Online Class: Writing Basics 101 — Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Writing Structures

This self-paced, stress-free course is not only for students wanting to improve their basic writing skills, but also for business writers, creative writers and office staff wanting to improve poor, work-related writing skills in order to avoid embarrassing their employers and themselves.

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    Exams &
  • 24,380
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  • 29
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Course Description

Mastering the Art of Written Expression: A Comprehensive Guide to Grammar, Spelling, and Effective Writing

It's often said that effective communication is the key to success, yet many of us find ourselves stumbling over the very basics we once mastered in our early educational years. Think back to elementary and middle school when the foundations of grammar and spelling were etched into our minds. But as the years went on, especially during high school and beyond, the emphasis on these foundations began to wane. It became an assumption that we retained all those rules. Unfortunately, life's rapid pace and technological advancements, with auto-corrections and abbreviations, have blurred the lines of proper writing for many.

Introducing our meticulously designed course: a deep dive into the nuances of the English language tailored for both beginners and those seeking a refresher. Whether you're an aspiring novelist, a business professional aiming to enhance your email correspondence, or simply an individual looking to express thoughts more articulately, our program caters to your needs.

What Makes Our Course Unique?

  1. Holistic Approach: Beyond just imparting the basic rules of grammar and spelling, we venture into style, structure, and common pitfalls in writing. You'll not only revisit those “minor details” but also learn the mechanics of assembling them into coherent, persuasive, and engaging pieces of writing.

  2. Self-Paced and Interactive: Understandably, everyone learns at their own speed. Our course's online structure ensures flexibility. Engage with interactive assignments, participate in polls, and deep-dive into documents and resources to enrich your learning.

  3. Hands-On Guidance: While the course might be online, you are never alone in your journey. Our dedicated instructor will be actively involved in grading assignments, clarifying doubts, and offering personalized guidance through email.

  4. Real-World Application: Each lesson is designed with applicability in mind. For instance, in Lesson 5, not only will you understand the age-old confusion between "ie" and "ei", but you'll also discern when to use which, through practical examples. Or, delve deep into the world of punctuation in Lesson 18, and understand how colons and semicolons can transform the clarity and rhythm of a sentence.

  5. Comprehensive Curriculum: From the basics like common misspellings and plural forms to more advanced topics such as refining sentences, constructing compelling paragraphs, and mastering dialogue, our 26-lesson curriculum ensures a 360-degree understanding of written English.

Course Highlights:

  • Lesson 3: Unravel a list of commonly misspelled words, complete with tricks to remember them.

  • Lesson 8: Homonyms can be tricky. Dive into understanding the difference between words like 'principal' and 'principle'.

  • Lesson 13 & 14: Discover the power of phrases and clauses to add depth and complexity to your sentences.

  • Lesson 20: Quotation marks can be deceptive. Learn their correct usage, especially in intricate situations like quotations within quotations.

  • Lesson 25: Proofreading isn't just about catching errors; it's an art. Develop a keen eye for inconsistencies and learn techniques to perfect your drafts.

The world of written communication is vast, intricate, and beautiful. Every word, when used accurately, has the power to evoke emotions, persuade minds, or simply convey information clearly. With our course, embrace the opportunity to hone this skill and navigate the landscape of language with confidence and finesse. Come, join us on this enlightening journey, and see the transformation in your writing unfold.

Who should take this course?

This course is primarily intended for anyone who needs help with their grammar, spelling, and punctuation skills or anyone who lacks confidence in their grammar, writing and editing skills. This course is designed specifically for busy professionals who need to refine or polish their writing skills or require a refresher course on how to write well. If you think you require more remedial help in grammar, spelling, and sentence formation, or if English is not your first language and you are unsure what level of English learning you are currently at, you may want to check out our extensive list of ESL courses for different levels of English language mastery.

Does this course have an instructor that can help me?

Yes, there is an instructor who will review your assignment activities, provide feedback on your errors, and answer any questions you may have about the course material. You are not alone when you take this course, Ms. Daphnee St. Val is there to help you on your writing improvement journey!

Why do I need this course if I can just run a spell check?

Presenting yourself well these days requires competent writing skills. Sending out written communications without spelling errors doesn't necessarily mean your writing is acceptable, conveys the meaning and tone you want, or correctly communicates your intended message. People will review your writing as a direct reflection of your voice, your personality, and your thoughts. If your writing is muddled, disorganized, long-winded, awkward, or difficult to follow, the reader will unfortunately believe that is who you are. Conversely, if your writing is clear, organized, concise and with purpose, people will believe you are smart, capable, and credible. This course provides several lessons and writing exercises to help you build better writing skills that convey the message and tone you want while using your own voice and style.

