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Technical and Professional Writing Commons

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Articles 1 - 19 of 19

Full-Text Articles in Technical and Professional Writing

Open Technical Writing: An Open-Access Text For Instruction In Technical And Professional Writing, Adam Rex Pope Apr 2019

Open Technical Writing: An Open-Access Text For Instruction In Technical And Professional Writing, Adam Rex Pope

Open Educational Resources

This book presents technical writing as an approach to researching and carrying out writing that centers on technical subject matter. Each and every chapter is devoted to helping students understand that good technical writing is situationally-aware and context-driven. Technical writing doesn’t work off knowing the one true right way of doing things—there is no magic report template out there that will always work. Instead, the focus is on offering students a series of approaches they can use to map out their situations and do research accordingly.


Student Perceptions And Attitudes Towards A Technical Writing Service Course At Missouri S&T, Hannah Claire Coffman Jan 2019

Student Perceptions And Attitudes Towards A Technical Writing Service Course At Missouri S&T, Hannah Claire Coffman

Masters Theses

"In order to learn how STEM students perceive Missouri S&T's English 3560 Technical Writing class, I designed a research study to investigate how a sample population of 90 students viewed the class. Due to the nature of qualitative research, the results of this study cannot be generalized to a larger population. However, the results can and do provide insight into the situation of these Missouri S&T students in English 3560 classes and contribute to our collective understanding of the technical writing service course at Missouri S&T and other US universities. The study investigated whether the sample ...


Attending To Phenomenology: Rethinking Cognition And Reflection In North American Writing Studies, Dylan B. Dryer, David R. Russell Jun 2018

Attending To Phenomenology: Rethinking Cognition And Reflection In North American Writing Studies, Dylan B. Dryer, David R. Russell

English Publications

As detailed elsewhere in this collection (esp. Bazerman; Carillo; Talbot), when North American Writing Studies of higher education and workplaces (henceforth, NAWS) turned to European continental philosophies, it turned away from information-processing (IP) cognitive theories. Those theories were early casualties of this “social-turn” (e.g., Bartholomae, 1985; Bizzell, 1982; Brand, 1987); today, NAWS seems somewhat squeamish about the fact that the brain is an organ with a broadly generalizable structure, predictable development, capacity constraints, operating costs, and so on. Yet cognitive research is a dynamic and thriving field that does not much resemble the after-image that persists in NAWS. Some ...


“Hello? Are You Still There?” The Impact Of Social Media On Self-Disclosure And Reciprocity In Interpersonal Relationships: A Literature Review, Clara D. Costello Apr 2018

“Hello? Are You Still There?” The Impact Of Social Media On Self-Disclosure And Reciprocity In Interpersonal Relationships: A Literature Review, Clara D. Costello

Channels: Where Disciplines Meet

Social Media sites have become increasingly popular platforms for developing and maintaining interpersonal relationships. Although the usage of computer-mediated communication is normal in day-to-day life, the understanding behind how and why these relationships grow is scarce. This literature review considers relational elements such as self-disclosure and reciprocity, and how they are impacted by online elements such as an asynchronous context, controllability, and the disinhibition effect. Contrary to interpersonal relationships that develop in a physical context, the law of reciprocity is fulfilled and replaced by affirmation and recognition from relational partners, while self-disclosure continues to be a vital element within relationships ...


Credibility Strategies Of Popular Health Websites: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Parkinson’S Information Pages, Abigail Bakke Jan 2018

Credibility Strategies Of Popular Health Websites: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Parkinson’S Information Pages, Abigail Bakke

Iowa State University Summer Symposium on Science Communication

Though using e-health is a common patient practice, unregulated and inaccurate online medical content can pose real dangers. To effectively convey important and accurate health messages, online health organizations must make their information stand out as trustworthy. To identify credibility strategies, I conducted a rhetorical analysis of Parkinson’s disease content from the two most popular U.S. health websites: NIH.gov and WebMD. Based on the range of credibility strategies identified in these webpages, I recommend that medical writers and e-health designers convey both expertise and trustworthiness to build credibility in their content.


Credibility Strategies Of Popular Health Websites: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Parkinson's Information Pages, Abigail Bakke Jan 2018

Credibility Strategies Of Popular Health Websites: A Rhetorical Analysis Of Parkinson's Information Pages, Abigail Bakke

English Faculty Publications

Though using e-health is a common patient practice, unregulated and inaccurate online medical content can pose real dangers. To effectively convey important and accurate health messages, online health organizations must make their information stand out as trustworthy. To identify credibility strategies, I conducted a rhetorical analysis of Parkinson’s disease content from the two most popular U.S. health websites: NIH.gov and WebMD. Based on the range of credibility strategies identified in these webpages, I recommend that medical writers and e-health designers convey both expertise and trustworthiness to build credibility in their content.


