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 …

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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 …

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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, …

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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 …

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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.” …

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Balancing Content and Design

In Kristen Welch’s article "Poetry, Visual Design, and the How-To Manual: Creativity in the Teaching of Technical Writing”, she described her experiences as a professor teaching students technical writing. Although this article is an explanation of the teaching process, I found it to be a useful piece in thinking about technical writing and design, and …

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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 …

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Increasing Knowledge about English Degrees

The English degree seems to have become a thing of fear and a sign of a doomed career and unemployment. In an article called “Going for the hard sell as interest in English major declines, the Washington Post states statistics that acknowledge the decline of bachelor’s degrees in English while other degrees such as Computer …

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