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Online Course

Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order

University of Michigan via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session In progress
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 14 hours worth of material
  • Duration 4 weeks long
  • Learn more about MOOCs

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Overview

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.”

Syllabus

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

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