Writing-in-the-Core

WiC courses (a full list can be found here) draw on one of the most venerated strengths of the liberal education that every cadet receives at West Point: its robust core curriculum. A balanced number of courses across the Humanities and Social Sciences (HSS) and Math, Science, and Engineering (MSE) are designated as "WiC" in order to pave a continuous path from plebe to cow years according to which all cadets develop as writers in a wide range of disciplines and genres. 

Cadets customarily complete about five WiC courses; however, exceptions are made when departments grant validations or transfer credits to individuals on the basis of assessments that also consider disciplinary writing proficiency. 

Cadets who repeatedly fail to demonstrate proficiency on Signature Writing Events in WiC courses, independent from whatever grades they receive for the events or courses themselves, will be directed to further learning opportunities (including additional coursework) that enhance their development as writers.

The following table specifies the Curricular Standards for WiC courses:

Writing-in-the-Core (WiC) Curricular Standards 

  1. Completed by all cadets, usually in the plebe, yearling, and cow years. Passage of WiC courses is independent from demonstrating proficiency on the SWE that all WiC courses include. 
  2. Section sizes are limited to 18. Relatively small sections and manageable grading loads aid selective implementation of the WPWP Pedagogical Model.  
  3. Syllabus includes statements that explain the importance of a) writing as a student learning outcome for the course and b) further learning resources available to cadets (including the Mounger Writing Center). Item a references USMA Academic Program Goals and is authored by the Program or Course Director, as appropriate; item b is supplied by the WPWP. 
  4. Writing is a significant component of classroom instruction in relation to the SWE. The WPWP Pedagogical Model is employed selectively (≥3/7 enumerated approaches). Course Directors and faculty determine which approaches their courses include, how to meet the intent of those approaches, and how often those approaches occur.  
  5. The SWE, where possible, encourages a recursive writing process. The SWE is designed, where appropriate, to encourage iterative drafting and substantive revision in response to feedback from faculty or other resources cadets may elect to consult (such as the Mounger Writing Center). 
  6. Faculty respond to cadet writing, especially in relation to the SWE, with timely, detailed, and personalized feedback. The usage of rubrics devoid of comments tailored to individual writers does not constitute appropriate feedback.