A directory of resources inthe field of technical communication.

Rhetoric

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Visual rhetoric is the study of how document design (including the use of illustrations, charts and graphs, typography and layout) communicate, as opposed to aural or verbal messages. Visual rhetoric examines also the relationship between images and writing.

 

301.
#27349

Name the Big Parts

Seeing the structure of a story is easier if you can identify the main parts.

Clark, Roy Peter. Poynter Online (2004). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric

302.
#27347

Narrative Opportunities

Take advantage of narrative opportunities.

Clark, Roy Peter. Poynter Online (2004). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric

303.
#10064

The Narrative Web: Beyond Usability and Design

The point is not that we should add stories to our sites to ensnare narrative-starved readers. The point is that the reader's journey through our site is a narrative experience. Our job is to make the narrative satisfying.

Bernstein, Mark. List Apart, A (2001). Articles>Usability>User Experience>Rhetoric

304.
#29801

National Pride, Global Capital: A Social Semiotic Analysis of Transnational Visual Branding in the Airline Industry   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

In this article we examine 561 different airline tailfin designs as a visual genre, revealing how the global-local binary may be managed and realized semiotically. Our analysis is organized into three strands: (a) a descriptive analysis identifies the strikingly restricted visual lexicon and dominant corporate aesthetic established by tailfin design; (b) an interpretive analysis considers the communicative strategies at play and the meaning potentials which underpin different visual resources; (c) a critical analysis links these decisions of design and branding to the political and cultural economies of globalism and the airline industry. Specifically, we show how airlines are able to service national identity concerns through the use of highly localized visual meanings while also appealing to the meaning systems of the international market in their pursuit of symbolic and economic capital. One key semiotic resource is the balancing of cultural symbolism and perceptual iconicity in the form of abstracted stylizations of kinetic effects. Although positioned unfairly in the global semioscape, airlines may resist straightforward cultural homogenization by strategically reworking existing design structures and exploiting possibly universal semiotic meaning potentials.

Thurlow, Crispin. Visual Communication (2007). Design>Graphic Design>Visual Rhetoric

305.
#36052

Negotiating Technology Strategy: Using Rhetoric to Understand Activity

The need for theory is as real today as it was in 2001. But as the debate for a single, unifying theory continues (if such a thing could ever exist), professionals in the workplace can nonetheless discover a great deal of value by putting theory to work now. The waiting need not prohibit the useful application of theory to contemporary problems in practice. Not only is theory used to acquire the seat around the table, but it is also needed as a guidepost once that seat is taken up.

Collier, Ryan. We Heart Theory (2009). Articles>Technology>Rhetoric>Activity Theory

306.
#25111

New Literacies and Old: A Dialogue   (peer-reviewed)

Despite what some consider evidence to the contrary, the U.S.A. remains largely a nation of readers and writers.

Moulthrop, Stuart and Nancy Kaplan. Kairos (2004). Articles>Rhetoric>Technology

307.
#24892

A New Look at Audience Analysis   (PDF)

Designed to stimulate the thinking and practice of persons who already do Audience Analysis as a part of their work this hands-on Workshop will offer some new wrinkles for reimagining the audiences toward which we direct our technical communications. It proposes not a whole new scheme, but some new combination of ideas involving heuristics based on the work of Janice Lauer and Rebecca Burnett. We shall use scenarios and fact sheets, small group sessions wing differentiated tasks, and dialogues between groups to try to arrive at a fresh look at audience analysis.

Sutherland, Alec and Monica Weis. STC Proceedings (1995). Articles>Rhetoric>Audience Analysis

308.
#37759

New Media Rhetorics in the Attention Economy   (peer-reviewed)

This interactive article presents results of a study examining two questions: (1) What are the material contexts in which students will need to learn critical and functional literacies of multimedia technology? and (2) What general principles of practice from emerging multimodal composing tools can be brought into the classroom to teach the effective creation of multimodal texts? Camtasia captures of student Flash essays and commercial web sites are used to discuss the shape of a functional multimedia literacy.

Ellertson, Anthony. Computers and Composition Online (2009). Articles>Multimedia>Persuasive Design>Rhetoric

309.
#33878

New Research Shows That Speaking Can Enhance Your Career

People perceive someone who speaks up as a competent leader - regardless of whether they actually are competent. That’s the finding of a fascinating research study that has just been reported online at Time.

