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Writing: An Outsider's Guide - a Review
Writing: An Outsider’s Guide, an online writing class taught by Paul Shirley, is done in a unique way. For those of you who haven’t heard of Paul Shirley, he is an American professional basketball player and a writer. He teaches this class using what he knows best – basketball. Also a published author, his creative works focus mainly on his basketball career.
As with all writing classes, this one has both good and bad points. I will talk about the good points first.
1) Paul Shirley is a good speaker, which makes listening to the lectures (there are 11 of these) easy and enjoyable.
2) He admits that he doesn’t know everything there is to know about creative writing.
3) There are no time limits on how long you have to complete the class, so you can listen to the lectures whenever you have the time.
4) No long and hard assignments are given, so you don’t have to set aside huge chunks of time in order to take the class.
5) Using the Sympoz platform, you are able to interact not only with your classmates, but also with your instructor. Each time I sent a comment to Mr. Shirley, he always replied to me quickly.
6) He teaches how to use the ‘Track Changes’ editing feature in MS Word.
7) You get to listen to interviews with authors, editors, basketball coaches, musicians, etc.
8) The class can be used to workshop your writing.
9) Mr. Shirley gives some great tips and tricks on creative writing.
10) The recommended book to read for the class is On Writing by Stephen King. This is an excellent book on creative writing.
11) If you really enjoy sports, especially basketball, you will enjoy this class a lot. Mr. Shirley teaches writing through his experiences with basketball.
Now I will state what I consider to be the bad points of the class.
1) Not many assignments are given, and the ones that are do not receive grades, though you can receive feedback from other class members.
2) The class comes across more as an overview of creative writing. This is definitely not an in-depth course on the subject.
3) Mr. Shirley teaches how to write creatively from events that happened in your own life, not how to write creatively from an idea for a purely fictional story.
4) If you do not enjoy sports, especially basketball, you may not enjoy this class so much since Mr. Shirley talks about basketball a great deal.
As you can see, the class does have more good points than bad. In my opinion, the class was worth taking just to learn about the ‘Track Changes’ feature in MS Word.
This writing class comes to us through Sympoz. I was asked to take a look at their creative writing course free of charge and let them know what I think. Now that you have read my review of the class’s good and bad points, if you wish to sign up for it you may do so through the link below for just $19.00. I will in no way benefit if anyone signs up for the class.
Would I consider the class worth $19.00? Learning about his experiences writing and hearing his tips on writing could prove to be useful. Learning about the ‘Track Changes’ feature in MS Word will definitely prove useful. So, yes, I would consider the class to be worth $19.00.
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