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Writing Fellows Program

Founded by the Department of English and Philosophy in 2012, the Writing Fellows Program enables upper class cadets who have demonstrated superior performance in their writing-intensive courses to undertake advanced study in critical thinking, academic argument, writing within the disciplines, college pedagogy, and professional communication. Their study is supported by experienced faculty, with whom they engage in intensive mentorships and other forms of serious scholarly collaboration, including publication and presentations at academic conferences as well as other professional venues. Each of these initiatives grows out of the primary mission of the Writing Fellows Program—to develop student writing at USMA and to empower cadet writers across the corps through individual consultations at the West Point Writing Center.

The gateway course to the Writing Fellows Program is EP490: “Process, Argument, Prose, and Pedagogy in College Writing.” Enrollment is capped at twelve students, and as a result entry into the course is highly competitive; rising cows and select yearlings who have achieved cumulative grade point averages of ‘B+’ or above in the first three courses of the DEP core sequence (EN101 “Composition”; EN102 “Literature”; PY201 “Philosophy”) are invited to consider the course. The final roster for EP490 is determined with reference to overall grade point, and with an eye toward assembling a group of expert writers and communicators who represent the widest possible range of major fields and company affiliations at West Point.

As a course, EP490 itself involves three main components:

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• Seminar-style examinations of contemporary scholarship in college composition and pedagogy
• Individual mentorships with faculty highly-experienced in the teaching of college writing
• Active peer consultations with fellow cadets in the West Point Writing Center

In addition to EP490, the Writing Fellows Program also sponsors participation at academic conferences, off-post visits to writing programs at peer universities, and on-post lectures and panel discussions bearing on our interests. Moreover, the Writing Fellows Program also advances opportunities for all cadets to pursue Advanced Intensive Academic Development seminars that investigate the role of writing at West Point, how military leaders can effectively communicate in today’s complex and rapidly changing environments, and what roles writing will have in the Army and worlds of tomorrow.

For more information about the Writing Fellows Program, or to express your interest in participating, please contact Dr. Jason Hoppe, Director.