Conclusion10
Lesson 11 Assignment25
Lesson 11: Revisions & Finishing Touches9
Lesson 12: Final Essay Assignment25
Lesson 12: Some Final Writing Pitfalls To Avoid8
Total Points:410

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