Welcome to WCONLINE, your home for scheduling appointments at West Point's William D. Mounger '48 Writing Center!
COVID-19 UPDATE: The MWC is currently offering online consultations only.
ABOUT OUR ONLINE APPOINTMENTS
MWC online appointments are available for booking by all cadets and faculty for feedback on any academic, personal, or professional writing project.
All sessions are asynchronous (do not involve any video or audio meeting); during your sixty-minute session, a Writing Fellow will (1) review your appointment form and the in-progress writing project you've uploaded to it; (2) construct written feedback on your work, which will be emailed to you at the session's end; and, (3) send a brief report to your instructor.
For more information or for any questions about the MWC, please contact us at MWC@westpoint.edu
How can I make the most out of these sessions? Ensure your appointment form is accurate and detailed regarding the assignment and your concerns; consider even articulating specific questions you have within the MS Word file you upload of your in-progress writing. For instance, if you're concerned about your thesis, point out in the document itself where or how you think it's lacking. If you're worried about how paragraphs 'flow' or whether your argument stays on track, consider highlighting paragraphs about which you're particularly concerned. Bottom line: help us to see where we should prioritize our limited time and how best to help you.
Another tip: save these online sessions for when you are further along in your writing process - they are better for providing feedback on more advanced drafts than for help brainstorming or outlining.
How much of my writing will a Writing Fellow be able to read and respond to in a session like this? We'll likely only be able to read and respond professionally to 5-7 pages of double-spaced writing during any given session. If your project is longer, consider uploading only the most essential portions to your appointment form.
What if I have specific concerns about proofreading? Your Writing Fellow will point out patterns of error and awkwardness in your writing, especially ones that obscure your meaning, and also guide you to relevant learning resources to consider. In this environment, we recommend that all cadets continue to draw on each other for peer-to-peer proofreading, just as you would at USMA, and also enlist proofreading tools embedded in MS Word as well as free online resources (such as Purdue OWL and helpful extensions like those offered by Grammarly). Remember you must document "extended" proofreading according to the DAW (see section VI.O, pp. 15-16).
What should I expect overall? It's important to remember your project is your work, and that Writing Fellows are not instructors; we're generalists, not subject-matter experts. We're not here to edit or simply proofread your paper, nor to grade it. Instead, we act as informed, critical readers; above all we aim to advance your learning and development. We're sounding boards for how effectively you're shaping your argument; we look to advise you about general principles of sound writing, as they bear on the specific writing project you send us. We'll address higher order concerns of substance and organization as well as 'later order' concerns, such as patterns of error or awkwardness in style or mechanics. Bottom line: we focus on formulating questions, comments, and suggestions that will enable you to improve your own work.
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