Whatever your major may be, you’ll probably need to take at least one English course during your college career. English classes are usually part of a school’s general education requirements, and many colleges require students to take English within their first 30 credits. Even if you’re not required to take English early in your program, it’s a good idea to take it as soon as possible, because your college English class may very well be the most important class you’ll ever take. A well-crafted college English course will help you develop critical reading, research, and writing skills that will serve you well in school, in the workplace, and even at home.
Fortunately, there are plenty of online English classes you can take to help you make progress towards your degree in a way that’s convenient and affordable. If you’re looking for the best online English courses to take, be sure to consider three things: 1) whether a course will transfer, 2) how it will contribute to your degree plan, and 3) if it will fit within your budget.
Benefits of Online English Courses
Taking an English course online can offer certain benefits, particularly if you’re a non-traditional student with work and family obligations. You might find that an 8-week online option works better for you than a traditional 16-week semester, or you might decide that a self-paced option, like the English courses offered through StraighterLine, gives you the flexibility that you need. While an online English course that runs on a set schedule may give you the opportunity to forge connections with students you’d never get to meet in a traditional classroom, self-paced versions allow you to read, write, and process material at your own speed. As you consider online English class options, be sure to choose one that supports your own learning preferences.
What to Expect in an Online English Course
If you’re taking an online English course, you should expect to complete just as much work as you would in a face-to-face course (and possibly more, since you may not be attending lectures and participating in class discussions if you’re taking a self-paced class). The type of reading assigned varies among institutions, but it’s common for online English courses to include a mix of literature and research on writing. You may also use a handbook or style guide to support you as you practice the more technical elements of writing.
Writing assignments vary in college English classes just like reading assignments do, but certain essay types, like a personal narrative or a researched argument are fairly standard. A good English class should offer you lots of support throughout the writing process, and you should be given the opportunity to get feedback on drafts from faculty or peers.
List of Best Online English Courses for College
Many institutions offer English courses online, but the following course titles are some of the most likely to help you make progress towards your degree and help you with your career:
- English for Academic Purposes (for non-native English speakers)
- English Composition I
- English Composition II
- Introduction to Literature
- Professional Writing
- English for Business (for non-native English speakers)
If you’re unsure of where to start when it comes to online English courses, consider signing up for a free trial of English Composition I at StraighterLine. In English Composition I and II, you’ll hone your writing skills and have the opportunity to get feedback on your writing from supportive, experienced faculty. StraighterLine’s high-flexibility, low-cost English classes are guaranteed to transfer to designated StraighterLine partner colleges, and you can get started on your first online English class right away. Happy writing!
Anissa Sorokin, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor of English and Writing Program Administrator at Stevenson University near Baltimore, Maryland. Anissa’s interdisciplinary background and extensive experience teaching research, writing, and study skills help her demystify college expectations for students online and in her classroom.
Looking for an affordable and flexible online English course that you can start right away? Check out online college English courses, starting at $69 with our $99 monthly subscription.