Mitchell, Olivia. Speaking About Presenting (2009). Articles>Presentations>Rhetoric

310.
#30858

Newspaper Design as Cultural Change   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

his article describes the (re-)design of newspapers and magazines as a process of cultural change which goes beyond designing a publication's layout, typography and use of colour, and includes designing the processes and structures of its production.

de Vries, James. Visual Communication (2008). Articles>Graphic Design>Publishing>Visual Rhetoric

311.
#33413

Nobody Wants to Read a Stupid Blog

Maybe your business isn’t a massage clinic, but you are probably as passionate about the heart of your business as my client is about hers. I’m not talking about what you do. I’m talking about your business being an extension of who you are. For your business, I believe a blog is the answer. But not a stupid blog.

Chung, Tony. Duo Consulting (2008). Articles>Business Communication>Blogging>Rhetoric

312.
#20455

Nonstandard Quotes: Superimpositions and Cultural Maps   (PDF)   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

We regularly chastise students for placing quotation marks around words that are not direct quotations. Yet, as this research shows, professionals use nonstandard quotations routinely and to rhetorical advantage. After analyzing the various purposes nonstandard quotations serve, I argue student use of the marks jars us not because it departs from good practice but because, through them, students invoke voices we do not want to recognize.

Schneider, Barbara. CCC (2002). Articles>Style Guides>Standards>Rhetoric

313.
#36674

"Not Just a Colour:" Pink as a Gender and Sexuality Marker in Visual Communication   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

This article investigates the functions of the colour pink as a marker of gender and sexuality in cultural models and the multimodal texts they inform. To this end, tendencies suggested by a pilot survey on colour associations are traced in a number of visual texts such as leaflets, advertisements, websites and magazines, where pink functions to gender textual referents, attract female readers' attention and index both sexuality and sexual identity. Both informants' associations and the multimodal text analysis show evidence of an emergent schema that relates pink to post-feminist femininity. This is seen as complementing and extending conventional and counter-cultural associations of pink with stereotypically feminine characteristics or gayness, respectively. Ultimately, the author argues for an approach to colour that combines social semiotics with cognitive semantics.

Koller, Veronika. Visual Communication (2008). Articles>Graphic Design>Visual Rhetoric>Color

314.
#35145

Obfuscating the Obvious: Miscommunication Issues in the Interpretation of Common Terms   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

We communicate via many forms every day. When what we say or write is misunderstood, the fault may lie with either party. One source of miscommunication is the different meaning people place on commonly used words and phrases. In this article, the authors report preliminary results from a study on such miscommunication and lay out an agenda for research on improving business communication based on the Integrative Model of Levels of Analysis of 'Miscommunication,' developed by Coupland, Wiemann, and Giles.

Brewer, Edward C. and Terrence L. Holmes. JBC (2009). Articles>Business Communication>Collaboration>Rhetoric

315.
#27332

Observe Word Territory

Observe 'word territory.' Give key words their space. Do not repeat a distinctive word unless you intend a specific effect.

Clark, Roy Peter. Poynter Online (2004). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric

316.
#27343

Odd and Interesting Things

Put odd and interesting things next to each other.

Clark, Roy Peter. Poynter Online (2004). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric

317.
#30732

On Material Rhetorics and the Canon of Memoria: Rethinking the History (and Future) of Rhetoric   (PDF)

This presentation looks to the past to explain the present lack of attention given to memory and to imagine a possible future for the canon in contemporary rhetoric with the inclusion of the study of material rhetorics, or a comprehensive inquiry of situated things produced in cultural contexts that investigates both the material dimension in rhetoric and rhetorical dimension in the material. To this end, this essay summarizes noted reasons for memoria's limited study in contemporary rhetoric; revisits classic rhetoric's memoria and mines it for features worth recuperating for contemporary study; introduces material rhetoric and its potential to recuperate memoria in light of these features; and calls for further discussion of material rhetoric, the canon of memory, and the place of both in the study of rhetoric.