Will I be graded on my submissions?

Yes, assignment activities and lesson exams to test your mastery of course curriculum are graded. This will provide the necessary proof that you are in fact understanding and mastering the lesson outcomes. Should you fail a specific assignment activity you may be given the option to redo the activity correctly for a better grade. Ultimately, this course isn't about submitting flawless work--it's about learning from your mistakes and improving your writing processes. Please note that this course and instructor are here to help you succeed! We want to help you improve your grammar and writing skills.

How can I purchase this course for an employee that needs writing help?

This course is a great writing resource for your staff particularly if they handle any office communications. If you are purchasing this class for more than one person, you may want to register your organization for our Group Enrollments where you can purchase this course in bulk, receive discounts based on volume, and easily issue vouchers to your employees for quick course access (and you'll be able to monitor their course progress). Group account setup, payment, and course access only takes a few minutes.

What kind of certification is offered at course completion?

If you sign up for the certificate version of this class, you'll receive an accredited CEU Certificate of Course Completion documenting your contact hours and CEUs. This certificate is downloadable, shareable, and verifiable online with a unique serial number so that organizations can independently verify your successful course completion status. This is a desirable achievement as you can only earn a certificate provided your overall/final course grade is 70% or higher. The certificate proves you have mastered all the learning outcomes presented in this writing course. This differs from most other online grammar courses that provide non-accredited certificates for just reviewing video tutorials which doesn't necessarily mean the student actually mastered any course objectives.

Course Motivation

The Importance of Proper Grammar and Punctuation

Try reading a paragraph that has had all the punctuation removed and you'll soon realize just how crucial it is.  Thoughts run up against each other, you aren't sure where one sentence or phrase begins and another one ends. Chaos reigns in the thoughts you had organized so carefully!   

Good grammar and spelling also reflect on you personally.  Consider a major term paper written by two students, one with poor grammar and another who is a stickler for the details. With the value and accuracy of the information being equal, any professor will grade the paper with poor grammar or spelling lower.  Why?  Because not only is it simply not correct, but it tells the professor that the writer didn't bother to take the time to make sure his work was the best it could be.  Reading a paper that is poorly organized and difficult to understand because of grammar mistakes is also very frustrating for the reader, more time has to be spent on deciphering the intended meaning and less time is spent on appreciating it.   

Even the most basic writing, like thank you notes and emails, can be sabotaged by just one grammatical error.  In the business world, this can give clients the impression that you aren't careful. If your work is as sloppy as your writing, you aren't the person they want to do business with. 

Finally, improper use of grammar and spelling is a sign, whether right or wrong, that you may be less educated or less intelligent than you actually are.  Your writing reflects so much more about your personality, attention to detail, and focus than most people are aware of; this course will help you learn just what you need to polish your writing to perfection. 
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • 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:
4.3 / 5 Stars (Average Rating)
"Extraordinarily Helpful"
(23,113 votes)

Lesson 1. Introduction

The introduction to this course will begin by first examining why proper grammar and spelling are important. Additional lesson topics: Complete English Punctuation Rules; Spelling Rules; Parts of Speech Lesson; Perfect English Grammar 1 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Review 2 Practice Worksheets
  • Lesson discussions: Reasons for Taking this Course
  • Complete: Introduction Assignment

Lesson 2. The Basic Rules of Spelling

This lesson describes how to turn singular words to plural and the exceptions to the rule. Additional lesson topics: 10 Tips to improve your spelling 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. Commonly Misspelled Words

This is a list of some of the most common and frequently misspelled words. Additional lesson topics: Commonly confused words-; Commonly misspelled words 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Review 14 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Spelling 3-1 Exercise
  • Assessment: Spelling 3-2 Exercise

Lesson 4. Plural Forms for Names, Compound Words, and Numbers

This lesson explains how to form plurals with some examples. Additional lesson topics: How to Form Plurals of Compound Nouns; How to Use Apostrophes Correctly 127 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Review 4 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise A
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise B
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise C
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise D
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise E
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise F
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise G
  • Assessment: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise H

Lesson 5. Understanding "ie" Versus"ei" and Other Spelling Dilemmas

This lesson presents the basic explanation of when to use "ie" and "ei". 145 Total Points
  • Lesson 5 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise A
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise B
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise C
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise D
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise E
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise F
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise G
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise H
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise I
  • Assessment: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise J

