The West Point Writing Program
WiM courses (a full list can be found here) emphasize the study and practice of discipline-specific writing; faculty prepare Cadets to write in particular genres and modes, and to address specialized audiences. By teaching strategies for writing within their discipline, WiM instructors facilitate deeper understanding of the subjects, methods, and communicative aims of the course and discipline. Depending on the conventions of the discipline, Cadets may execute writing for WiM courses predominantly as individuals or as collaborators. Yet, while learning to collaborate responsibly is an important part of any writing course, there is also significant attention to individual proficiency.
All Cadets must complete one mandatory WiM course in their major. While the Writing Program encourages placement of the WiM course before the Firstie year, where the course does occur in the Firstie year departments have a special duty to ensure that earlier courses gradually introduce Cadets to writing in their discipline. (Regardless of when a WiM course occurs, departments themselves specify the consequences for failing to demonstrate writing proficiency in the SWE that all WiM courses include.) Because there is always an “integrative relationship between writing and knowing,” as the composition scholar Michael Carter puts it, the progress of Cadets as writers in their fields evolves in concert with the knowledge they have—and the bottom line is that writing better helps students think more complexly, too.
The following table specifies the Curricular Standards for WiM courses (relevant to Class of 2019 onward):