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Writing Basics 101: Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Writing Structures

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Course Description

Most of us learned spelling and grammar in elementary school and brushed up on the rules occasionally in junior high or middle school.  Once we entered high school, it was assumed we knew and remembered all of the essentials -- and slowly we discovered that although there were some rules we just had to look up, we simply stopped worrying about "the minor details." It's time to relearn those "minor details" that can help you write and read more effectively.  But it's hard to fix something unless you know how it works. 

This self-paced, stress-free course was developed 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 and avoid embarrassing their boss and themselves.

Our innovative course is designed as a refresher course for those who need to brush up on their skills and a reference for anyone who wants to be able to look up the rules for confusing grammatical questions quickly and easily.  After you've reviewed the basic rules of grammar and spelling, you can move on to the lessons on writing style for tips on improving your sentence and paragraph structure, how to polish your writing and how to avoid common errors.
And because the course is online doesn't mean that you'll be left on your own.  The instructor will be grading assignments and tests and is available through email to answer questions and provide guidance.  Why not join us, learn at your own pace and your own schedule and reap the benefits?
  • Completely Online
  • Self-Paced
  • Instructor Feedback
  • 6 Months to Complete
  • 24/7 Availability
  • Start Anytime
  • PC & Mac Compatible
  • Android & iOS Friendly

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, and
  • Demonstrate mastery of lesson content at levels of 70% or higher.
IACET Accredited Provider
Universal Class, Inc. has been approved as an Accredited Provider by the International Association for Continuing Education and Training (IACET). In obtaining this approval, Universal Class, Inc. has demonstrated that it complies with the ANSI/IACET Standard which is widely recognized as the Standard of good practice internationally. As a result of their Accredited Provider status, Universal Class, Inc. is authorized to offer IACET CEUs for its courses that qualify under the ANSI/IACET Standard.

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Course Lessons

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Lesson 1. Introduction

The introduction to this course will begin by first examining why proper grammar and spelling are important. 1 Total Points
  • Lesson 1 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-spellingexercise11.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-wordsearch-activity-7098.pdf
  • Review Video: Parts of Speech Lesson
  • 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. 10 Total Points
  • Lesson 2 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-spellingexercise21.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-spellingexercise31.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-spellingexercise41.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-spellingexercise51.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-wordsearch-activity-7099.pdf
  • Review Article: 10 Tips to improve your spelling
  • Review Article: Improving your spelling while using the computer spell checker
  • Review Article: Irregular Nouns
  • Review Article: Spelling Quiz
  • Review Article: Study Tips
  • Take Poll: Personal Spelling Average
  • Complete: Lesson 2 Exam

Lesson 3. Commonly Misspelled Words

This is a list of some of the most common and frequently misspelled words. 35 Total Points
  • Lesson 3 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-spellingexercise15.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-spellingexercise25.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-spellingexercise35.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-spellingexercise45.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-spellingexercise55.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 6: optional-wordsearch-activity-7100.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 7: optional-wordsearch-activity-7101.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 8: optional-wordsearch-activity-7102.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 9: optional-wordsearch-activity-7103.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 10: optional-wordsearch-activity-7104.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 11: optional-wordsearch-activity-7105.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 12: optional-wordsearch-activity-7106.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 13: optional-wordsearch-activity-7107.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 14: optional-wordsearch-activity-7108.pdf
  • Review Article: Common Misspelled Words (Difficult)
  • Review Article: Commonly confused words-
  • Review Article: Commonly misspelled words
  • Take Poll: Spelling Resources
  • Complete: Spelling 3-1 Exercise
  • Complete: Spelling 3-2 Exercise

