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. Learning and practicing the basic components introduced in this course will assist those in high school and college; it will help those who will be taking college and/or graduate school entrance exams. It will also assist anyone who is currently job hunting by helping them create coherent, concise written material during the interview process. For those already in the business world, this course will help you create written presentations and other materials required on the job. It will enhance and expand your writing ability and thinking process in the world of business. This course will also benefit those in supervisory positions where a great deal of writing is required. Lastly, it will help anyone enhance their personal written communication skills.
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.
EIGHT BASIC STEPS OF ESSAY WRITING
Whether your writing assignment is academic, business, or personal, the process of all essay writing can be encapsulated into eight basic steps.
- Choose a Topic or Focus on the Assigned Topic.
- Develop your ideas.
- Create an Outline.
- Write a tentative thesis.
- Create the first draft.
- Revise (multiple times).
- 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:
- Who are your audience and what are you trying to tell them?
- What is the main purpose of your essay?
- 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).
PROCESS THREE. Outline.
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.
PROCESS FIVE. Research.
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.
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.
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.
PROCESS SEVEN. Revise.
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.
- Print out a hard copy.
- Read over and mark any sentences or paragraphs you want to change by deleting or adding to what you have written.
- Jot notes in margins or on a separate piece of paper wherever helpful.
- Rewrite (often).
- Check for spelling and grammatical errors again and correct.
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!
Lesson 1. Essay Writing as a ProcessEssay writing, unlike fiction or poetry writing, is a method of addressing specific points that the author is trying to convey to their particular audience.
Lesson 2. A Review of Grammar and PunctuationThe 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.
Lesson 3. The Structures of an Essay. Essay WritingThe 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.
Lesson 4. OutliningOutlining 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.
Lesson 5. Developing a Powerful Thesis StatementThis lesson will provide you with the tools needed to produce a highly effective thesis statement no matter what your topic or subject may be.
Lesson 6. Introduction to the Concept of ResearchAccurate 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.
Lesson 7. Rough Drafting or First DraftingRough drafting is an important step in creating a well rounded, well written essay.
Lesson 8. The Revision ProcessThis 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.
Lesson 9. Writing Effective Introductions and ConclusionsThis lesson will help you to write beginnings and ends that will have your audience anxious to read on and be satisfied at the finish.
Lesson 10. The Final DraftThis 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.
Lesson 11. Introduction to Style GuidesUsing 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.
Lesson 12. ConclusionDeveloping your writing to the point of achieving your desired results every time, takes work, experience, and effort.
- 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
- 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
- "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.
- 7 hours 0.7 CEUs Basic English Speaking Skills + More Info
- 11 hours 1.1 CEUs Punctuation and Grammar 101 + More Info
- 12 hours 1.2 CEUs ESL Grammar Skills Level 1 + More Info
- 5 hours 0.5 CEUs Vocabulary Building + More Info
- 11 hours 1.1 CEUs Writing Effective Emails in the Workplace + More Info
- 5 hours 0.5 CEUs Basic Research Skills + More Info
- 15 hours 1.5 CEUs ABCs of English Grammar + More Info
- 11 hours 1.1 CEUs Essay Writing 101 + More Info
- 7 hours 0.7 CEUs Understanding Learning Styles + More Info
- 14 hours 1.4 CEUs Report Writing 101 + More Info
- 8 hours 0.8 CEUs Teaching Grammar to ESL Students + More Info
- 15 hours 1.5 CEUs Enhance Your Everyday Vocabulary + More Info
- 11 hours 1.1 CEUs Journaling and Memoir Writing + More Info
- 7 hours 0.7 CEUs Spelling 101 + More Info
- 12 hours 1.2 CEUs How to Write Case Studies + More Info