A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication (and technical writing).


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Academic Writing: Reviews of Literature

The format of a review of literature may vary from discipline to discipline and from assignment to assignment. A review may be a self-contained unit -- an end in itself -- or a preface to and rationale for engaging in primary research. A review is a required part of grant and research proposals and often a chapter in theses and dissertations. Generally, the purpose of a review is to analyze critically a segment of a published body of knowledge through summary, classification, and comparison of prior research studies, reviews of literature, and theoretical articles.

University of Wisconsin (2003). Academic>Writing>Style Guides


Advanced Professional Writing

This course is designed for undergraduates and graduates interested in the professional writing and publishing of both print based and electronic documents. Through a variety of projects, we will cover advanced theories of document design, web-based publishing, educational media, information delivery, and multimedia production. The course is designed so that students will have opportunities to work on both electronic and print based projects.

Bay, Jennifer. Purdue University (2003). Academic>Courses>Writing>Business Communication


Advice on Research and Writing

A collection of advice about how to do research and how to communicate effectively (primarily for computer scientists).

Leone, Mark. Carnegie Mellon University (1998). Academic>Writing>Research


Annals. Computer Science Series   (peer-reviewed)

Annals. Computer Science Series (Romanian original title Anale. Seria Informatică) was founded in 2003 by the collective of researchers of Computers and Applied Computer Science Faculty in "Tibiscus" University of Timişoara, being an annual – in printed form - international journal. The journal publishes scientific research papers presented in the framework of the International Conference "Actualities and Perspectives in Hardware and Software", event under the high patronage of the Romanian Academy, as well as research articles exposed on the "European Conference on Computer Sciences & Applications". Annals. Computer Science Series is an e-journal with free publication of original scientific work in any Computer Science area, as well as its applications to other domains such as Mathematics, Economics, Technical Sciences or Medicine. We accept to publish, after reviewer’s evaluation, theoretical and applicative studies, wishing to offer to interested audience interpretations and analyses of most recent approaches and results in above mentioned areas.

University of Timisoara (2008). Academic>Research>Computers and Writing>Online


An Approach for Applying Cultural Study Theory to Technical Writing Research   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

When the idea of culture is expanded to include institutional relationships extending beyond the walls of one organization, technical writing researchers can address relationships between our power/knowledge system and multiculturalism, postmodernism, gender, conflict, and ethics within professional communication. This article contrasts ideas of culture in social constructionist and cultural study research designs, addressing how each type of design impacts issues that can be analyzed in research studies. Implications for objectivity and validity in speculative cultural study research are also explored. Finally, since articulation of a coherent theoretical foundation is crucial to limiting a cultural study, this article suggests how technical writing can be constituted as an object of study according to five (of many possible) poststructural concepts: the object of inquiry as discursive, the object as practice within a cultural context, the object as practice within a historical context, the object as ordered by language, and the object in relationship with the one who studies it.

Longo, Bernadette. Technical Communication Quarterly (1998). Academic>Research>Cultural Theory>Technical Writing


Avoiding Plagiarism

Academic writing in American institutions is filled with rules that writers often don’t know how to follow. A working knowledge of these rules, however, is critically important; inadvertent mistakes can lead to charges of plagiarism, or the unacknowledged use of somebody else’s words or ideas. While other cultures may not insist so heavily on documenting sources, American institutions do. A charge of plagiarism can have severe consequences, including expulsion from the university. This handout, which does not reflect any official university policy, is designed to help writers develop strategies for knowing how to avoid accidental plagiarism.

Purdue University (1997). Academic>Writing>Ethics>Plagiarism


Business Writing

ENGL 420 teaches students the rhetorical principles and writing practices necessary for producing effective business letters, memos, reports, and collaborative projects in professional contexts. The curriculum is informed by current research in rhetoric and professional writing and is guided by the needs of business, industry, and society at large, as well as by the needs of Purdue students and programs.

Clark, Tracy. Purdue University (2003). Academic>Courses>Writing>Business Communication


Business Writing

This course provides an introduction to business writing, which includes business reports, memos, and letters; this course is particularly appropriate for students in business and related areas, although it is open to students from any major. The course requires critical thinking, problem solving, attention to detail, ingenuity, and a significant commitment of time to complete the writing assignments.