Lesson 6. Prefix and Suffix Rules

This lesson explains the basics of adding prefixes and suffixes including some exceptions to the rule. Additional lesson topics: Attaching Prefixes and Suffixes 82 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise A
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise B
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise C
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise D
  • Assessment: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise E

Lesson 7. Common Prefixes and Suffixes

This lesson gives a list of the most common add-ons to root words and their meanings. Additional lesson topics: Frequently asked questions about common spelling errors part 1 ; Test your proofreading and Spelling skills 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Spelling Exercise A
  • Assessment: Lesson 7 Spelling Exercise B

Lesson 8. Homonyms

This lesson lists some of the most commonly used words that sound alike but have totally different meanings. Additional lesson topics: Homophones/Homonyms; List of 200 Homonyms 56 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Review 6 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Spelling Exercise A
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Spelling Exercise B
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Spelling Exercise C
  • Assessment: Lesson 8 Spelling Exercise D

Lesson 9. Subject and Predicate

This lesson defines what a subject and predicate are and how they are used in sentences. Additional lesson topics: Subject/Verb Agreement; Subject and Predicate; Subject and Predicate; Subject/Predicate Exercises 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Spelling Test 9 - Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Assessment: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. Verb Tenses

This lesson defines the different types of verb tenses from simple to future perfect progressive. Additional lesson topics: English Grammar -- Present Simple -- Structure 41 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Review 14 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exercise: Find the Verb
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exercise: Simple Present Verb Tenses
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exercise: Irregular Verbs
  • Assessment: Lesson 10 Exam

Lesson 11. Nouns and Pronouns

This lesson defines what a noun and pronoun are, the different types of pronouns and pronoun cases. Also, the correct usage of who and whom. 49 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Review 5 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exercise: Find the Subject Noun
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exercise: Using the Correct Pronoun
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exercise: Pronoun Substitution
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exercise: Correct Pronoun Use
  • Assessment: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12. Adjectives and Adverbs

This lesson explains the definitions of adjectives and adverbs and the different degrees for modifying them. Additional lesson topics: Additional Examples of Adjectives and Adverbs 42 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Review 7 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exercise: Identifying Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exercise: Comparative and Superlative Adjectives
  • Assessment: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13. The Phrase

This lesson describes the use of prepositions in forming sentences. Additional lesson topics: Identifying Prepositional Phrases; Self-Test on Prepositional Phrases; Grammar and Mechanics 34 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: optional-WordSearch-Activity-7110.pdf
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exercise: Identify the Preposition
  • Assessment: Lesson 13 Exam

Lesson 14. The Clause

This lesson describes the difference between an independent clause and a subordinate clause and the proper usage of that and which. Additional lesson topics: Difference Between That and Which; Independent VS Dependent Clauses 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Review 2 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15. Periods and Other End Stops

This lesson describes when to use periods, exclamation marks, and question marks. Additional lesson topics: Periods and Other End Stops; The Proper Use Of The Period and Other End Marks 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: optional-Grammar_Punctuation_Wk_2.pdf
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exercise: Sentence Punctuation
  • Assessment: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16. Commas

This lesson explains when and where commas are used in sentences. Additional lesson topics: Comma Use Exercise 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Review 2 Practice Worksheets
  • Assessment: Lesson 16 Exam

Lesson 17. Apostrophes

This lesson covers the basic rules when adding an apostrophe and some exceptions. Additional lesson topics: Apostrophe Rules; Apostrophe Use Exercise 22 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 17 Exercise: Using Apostrophes
  • Assessment: Lesson 17 Exam

Lesson 18. Colons and Semicolons

This lesson gives the basic rules for using colons and semicolons in a sentence. Additional lesson topics: Commas vs. semicolons exercises; Semicolon and Colon Rules 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 18 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 18 Exam

Lesson 19. Hyphens

This lesson describes when and how to use hyphens and when they are essential. Additional lesson topics: How to use Hypens in Your Writing; Hyphens 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 19 Video
  • Assessment: Lesson 19 Exercise: Hyphen Usage
  • Assessment: Lesson 19 Exam

Lesson 20. Quotation Marks

This lesson explains how to use quotation marks properly in text. Additional lesson topics: Quotation mark exercises; Quotation Marks 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 20 Video
  • Review Practice Worksheet: optional-GrammarPunctuation_Wk_1.pdf
  • Assessment: Lesson 20 Exam

