Archive for February, 2009

Whether you are a professional writer or student, you need all the inspiration you can get. Much of this inspiration can be found from other writers online in a variety of blog posts. Check out this collection to find lots of great posts that can help you become a better writer.

Subject Inspiration

Learn how to write better headlines, create strong content and more from these posts.

  1. 10 Sure-Fire Headline Formulas That Work: Copyblogger’s post explains a simple way to create compelling titles.
  2. How to Use Social News Aggregators as a Source for Content Ideas: If you’ve run out of ideas for writing, be sure to check out this post that offers a great strategy for finding inspiration.
  3. 31 Ways to Find Inspiration for Your Writing: Check out this blog post to find smart ways to get inspired in your writing.
  4. Who Needs Headlines?: Get insight into the art of writing effective headlines from this post.
  5. Zen Power Writing: 15 Tips on How to Generate Ideas and Write with Ease: This post will help you learn how to easily generate writing ideas.
  6. How to Write Great Headlines: Here you’ll learn about the art of creating a perfectly crafted headline.
  7. 50 Ways for Writers to Find Article Ideas: Here you’ll find 50 great ways to find inspiration for articles.
  8. Using Titles Effectively on Blogs: You can learn how to make a good first impression with the help of this post.
  9. Do You Feed Your Muse Well?: Learn about creating inspiration from this post.
  10. Are You Using the Right Content Development Strategy for Your Website: This post explains a smart way to develop writing content.
  11. The Discipline of Content Strategy: Learn how to plan for the creation of usable content from this post.
  12. Writing Inspiration: Check out this post to find writing inspiration from Raymond Chandler to Alex Barris.
  13. How to Build a Successful News Blog: 10 Information Sources You Can Use: This post explains how you can use information sources for news blog inspiration.
  14. Marinating Ideas into Blog Posts: Use the techniques found in this post to marinate great ideas for your writing.
  15. Sources of Inspiration for Your Blog: Find your muse through the resources in this post.
  16. The Lazy or Smart Blogger’s Way to Create Content for Niche Blogs: In this post, you’ll learn about easily creating content for your niche blog.
  17. How Great Headlines Score Traffic: This post explains why great writing headlines are so important.
  18. Blogging and My Inspiration: Find out how one blogger gets motivated by reading this post.
  19. Do You Digg This Headline?: Learn how to write headlines that attract attention on social networks from this blog post.


Check out these posts to learn techniques for better writing.

  1. Learn to Be a Better Writer by Becoming a Better Critic: This post explains how becoming more critical will improve your writing skills.
  2. Putting the Fun Back Into Writing: Read this post to consider why it’s important to have fun when you write.
  3. The Benefits of Keeping a Private Journal: Read how keeping a private journal can help you think better as a writer.
  4. Pare a Phrase to Paraphrase: Correctly Use Paraphrases in Your Writing: This post will help you understand the art of proper paraphrasing.
  5. Writing Content That Works for a Living: This post aims to help you better write persuasive content and beyond.
  6. 3 Easy Ways to Write with Style: In this post, you’ll find out how to write with more style.
  7. How to Be Interesting: This blog post shares ideas for being a more interesting writer.
  8. How to Say Nothing in 500 Words (A Lesson on Writing: In this post, you’ll find a summary of 9 important points from the essay on writing, "How to Say Nothing in Five Hundred Words."
  9. Improve Your Writing with These Editing Tips: This post will help you understand how editing can make you a better writer.
  10. The Secret of Writing Funny: In this post, you’ll learn all about writing humorously.
  11. Writing for Busy People: This post explains how best to write for people who just don’t have time.
  12. Ten Timeless Persuasive Writing Techniques: This post will explain the essentials of persuasive writing.
  13. Better Writing Through Design: Learn how to improve your visual language from this post.
  14. How to Use Reading to Become a Better Writer: Read this post to find out how reading can improve your skills as a writer.
  15. Five Easy Steps to Editing Your Own Work: Follow these tips to learn how to edit your own work.


Get inspired to be a more productive student or writer by these posts.

