Unit 1: About this course

How this course is different: The cognitive approach

Definitions of ‘effective’, ‘productive’ and ‘efficient’

The four functions of writing

Writing as product, process, speech made visible, tool for thinking, a form of power


Unit 2: Changing the way you think about writing

An insight


Unit 3: Some basic concepts

A definition of writing

Genre and discourse


Unit 4: Structure

Structure at the level of genre


Unit 5: Finding structure

Where to find ready-made structures for specific writing tasks


Unit 6: The magic of rhetoric

What is rhetoric and how can I use it?

Unit 7: No structure: an illustration

How structure helps us think


Unit 8: Your words in the reader’s brain 1

Using words to influence readers’ decision making processes

Psychology, neuroscience and neuroeconomics


Unit 9: Your words in the reader’s brain 2

A lesson from neuroeconomics


Unit 10: Anchors and frames

Using anchors and frames to influence readers


Unit 11: Thinking fast and slow

Understanding how readers process your words


Unit 12: Writing as process

Process versus product and why it matters

Processing techniques, from layering to outlining


Unit 13: Your personal process

Understanding and refining your personal writing process


Unit 14: Where to next?

Becoming a self-reliant writer