Writing Across the Curriculum

The Writing Across the Curriculum Initiative (WAC) has two primary goals: to provide opportunities for cadets to develop discipline-specific skills in written communication and to encourage the use of writing to promote active learning across the curriculum.

Writing-intensive courses build on cadets’ experiences in the first-year composition sequence and train them to communicate effectively according to the distinct conventions of different academic disciplines.  Such training helps to prepare cadets not only for successful professional lives in their chosen fields but also for full participation in their lives as educated citizens.

Each cadet is required to take a minimum of two upper-level courses that are officially designated as writing-intensive (W). At least one of these courses must be in the cadet's major.  Writing-intensive courses provide cadets with regular opportunities to use writing to learn, analyze, and synthesize the materials of the course.  In both formal and informal assignments, cadets also refine their ability to revise their writing in response to the needs of different audiences.

Each cadet is required to take a minimum of two upper-level courses that are officially designated as writing-intensive (W). At least one of these courses must be in the cadet's major. 

To qualify for the W designation a course must a) be numbered 200 or above; b) require substantially more writing than a non-W section of the same course, with a minimum of 10 pages of carefully revised writing submitted for grade; and c) provide substantial guidance in techniques of revision. Enrollment caps are placed on W courses to enable the professor's careful attention to each student's written work. In addition, because W-I courses build on the foundations laid in the ERH 101 and 102 (Writing and Rhetoric I and II) sequence, only students who have satisfied the Institute requirement to pass ERH 102 with a grade of C or better may enroll in W courses.