  1. Unlock Your Creativity: Read this in-depth article to find lots of great ideas for getting your creative juices flowing.
  2. Battling Bloggers Block: This post has great advice for getting around the wall and getting started writing.
  3. 10 Productivity Hacks for Freelancers: Check out this post to find 10 ways to get moving with your writing.
  4. Edit this Post on Editing: Find out how to edit effectively with the help of this post.
  5. Breaking Writer’s Block: Learn how to take down writer’s block with the help of this post.
  6. How to Slog Your Way Through a Boring Assignment: Get through your most boring assignments with the help of this post.
  7. Declaring War on Blogger Apathy: This post will teach you how to fight back against apathy.
  8. How to Write an Article in 20 Minutes: Try these techniques to speed up the process of your writing.
  9. Effective Writing, Effective Work Habits: Learn how working effectively can help improve your writing.
  10. 52 Simple Things You Can Do Right Now to Jumpstart Your Writing Efforts: Use these 52 techniques to give your inspiration and creativity a shot in the arm.
  11. My Trick for Writing Difficult Articles: Find out how to make difficult articles work with the help of this post.
  12. Managing Information Flow: How Prioritization Will Improve Your Work and Learning Efficiency: Make your stream of information flow just a little bit easier by applying the techniques in this post.
  13. When You Can’t Get Started Writing: Check out this post that discusses getting started with writing.
  14. Beating Burnout Creatively: This post will teach you how to get over burnout in some really smart ways.
  15. Do You Recognize These 10 Mental Blocks to Creative Thinking?: Avoid these mental blocks to open up inspiration in your writing.
  16. 3 Can’t-Fail Steps for Writing Without Intimidation: Find out how to keep yourself from holding back on your writing from this post.


Check out these posts to learn what you need to avoid.

  1. Just Say No to These Three Enemies of Clear and Direct Writing: Make sure that you’ve avoiding these mistakes and writing as clearly as possible.
  2. That’s Not What I Thought I Wrote!: Read this post to find out how to write to be understood.
  3. Do You Make These 7 Mistakes When You Write?: In this post, you’ll see seven common mistakes that must be avoided.
  4. Want Your Ideas to Spread Easily? Try Narrowing Your Message Focus: Remember that keeping focus is essential to good writing-learn more about the concept in this post.
  5. The Inigo Montoya Guide to 27 Commonly Misused Words: This post will help you better understand how to use words correctly.
  6. Five Grammatical Errors that Make You Look Dumb: Learn about grammatical errors that can destroy your credibility from this post.


These posts offer a wealth of information and advice for writing online.

  1. Put on Your Game Face: This post discusses building your identity as a blogger.
  2. The 5 Immutable Laws of Persuasive Blogging: Follow these rules to become a better blogger.
  3. How to Write a Better Weblog: Here you’ll find useful advice for making your blog writing better.
  4. You’re Not Just a Writer, You’re the Editor-in-Chief: Bloggers should read this post to get inspiration for self-editing.
  5. 5 Ways Blogging Can Make You a Better Writer: Read this post to find out how blogging can help improve your writing in other areas.
  6. How to develop stickyness to your blog: Check out this blog post to learn how you can write in order to keep your readers coming back.
  7. 21 Ways to Write Posts That Are Guaranteed to Grow Your Blog: Here you’ll find 21 excellent strategies for effective blog writing.
  8. Writing Good Content: Learn some back to basics advice for creating good blog content from this post.
  9. 10 Tips on Writing the Living Web: Get advice for writing on an ever-changing platform from this post.
  10. 10 Tips for Writing a Blog Post: Get really simple tips for blog writing from this post.
  11. Bring Your A-game to Write for Blogs: This blogger explains how you can draw upon experience as a writer when working on a blog.
  12. Writing Blog Content-Make it Scannable: Learn about one of the most crucial techniques for bloggers-writing scannable copy.
  13. How to Craft a Blog Post-10 Crucial Points to Pause: Here you’ll find 10 important points for writing a blog post.
  14. A Dozen Online Writing Tips: CyberJournalist shares some insight for writing well online.
  15. How to Write Excellent Blog Content-What We Wish We Knew: Find out how and why it’s so important to create good blog content.

Tips & Advice

Find specific advice and tips for improving your writing in these posts.

