An (Academic) Year in Review

From volunteering for the Society for Technical Communication to creating this blog, I’ve had a pretty busy year. I believe that I have accomplished a lot in attempting to further my future career. I would like this blog post to examine my realizations and thoughts on the field of technical writing and communication as this …

Continue reading An (Academic) Year in Review

Why Be a Technical Writer?

What are the advantages of becoming a technical writer? It’s a profession with a daunting name. As I discussed in an earlier post, it can be unclear whether the emphasis is on “technical” or “writer”. It’s actually on both. There’s also an emphasis on creativity, collaboration, new experiences, and job security. Technical writing is a …

Continue reading Why Be a Technical Writer?

Advice from Experienced Technical Writers

I recently had the opportunity to job shadow the technical writing group at Thomson Reuters. Many of the technical writers there have worked in the field for more than fifteen years, and I was excited to talk with these experienced technical writers about various concerns and questions I had. We addressed a few main themes, …

Continue reading Advice from Experienced Technical Writers

Reader Behavior

One of my favorite technical communication theories can be found in Chapter One: Understanding Readers of the book Techniques for Technical Communicators. This chapter, written by Janice C. Redish, considers a more active role of the reader and how technical communicators can use this knowledge to create more efficient and useful documentation. How Readers Work …

Continue reading Reader Behavior

Audience Involved

Robert R. Johnson began his article “Audience Involved: Toward a Participatory Model of Writing” with a foreword, in which he wrote, “Ultimately…I am speaking about power: the potential power of technical communicators and rhetoricians to be not only advocates for users and readers, but also to be agents for change in corporate and academic contexts.” …

Continue reading Audience Involved

Typeface & Tech Comm

What is typeface, and why does it matter in technical communication? “Impression Management Using Typeface Design”, which is featured in the Journal of Marketing and was written by Pamela Henderson, Joan Giese, and Joseph Cote, describes the fact that while both academics and practitioners generally agree that typeface design is “an important visual tool for …

Continue reading Typeface & Tech Comm

Humanistic Rhetoric and “Mediation”

A quote by David N. Dobrin in his piece What's Technical about Technical Writing? was very interesting to me. He states that teaching technical writing should not be described as teaching students to write manuals or technical prose. Rather, it should be described as teaching students how to make their work useful to the people they …

Continue reading Humanistic Rhetoric and “Mediation”