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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot by Wesleyan University

4,751 ratings

About the Course

In this course aspiring writers will be introduced to perhaps the most elemental and often the most challenging element of story: plot. We will learn what keeps it moving, how it manipulates our feelings, expectations, and desires. We will examine the choices storytellers make to snag our imaginations, drag them into a fictional world, and keep them there. We will learn how to outline and structure a plot, discuss narrative arc, pacing and reversals and reveal the inevitable surprise: connecting the beginning, middle and end....

Top reviews


Nov 15, 2018

Great information about plot and scene structure. The information about revision was entirely new to me - thank you! The exercises were good and difficult in a good way that helped me hone my writing.


Nov 30, 2016

Great course to take as the first step in the sequence of the "Creative Writing" certification. Exercises are fun, professor provides useful methodology, load is manageable for someone with a day job.

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1576 - 1600 of 1,604 Reviews for Creative Writing: The Craft of Plot

By Digant K

Mar 27, 2016

So overly simple with a lack of details in the steps.

By Michael H

May 26, 2021

Very very good assignments. Peer grading was poor.

By Tomasz D

Jan 26, 2024

Good but I would appreciate more diverse approach

By Zamzam A

Mar 19, 2020

I feel we need professional assignment reviews.

By Mo S

Aug 18, 2016

Nice, informative, but basic and short.

By David K

Aug 12, 2021

I didn't get any feedback

By Lucy L

Sep 13, 2022

I found the course's information useful as a framework, but there are major problems with the perr-review process. Coursera somehow needs to do a better job managing this. I received multiple reviews that had only one letter or number; they were clearly submitted by people cheating the system in order to unlock the next course. I contacted an admin about this issue and they said I would need to resubmit my work and hope for better reviews the second time around (my results the second time were much the same). I simply don't have time for this.

In addition, many of the submissions are in broken English or a different language. While I applaud people for attempting a writing course outside their native language, it makes the review process extremely time-consuming and unwieldy.

My larger concern is this: if so many people will "cheat" the system during the review process, how can I be assured that they aren't going to steal my work?

I would consdider learning through the videos and then posting in my trusted on-line communities for peer review, but you need to complete the Coursera assignments before you can unlock the next lesson. I would also consider paying more money for an "advanced" course, with the hope that only people seriously interested in improving their craft would attend, but it seems reasonable that for $75/month this is what I should be getting.

By Nicole O

Sep 20, 2023

I paid for the specialization and completed the Craft of Plot, but I will not be continuing and it's not a course I can wholeheartedly recommend. The videos provided by the instructor are articulated well and can provide a specific structure to use for writing stories. While not a perspective I agree with entirely, it's a perfectly valid way of structuring a story. I would say 3 out of 4 of the assignments were fun to do, allowing room for expression within specific parameters (use certain words, use this structure with an event that must take place, etc.). The real crux of the problem with this course is the peer review system as others have mentioned. Out of 12 reviews, 6 left reviews that weren't a single word, and of those 3 were actually helpful. Feedback coupled with reading help you grow as a writer. The peer reviews would have made $59 a month worth it, but as it stands, you may be better off using that money to buy a book on the same subject.

By Juliana C

Feb 17, 2021

The course is interesting, but the videos are not enough. The instructor is charismatic and friendly. I received very poor feedback from peers ('yes/no/good' answers without any useful information). I did get some useful feedback. And on the last assignment, the program algorithm doesn't match a reviewer which could force you to pay another month, just to get the last review and the certificate. The course is worth the $50, but the review/feedback system is terrible. I will not proceed with the remaining 4 courses (which would mean spending an additional $200). This is very sad, as I was excited about taking writing classes online. Maybe they can limit the number of participants and add a few TAs/mentors to give more valuable feedback.

By Joe F

Jan 27, 2022

While the content of the course itself is potentially helpful, I found the feedback from peers abysmal. I invested in thoughtfully reviewing the work of others and got back blather as feedback; nothing actionable. And peer feedback is the main reason I would pay for a subscription! I could get comparable or better content from a book, blog, or free online videos.

After viewing comments on the "Community," where concerns go unanswered by Coursera staff, I realized poor feedback is something of a norm now. It's too bad. This platform had potential.

I'm going to cancel before the 7-day trial ends. Simply not worth my time or money.

By Nikole H

Jun 3, 2022

I felt like the instructional videos offered a pretty general introduction to the concepts, and didn't feel sufficiently prepared to complete the different assignments. The "What's Up, Doc?" assignment felt like it was the one with the clearest instructions and structure, so expectations were clear. For the others, it was very challenging to understand what we were supposed to write. I think it would be helpful to provide more examples (like in the "What's Up, Doc?" assignment) to provide clearer instructions for students.

By Melina E

Sep 14, 2022

The course material itself was useful, but not overly complex. Peer graded reviews were often not completed with any insight on the part of the reviewer, in one case my entire review was just the letter 'o' typed in every feedback box. As the course progressed, I saw more and more essays that just said "I'm from fpt university, please just give me a passing grade", with no other text as their submission.

By Neha J

Jul 28, 2021

It was a well paced course. Though for people who are reviewing the stories, i find that i wasnt very helpful when it come to evaluating the story and i felt those who rated my stories were not very critcal. they probably didnt know how to be. I feel for a course like this there should be an instructor evaluating the assignments. otherwise this course isnt very useful!

By Veronica K

Jul 19, 2021

The videos are useful, but the peer-graded system of assignments is not. I don't think that the feedback from people with the same (or worse) writing skills is in any way helpful. I've had to review very poorly written pieces, and I don't think that being reviewed by their authors in return can enhance my writing skills.

By Sofía G M

Aug 6, 2020

I feel like, even though it is a course about PLOT, they should give you suggestions and advice when it comes to developing other parts of your story (characters, for example). Also, I think there should be multiple SHORTER activities for us to practice more instead of just one HUGE assignment at the end of each lesson

By Jennifer G

Aug 16, 2020

The pre-recorded lessons were good, but the assignments were unhelpful, as the peer critique process is highly flawed. Students need opportunities for professional critiques and face-to-face encounters with a cohort or associate professor...someone with some credentials or skin in the game.

By Pawee S

Mar 29, 2016

I hope the instructions were cleary and not too vague that it was open to many interpretation. An example would have helped and the rubrics/criteria for grading should have been shown beforehand so students would be guided what points they would consider when making their piece.

By Akshat J

Jul 1, 2020

Not all assignments were related to what was covered in the lectures, they were actually quite random. I enjoyed the course but I think I would have learned much more had this not just been about the very basics and discussing film plots! We already know that


Apr 17, 2021

Did not find this course engaging, definitely struggled to finish

By Deleted A

Jan 5, 2024

This is much more beginner level than I expected, and I don't think it will be useful for me to continue. The first lesson goes over the plot of Harry Potter and Freytag's Pyramid (something most people should have already learned in elementary school).

By Batsy

Apr 11, 2023

Every time I try to start the course, an empty page comes up with a message that it's down for maintenance and will be back shortly. It's been a few days and I'm still unable t access the course material.

By Hamidah B

Feb 16, 2022

This is not something I am looking for. I want to learn how to write non fiction not a novel

By Kirollos M

Jun 8, 2021

It unfortunately didn't help me as it didn't show any kind of helpful methodology to follow.

By Fahad A

Aug 8, 2022

I would recommend to replace peer review with spicalist review for the assignments.