Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Carrie Oakley - an online graduate with experience as a Math Professor in an Online School - started the website OnlineColleges.org to help students find the right online school for them. OnlineColleges.org is a nonprofit resource for students considering an online college for their associates, bachelors, masters or doctorate level degree. This completely non-sponsored site provides students with honest answers to navigating the often confusing world of online colleges and universities. Today Carrie shares her views on the value of learning to write on the web.
Some people are born with an aptitude for writing; all they have to do is put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard if we’re keeping up with the times) and the words flow without end. They’re able to bring out concisely, clearly and creatively any topic they write about, and they hone their craft by reading extensively and listening to the right kind of feedback. Others become good writers through experience and practice – their skills are raw, and even though they have the potential, they need to work off the rough edges and learn how to write effectively.It’s this second group that needs writing classes and workshops – these sessions allow aspiring writers to give form to their words; they teach them how to control their creativity and steer it in the right direction; and they teach them how to make their writing more attractive and compelling.
Online writing courses are generally not for those who prefer to interact with a group of peers and exchange ideas with their teacher and the rest of the class. However, it works well for those who:
· Are looking for flexibility in their classes because they cannot take time off to attend them on a full-time basis.
· Prefer to take the course on a one-to-one basis because they’re reticent about opening up before a group.
· Don’t want to shell out too much for a writing class; however, some online courses are as expensive as the regular ones, especially if they’re offered by reputable institutions.
· Want to sign up for classes held in locations far from where they live.
· Don’t want to commute to and from class.
Writing courses are not for everyone; whether they’re online or conducted as offline workshops, they’re meant only for those who have at least the minimum aptitude for this creative task. While you may want to be a writer, you need to know if you have it in you to become one. So before you sign up for a writing course, it’s best to assess your ability to write. You can do this by writing a short article on any topic that’s close to your heart, and asking an established writer to gauge your potential.
In general, writing courses benefit anyone who has raw talent that can be honed to good writing. For such courses to be beneficial, they must focus not just on tapping creativity, but also on language, grammar, form and content. Good writing is characterized by near-perfect language, impeccable grammar, correct spellings, and a good narrative. Established writers know not just the right words to use, but also when, where and how to use them. They know when to tone it down and when to go all out when it comes to flowery and descriptive language, and most important of all, they know how to deal with praise and criticism in their stride.
While an online writing class can get you started in honing your raw talent, only continuous practice and constant efforts serve to bring you success in this field.