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University of Michigan

Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order

University of Michigan via Coursera


This course will teach you how to use your written words to become more persuasive. You’ll learn creative ways to use syntax, effective techniques for telling stories, and a clever method for arranging a complex series of information. You’ll also get a chance to both professionalize your use of punctuation and add a bit of style and sophistication to how you craft everything from sentences to slogans.

In addition, you’ll 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; and (3) a monthly “Good Sentences” email. Social media has only accelerated the ways in which we all must learn to use our writing to connect, compete, and create—sometimes all at once. So join us for this first course in a four-part series and experience the many benefits, both personal and professional, of becoming “good with words.”


  • The Words Under the Words
    • In this first week, you will be introduced to instructor Patrick Barry. This week's course content will focus on how the words you choose can change the decisions that people make.
  • The Infinite Power of Grammar
    • This week, we will focus on how the order of the words you choose can change the decisions people make.
  • The Rule of Three
    • In Week Three, we will focus on combining word choice with word order.
  • The Power of the Particular
    • Our final week will focus on filling our writing with compelling details.

Taught by

Patrick Barry


5.0 rating, based on 2 Class Central reviews

4.7 rating at Coursera based on 1612 ratings

Start your review of Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order

  • Anonymous
    Its a great job melanie, every one must learn and gollow her. but now the time is to clean herself. ratha krishnan is here to guide us for cleaniness.Oh krishessh, you are under the discussion along with your family for the picnic great job. let us join...
  • Allison W
    Intense writing course. The video lectures are split up with readings and short exercises, and quizzes. It feels very comprehensive.

    I don't recommend taking other classes at the same time.

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