How to Write an Essay is one of the best and popular free online courses available on edX.  The free course from the University of California, Berkeley is available to everyone. The instructor for this online course is Maggie Sokolik Director, College Writing Programs, University of California, Berkeley.

The online essay writing course is an introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing.

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How to Write an Essay?

  • Length: 5 weeks of Study
  • Effort: 5-6 hours per week
  • Subject: Humanities
  • Level: Introductory 
  • Institution: BerkeleyX
  • Languages: English
  • Video Transcripts: English
  • Certificate Available: Yes

University Details:

The University of California, Berkeley was chartered in 1868, and its flagship campus — envisioned as a “City of Learning” — was established at Berkeley, on San Francisco Bay. Berkeley faculty consists of 1,582 full-time and 500 part-time faculty members dispersed among more than 130 academic departments and more than 80 interdisciplinary research units. Berkeley alumni have received 28 Nobel prizes, and there are eight Nobel Laureates, 32 MacArthur Fellows, and four Pulitzer Prize winners among the current faculty.

In September 2012, to mark Berkeley’s commitment to innovation in teaching and learning, The Berkeley Resource Center for Online Education (BRCOE) was formed. The Center is a resource hub and an operational catalyst for all internal campus-wide and external resources to advise, coordinate, and facilitate the University’s online education initiatives, ranging from credit and non-credit courses, to online degree programs and MOOC projects, including the MOOCLab initiative.

BRCOE’s new MOOCLab is a three-year research initiative to fund and develop Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) as vehicles for pedagogical research in online education.

Berkeley is also working with edX to develop and foster the adoption of Small Private Online Courses (SPOCs) on campuses around the world. SPOCs are designed to supplement and enhance the learning experience of on-campus students while providing local faculty an opportunity for more interactive activities and more time for “high-touch” pedagogy.

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About this Course “How to Write an Essay”:

College Writing 2.1x is an introduction to academic writing for English Language Learners, focusing on essay development, grammatical correctness, and self-editing. The five-week course includes a review of basic grammar terminology and understanding; writing effective sentences and paragraphs; introductions and conclusions; strategies for writing longer texts; and thesis statements. The course materials will be offered via readings and videos. An optional course workbook, in ebook form, may be used for additional writing work. Students will participate in online discussions as well as peer review. Students will complete an essay for this part of the course.

In partnership with the U.S. Department of State

UC Berkeley is partnering with the U.S. Department of State to extend the reach of College Writing 2X. Participating U.S. Embassies will host in-person, facilitated discussions sessions around the course content in order to maximize the learning experience. The State Department-supported EducationUSA network will also offer facilitated discussions in some locations for students interested in pursuing higher education in the United States. This partnership is part of the English Education Alliance (E2A), a global effort of the U.S. Department of State to address the global demand for 21st-century English language skills.

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Learning Outcomes:

  • Basic grammar terminology and understanding
  • How to write effective sentences and paragraphs
  • How to tackle writing introductions and conclusions
  • Strategies for writing longer texts and thesis statements

Why should you join this course?

This is a free online course. You can enroll from anywhere. The best chance for you to learn from one of the best instructors in the world. 

How to join an online course on Essay Writing?

EdX courses are open to everyone. All you need is access to a computer with a current browser, an Internet connection, and, of course, a desire to learn.

To begin, please register for an edX account. You will need to: 

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When you find an online course that interests you in the course catalog, you can enroll in the course by selecting the Enroll Now button on the course About page. 

Registering for an edX account is completely free! You can also take courses for free, or you can choose to pay a fee and pursue a verified certificate.

How can you apply for financial assistance?

edX offers up to a 90% discount on our verified certificates to learners who can benefit from, but cannot afford to pay, full price. Assistance is available in most courses that offer verified certificates, however, some courses and programs are not eligible.

You can be approved up to five times in a twelve-month period for financial assistance.

To apply for financial assistance

Enroll in how to write an essay course as an audit learner, and then complete the financial assistance application. Upon submission your application will be reviewed, this process typically takes 2-4 business days. An email with a financial assistance code for 90% off will be delivered if your application is accepted. You can then apply the code on the payment form for the discounted rate.