William Deaton: “Discourse is Served”

William Deaton’s “Discourse is Served: Cookbooks as Technical Procedural Instructions” seeks to answer the following question: Do the cooking recipes contributed to the award-winning web resource Epicurious.com align with the kinds of work, workplaces, and technologies commonly associated with technical communication? This question is addressed through the examination of Epicurious.com, and its recipes, within the framework of Katherine T. Durack’s theories about gender and the technical communication discipline. Thirty Epicurious.com recipes were compiled and analyzed for their adherence to the generic conventions of a form of procedural discourse similar to recipes: instructions. While the cooking recipes from Epicurious.com prove worthy of classification as technical communication, Deaton’s analysis shows variations exist between what is deemed a good cooking recipe and what is deemed a good set of instructions. He argues that more specific rules are necessary for the subgenres of procedural discourse.

Comments are closed.