West Point Writing Program

West Point Writing Program

The Program

Learning to communicate effectively with all audiences is at the heart of a West Point education, the very first of seven enumerated goals in its academic program. As a defining feature of the Academy curriculum, the West Point Writing Program (WPWP) supports cadets and faculty in every discipline and department as they pursue this goal, in their writings as well as in their reading, listening, speaking, briefing, and critical thinking - all intrinsically related to each other.

Above all, by encouraging continuity and cohesion across the Academy's curriculum, the Writing Program ensures that West Point graduates are thoughtful, clear, and effective communicators prepared to answer the various demands of their professional environments and succeed as Army officers. 

The Curriculum

The cross-curricular Writing Program develops all cadets as writers and communicators throughout every discipline and department at the Academy.

Cadets begin with courses in general composition and progressively study more diverse, discipline- and profession-specific forms of communication, completing Signature Writing Events (SWEs) in every WPWP-linked course. 

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 WPWP. Eventually, 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. 

West Point Writing Program Leadership

West Point Writing Program Executive Committee

The Executive Committee (EXCOM) of the WPWP promotes awareness of and accountability to the WPWP's mission and curricular requirements at the department level, participates in pertinent assessment, and provides counsel to WPWP leaders. 

  • Behavioral Sciences & Leadership: COL Kate Conkey
  • Chemistry & Life Sciences: LTC Sam Cowart
  • English & Philosophy: LTC Deb Daley
  • Foreign Languages: COL Zachary Miller
  • History: LTC Andy Whitford
  • Law: MAJ Joshua Dimkoff
  • Math: CPT Michael Rocha
  • Physics & Nuclear Engineering: COL David Phillips
  • Simon Center for the Professional Military Ethic: MAJ Justin Cunningham
  • Social Sciences: LTC(P) Michael Rosol
  • Engineering (at large): COL Andy Pfluger
  • Chair: Dr. Jason Hoppe
  • Vice Chair: Dr. Colleen Eils
Stokes Fellows Program

The Stokes Fellows Program (established 2012, endowed 2023) brings together cadets, faculty, and postgraduate scholars to research, experiment with, and ultimately contribute to high-level conversations about writing and communication.

Cadet Fellows frequently hold key leadership positions in the Corps of Cadets and many go on to compete for prestigious post-graduate fellowships. 

Additional Resources

The West Point Writing Program has resources for faculty, cadets, and for the Army at large. In addition to resources for writing, the Program also offers resources for technical communications, including technical writing, stand-alone visuals, and presentation skills.

Mounger Writing Center

Housed in USMA's library from its founding in 2013, the Mounger Writing Center sponsors one-on-one consultations, group workshops, and special events that support work on writing and communication projects for any academic course, personal interest, or professional opportunity.