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Learner Reviews & Feedback for Getting Started with Essay Writing by University of California, Irvine

1,726 ratings
471 reviews

About the Course

Course 2: Getting Started with Essay Writing This is the second course in the Academic English: Writing specialization. By introducing you to three types of academic essays, this course will especially help prepare you for work in college classes, but anyone who wants to improve his or her writing skills can benefit from this course. After completing this course, you will be able to: - create effective thesis statements for your essays - plan and write compare/contrast, cause/effect, and argument essays - write well-developed body paragraphs Note: The lectures and practice activities are available for free, but you must upgrade to the pay version in order to take the quizzes and get feedback on writing assignments....

Top reviews


Dec 05, 2015

I am only on the second week an have done my essay and feel very powerful. English is not my first language but the instructor made it easy for me by detailing every aspect of essay writing. Thank you


Feb 11, 2016

I always loved writing. What I didn't know, however, was that writing had some scientific structures that could make it very interesting. Take this course and know why. I took and was very successful.

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426 - 450 of 468 Reviews for Getting Started with Essay Writing

By HandaShi

Apr 25, 2017

Good for new learner.

By Marwa H A

Sep 07, 2017

very helpful course


Jan 21, 2019

So far so good!

By Noman M

Mar 03, 2020

pretty helpful

By Dennis V

Dec 19, 2017

It is helpful.

By German D P C

Aug 21, 2017

Excelente :D

By Cao T H

Dec 18, 2015

Nice course

By Steicy H T

Oct 25, 2015


By Deleted A

Nov 26, 2016


By Jillianne U

Dec 16, 2015


By 刘诗琦

Mar 17, 2017


By Paul J M

Mar 14, 2016

The course provides a solid structure on which to build academic essays. The content of the videos is generally good and seems appropriately targeted but the sample essays are disappointingly trivial (and not terribly well written). They seem more suited to young High School students rather than would-be college level writers.

The big issue is in the peer assessment process which forms the centre of the practical experience in the course. There is a tremendous time lag apparent between essays being submitted and being reviewed. Mine took between 3 and 4 weeks to get through the process. This is obviously an issue for Coursera to address as it relates to the platform design rather than the course team but it is nevertheless frustrating.

There is a big disconnect between the standards the instructors seem to expect and the assignments submitted. The vast majority of students clearly do not have English as a first language and for many writing an academic essay is really some way ahead of their current position. Perhaps more disturbing is that most of the (apparently) native English speakers seem not to have taken any notice of either the lectures or the peer grading rubrics.

Despite the shortcomings in the peer review process the material is well presented and offers a strong framework around which students can build good effective essays.

Once again, the lack of a forum in this course makes life unnecessarily difficult and frustrating and for me pushes my rating down from a low 4 to 3 stars.

By Caitlin C

Mar 11, 2019

I feel it was good for the basics but it needs to be made more clear that this is really JUST getting started. It has no reference to how to write essays under a time limit and I would say it is quite unhelpful for UK students (I don't know about elsewhere out of the US). I don't really like the peer review system as people were unfair and then gave rude comments or just untrue/ unhelpful advice.

By Tim Z

Jul 26, 2018

Perhaps comparing to have writing classes offline, writing course online is not so beneficial for me, because all the feedback come from other students, but they are not as professional as teachers are. So the effect of this course only have me practice three essays but lack of modifications and improvement.

By Federico R

Feb 07, 2016

There is a problem with the peer reviewing of the assignment. Even you finished all tasks, you need to wait for receiving your grade. For example, I am still waiting for the grade of my assignments, specially I am waiting for more than two weeks for the grading of my assignment in week 2.

By Erin J M

Feb 08, 2016

I didn't like this course as much. Mostly because the peer reviews were strict and unforgiving and as an experienced, essay writer, I didn't feel I needed the rigid, boring academic structure required for this assignment. However, I made it through with a decent mark so I'm grateful for it.

By Chieko T

May 06, 2019

It's a very useful course; however, peer graded system doesn't work well because we have few peers. On the other hand, Edx has a staff graded system which works very well. Coursera should reconsidered the peer graded system

By Catherine

Jan 17, 2017

The ONLY reason I rated low is because I paid this course and am receiving NO feedback from other students on essays. Very frustrating when you have tried to do your best but get no peer reviews.

By Maksim O

Nov 15, 2015

Much better than the first course in the specialization.

Too many dependencies on non-standard data formats, like MS Word.

By Jingfei Z

Jan 09, 2017

It is a good course, but if you want to hand on the assignments, you have to pay. So I am a little disappointed.

By Portia A

Nov 16, 2015

Its ok, I didn't learn a little and I didn't learn a lot.

By 罗詹妮

Dec 29, 2015

Too easy. The example showed is not very academic

By Anwar R

Mar 28, 2019

Don't charge for the quizzes please. :D

By Luana B

Mar 16, 2016

The course was great and interesting.

By 匡翔宇

Mar 28, 2017