About & Frequently Asked Questions
Thoughtful, skilled communication is essential to officership. Officers of every rank must express themselves clearly and effectively—in any medium, for any purpose, to any audience. The Writing Program prepares Cadets to meet these vast rhetorical demands and succeed not only as versatile collegiate writers but as Army officers.
We see all effective writing as indivisible from other essential skills: people who write well can also think logically, read critically, and communicate meaningfully in a range of contexts. To these ends, the Writing Program guides and integrates the efforts of academic departments, develops faculty, and equips Cadets with the resources they need to progress at every stage of their development. Cadets evolve as thinkers and communicators through a continuous sequence of writing-intensive courses across the core curriculum and in their majors. Along the way, they receive comprehensive support from the Mounger Writing Center.
Ultimately, the Writing Program sets, assesses, and supports curricular and pedagogical standards pertaining to writing at West Point. These standards drive our study of the writing process and effective communication in every discipline. By building a more rigorous, cohesive learning environment, we encourage Cadets to dedicate themselves to the perpetual craft and discipline that all effective writing, thinking, and speaking demand.
The Writing Program's administrative offices are located in Jefferson Hall (122-129); the Mounger Writing Center is also located in Jefferson Hall (Second Floor, Northeast Wing). Come see us!
Frequently Asked Questions
What exactly does the Writing Program involve?
A lot of different things, as our mission suggests. But everything starts with the fact that we set standards that inform several dozen courses across four curricular areas: First-Year Composition (FYC), Writing-in-the-Core (WiC), Writing-in-the-Major (WiM), and Writing-in-the-Profession (WiP). In these courses, Cadets study the writing process in various disciplinary contexts; they also author Signature Writing Events and collect them in Cadet Writer ePortfolios that testify to their interests, abilities, and journeys as writers. We support all this work through our two main sub-components: the Mounger Writing Center and our Writing Fellows Program. Ultimately, the Writing Program assesses our collective progress, as an institution, on every front.
How does the 'Writing Program' differ from the 'Writing Center'?
The Mounger Writing Center (MWC) is a subcomponent of the larger West Point Writing Program. While the Writing Program involves many different functions—including curricular design, faculty development, and assessment—the MWC concentrates on supporting Cadets outside of the classroom, offering one-on-one consulting sessions, group workshops, and special events. Head to our webpage for more information, or schedule an appointment!
I'm a cadet. How does the Writing Program affect me?
The Writing Program provides you with the opportunities and resources you need to develop as an academic and professional writer. Nearly every requirement associated with the WPWP is already embedded within courses you already have to take (whether in the core or in your chosen major). As a result, you'll notice the Program's impact in more subtle ways, particularly when you take courses in First-Year Composition, Writing-in-the-Core, Writing-in-the-Major, or Writing-in-the-Profession. You'll be asked to pay more attention to writing in general and specific writing conventions; you'll talk more about the writing process and what it takes to communicate successfully in different disciplines and rhetorical situations. You're also responsible for completing Signature Writing Events in those courses and maintaining your Cadet Writer ePortfolio in BlackBoard.
I'm on the faculty. What do I need to know?
Expert, dedicated teachers are the foundation of the Writing Program. If you teach a course connected to the Program, review our Pedagogical Model and the Curricular Standards that pertain to your course (First-Year Composition, Writing-in-the-Core, Writing-in-the-Major, or Writing-in-the-Profession). Review the permanent SharePoint folders that the WPWP curates for every department for relevant information for your course, including required syllabi inserts. Consider visiting us in Jefferson Hall or on our webpage for teaching tips as well as information about speakers and workshops, writing guides, and additional faculty development opportunities. Encourage your Cadets to try out the Mounger Writing Center. If you've further questions, contact your Course or Program Directors, or a representative on the Program's Executive Committee.