Haas, Angela. Michigan State University (2007). Articles>Rhetoric>History>Theory

318.
#22345

Oral Presentations in Professional Settings

This course is designed to help you improve your oral presentation skills and strengthen your ability to make a good argument and communicate effectively to an audience. You will gain these skills by studying rhetorical principles, analyzing other presentations, and practicing your own speaking.

Ratliff, Clancy. University of Minnesota (2004). Academic>Courses>Presentations>Rhetoric

319.
#29159

Orality and the Process of Writing   (peer-reviewed)   (members only)

The aim of this article is to show that a better awareness of the relationship between written and spoken communication can help the writer to improve his/her effectiveness. The focus will be on written texts that precede (formal and informal) discussions. The analysis will start with a description of the differences between orality and literacy. We shall deal with the functions of orality-based texts for the readers. Then we shall move to the writing process and explain how orality can find a place in this process, how it can be linked to creativity, and how it affects the way we plan the writing process. An oral way of writing is related to an important feature of speaking, namely fluency; but it also means a specific receiver orientation, dynamic rather than static and social rather than individual. Computer mediated communication could influence a more oral approach to written texts.

Van Woerkum, C.M.J. Journal of Technical Writing and Communication (2007). Articles>Rhetoric>Genre

320.
#14271

Organizing Visual and Verbal Information   (PDF)

For this exercise, you will create a two-panel brochure about carpal tunnel syndrome (CTS) that could be distributed with other medical literature in your campus’s health center. The text and visual aids you will use are contained in this file, though they will require significant modifications using design principles presented in Technical Communication/5e.

Burnett, Rebecca E. Thomson (2001). Academic>Course Materials>Visual>Visual Rhetoric

321.
#34669

Review: Page Layout and Design Tips from Jean-luc Doumont’s Trees, Maps, and Theorems

Given the engineering audience, one can’t hope for too much style and flair in the prose, but it reads like a college textbook, outlining basic principles in a flat way. It is too focused on “clarity, accuracy, correctness, etc.” (p.79) to make for a fun or engaging read.

Johnson, Tom H. I'd Rather Be Writing (2009). Articles>Reviews>Document Design>Visual Rhetoric

322.
#20878

Paradigm Dissonance: A Significant Factor in Design and Business Problems

Identifying paradigm dissonance as a source of problems isn't new, but creating a framework for dealing with this problem in a business and design environment moves this idea in a new direction.

Withrow, Jason and Mark Geljon. Boxes and Arrows (2003). Articles>Business Communication>Rhetoric

323.
#18865

Paradigm Online Writing Assistant

Whether you have an assigned subject or choose your own, you need to get focused and engaged with the project. Assigned subjects may look limiting at first, but they offer plenty of room for individual expression. Open subjects, while promising great freedom, can be daunting because they don't provide direction. They leave it all up to you. Yet these two situations, different as they appear, present similar challenges.

POWA. Articles>Writing>Rhetoric

324.
#27369

Parallel Lines

Writers shape up their writing by paying attention to parallel structures in their words, phrases, and sentences.

Clark, Roy Peter. Poynter Online (2004). Articles>Writing>Rhetoric

325.
#37981

Pedagogy Shaped by Ideology: Beneath or Beyond Plato

Since the time that rhetoric and writing studies moved beyond current traditional rhetoric, the theory of the discipline has been complicating the often unchallenged Platonic framework that undergirds Western society and educational practices. Regardless of what theoretical school composition teachers subscribe to, Plato’s fixed notions of truth are problematic for writing instruction because they assume that all writers ascribe to one definition of truth and share the singular goal of moving toward it. In a Platonic framework, this truth goal is Plato’s truth, not the situated, kairotic, necessary truth of a writer rhetor who is working in the real world and for a distinct purpose. Moving away from Platonic rhetoric creates space for “a rhetoric that compels us to tell what must be told, to retell what needs to be retold, to search for the words that will make our day and the days of others” (Poulakos 175). An understanding of writing which encourages writers to write anything that needs to be told within a situation, instead of only writing in the pursuit of fixed transcendent truth has the possibility to open writing for writers—to make writing responsive to individual, communal, civic, societal, and cultural situations.

Ross, Kacey. Xchanges (2009). Articles>Education>Rhetoric>Theory

 
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