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Free College-Level Writing & Literature Classes

Want to go back to college for free?

At the online learning sites Coursera, you can take college-level writing and literature courses for free, studying alongside thousands of other students.

Below, we’ve linked to nine college-level writing classes, offerings ranging from science fiction to writing to mythology.

Free Writing & Literature Courses

1. English Composition I: Achieving Expertise at Duke University: “You will gain a foundation for college-level writing valuable for nearly any field. Students will learn how to read carefully, write effective arguments, understand the writing process, engage with others’ ideas, cite accurately, and craft powerful prose. We will create a workshop environment.”

2. Writing II: Rhetorical Composing at Ohio State University: “Writing II engages you in a series of interactive reading, research, and composing activities along with assignments designed to help you become a more effective consumer and producer of alphabetic, visual and multimodal texts.

3. Gender through Comic Books at Ball State: “A Super MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) coming Spring 2013 that examines how comic books can be used to explore questions of gender identity, stereotypes, and roles. This highly engaging learning experience is designed for college-age and lifelong learners.”

4. Writing History at University of Central Florida: “a survey of historical thought, philosophy, and historiography. This course will survey the questions, methods, and debates historians have engaged in over the years and around the world. The course will also address best practices to researching and writing history.”

5. The Ancient Greeks at Wesleyan University: “This is a survey of ancient Greek history from the Bronze Age to the death of Socrates in 399 BCE. Along with studying the most important events and personalities, we will consider broader issues such as political and cultural values and methods of historical interpretation.”

6. The Fiction of Relationship at Brown University: “What is the nature of our relationship to others and the world? How can literature help us see these relationships more clearly? This course seeks to explore such questions through adventurous readings of ten great works of narrative fiction from the 18th to the 20th century.”

7. Online Games: Literature, New Media, and Narrative at Vanderbilt University: “For both newcomers and hard-core gamers who want to reflect on their passion, this course will explore what happens to stories, paintings, and films when they are turned into online games.”

8. Modern & Contemporary American Poetry at University of Pennsylvania: “ModPo is a fast-paced introduction to modern and contemporary U.S. poetry, from Dickinson and Whitman to the present. Participants (who need no prior experience with poetry) will learn how to read poems that are supposedly “difficult.”

9. Greek and Roman Mythology at the University of Pennsylvania: “This course will focus on the myths of ancient Greece and Rome, as a way of exploring the nature of myth and the function it plays for individuals, societies, and nations.”

Mediabistro Course

Novel Writing: Editing Your Draft

Novel Writing: Editing Your DraftStarting July 16, workshop your novel in-progress with a published author! Erika Mailman's course will function as a workshop, with the emphasis on sharing your work for review and providing critiques for your peers. By the end of this class you'll have up to 75 pages of you novel workshopped and developed patterns to improve your writing. Register now!