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Writing and Editing: Word Choice and Word Order

Learn creative ways to enhance the clarity and effectiveness of your written words.

1,889 enrolled on this course

A pair of glasses and a pen on a notepad.
  • Duration

    4 weeks
  • Weekly study

    6 hours

Level up your writing skills with impactful word selections and sentences

Successful written communication begins with the correct word choice and word order. This four-week course will show you how to achieve that in your writing process.

Presented by the University of Michigan, this is the first in the Good with Words: Writing and Editing series.

If you want to add style and sophistication to your legal writing or any other written piece, this is an ideal place to start.

Learn why word choice and order are essential to the writing process

On this course, you’ll see how the words you use change the meaning, tone, and effect of what you write.

You’ll be able to choose the right words, and add the right compelling details, to inspire the results you want in your readers.

Use strategic syntax in all your writing

You’ll find out how sentence structure influences the decisions people make, and how to produce structures that no one else can write.

The course will also help you develop your writing skills so that you can arrange complex legal and other information in unique, reader-friendly ways.

Hone your writing skills with exceptional wordsmiths

The lead educator on this course has extensive experience in legal writing, and has received several accolades for his work.

With this guidance and the strong academic support that the University of Michigan provides, you’ll soon reach your writing potential.

What topics will you cover?

During this course, you’ll look at:

  • The words under the words: how the words you choose can change the decisions that people make
  • The infinite power of grammar: how the order of the words you choose can change the decisions people make
  • The rule of three: combining word choice with word order
  • The power of the particular: filling your writing with compelling details

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Learn how the words you choose can change the decisions people make.
  • Use syntax strategically.
  • Write with originality and produce sentences that nobody else can write.
  • Arrange a complex set of information in a reader-friendly way.

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for lawyers and law students interested in developing their legal writing skills. Other individuals looking for high-level training in written communication will also find it valuable.

Who will you learn with?

Patrick Barry is an assistant clinical professor and the director of digital academic initiatives at the University of Michigan Law School. He also teaches at the University of Chicago and UCLA.

Who developed the course?

University of Michigan

As the #1 public research university in the United States, U-M has been a leader in research, learning, and teaching for more than 200 years, with 102 Grad programs in the top 10 — U.S. News & World Report (2019).

  • Established

  • Location

    Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA
  • World ranking

    Top 30Source: Times Higher Education World University Rankings 2020

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

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