Clark, Dave. University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (2003). Academic>Courses>Writing>Business Communication


Business Writing

This course is designed for students who expect to write in their future employment. Successful employees know how to communicate clearly and effectively, changing writing style and content for varying audiences and purposes. This class will focus on the difficult task of meeting readers' needs while simultaneously representing your best interests and those of your employer. To meet that end, the assignments will cover a variety of tasks produced under different circumstances, some done quickly during class and some polished and perfected over time. Students completing the semester's work should see a visible improvement in their writing, especially in terms of clarity and precision.

Roy, Debopriyo. Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute (2005). Academic>Courses>Writing>Business Communication


Business Writing

English 420 teaches students the rhetorical principles and writing practices necessary for producing effective business letters, memos, reports, and collaborative projects in professional contexts. The curriculum is informed by current research in rhetoric and professional writing and is guided by the needs and practices of business, industry, and society at large, as well as by the expectations of Purdue students and programs. All sections of English 420 are offered in networked computer classrooms to ensure that students taking the course are prepared for the writing environment of the 21st-century workplace. The course teaches the rhetorical principles that help students shape their business writing ethically, for multiple audiences, in a variety of professional situations.

Bay, Jennifer. Purdue University (2006). Academic>Courses>Business Communication>Writing


Can This Marriage Be Saved: IS an English Department a Good Home for Technical Communication?   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In partial answer to the many questions that have been raised about the definition and location of technical writing programs, a random sample of full-time teachers of professional writing was conducted. The results indicate that those located in English departments do not receive the respect and support they need. Those located in other departments are significantly more satisfied. Some strategies for improving the situation are suggested.

MacNealy, Mary Sue and Leon B. Heaton. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (1999). Academic>Programs>Collaboration>Technical Writing


Certificate Programs in Technical Writing: Through Sophistic Eyes   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

Technical communication certificates are offered by many colleges and universities as an alternative to full undergraduate or graduate degrees in the field. Certificates typically require only one or two years of coursework strictly within technical communication, and typically can be earned while working full time or while seeking another degree. As Sherry Burgus Little notes in “Designing Certificate Programs in Technical Communication,” certificate programs are diverse in their charter and construction.

Nugent, Jim. WAC Clearinghouse (2009). Academic>Education>Technical Writing>Case Studies


Composing a Proposal for a Professional/Technical Writing Program   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

The pages that follow describe the development of a grant proposal I wrote to obtain funding from an external private funding source. In the grant I proposed to research the programmatic options, student interest, and depart- mental/administrative support available for implementing a master’s degree in professional and technical writing (PTW) at my university.

Griswold, W. Gary. WAC Clearinghouse (2009). Academic>Grants>Technical Writing>Business Communication


Computers and Composition

Writing always has included technical components. In fact, writing itself can be considered a technology. Relatively recent developments in computers and digital media, however, have reshaped our understandings of relationships between technology and writing. This course will explore the cultural, institutional, professional, and pedagogical implications of such shifts. Our explorations will draw upon theories of technology as well discussions from the field of computers and composition.

Turnley, Melinda. DePaul University (2007). Academic>Courses>Writing>Technology


Computers and Writing

The goal of this course is to foster a sophisticated understanding of rhetorical situation, style and arrangement. Writing for the electronic medium with its specific demands should reveal by contrast material aspects of the practice of conventionalwriting that may have been taken for granted. Technologies encourage certain kinds of thinking and behavior and discourage others. Writing has always been one such technology. The World Wide Web is not the introduction of, but a shift in, technology. Students will analyze, conceptualize and create websites with HTML and graphics without the use of WYSIWYG helpers. WYSIWYG programs can make website development easy; however, we will stay close to the actual code in order to get a better understanding of the medium.

