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Technical and Professional Writing Commons

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Full-Text Articles in Technical and Professional Writing

"Unblackboxing" Technology Through The Rhetoric Of Technical Communication: Biometric Technology And Ghana's 2012 Election, Isidore Dorpenyo Jan 2016

"Unblackboxing" Technology Through The Rhetoric Of Technical Communication: Biometric Technology And Ghana's 2012 Election, Isidore Dorpenyo

Dissertations, Master's Theses and Master's Reports

In this project, I seek to “unblackbox” technology; by which I mean, I seek to, in the words of Latour, “open up” or “debug” the biometric technology used by Ghana for its 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections. Through the process of “unblackboxing,” I demonstrate the value of technical communicators to technology studies by analyzing technical documents that accompanied the biometric verification device which was adopted and used by Ghana to conduct its 2012 presidential and parliamentary elections. I argue in this dissertation that technical documentation does not merely accommodate users to technologies, but also it provides avenues to articulate broader ...


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 ...


Extending Writing In The Disciplines (Wid) To Train Mechanical Engineering Gtas To Evaluate Student Writing, Nancy Barr Jan 2016

Extending Writing In The Disciplines (Wid) To Train Mechanical Engineering Gtas To Evaluate Student Writing, Nancy Barr

Dissertations, Master's Theses and Master's Reports

Beyond first-year composition, the undergraduate mechanical engineering curriculum provides few opportunities for students to develop technical writing skills. One underutilized path for students to strengthen those skills is the required sequence of laboratory courses, where students write reports that are evaluated by graduate teaching assistants (GTAs), many of whom speak English as a second language. Historically, engineering GTAs have not been trained in formative assessment techniques to help students improve their technical writing skills. This dissertation details a comprehensive study of a GTA training program implemented in a large mechanical engineering department. Situated within the field of Writing Across the ...