  1. Ernest Hemingway’s Top 5 Tips for Writing Well: Find out what Ernest Hemingway has to say about being a good writer.
  2. The Easiest Way to Become a Better Writer: This post offers advice for significantly improving your writing skills.
  3. Joss Whedon’s Top 10 Writing Tips: Take some writing advice from Joss Whedon.
  4. How to Become a Better Writer: Read this post to take your writing to the next level.
  5. 15 Tips for Becoming a Better Writer: Follow this post to find 15 simple tips for improving your writing.
  6. Short Stories: 10 Tips for Novice Creative Writers: Students of creative writing can develop their skills by following this resource.
  7. Writing, Briefly: Author Paul Graham shares his outlook on writing.
  8. How Can I Become a Better Writer?: wiseGEEK shares advice for the process of becoming a better writer.
  9. 10 Steps to Becoming a Better Writer: Check out this simple post to get inspiration for growing as a writer.
  10. Learning to Write Invisibly: Get some great advice on writing from novelist Elmore Leonard here.
  11. Do You Practice the Top 2 Traits of Good Writers?: Find out what the most important traits are for writers, and why they’re so important, from this post.
  12. A Guide to Becoming a Better Writer: 15 Practical Tips: This blog post offers 15 great ideas for becoming a better writer.
  13. 10 Ways to Become a Better Writer: Follow these 10 tips to improve your skills as a writer.
  14. How to Write (in a thousand words or less): Learn the basics of writing from this post.
  15. Writing for Readers-What’s My Promise as the Writer?: This post will help you learn how to fulfill promises to your readers.
  16. How to Become a Better Writer: Johnny Kramer shares some valuable advice for improving your writing.
  17. Advice for Students: 10 Steps Toward Better Writing: Students can get the basics of writing improvement from this post.
  18. How Can I Write a Strong Essay?: Check out this post to learn more about writing thoughtful essays.
  19. Ten Ways to Become a Better Writer: These tips will help you develop yourself to become a better writer.
  20. 2 Ways to Become a Better Writer: Here you’ll find 2 simple ways to make your writing better.
  21. 9 + 1 Things Every Reader Wants from a Writer: Check out this post to find out what your readers are looking for.


Check out these posts to find tools that can help make you a better writer.

  1. 30+ Tools for the Amateur Writer: Make use of these tools to make writing easier and more fun.
  2. Darkroom: A Text Editor That Helped Me to Writer Better Content: This post explains how to use Darkroom for better writing.
  3. Blogging Toolbox: 120+ Resources for Bloggers: Learn about some of the best resources online for bloggers from this post.
  4. Fifty (50!) Tools Which Can Help You in Writing: Make use of these tools to see a great improvement in your writing skills.
  5. Twenty Writing Tools: Find out which writing tools are Roy Peter Clark’s favorites.
  6. Discover Hundreds of Post Ideas for Your Blog with Mind Mapping: Learn how you can put mind mapping to work to gain inspiration through the knowledge in this post.
  7. Writer’s Toolbox: 35 Best Tools for Writing Online: Get loads of use out of these tools when doing your writing online.
  8. Back to School: Writing Tools, Part 1: Check out this list to find tools you can use for writing.

February is Black History Month, and the occasion offers an excellent opportunity to learn more about the history, heritage, and culture of African-Americans in the United States. Whether you’re interested in music, politics, or arts, there are plenty of open online courses that are full of great information. Check out this collection to find 50 excellent courses that will help you celebrate Black History Month.

Race & Identity

Consider the impact of race and identity through these courses.

  1. Ethnic and National Identity: Consider the concepts of social and national identities in this course. [MIT]
  2. Gender and Race, Work, and Public Policy: Learn about the roles gender and race play in our society through this course. [MIT]
  3. Writing Early American Lives: Gender, Race, Nation, Faith: In this course you’ll learn about slavery, Afro-American writers, and more. [MIT]
  4. Classification, Natural Kinds, and Concept Change: Race as a Case Study: This course considers the claim that there is no such thing as race. [MIT]
  5. Race, Immigration, and Planning: Check out this course to learn about the idea of race in the United States. [MIT]
  6. Race, Crime, and Citizenship in American Law: This course explores the relationship between race and crime in the United States. [MIT]


These courses will teach you more about the past, present, and future of African-American culture.

  1. When doing nothing becomes a viable life and career option: A growing trend among African American youth: Learn about the state of young black America from this resource. [Connexions]
  2. Visualizing Cultures: This course offers a study in the way images have been used to shape the identity of people and culture. [MIT]
  3. Challenges Facing Black American Principals: A Conversation about Coping: Learn about the unique challenges of black principals, and how these challenges can be dealt with, in this course. [Connexions]
  4. Introduction to Writing: Academic Prose: This course features discussions on fighting prejudice, race in media, and more. [Utah State University]
  5. Retaining African American Teachers Through Mentoring, Reflection, and Reciprocal Journaling: Learn what can be done about the shortage of African American teachers from this resource. [Connexions]
  6. Creole Language and Culture: This course introduces students to the language of Creole and the culture of its speakers. [Notre Dame]
  7. American Dream: Exploring Class in the US: In this course, you’ll find an exploration of social class in America. [MIT]
  8. Faith and the African American Experience: Get an introduction to the African American faith experience through this course. [Notre Dame]
  9. Documenting Culture: Learn about documentary and ethnographic films to understand the interests and motivations of cultural filmmakers. [MIT]
  10. Sisters in the Academy: Find out how black women can help shape each other through shared experiences and mutual beliefs from this resource. [Connexions]
  11. City Scope: New Orleans: This course aims to solve some of the complex problems in the city of New Orleans. [MIT]


Check out these courses to learn about black history, including the Civil War and personal accounts.