Research And Rhetorical Purpose: Using Genre Analysis To Understand Source Use In Technical And Professional Writing, Lee-Ann K. Breuch, Brian Larson Nov 2017

Research And Rhetorical Purpose: Using Genre Analysis To Understand Source Use In Technical And Professional Writing, Lee-Ann K. Breuch, Brian Larson

Brian Larson

This chapter describes a pilot study of student research-based writing in a technical and professional writing course designed for college-level juniors and seniors across the curriculum; fifteen analytical research papers are coded based on the rhetorical move John Swales (1990) calls "reference to previous research" to increase our understanding of how students use sources to introduce, support, or compare/contrast ideas and previous research. Student papers in this study overwhelm­ingly used sources to support main ideas, occasionally used sources to introduce ideas, often in the form of topic sentences, but rarely used sources to compare/contrast ideas. The frequency ...


Rhetorical Principles On Uncertainty For Transdisciplinary Engagement And Improved Climate Risk Communication, Kenneth Walker Feb 2017

Rhetorical Principles On Uncertainty For Transdisciplinary Engagement And Improved Climate Risk Communication, Kenneth Walker

Poroi

No abstract provided.


On The Same Page: Theory, Practice & The Ela Common Core State Standards, Jessica Lauer Jan 2017

On The Same Page: Theory, Practice & The Ela Common Core State Standards, Jessica Lauer

Dissertations, Master's Theses and Master's Reports

This research sought to examine how writing was happening in high schools. States across the country, including Michigan, began implementing the Common Core State Standards in 2010. The standards place a heavy focus on informational texts particularly as a student reaches high school. The standards also suggest that writing should be a shared responsibility among teachers, acknowledging the importance of cross-disciplinary writing skills. Using a grounded theory approach to analyze the semi-structured interviews conducted with eight English teachers in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan, this research revealed a disconnect between theory and practice when it comes to how educational standards ...


Troubles At Coal Creek: Rhetorics Of Writing, Research, And The Archive, Sumner Stevenson Brown Aug 2016

Troubles At Coal Creek: Rhetorics Of Writing, Research, And The Archive, Sumner Stevenson Brown

Masters Theses

Digging through the past can uncover painful truths. As such, historiography that does not acknowledge negotiated spaces, cultural erasures, and flexible frameworks may fall short. It may limit both breadth and depth of the past, thereby (re)producing erasures, whereas a reflexive theoretical framework delivers not only depth and breadth, but it also adds texture and dimension to historical writing and research processes. It is for these purposes that the value of alternative methodologies is not situated at the margins of the rhetorical canons. Instead, it is embedded in the very core of the canons, defined as an element that ...


Visual Rhetoric: A Case For Visual Literacy In The Classroom, Kaitlyn J. Tomlinson May 2016

Visual Rhetoric: A Case For Visual Literacy In The Classroom, Kaitlyn J. Tomlinson

Professional Writing and Information Design Capstone Projects

We live in a visual age in which we find visual information surrounding us on every side. The persuasive power of the visual has long been recognized by scholars, but there is a lack of emphasis in the classroom on how to effectively create an effectively persuasive visual. Professors at the collegiate level need to teach their students to be visually literate, to make them responsible users and creators of images.


Storytelling Failure In The Vale Of Leven: How A Bacterial Outbreak Became A Wicked Problem, Kyle P. Vealey May 2016

Storytelling Failure In The Vale Of Leven: How A Bacterial Outbreak Became A Wicked Problem, Kyle P. Vealey

Open Access Dissertations

This dissertation examines the rhetorical work of a public inquiry investigation into an outbreak of Clostridium Difficile at the Vale of Leven Hospital in West Dunbartonshire, Scotland that resulted in 143 cases of infection and the tragic deaths of 34 patients. In light of these deaths and subsequent protests from local citizens, the National Health Service (NHS) Scotland launched a public inquiry in 2009 to investigate the events precipitating the outbreak. Extending rhetoric and technical communication’s sustained engagement with post-accident reports, this study explores how citizens and government officials accounted for the causes, boundaries, and impact of the outbreak ...


Personas: A Strategy For More Inclusive And Usable Reproductive Health Tracking Technologies, Anna R. Paul Jan 2016

Personas: A Strategy For More Inclusive And Usable Reproductive Health Tracking Technologies, Anna R. Paul

Dissertations, Master's Theses and Master's Reports

In this report, I argue for the inclusion of personas in the development process of technologies that are designed to allow users to collect and track their health information. Personas provide a profile of a user and their needs, goals, and contexts. This tool can help designers to better understand their users, in order to create better, more usable end products. I examine one particular self-tracking technology, smartphone applications that allow users to record information about their menstrual cycles. Many of the most popular period tracking applications available today only meet the needs of a narrow user group, resulting in ...