Lesson 21. Refining Your Sentences

This lesson explains how to use phrases and compound sentences to make your writing interesting. Additional lesson topics: Compound Subjects, Verbs, and Sentences; The Several Most Common Grammar and Mechanical Errors 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 21 Video
  • Review 6 Practice Worksheets
  • Complete: Lesson 21 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 21.2 Assignment

Lesson 22. Paragraph Structure

This lesson explains proper paragraph structure with topic and concluding sentences. Additional lesson topics: Writing exercises for paragraph building; Paragraph Writing: How to Write a Good Paragraph; Several Essay Writing Tips 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 22 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 22.1 Assignment - Paragraph Writing
  • Complete: Lesson 22.2 Assignment - Paragraph Writing

Lesson 23. Types of Paragraphs

This lesson explains the difference between narrative and descriptive and expository paragraphs. Additional lesson topics: Paragraph Writing Exercise; Seven Types of Paragraphs 45 Total Points
  • Lesson 23 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 23 Assignment - Narrative Paragraph
  • Complete: Lesson 23.2 Assignment - Descriptive Paragraph
  • Complete: Lesson 23.3 Assignment

Lesson 24. Writing Dialogue

This lesson explains the importance of the structure and flow of dialogue. Additional lesson topics: Seven Keys to Writing Good Dialogue 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 24 Video
  • Complete: Lesson 24 Assignment - Dialogue Writing

Lesson 25. Proofreading and Revising Your Writing

We'll review proofreading and techniques for revising to better improve your writing. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 25 Video
  • Review 3 Practice Worksheets
  • Complete: Lesson 25 Assignment
  • Complete: Final Assignment - Three Paragraph Essay

Lesson 26. Additional Grammar and Writing Resources

Additional grammar and writing resources 74 Total Points
  • Lesson discussions: Course Comments; Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Assessment: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Learning Outcomes

By successfully completing this course, students will be able to:
  • Define the basic rules of spelling.
  • Recognize commonly misspelled words.
  • Demonstrate proper use of plural forms for names, compound words and numbers.
  • Recognize "ie" versus "ei" and other spelling dilemmas.
  • Define prefix and suffix rules.
  • Identify common prefixes and suffixes.
  • Define homonyms.
  • Identify subject and predicate and demonstrate using them properly.
  • Identify verb tenses and demonstrate using them properly.
  • Identify nouns and pronouns and demonstrate using them properly.
  • Identify adjectives and adverbs and demonstrate using them properly.
  • Identify the phrase and clause and use them correctly.
  • Identify and properly use periods, commas, apostrophes, colons, semicolons, hyphens, and quotation marks.
  • Refine your sentence writing, identify types of paragraphs and form paragraphs correctly.
  • Demonstrate correct writing of dialogue.
  • Proofread and revise your writing.
  • 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: Writing Basics 101: Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Writing Structures
Course Number: 57700114
Lessons Rating: 4.3 / 5 Stars (23,113 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: 2.9 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
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Fee: $120.00 U.S. dollars

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Student Testimonials

  • "This course was great. My goal was to review the rules of grammar, punctuation and writing styles. This goal was reached and I relearned things I had forgotten. Instruction was great and feedback was awesome. Emails were answered quickly and I appreciated that so much. Thanks for offering this course." -- Johnna M.
  • "I really appreciated how the instructor took a second look at one of my grades on the lesson. I presented my case with solid reasoning and examples in reference to what I considered subjective. She was also very understanding and sympathetic to my certification deadline and graded ALL assignments timely." -- Lynnetta W.
  • "This courses was helpful to me and improved my English skills. The instructor was nice and also helpful." -- Fatoumata B.
  • "Great course, covered more than the basics, numerous exercises to build mastery. The best part is the feedback from the instructor on the writing assignments so you know how well you're doing and what kind of improvement you're making. Thank you for a great course!" -- Jason L.
  • "I've taken another course with Daphne before. I love her encouragement and the respect she gives with timely responses to emails or grading assignments." -- Lisa G.
  • "This course really was very helpful to me and the instructor was really good about answering all my questions." -- Heidi P.
  • "The instructor was very professional. I have been taking classes with the same instructor for four years in the row. I am very happy with her." -- George C.
  • "I like how you presented the material in a easy to read format. I like how you added writing prompts, to help me interact with the material I just learned. I liked how you used the quizzes to see how must information my brain retained from what I learned." -- Oksana B.
  • "I appreciate all of the work Daphne put forth. She was always there to answer questions, and grade lessons promptly." -- Peggy S.
  • "The teacher was excellent; it has been a while since I graduated with my bachelor's degree. I really needed to brush up on my English because I love to read." -- Nadine D.
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