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Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing)

Mt. San Jacinto College via Coursera

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Learn to become an effective builder of sentences using the basic tools of grammar, punctuation, and writing in this FREE and open course. By dedicating yourself to the craft of writing English, you will learn to use the eight parts of speech and grammar to develop the four basic sentence types into a well-organized, detailed paragraph. This course is designed for anyone who wants to become a better writer. If you need to write more clearly for work, prepare for a placement test for a college, or improve your skills for current writing projects, this class is beneficial. Please be aware that basic writers are the targeted audience for this course.

  • Students will be able to identify and correct some sentence level grammatical and punctuation errors.
  • Students will be able to develop four sentence types: simple, compound, complex and compound-complex.
  • Students will be able to recognize and use all four sentence types.
  • Students will be able to develop a clear topic sentence.
  • Students will be able to write a well-organized, detailed paragraph.
Why would you want to take this course?
  • As a pre-Assessment activity
  • As a petition for English placement
  • As a brush-up for students while in writing classes
  • As a brush-up for students who don’t/can’t enroll in an English class
  • As a resource for flipped/blended classrooms
  • To become a better writer

  • Certified Course

Crafting an Effective Writer by Mt. San Jacinto College is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 3.0 Unported License.


Unit 1:  Becoming a Successful Online Learner
Introduction to the course with a course navigation tutorial; strategies for being successful in the course and in any online learning environment; information about how you might make your success in the course useful in your future educational experience.
Unit 2:  Parts of Speech
The eight main parts of speech; why knowing the parts of speech will help your writing; the sentence; observing the world.
Unit 3:  Subjects and Verbs
Another way of looking at the parts of speech -- the building materials put to use in the structure of the sentence; gerunds, imperatives, and infinitives; thinking about verb tense and voice; regular and irregular verbs; building your confidence with empowered sentences. Unit 4:  Clauses and Phrases

Adding to your basic sentences with clauses and phrases; combining ideas and creating complexity; the four sentence types; creating your writing style. 

Unit 5:  Composing and Writing
The writing process; revision vs. editing; punctuation, spelling, and commonly confused words; writing a paragraph.

Taught by

Lawrence (Larry) Barkley and Ted Blake


4.0 rating, based on 25 Class Central reviews

Start your review of Crafting an Effective Writer: Tools of the Trade (Fundamental English Writing)

  • Anonymous
    This class was one of the best online class I have ever seen. I liked the way of teaching. I could brush up my English grammar. I enjoyed doing the assignments, peer assessments and quizzes. I want to thank all the teachers, the staff, and other people who have taken pains to make this class successful.
  • Lectures are extremely short. Totally a beginner's beginner course! Recommend only for those who just start to learn English writing.
  • Meimuna Mohammed
    I did this course, and it has remarkably improved my writing. I completed by Masters Thesis, and surprisingly I am included in every assignment that requires recording and reporting. I have improved in my writing. I would highly recommend this cause to a person that was not very keen in English during primary and secondary school but has the essential background on grammar. It refreshes your knowledge, and you can be on your trip to improving your writing.
  • Profile image for Jos Gysenbergs
    Jos Gysenbergs
    Even a non-native speaker will find this course fairly easy because it covers the bare basics in an easy going pace.
    "Crafting an Effective Writer" is an excellent course because it allows you to understand the very structure of the English language.
  • Francisco Javier Jiménez
  • Grace Furman
  • Ana
  • Gomathi
  • Karen Kaiser
  • Jose Marcos Leite
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    Luis Ribeiro

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