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college classes that helped you (2 Viewers)

Wannabee2

Senior Member
What classes have you taken that helped you in your writing, either in person or distance ed? Are there any university distance education classes that you can recommend from personal experience? I took a creative nonfiction class (an old fashioned snail-mail correspondence class) a few years ago. It was helpful for building my confidence and one of my essays was later published, but for several reasons I wont recommend that specific class. But it was worthwhile and I'm glad I took it. I'm thinking of taking another class on mythology in literature. Although I don't have much native interest in the topic (other than The Odyssey, I've never read much in the genre) I think it could be interesting, and might help my critical reading and writing. I just know it will force me to read and wrote, which can't hurt.
 

Winston

WF Veterans
Fine. I don't want that on my head.

One of the few useful courses I had was critical thinking. I mean, if you have no natural abilities in that regard, life will eat you alive regardless.
But I found some of the tools used in that class were helpful in many areas, including writing.
 

Amnesiac

Senior Member
I didn't find much in my college classes that really helped, but in jr. high and high school, we had a kick-ass English department. We did Romeo and Juliet, Watership Down,Murders in the Rue Morgue, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Scarlet Letter, The Outsiders, The Martian Chronicles, wrote our own plays, wrote our own fantasy stories, did speech and debate, mock trials... Even in elementary school, we did A Wrinkle In Time, the Narnia Chronicles... We were also allowed/mandated to keep a journal and free-write in it for the first ten minutes of every class... We also explored the poetry of Keats, Yates, Wordsworth, Poe, and Shakespeare.
 

Wannabee2

Senior Member
Fine. I don't want that on my head.

One of the few useful courses I had was critical thinking. I mean, if you have no natural abilities in that regard, life will eat you alive regardless.
But I found some of the tools used in that class were helpful in many areas, including writing.


I would think so. I have a science degree which I hope taught me critical thinking skills. There's a lot of drivel out there from writers who don't.
 

Wannabee2

Senior Member
I didn't find much in my college classes that really helped, but in jr. high and high school, we had a kick-ass English department. We did Romeo and Juliet, Watership Down,Murders in the Rue Morgue, Where the Red Fern Grows, The Scarlet Letter, The Outsiders, The Martian Chronicles, wrote our own plays, wrote our own fantasy stories, did speech and debate, mock trials... Even in elementary school, we did A Wrinkle In Time, the Narnia Chronicles... We were also allowed/mandated to keep a journal and free-write in it for the first ten minutes of every class... We also explored the poetry of Keats, Yates, Wordsworth, Poe, and Shakespeare.

That sounds great! I only took one or two semesters of high school English on my way to dropping out. I had very definite preferences at that age (Ray Bradbury) and really didn't want to read things that didn't interest me. I look back on it now as one of my biggest mistakes in life. Now, many years later I'm interested in all of those writers. I could of course just read them on my own but getting feedback on my writing about my reading is also important...so I'm thinking of taking some classes
 

Amnesiac

Senior Member
Bradbury was a god.... He has inspired countless scores of aspiring writers. Amazing, wonderful man.
 

Taylor

Staff member
Board Moderator
I would think so. I have a science degree which I hope taught me critical thinking skills. There's a lot of drivel out there from writers who don't.

I agree, any course that requires critical thinking will improve your writing. My education is in business, and I'd say any course that has case studies as a basis. For example strategy or marketing. Having to report out your findings in a coherent way is critical to getting good marks. Even the smartest do not do well if they cannot write. And the instructors usually share good examples or rubrics, so you can hone your skills really quickly.
 

Pamelyn Casto

WF Veterans
I loved my college courses (I minored in English). Yes, we read novels and stories, rather than write them, but exposure to all those books can be helpful to someone who wants to be a writer. They can serve as great "how-to" manuals.

I took the general English lit classes and we read some excellent work in those courses. I also took a course in Shakespeare's work and we read many of his plays. And I recall a poetry course in Emily Dickinson and Elizabeth Bishop (I love Bishop's work to this day).

I'm not usually a science fiction fan . . . until a college science fiction course showed me some excellent work out there. Through that course I discovered Vonnegut (got to see him lecture in person once and he has a wonderful, witty personality just like his writing), and Robert Heinlein, Roger Zelazny (sp?) and several others.

I also took a college course in pornography. We read books, short stories, watched films (after taping newspaper to the windows so no one else could see in). I was surprised at the literary quality of some of the works we explored since I had previously thought it was all mostly a bunch of trash. We also took a look at the history of the genre and that was interesting too. Taking that course didn't destroy (or change) my morals either.:-D

I used to teach four-week online courses in flash fiction (and in haibun) and part of the course involved a lot of story analysis and a lot of discussion. We couldn't work in person but we did make it next best thing as much as we could.

I think literature courses of any kind can be beneficial. Through the in-person courses we have the instructors and have other people around for good conversations and discussions on the topic. I think general literature courses could be great as would creative writing courses.

We learn from teachers and from other writers. A little direction is helpful to those who want to go further.
 

Matchu

Senior Member
I blazed through college as a real & a proper gunslinger with my pony-tail and my hormones. Wasteman, as moniker, studied dreadful degree requiring attendance two mornings a week. Unable to rise for 'tutorials,' so-called. However, if and like modern students I had attended on a Zoom from my bedroom or lounge in pyjamas I feel certain I too would have emerged with first class honours, heading the BBC now, or the NHS, at my life's mid-point/end-point, as I said to wife Spliff.

My greatest teacher was Mr Hooper, English, six foot eleven and voice of fog horn, bass terror. Aged 15 he allowed me to lecture the class on my punk rock collection. My hero Mr Hooper.

I don't admit so much to my A215 Creative Writing attendance on the OU. Figurehead for a generation, I don't like to talk about it. One of the ladies said I 'was the real snowflake.' Always treasure her words.
 

ideasmith

Senior Member
Intro composition class I took at community college. The professor was a very animated character, and once (didn’t take more than once) he ripped to shreds in front of the class, a short thing I wrote about - another meaningful teacher in my life.

Thing is, it deserved to be ripped to shreds. Stank so bad, I can still smell it! I had gotten lazy on this assignment. I phoned it in. I had a lot of confidence in my writing because throughout school, no matter how I did in any other subject, I could write my way to decent grades, and the feedback I got was pretty encouraging, too.

Couple of good lessons..if you’re going to put down words which others are likely to read, do them the courtesy of writing something worth their time. What you write is in some ways a tracing of your life’s journey. Bad writing lowers the journey.

These are two principles I strive to uphold in my work.
 
Frankly speaking, I didn't get much from school and college, I think no courses can teach you writing when you have no natural skills and imagination. I never had such skills, and when I need to write something in college, I usually apply to services which I found on OnlineWritersRating. This site and their reviews helped me choose reliable services, where I can order any paper, and be sure they'll deliver my paper on time, and its quality will be excellent.
 
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