Tips Regarding Taking a Writing Class

March 4, 2016

I’ve been a college professor for over twenty years, teaching business, management, and credit and non-credit writing classes. I believe in life-long learning and hope you’ll consider these tips as you continue to learn more about your own writing adventure.

  • Read the class description carefully to make sure your expectations match what the class offers.
  • Ask questions about the class. Good places to start are the instructor, school personnel, and students who have already taken the class.
  • Determine which level the class is for–beginning or advanced. One way to decide is to remember that classes for beginners focus on writing basics while advanced classes focus more on specific projects/genres/publishing.
  • Choose classes with limited enrollment. Classes larger than ten or twelve can become too large to give much time to individual students.
  • Check on the instructor’s credentials. Things to look for are editing experience, publishing credits, and reputation as a writing teacher.
  • Find out if there are any writing exercises required. I always told my students, “Writers write–and sometimes get published. But you’ll never get published if you don’t write.” See if there’s any writing required in your writing class.
  • Stay away from instructors who base the class simply on their own writings. It’s better to learn from many writing resources, so look for classes that draw on those resources.
  • Avoid instructors who teach in absolutes such as “never” or “always.” Granted, there are rules in the writing profession, and you should know what those rules are, but style and content can be flexible as long as you follow the basic rules of grammar and punctuation and clarity so the reader can enjoy your writing without having to work at it.

If you haven’t already, I hope you decide to become a life-long learner. You’ll enjoy your writing journey even more than you do now. Happy writing!