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

This lesson explains how to form plurals with some examples. 127 Total Points
  • Lesson 4 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-spellingexercise12.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-spellingexercise22.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-spellingexercise42.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-spellingexercise52.pdf
  • Review Article: Interactive tests for improving the spelling process
  • Review Article: How to Form Plurals of Compound Nouns
  • Review Article: How to Use Apostrophes Correctly
  • Review Video: English lesson and exercises ing forms, spelling rules and grammar
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise A
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise B
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise C
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise D
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise E
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise F
  • Complete: Lesson 4 Spelling Exercise G
  • Complete: 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
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-spellingexercise131.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-spellingexercise331.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-spellingexercise431.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-spellingexercise531.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-spellingexercises231.pdf
  • Review Article: "Seed" Words
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise A
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise B
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise C
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise D
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise E
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise F
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise G
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise H
  • Complete: Lesson 5 Spelling Exercise I
  • Complete: 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. 82 Total Points
  • Lesson 6 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-spellingexercise141.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-spellingexercise241.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-spellingexercise341.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-spellingexercise441.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-spellingexercise541.pdf
  • Review Article: Spelling Quiz Central
  • Review Article: Attaching Prefixes and Suffixes
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise A
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise B
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise C
  • Complete: Lesson 6 Spelling Exercise D
  • Complete: 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. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 7 Video
  • Review Article: Frequently asked questions about common spelling errors (part 1)
  • Review Article: Test your proofreading and Spelling skills
  • Complete: Lesson 7 Spelling Exercise A
  • Complete: 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. 57 Total Points
  • Lesson 8 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-spellingexercise14.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-spellingexercise24.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-spellingexercise34.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-spellingexercise44.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-spellingexercise54.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 6: optional-wordsearch-activity-7109.pdf
  • Review Article: Homophones/Homonyms
  • Review Article: List of 100 Homonyms
  • Review Video: Homonyms and Homophones
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Spelling Exercise A
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Spelling Exercise B
  • Complete: Lesson 8 Spelling Exercise C
  • Complete: 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. 20 Total Points
  • Lesson 9 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_subject_and_predicate_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_subject_and_predicate_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-grammar_subject_and_predicate_wk_4.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-grammar_subject_and_predicate_wk_5.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-grammar_subject_verb_agreement_wk_1.pdf
  • Review Article: Subject/Verb Agreement
  • Review Article: Subject and Predicate
  • Review Article: Subject/Predicate Exercises
  • Review Video: Subject & Predicate
  • Take Poll: Rate Your Grammar Skills
  • Complete Exam: Spelling Test 9 - Subject-Verb Agreement
  • Complete: Lesson 9 Exam

Lesson 10. Verb Tenses

This lesson defines the different types of verb tenses from simple to future perfect progressive. 26 Total Points
  • Lesson 10 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_subject_verb_agreement_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_subject_verb_agreement_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-grammar_subject_verb_agreement_wk_4.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-grammar_subject_verb_agreement_wk_5.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-grammar_verbs_wk_1.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 6: optional-grammar_verbs_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 7: optional-grammar_verbs_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 8: optional-grammar_verbs_wk_4.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 9: optional-grammar_verbs_wk_5.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 10: optional-grammar_verb_tenses_wk_1.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 11: optional-grammar_verb_tenses_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 12: optional-grammar_verb_tenses_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 13: optional-grammar_verb_tenses_wk_4.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 14: optional-grammar_verb_tenses_wk_5.pdf
  • Review Article: Verb Tense Tutorial
  • Review Video: English Grammar -- Present Simple -- Structure
  • Complete: Lesson 10.1 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 10.2 Assignment
  • Complete: 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. 21 Total Points
  • Lesson 11 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_nouns_and_pronouns_wk_1.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_nouns_and_pronouns_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-grammar_nouns_and_pronouns_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-grammar_nouns_and_pronouns_wk_4.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-grammar_nouns_and_pronouns_wk_5.pdf
  • Review Article: Pronoun-antecedent agreement
  • Review Article: Pronouns (Personal, Possessive, Relative and Reflexive Pronouns)
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 11 Exam

Lesson 12. Adjectives and Adverbs

This lesson explains the definitions of adjectives and adverbs and the different degrees for modifying them. 22 Total Points
  • Lesson 12 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_modifiers_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_modifiers_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-grammar_adj_ad_wk_1.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-grammar_adj_ad_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-grammar_adj_ad_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 6: optional-grammar_adj_ad_wk_4.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 7: optional-grammar_adj_ad_wk_5.pdf
  • Review Article: Additional Examples of Adjectives and Adverbs
  • Review Article: Adjective and Adverb Exercises
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 12 Exam

Lesson 13. The Phrase

This lesson describes the use of prepositions in forming sentences. 14 Total Points
  • Lesson 13 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-wordsearch-activity-7110.pdf
  • Review Article: Self-Test on Prepositional Phrases
  • Review Video: Identifying Prepositional Phrases
  • Review Video: Grammar and Mechanics
  • Complete: 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. 11 Total Points
  • Lesson 14 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_punctuation_wk_5.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_sentence_logic_wk_3.pdf
  • Review Article: Additional Examples and Exercises on the Dependent Clause
  • Review Article: Difference Between That and Which
  • Review Article: Independent VS Dependent Clauses
  • Complete: Lesson 14 Exam

Lesson 15. Periods and Other End Stops

This lesson describes when to use periods, exclamation marks, and question marks. 30 Total Points
  • Lesson 15 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_punctuation_wk_2.pdf
  • Review Article: Periods and Other End Stops
  • Review Article: The Proper Use Of The Period And Other End Marks
  • Take Poll: Rate Your Punctuation Skills
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 15 Exam

Lesson 16. Commas

This lesson explains when and where commas are used in sentences. 19 Total Points
  • Lesson 16 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_punctuation_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_punctuation_wk_4.pdf
  • Review Article: Comma Use Exercise
  • Review Article: Grammar Blue Book
  • Complete: Lesson 16 Exam