  1. Riots, Strikes, and Conspiracies in American History: Learn about uprisings in American history, including the Boston [Anti-] Slave Riot. [MIT]
  2. Treatment of Blacks and Response: Learn about laws, cases, and more in African American history. [Connexions]
  3. American History to 1865: This history course covers American history through the Civil War. [MIT]
  4. African American History II: This course examines the experiences of African Americans from the Civil War to the 1980s. [Notre Dame]
  5. War & American Society: Find out how war, particularly the Civil War, has shaped American society. [MIT]
  6. An African-American Physicist: Learn about the life of an African American physicist through this educational resource. [Connexions]
  7. The Emergence of Modern America 1865-Present: Learn about rights, race, and equality in modern America from this course. [MIT]
  8. A Personal Account of Efforts to End School Segregation in a Southern School System: Hear first hand experience of a man who desegregated into an all-white junior high school twelve years after the Brown decision. [Connexions]
  9. The Civil War and Reconstruction: This course will teach you all about the Civil War and Reconstruction in America. [MIT]
  10. From Canterbury to Little Rock: The Struggle for Educational Equality for African Americans: Learn about the historic effort for educational equality in America. [FREE]
  11. Historic Places of the Civil Rights Movement: Here you’ll see 41 churches, houses, and other properties that were an important part of the Civil Rights movement. [FREE]
  12. America in Depression and War: Check out this course to learn about gender and race in wartime. [MIT]

Politics & Rights

Learn about human rights, revolutions, and more from these courses.

  1. Violence, Human Rights, and Justice: Learn about human rights as a means to protect and promote freedom, peace, and justice. [MIT]
  2. How to Stage a Revolution: In this course, you’ll learn about the causes and nature of revolutions. [MIT]
  3. Human Rights in Theory and Practice: In this course, you’ll learn more about the international human rights movement. [MIT]

Arts & Literature

These courses celebrate literature and arts in black history.

  1. Race and Identity in American Literature: Keepin’ it Real Fake: This course offers an exploration of race as viewed by American artists. [MIT]
  2. American Authors: American Women Authors: This course celebrates women authors in America, including authors in the Harlem Renaissance. [MIT]
  3. Studies in Fiction: Stowe, Twain, and the Transformation of 19th-Century America: In this course, you’ll read writings from authors including Frederick Douglass and Harriet Jacobs. [MIT]
  4. Expository Writing: Exploring Social and Ethical Issues Through Film and Print: Learn about the writings of authors including Maya Angelou, Martin Luther King, Jr, and Alice Walker in this course. [MIT]
  5. Hip Hop: This course offers a look into hip hop and black cultural practices. [MIT]
  6. Slavery, Violence, and Exploitation in 19th-Century US Literature: Check out this course to learn about African American themes in 19th century US literature. [Connexions]
  7. Writing About Race: Explore race in America through the works of writers and filmmakers of color. [MIT]
  8. Studies in Fiction: Rethinking the American Masterpiece: Check out this course to learn about race and more in literature. [MIT]
  9. American Classics: In this course, you’ll find important American historical texts, including Martin Luther King Jr.’s "I Have a Dream" speech. [MIT]
  10. Guide to Harlem Renaissance Materials: This resource features music, art, and writing from the Harlem Renaissance. [FREE]
  11. Traditions in American Concert Dance: Gender and Autobiography: Study this course to learn about dances in the African American vernacular and more. [MIT]
  12. The American Novel: This literature course features works by Toni Morrison. [MIT]
  13. Vocal Repertoire and Performance: African American Composers: In this course, you’ll find a celebration of African American composers and concert artists. [MIT]
  14. Ragtime: Check out this course to learn about the mark ragtime has left on American music. [Connexions]
  15. Media in Cultural Context: Popular Readerships: In this course, you’ll get a look at Oprah’s Book Club and beyond. [MIT]
  16. Major Authors: After the Masterpiece: Novels by Melville, Twain, Faulkner, and Morrison: Get an intense look at four major American authors in this course, including black female author Toni Morrison. [MIT]
  17. Poetry in Translation: In this course, you’ll find poetry from Africa and the Caribbean. [MIT]
  18. Theater and Cultural Diversity in the US: This course analyzes African American theater. [MIT]

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