Effective Writing Seminar

Overview & Introduction:

"However great a man's naural talent may be, the act of writing cannot be learned all at once."

Jean-Jacques Rosseau
Philosopher & Writer

Welcome to the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) Distance Education Program (DEP) Effective Writing Seminar (EWS)!

The main purpose of this site is to provide War College students, graduates, other military personnel with tools for improving their writing skills. This site supports Department of Distance Education (DDE) students enrolled in EWS and provides many useful tools for anyone interested in improving their writing skills.

NOTE: The use of any websites is not an "endorsement" by the US Army War College. However, these sites can provide students with effective writing techniques from multiple perspectives (civilian, military, governmental, etc.).

Effective Writing Seminar (EWS)

The Effective Writing Seminar was instituted in 2010 to allow students to improve their written communication skills and to improve their success in the DEP. Students identified as needing improvement in their writing skills, are encouraged to enroll in the EWS. The EWS focuses on the seven areas in which DDE students have had the most difficulties: Organization, Answering the Question; Content & Evidence; Reading and Understanding; Formatting; Writing Style; and Grammar. While anyone can use the lesson material, only select USAWC students currently enrolled in DE2300 can actively participate in the EWS.

Introduction

Welcome to the U.S. Army War College (USAWC) DDE EWS. The EWS has three main sections (Organization; Content; and Style) which replicate the three USAWC essay evaluative criteria (found in the Communicative Arts Directive (CAD)).

Objectives

The effective writing course has four objectives.

  • Improve the ability to organize, draft, and revise graduate level essays.
  • Distinguish the difference between active and passive voice in written communications.
  • Apply editing techniques.
  • Apply effective writing techniques.

Methodology

This seminar uses a combination of asynchronous (time independent) and synchronous (real time) instruction. It is highly recommended that students participating in EWS complete or review all 7 lessons. You may find some reference material in each lesson overlapping, however, the ultimate goal is to ensure each student comprehends the learning objectives in this seminar.

Instructional Commentary

Before you begin the course lessons, you may want to review the following four power point presentations. Each presentation has narration when in a presentation mode. All slides contain the script within the notes portion of the slides if you chose to print the presentation in lieu of the listening to the narration. These presentations walk you through a typical DDE written assignment and offer techniques you could use which may help you understand the course material. Although these presentations predate our Blackboard site, the lessons are still relevant.

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