Levy, Matthew A. University of Texas. Academic>Courses>Computers and Writing>Web Design


Culture Shock: Teaching Writing within Interdisciplinary Contact Zones

To help writing faculty learn the language of discourse communities across campus, we conducted faculty interviews as a first attempt to describe knowledge about disciplinary cultures, specifically with regard to writing. Based on the data received from the interviews about disciplinary definitions and characteristics of good writing and how writing is learned, we advocate (a) awareness: recognizing that the particular beliefs and practices of a discipline may differ from those of other disciplines; (b) knowledge: learning about others' values, particularly regarding the definition and practice of writing; and (c) skills: altering perceptions and even communication strategies based on awareness and knowledge. Our interview data suggest that when writing faculty limit cross-disciplinary discussion to characteristics of good writing only, discipline stereotypes are reinforced, and communication may be restricted. However, when writing faculty discuss learning-to-write strategies with faculty in other disciplines, the results reveal commonalities about writing ideology.

Brammer, Charlotte, Amare, Nicole, and Campbell, Kim Sydow. Across the Disciplines (2008). Academic>Education>Writing Across the Curriculum


Description-Writing Exercises

Linked to this page are 6 high-school-level exercises that teach (through worked and scaffolded examples) how to write good technical descriptions. Also included is a set of description-writing guidelines on which these exercises depend. The summary table below links to two versions of each exercise: * A plain version suitable for classroom use as is, and * An annotated version that: * spells out the goal of each exercise and the writing issues that it addresses, * compares the exercise with others in this set, * suggests effective, relevant teaching strategies, as well as extended activities, and * notes the specific 1998 California English-Language Arts content standard(s) that the exercise most strongly supports.

Girill, T.R. STC East Bay (1999). Academic>Course Materials>Writing


Developing an Outline

An outline is: a logical, general description; aschematic summary; an organizational pattern; a visual and conceptual design of your writing. An outline reflects logical thinking and clear classification.

Purdue University (1997). Academic>Writing


Digital Rhetorics and Writing

The class English 396D: Digital Rhetorics and Writing covers contemporary digital writing practices and rhetorical theories about those practices. This space is a metasite intended to aggregate class content.

Bay, Jennifer. Purdue University (2008). Academic>Courses>Writing>Online


Directory of Master's Degrees in Writing Studies

The Consortium serves as a clearinghouse and advocacy network to strengthen our programs, promote the value of the Master’s degree, foster effective articulation between Master’s-only programs and Ph.D. programs in writing studies, and help undergraduate advisors direct students to Master’s programs.

Master’s Degree Consortium of Writing Studies Specialists (2011). Academic>Programs>Graduate>Writing


Effective Business Writing   (Word)

An intensive training session on how to write clear, crisp, persuasive copy for letters, memos, proposals, reports, and other business documents.

Bly, Robert W. Bly.com. Academic>Course Materials>Writing>Business Communication


Effective Technical Writing

An intensive training session on how to write clear, crisp, technically accurate copy for letters, memos, proposals, reports, articles, papers, and other technical documents.

Bly, Robert W. Bly.com. Academic>Course Materials>Writing


Electronic Documents and Publications

English 413 presents principles of Web-based document design, creation, layout, editing, and posting to the Internet and on corporate intranets.

Jablonski, Jeffrey. UNLV. Academic>Courses>Undergraduate>Technical Writing


English and Engineering, Pedagogy and Politics   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)

While some engineering schools have tried to manage their own writing programs, this chapter concerns itself with a professional and technical writing course created for junior-level engineering students at Case Western Reserve University, but housed, directed, and staffed from the English department. Although the course is a core requirement for all Case engineering majors, including aeronautical, biomedical, chemical, civil, computer, electrical, mechanical and software, it is administered from outside the school of engineering, automatically complicating staffing and curriculum.

Ballentine, Brian D. WAC Clearinghouse (2009). Academic>Education>Technical Writing>Engineering


The Extension of Technical Writing into Performance Consulting   (peer-reviewed)

Perhaps the trouble for academic programs that teach workplace writing begins with the term 'technical communications.' Perhaps the trouble grows with those programs’ focus on the teaching of writing rather than on the development of professionals who bring complex, strategic writing/thinking processes into work communities.

Hile, Julie. CPTSC Proceedings (2000). Academic>Education>Writing>Technical Writing



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