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University of Michigan

Writing and Editing: Drafting

University of Michigan via Coursera


This third course in the “Good with Words: Writing and Editing” series will give you a number of strategies to help with what is often the most intimidating, even paralyzing part of the writing process: getting started.

You’ll learn about the “planning fallacy” and “temptation bundling.” You’ll get a chance to experiment with “freewriting” and “writing before you are ready.” And you’ll continue to benefit, through our ongoing “Good Sentences” and “Takeaways” segments, from the models and advice of a diverse set of writers.

As with the other three courses in this series, you will also get access to a wide range of books and other resources you can use even after you finish the course. These include:

(1)the readings and exercises provided to the students who have taken the in-person version of this course at the University of Michigan and the University of Chicago;

(2)two digital libraries of excellent writing from a diverse collection of journalists, scientists, novelists, poets, historians, and entrepreneurs;

(3)a monthly “Good Sentences” email.


  • The Fantasy of the Uninitiated
    • In this first week, we will focus on the cost of perfectionism.
  • The Planning Fallacy
    • This week, we'll focus on "the planning fallacy" and ways to make sure you hit your deadlines.
  • Write Before You Are Ready
    • This week, we will focus on how drafting and researching intertwine.
  • To Name is To Know and Remember
    • This week, we will focus on the benefits of naming things, especially when trying to improve skills like writing and editing.

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