Rhetoric, Ebola, And Vaccination: A Conversation Among Scholars, Jennifer L. Scott, Kristin E. Kondrlik, Heidi Y. Lawrence, Susan L. Popham, Candice A. Welhausen Dec 2015

Rhetoric, Ebola, And Vaccination: A Conversation Among Scholars, Jennifer L. Scott, Kristin E. Kondrlik, Heidi Y. Lawrence, Susan L. Popham, Candice A. Welhausen

Poroi

Five scholars who study the rhetoric of health and medicine share our diverse perspectives on the Ebola outbreak that began in West Africa in March 2014. Using a unique multi-vocal approach, we raise questions for future research on the rhetoric of vaccines and vaccination, such as the role of visualizations in risk perception, the individuation of blame, the role of genres in vaccine development, and the rhetorical presence of material conditions that promote disease transmission. Our overall goal is to initiate scholarly conversation about Ebola specifically and about outbreaks and vaccine development generally. Through our conversation, we explore subjects such ...


The Structure Of Play: An Exploration Of The Instructional Design Of Rift, Carly Finseth Oct 2015

The Structure Of Play: An Exploration Of The Instructional Design Of Rift, Carly Finseth

Carly Finseth

This paper uncovers and explores the specific instructional approaches that role-playing games (RPGs) use to engage and teach their players. The goal of this research was to go beyond the theoretical understandings of gaming as rhetorical, social, and cultural experience and instead identify a practical, applications-based approach to understanding games as instructional design artifacts. Through in-depth case study research, I ultimately unearthed a set of heuristics that can be used in future studies about games and learning including how to study video games as instructional documentation and how to construct a higher education classroom as a game.


Competition In Higher Education: Build It And They Will Come Or You Have To Spend Money To Make Money, Matthew R. Sharp Sep 2014

Competition In Higher Education: Build It And They Will Come Or You Have To Spend Money To Make Money, Matthew R. Sharp

Matthew R. Sharp

The Global Perspectives Program was developed to provide Virginia Tech graduate students with an opportunity to gain knowledge and understanding of global higher education, especially in Europe. This article deals with enrollment management and competition for students.


From Textbooks To Safety Briefings: Helping Technical Writers Negotiate Complex Rhetorical Situations, Brian Blackburne Jan 2008

From Textbooks To Safety Briefings: Helping Technical Writers Negotiate Complex Rhetorical Situations, Brian Blackburne

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

In this dissertation, I analyze the organizational and political constraints that technical writers encounter when dealing with complex rhetorical situations, particularly within risk-management discourse. I ground my research in case studies of safety briefings that airlines provide to their passengers because these important documents have long been regarded as ineffective, yet they ve gone largely unchanged in the last 20 years. Airlines are required to produce these safety briefings, which must satisfy multiple audiences, such as corporate executives, federal safety inspectors, flight attendants, and passengers. Because space and time are limited when presenting safety information to passengers, the technical writers ...


Implementing Plain Language Into Legal Documents: The Technical Communicator's Role, Peggy Bivins Jan 2008

Implementing Plain Language Into Legal Documents: The Technical Communicator's Role, Peggy Bivins

Electronic Theses and Dissertations

This thesis discusses the benefits of using plain language in legal documents and the role technical communicators can play to help implement plain language. Although many definitions for plain language exist, it is best described as reader-focused communication that presents information in a manner that makes it easy for a reader to find, understand, and use the information. Plain language facilitates comprehension by using shorter, less complex sentences; active voice; and common words. All these elements aid in processing and understanding information, especially unfamiliar concepts. Laypeople, unversed in the law, frequently have difficulty understanding traditional legal writing. The complex sentences ...


Handling And Preventing Journalistic Fraud: Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, Kenneth Munson May 2006

Handling And Preventing Journalistic Fraud: Janet Cooke, Stephen Glass, Jayson Blair, Kenneth Munson

Undergraduate Theses and Capstone Projects

Fraud is a growing concern in the news business, especially in recent years where numerous journalism scandals rock its foundation. This paper examines the most prominent cases: Stephen Glass, the reporter for The New Republic newsmagazine who completely or partially fabricated 27 stories in the late ‘90s; Jayson Blair, the New York Times reporter who was found to have plagiarized or made up his supposedly on-thescene reporting in 2003; and Janet Cooke, who won a Pulitzer Prize in 1981 for her Washington Post story about a child heroin addict who, in actuality, did not exist. This paper will examine flaws ...