A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Henry, James M.

9 found.

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Documenting Contributory Expertise: The Value Added by Technical Communicators in Collaborative Writing Situations    (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Technical communicators frequently collaborate in workplace projects and bring a host of different kinds of expertise to this collaboration. Yet the understanding of communicators’ expertise among managers and subject matter experts is grounded in a view of writing as a finished product and authorship as singular. This article documents many different kinds of 'contributory expertise' employed by writers collaborating to produce articles for publication. Expertise in research, textual composition, visual composition, as well as other kinds of expertise garnered on previous projects is often brought to collaborative projects. Often emerging and developing as a function of collaborative work is expertise in framing the project, conducting review processes, and assessing outcomes. These categories are discussed in some detail to provide practicing communicators with ideas for documenting expertise in their specific workplaces, to provide students with ideas for developing expertise in various areas, and to prov

Henry, James M. Technical Communication Online (1998). Articles>Writing>Collaboration>SMEs


Hybridizing F2F and Virtual Collaboration between a Government Agency and Service-Learning Technical Writing Students   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This case study reviews a hybrid face-to-face (F2F) and virtual collaboration between the State of Hawaii’s Division of Forestry and Wildlife and a team of university technical writing students to indicate specific features of the hybridity as it shaped the collaboration. In a course focused on organizational authorship, students were tasked with learning about the organization’s workplace culture to successfully represent its ethos in a report on the history of forestry in Hawai‘i. Moments and modes of collaboration are discussed chronologically as they enabled successful report writing, featuring key components: clearly stipulating terms of collaboration through service-learning, assessing fit between the course and the organization, emphasizing the need for onsite visits by students to ascertain the workplace culture, conducting swift follow-up on challenges in meshing the virtual with the face-to-face, and leveraging each mode of collaboration synergistically rather than discretely.

Henry, James M. IGI Global (2011). Academic>Business Communication>Technical Writing>Collaboration


Performing Professionally as a Writer: Research Revival Vlogs   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Six professional writers who participated in the original Writing Workplace Cultures research published in the initial version of CCC Online (2001) contributed to a revival of that research in its performative dimensions by self-producing video logs about their professional performances as writers.

Henry, James M. College Composition and Communication Online (2012). Articles>Research>Technical Writing>Business Communication


(Re)Appraising the Performance of Technical Communicators from a Posthumanist Perspective   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Composition and rhetoric's attention to writing as cultural performance is expanded to analyze writing as organizational performance. A Foucauldian understanding of discourse enables the diagnosis of a technical writer's annual performance appraisal as grounded in 20th-century Taylorized management principles. Tenets from posthumanism—including a discarding of the liberal humanist subject in knowledge production and a leveraging of distributed cognition for enhanced performance of humans acting in concert with intelligent machines—enable a theoretical framework for repurposing this genre.

Henry, James M. Technical Communication Quarterly (2010). Articles>Business Communication>Assessment>Cultural Theory


Teaching Technical Authorship   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

MA students in professional writing and editing researched technical writing in specific workplace cultures. Their research is interpreted in light of recent theory on authorship as a cultural rather than individual phenomenon. Students’ constructs for understanding their own writerly selves are discussed, as are constructs that emerged for the interpretations of selves and others in workplace cultures. Teaching technical authorship meant addressing such constructs, implicating issues of status, affect and effect, representation, and expertise.

Henry, James M. Technical Communication Quarterly (1995). Articles>Business Communication>Technical Writing>Ethnographies


Teaching Technical Writers to Be Anthropologists   (PDF)

Ethnographic research, traditionally conducted by academic researchers, yields valuable knowledge on the ways in which workplace cultures and technical communication interrelate. This paper describes an MA course in which practicing technical writers composed workplace ethnographies with a focus on writing and reading processes. Conclusions outline the value of such research for individual technical communicators, for their employers, for the discipline of technical communication, and for the profession.

Henry, James M. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Writing>Technical Writing


Toward Technical Authorship   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Recent theory views technical communication not as a "transmission" of a message from sender to receiver but as a complex process involving an articulation of meanings, in which the technical communicator serves as a mediator. Ethnographies composed by practicing technical communicators demonstrate ways in which this mediation takes place. As such, the mediation casts the work of technical communicators in new light, allowing us to understand their work as "authorship." This article draws upon practitioner research to present some of the facets of such authorship.

Henry, James M. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (1994). Articles>Business Communication>Technical Writing>Ethnographies


Workplace Ghostwriting   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

An MA student in professional writing and editing undertook ethnographic research on ghostwriting in the military headquarters where he has worked as a civilian writer for 18 years. He investigated the ways in which the military's review process (or “chop chain”) influences writer psychology and the final written product. His findings shed light on writer psychology and on bureaucratese as a cultural discursive product and lead him to propose changes in local writing and reviewing practices. To suggest innovations in teaching and curriculum, this article traces the MA student's academic authorship as he drew on the disciplines of ethnography, folklore, social psychology, and composition and as he used cultural theory from Foucault and textual theory from narratology.

Henry, James M. Journal of Business and Technical Communication (1995). Articles>Business Communication>Technical Writing>Collaboration


Writing Workplace Cultures   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

Globalization, or "fast" capitalism, has changed the workplace and writing in it dramatically. Composition epistemologies and practices, elaborated during the twentieth century in tandem with Taylorized workplace literacy requirements, fail to embrace the complexities of writerly sensibilities necessary to students entering the new workforce. To update these epistemologies and practices, MA students in professional writing were positioned as autoethnographers of workplace cultures, reporting to classmates on organizational structures and practices as they affected discursive products and processes. Their studies produced a database of petits recits on workplace cultures, and their work is analyzed for the ways in which it forecasts subjective work identities of writers in the years ahead. Implications are drawn for composition administration, curriculum design, course design, and collaborative work among academics and writers in private and public spheres.

Henry, James M. NCTE (2001). Academic>Workplace>Writing>Cultural Theory

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