The Pedagogy

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 heart of the program lies in the curriculum and departments themselves: every academic department houses at least one, often three or four, of the more than forty courses linked to the WPWPEventually, cadets complete eight to ten such courses over their four years at the Academy. Much as counterparts at other colleges, these courses observe according to their roles in the program specific curricular standards, which at West Point dictate small class sizes and manageable faculty grading loads, the treatment of writing itself as a topic and practice in classroom instruction, and where possible, the inclusion of writing assignments that encourage a full compositional process, so writers may draft their work iteratively and revise it in response to feedback from multiple perspectives. Nearly all cadets begin with an English course in First-Year Composition (FYC)Next they gradually build proficiency in a range of disciplinary contexts as they progress through West Point’s sizable core curriculum; most take an average of five courses designated as Writing-in-the-Core (WiC)usually two to three in the humanities or social sciences and two to three in math and science. To develop depth in the conventions of their chosen discipline, cadets take one Writing-in-the-Major (WiM) course in each academic major they choose. Finally, every cadet completes two Writing-in-the-Profession (WiP) courses in Officership and Constitutional & Military Law, capping their remarkably various and sustained development as writers and communicators.