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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.

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

Jean-Jacques Rosseau, Philosopher & Writer

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.

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.

Effective Writing (11 minutes)

Outlining (9 minutes)

Grammar and Style Check (3 minutes)

Techniques to Drafting Papers (10 minutes)

Additional Resources:

Lanham, Richard A. Revising Prose. 3rd Ed. New York: Macmillan, 1992.

Morenberg, Max and Jeff Sommers. The Writer's Options: Lessons in Style and Arrangement. 7th Ed. New York: Longman, 2003.

Strunk, William and E.B. White. The Elements of Style. 4th Ed. Needham Heights, MA: Allyn & Bacon, 2000. This classic book is still the best short and cheap resource for improving your writing. We highly recommend that you buy a copy of this invaluable book. You will use it for the rest of your life.

Turabian, K.L. A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, Theses, and Dissertations. 7th ed. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 2007.

Texas A & M University. University Writing Center. Texas A & M, College Station, TX: ( accessed 7 April 2016).

United States Air Force Academy. Executive Writing Course. Colorado Springs: USAFA, no date. (212 KB)

United States Air Force. The Tongue and Quill, AFH 33-337. Washington, DC: USAF, 1 August 2004. (6.34 MB)

University of Chicago. Grammar Resources. Chicago, IL: (accessed 7 April 2016).

University of Chicago. Writing in College. Chicago, IL: ( accessed 7 April 2016).

Capital Community College Foundation. Guide to Grammar & Writing. Hartford, CT: (accessed 7 April 2016).

Military Resources:

THE USAWC DDE does not endorse any these Military Senior Service College web sites however, they can provide some very useful information to students, especially from an Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps perspective.

Air University

National War College

Eisenhower School

Air War College

Naval War College

Marine Corps University

AF Writing

University Resources:

THE USAWC DDE does not endorse any these sites however, they can provide some very useful information to students wanting to learn more about effective writing techniques. Some civilian writing sites offer online tutor programs for their specific university students (only). However, all of these sites contain some very useful information War College and other students may find helpful. Anyone can search the internet and find many more helpful university writing sites online.

Purdue Online Writing Lab

Texas A&M: TAMUG Writing Lab

Vanderbilt: Writing Studio

UW-Madison Writer's Handbook

Government Resources:

THE USAWC DDE does not endorse any these Government web sites however, they can provide some very useful information to students wanting to learn more about effective writing techniques. Some government agencies provide writing programs to their employees online. These three sites are not all inclusive regarding US government-writing programs available via the internet. These sites contain some very useful information War College and other students may find helpful.

EPA Communications Stylebook: Writing Guide

Plain Writing at the Department of State