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

1,702 ratings
464 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


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.


Nov 17, 2015

Thank you for teaching me how to write basic essays. This has been one of my most important goals for years. I've tried several other ways of learning but your method worked for me. Thank you so much.

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426 - 450 of 460 Reviews for Getting Started with Essay Writing

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


By Mohamad A T

Dec 21, 2019

Good learning opportunity

By Derrick G

Jul 18, 2019

looks good !!!!!!!!!!!!

By harpa ó

Dec 02, 2015

It was okay.

By Patricia

Feb 26, 2016

I took the first class in this specialization. I liked that enough to enroll in the second class, however I did not realize that it was being taught by the same teacher. Nothing against her, she certainly taught the class and met the objectives, she just speaks too slow/articulates too precisely for me. Also, I was not aware that Coursera changed the auditing policy. As an auditor, I am no longer able to participate in the assignments or quizzes in this class. Without the ability to do the assignments and receive peer feedback, it seems pointless to continue the class. Furthermore, there was a problem with the practice exercises... You need to download an app to do the practice, which I did several times, but the lessons or assignments never worked. I sent notes to coursera about this with no reply. The low rating is primarily based on the fact that I could not do the practice assignments and that coursera took away the ability to complete assignments and take quizes.

By Sharon S

Feb 17, 2016

There is absolutely no supervision on this course. My essay has been sitting in a student review cue for two months now - so, no completion of course and the program has the audacity to mark me as 'late submission'. I have reviewed 7 papers (requirement of 3) and am shown as being deficient. It is as if I dropped into a void.

I paid a decent amount of money to attend this course and very disappointed that it is simply run on auto pilot with no place to go for resolution, questions or help.

I would NOT recommend taking this course and would better advise you to find something in another online teaching program or course within Coursera that has at least a modicum of personal interaction.

By Miriam R

Mar 09, 2017

The video lectures were good, the tests were almost a give away and the essays were an opportunity to practice what I learned from the lectures. My only BIGGEST disappointment is that the essays were evaluated by students like me. I received evaluations that doesn't tell me much or evaluations that doesn't make sense. If I only knew that this course was not an instructor supervised course, I would have been willing to pay extra money just to get a professional to assess my essay and provide me with feedback. At this point, I am disappointed that I decided to just watch the videos but skip the peer-reviewed essays and make the most of what I paid for.

By Lingfei T

Dec 11, 2015

While some of the materials are interesting in this course, it gives a very "high school" feel rather than providing help with college essay writing. It would be helpful to have this course more geared towards college academic writing and have more emphasis on developing ideas, finding resources to support ideas, synthesizing, paraphrasing and all the other skills useful for college academic writing.

I assume most people who come to Coursera are above high school level. Some of the materials like the monkey example are a bit too childish and the sample articles can be too simple to be appropriate to learners at this level.

By Bruce B

May 25, 2016

I have yet to have ANY of my essays reviewed, although I have finished every requirement of the course. I"m very disappointed. I hope that the directions given to me by the course attendants will correct this problem, however.