Schedule

The following readings are subject to change before the first day of class, Aug. 22, 2016. After that time, students will be provided with appropriate notice of any schedule changes.

Abbreviations

I will use the following abbreviations in the schedule below:

  • SPTC: Johndan Johnson-Eilola and Stuart A. Selber (2013), Solving Problems in Technical Communication. U. of Chicago Press. ISBN: 978-0-226-92407-6

Date

Schedule/Readings

Assignments Due

Aug 22 Topics: Course Introduction
Readings:

  • Course Description and Policies,
  • Tufte, “The Cognitive Style of PowerPoint”
  • PWE guides for teaching ENGL 304 and 305
Aug 29 Topic: Historical Formations
Readings:

  • Connors, “The Rise of Technical Writing Instruction in America”
  • SPTC Selfe & Selfe, “What Are the Boundaries, Artifacts, and Identities of Technical Communication?”
  • SPTC Hart-Davidson, “What Are the Work Patterns of Technical Communication?”
    -OR-
  • SPTC Cook, et al., “How Can Technical Communicators Develop as Both Students and Professionals?

304: Oliu, et al., Writing That Works, Ch. 1, Understanding the Workplace Writing Context

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Sep 12 Topic: Rhetoric
Readings:

  • SPTC Porter, “How Can Rhetoric Theory Inform the Practice of Technical Communication?”
  • SPTC Henze, “What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Genre?”
  • Smith, “What Connection does Rhetorical Theory have to Technical and Professional Communication?”

305: Lannon & Gurak, Technical Communication, 14th ed., Ch. 2, Meeting the Needs of Specific Audiences

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Sep 19 Topic: Theories/Foundations
Readings:

  • SPTC Longo & Fountain, “What Can History Teach Us about Technical Communication?”
  • Lay, “Feminist Theory and the Redefinition of Technical Communication”
  • SPTC Swarts, “How Can Work Tools Shape and Organize Technical Communication?”

304: Canavor, Business Writing Today, 2nd ed.: Ch. 9, Writing To Persuade, Part 1

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Sep 26 Topic: Methods
Readings:

  • Charney, “Empiricism Is Not a Four-Letter Word”
  • SPTC Spinuzzi, “How Can Technical Communicators Study Work Contexts?”
  • SPTC Mirel, “How Can Technical Communicators Evaluate the Usability of Artifacts?”
  • [Slavin, “A Practical Guide to Statistics”]

305: Markel, Practical Strategies for Technical Communication, 2nd ed., Ch. 5, Researching Your Subject

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Oct 3 Topic: Pedagogy
Readings:

  • Wilson, “Technical Communication and Late Capitalism”
  • SPTC Blakeslee & Savage, “What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Writing?”
  • SPTC Burnett, Cooper, & Welhausen, “What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Collaboration?”
  • Slavin, “A Practical Guide to Statistics”

304: Canavor, Business Writing Today, 2nd ed.: Ch. 9 Ch. 4, Good Sentences, the Right Words: The Heart of Good Writing

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Oct 10 Topic: Ethics
Readings:

  • SPTC Scott, “How Can Technical Communicators Work in an Ethical and Legal Manner?”
  • Gough and Price, “Developing Ethical Decision-Making Skills: How Textbooks Fail Students”
  • Dombrowski, “Can Ethics Be Technologized? Lessons from Challenger, Philosophy, and Rhetoric”

305: Lannon & Gurak, Technical Communication, 14th ed., Ch. 4, Weighing the Ethical Issues

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Oct 17 Proposal meetings Oct. 17–21 Proposals due at start of meeting
Oct 24 Topic: Digital Texts
Readings:

  • Selfe & Selfe “The Politics of the Interface: Power and Its Exercise in Electronic Contact Zones”
  • SPTC Wysocki, “What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about New Media?”
  • Dicks, “The Effects of Digital Literacy on the Nature of Technical Communication Work”

304: Oliu, et al., Writing That Works, Ch. 7, Designing Documents and Visuals

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Oct 31 Topic: Culture, Race, and Gender in Technical Communication
Readings:

  • Brasseur, “Contesting the Objectivist Paradigm: Gender Issues in the Technical and Professional Communication Curriculum”
  • Haas, “Race, Rhetoric, and Technology”
  • Jones, Savage, & Yu, “Tracking Our Progress: Diversity in Technical and Professional Communication”
  • SPTC St. Amant, “What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about International Environments?”

305: Lannon & Gurak, Technical Communication, 14th ed., Ch. 5, Teamwork and Global Considerations

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Nov 7 Topic: The Workplace
Readings:

  • Winsor, “Engineering Writing/Writing Engineering”
  • SPTC Henry, “How Can Technical Communicators Fit into Contemporary Organizations?”
  • SPTC Dicks, “How Can Technical Communicators Manage Projects?”

304: Oliu, et al., Writing That Works, Ch. 8, Writing Emails, Memos, and Letters

305: Lannon & Gurak, Technical Communication, 14th ed., Ch. 5, Teamwork and Global Considerations

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Nov 14 Topic: Presentations
Readings: NA
Conference Presentations
Nov 28 Topic: Design
Readings:

  • Rivers and Söderlund, “Speculative Usability”
  • SPTC Schriver, “What Do Technical Communicators Need to Know about Information Design?”
    -AND-
  • Lauer and Sanchez, “Visuospatial Thinking in the Professional Writing Classroom”
    -OR-
  • Barton and Barton, “Ideology and the Map: Toward a Postmodern Visual Design Practice”

305: Markel, Practical Strategies for Technical Communication, 2nd ed., Ch. 7, Designing Print and Online Documents

Discussion leader and pedagogy discussion leader presentations
Dec 5 Topic: Course wrap-up
Readings: NA
Research paper due