Effective Strategies to Improve Student Writing

(Grades 4-12) / Flex Course

PDI Course Number: 42T02 / UCSD Course Number: EDUC41465


Course Description

Are you looking for effective ways to help your student writers? This online course provides teachers with strategies that are sure to improve students’ writing skills. Teachers will be provided with effective ways to teach students how to write successful narrative essays, persuasive essays, and informative essays. The course also focuses on teaching students a step-by-step process for writing research reports, including note-taking and outlining skills. Technology is another area of focus addressing digital research, information literacy, digital storytelling, and iPad apps. Teachers will also learn ways to help struggling writers as well as motivate reluctant writers. Assessment options will also be shared. Finally writer’s workshop is introduced within the context of the writing process. This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units/5 quarter units (50 hours of training) from UC San Diego Extension. For detailed information on university credit, click here.

"This course was fantastic. The course content was excellent. I like how there is a breakdown that makes sense for teaching writing." - Jason Green

Enrollment Options

Course Only

Only $112 with the discount

Course with Credit from UCSD Extension

Only $284 with the discount

This course is worth 3 ⅓ semester units or 5 quarter units of graduate-level credit from UC San Diego.

You have up to one year from the date you are enrolled to complete a flex course.


Print our customized course approval form to share with your school district.

Required Resource Book

This course has a modestly-priced required resource book (available in both new and used versions) that can be purchased through Amazon using the following link. Note that you can begin and participate in your course before the book arrives.

If you are registering for multiple courses, use the following link to access the book list for all PDI courses with direct purchase links through Amazon. PDI Course Resource Book List



UCSD Course Number: EDUC41465
Unit One
  • Writing Standards in the Classroom
  • Writing and Technology
  • Literature as an Inspiration for Writing
  • Assignment #1: Write an autobiography
  • Test #1
Unit Two
  • Focus on Narrative Writing
  • Focus on Persuasive Writing
  • Focus on Informative Writing
  • Assignment #2: Article reflection
  • Test #2
Unit Three
  • Focus on Research Reports
  • Information Literacy and Digital Research
  • Note Taking and Outlining Skills
  • Assignment #3: Share your expertise
  • Test #3
Unit Four
  • The Writing Process
  • Six Traits of Writing
  • Helping Struggling Writers
  • Test #4
Unit Five
  • Writer's Workshop
  • Writing Across the Curriculum
  • Writing Assessment
  • Test #5
Unit Six
  • Tips for Working with English Language Learners
  • Digital Storytelling
  • Writing Apps
  • Assignment #4: Develop a writing assignment based on your grade-level content for each of the three areas of writing: narrative, persuasive, and informative
  • Assignment #5: Reading/Learning Log (Based on required resource book)


Click here to request a copy of the detailed syllabus

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