Assignments Due

Aug 21 Topics: Course Introduction; Prequels
Readings: Course Description and Policies
Aug 28 Topic: Historical Formations

  • Central Works in Technical Communication (CWTC) 1. Connors, “The Rise of Technical Writing Instruction in America”
  • CWTC 2. Rutter, “History, Rhetoric, and Humanism: Toward a More Comprehensive Definition of Technical Communication”
  • Miller, “What’s Practical about Technical Writing?” (Readings)
  • Sullivan, “After the Great War” (Readings)
Assign Journal Review groups
Sep 4 Topic: Rhetoric

  • Smith, “What Connection does Rhetorical Theory have to Technical and Professional Communication?” (Readings)
  • Bitzer, “The Rhetorical Situation” (Readings)
  • Kent, “Paralogic Hermeneutics and the Possibilities of Rhetoric” (Readings)
  • CWTC 6. Rude, “The Report for Decision Making: Genre and Inquiry”
  • CWTC 7. Johnson, “Audience Involved: Toward a Participatory Model of Writing”
Sep 11 Topic: Theories/Foundations

  • CWTC 9. Thralls & Blyler, “The Social Perspective and Professional Communication: Diversity and Directions in Research”
  • CWTC 10. Lay, “Feminist Theory and the Redefinition of Technical Communication”
  • CWTC 11. Slack, Miller, & Doak, “The Technical Communicator as Author: Meaning, Power, Authority”
  • CWTC 12. Johnson-Eilola, “Relocating the Value of Work: Technical Communication in a Post-Industrial Age”
Journal Review presentations
Sep 18 Topic: Research Methods

  • CWTC 19. Charney, “Empiricism Is Not a Four-Letter Word”
  • CWTC 20. Sullivan and Porter, “On Theory, Practice, and Method: Toward a Heuristic Research Methodology for Professional Writing”
  • Koerber and McMichael, “Qualitative Sampling Methods: A Primer for Technical Communicators” (Readings)
  • Slavin, “A Practical Guide to Statistics,” from Research methods in education, 2nd ed., (1992) (Readings)
Journal Review presentations
Sep 25 Topic: Writing Process

  • Faigley, “Competing Theories of Process: A Critique and a Proposal” (Readings)
  • Flower and Hayes, “A Cognitive Process Theory of Writing” (Readings)
  • Hart-Davidson, Spinuzzi, and Zachry, “Visualizing Writing Activity as Knowledge Work: Challenges & Opportunities” (Readings)
  • Slattery, “Undistributing Work Through Writing: How Technical Writers Manage Texts in Complex Information Environments” (Readings)
Journal Review presentations
Oct 2 Topic: Pedagogy

  • CWTC 31. Bosley, “Cross-Cultural Collaboration: Whose Culture Is It, Anyway?”
  • CWTC 32. Brasseur, “Contesting the Objectivist Paradigm: Gender Issues in the Technical and Professional Communication Curriculum”
  • Wilson, “Technical Communication and Late Capitalism” (Readings)
  • PWE guides for teaching ENGL 304 and 305
Oct 9 Topic: Digital Texts

  • CWTC 27. Tharon W. Howard, “Who ‘Owns’ Electronic Texts?”
  • CWTC 28. Stephen A. Bernhardt, “The Shape of Text to Come: The Texture of Print on Screens”
  • CWTC29. Selfe & Selfe “The Politics of the Interface: Power and Its Exercise in Electronic Contact Zones”
  • Haas, “Race, Rhetoric, and Technology” (Readings)
Proposals due
Oct 16 Proposal meetings Oct. 15-19
Oct 23 Topic: Design: Visual Communication

  • Brumberger, “Making the Strange Familiar: A Pedagogical Exploration of Visual Thinking” (Readings)
  • Hocks, “Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments” (Readings)
  • George, “From Analysis to Design: Visual Communication in the Teaching of Writing” (Readings)
  • Lauer and Sanchez, “Visuospatial Thinking in the Professional Writing Classroom”
Textbook overviews
Oct 30 Topic: Design: Documents and the Internet

  • CWTC 16. Barton and Barton, “Ideology and the Map: Toward a Postmodern Visual Design Practice”
  • Kumpf, “Visual Metadiscourse: Designing the Considerate Text” (Readings)
  • Salvo & Rosinski, “Information Design: From Authoring Texts to Architecting Virtual Space” (Readings)
  • Tufte, “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint” (Readings)
Textbook overviews
Nov 6 No class: blogs on readings due at midnight, Sunday, 11/4.

Topic: Workplace Studies.

  • CWTC 21. Jack Selzer, “The Composing Processes of an Engineer”
  • CWTC 23. Dorothy A. Winsor, “Engineering Writing/Writing Engineering”
  • CWTC 24. Nancy Allen, Dianne Atkinson, Meg Morgan, Teresa Moore, and Craig Snow, “What Experienced Collaborators Say about Collaborative Writing”
  • CWTC 26. Barbara Mirel, “Writing and Database Technology: Extending the Definition of Writing in the Workplace”
Nov 13 Topic: Ethics

  • CWTC 14. Sullivan, “Political-Ethical Implications of Defining Technical Communication as a Practice”
  • CWTC 15. Herndl, “Teaching Discourse and Reproducing Culture: A Critique of Research and Pedagogy in Professional and Non-Academic Writing”
  • Gough and Price, “Developing Ethical Decision-Making Skills: How Textbooks Fail Students” (Readings)
  • Dombrowski, “Can Ethics Be Technologized? Lessons from Challenger, Philosophy, and Rhetoric” (Readings)
Nov 27 Topic: Digital Literacy

  • Dicks, “The Effects of Digital Literacy on the Nature of Technical Communication Work” (Readings)
  • Blakeslee, “Addressing Audiences in a Digital Age” (Readings)
  • Clark, “Shaped and Shaping Tools: The Rhetorical Nature of Technical Communication Technologies” (Readings)
  • Thatcher, “Understanding Digital Literacy Across Cultures” (Readings)
Dec 4 Topics: Course evaluations, course wrap-up