Lesson 17. Apostrophes

This lesson covers the basic rules when adding an apostrophe and some exceptions. 22 Total Points
  • Lesson 17 Video
  • Review Article: Additional examples on Apostrophes
  • Review Article: Apostrophe Use Exercise
  • Review Article: Apostrophe Rules
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 17 Exam

Lesson 18. Colons and Semicolons

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

Lesson 19. Hyphens

This lesson describes when and how to use hyphens and when they are essential. 9 Total Points
  • Lesson 19 Video
  • Review Article: Hyphens
  • Review Article: How to use Hypens in Your Writing
  • Complete: Lesson 19 Exam

Lesson 20. Quotation Marks

This lesson explains how to use quotation marks properly in text. 8 Total Points
  • Lesson 20 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammarpunctuation_wk_1.pdf
  • Review Article: Exercise 7: Quotation Marks
  • Review Article: Quotation mark exercises
  • Complete: Lesson 20 Exam

Lesson 21. Refining Your Sentences

This lesson explains how to use phrases and compound sentences to make your writing interesting. 50 Total Points
  • Lesson 21 Video
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_sentence_logic_wk_5.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_fragments_parallel_wk_1.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-grammar_fragments_parallel_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 4: optional-grammar_fragments_parallel_wk_3.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 5: optional-grammar_fragments_parallel_wk_4.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 6: optional-grammar_fragments_parallel_wk_5.pdf
  • Review Article: Additional Examples about combining sentences
  • Review Article: Compound Subjects, Verbs, and Sentences
  • Review Video: The 20 Most Common Grammar and Mechanical Errors
  • Take Poll: Writing Expertise
  • Complete: Lesson 21 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 21.2 Assignment
  • Complete: Lesson 21.3 Assignment

Lesson 22. Paragraph Structure

This lesson explains proper paragraph structure with topic and concluding sentences. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 22 Video
  • Review Article: Basic Paragraph Structure
  • Review Article: Lots of Writing Paragraph Exercises
  • Review Article: Writing exercises for paragraph building
  • Review Video: Top 10 Essay Writing Tips
  • 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. 60 Total Points
  • Lesson 23 Video
  • Review Article: Paragraph Writing Exercise
  • Review Article: Seven Types of Paragraphs
  • 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. 40 Total Points
  • Lesson 24 Video
  • Review Article: Seven Keys to Writing Good Dialogue
  • Review Video: Writing Dialogue
  • Complete: Lesson 24 Assignment - Dialogue Writing
  • Complete: Lesson 24.2 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
  • Practice Worksheet 1: optional-grammar_sentence_logic_wk_1.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 2: optional-grammar_sentence_logic_wk_2.pdf
  • Practice Worksheet 3: optional-grammar_sentence_logic_wk_4.pdf
  • Review Article: Proofreading Exercise (part 1)
  • Review Article: Proofreading Exercise (part 2)
  • Review Article: Vocabulary, grammar, punctuation quizzes
  • Take Poll: Editing
  • 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
  • Take Poll: What is your opinion of this course?
  • Take Survey: Program Evaluation Follow-up Survey (End of Course)
  • Complete: The Final Exam
Total Course Points

Additional Course Information

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Document Your CEUs on Your Resume
Course Title: Writing Basics 101: Spelling, Grammar, Punctuation, Writing Structures
Course Number: 7550406
Languages: English - United States, Canada and other English speaking countries
Course Type: General Education
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
Instructor: Daphnee St.Val
Syllabus: View Syllabus
Course Review: Read Editorial Review
Requirements: View Technical Requirements
Course Fee: $65.00 (no CEU Certification) || with CEU Certification: $90.00

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Student Testimonials

  • "The instructor was very helpful when I needed her help. She was prompt with responses and grading assignments and exams." -- Michelle T.
  • "I loved my instructor. She was very helpful, and was there when I had a question. Thanks to her, I am now much better at writing. Personally, I found all of it just as helpful as the rest. It was all amazing, and very helpful." -- Joslyn A.
  • "I thought the course was well-organized and full of useful, easy-to-understand lessons. The instructor was very encouraging and helpful - taking this course was definitely a good experience and I would highly recommend it!" -- Kristi G.
  • "I was impressed that this instructor was always right there for me. I feel I got more attention than I would in a non-online class." -- Christina P.
  • "Instructor was great. Everytime I had a question she was right there to answer. Great experience and will do again." -- Michelle M.
  • "What was most helpful was the Punctuation section. I have been doing it incorrectly my whole life." -- Ciro G.
  • "She is wonderful. She was always very quick in responding to my questions. Everything was helpful." -- Cindy C.
  • View More Testimonials...

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