Topic: Definitions and introduction
Read for Class:
The pieces that you’re reading are insta-classics in the field of TPC. For each of these skim them enough to get some of the major points. Yes, they are mostly quite old, and that’s because TPC scholars lost interest in trying to define the field. But you need to have a sense of them because we’re going to use them in the class.
- Allen, J. (1990). The case against defining technical writing. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 4(2), 68-77.
- Miller, C. (1979). A humanistic rationale for technical writing. College English, 40(6), 610-617.
- Dobrin, D. (1983). What’s technical about technical writing? In P. V. Anderson, R. J. Brockmann, & C. R. Miller (Eds.), New essays in technical and scientific communication: Research, theory, practice (pp. 227-250). (opens as a pdf)
- Faber, B. (2002). Professional identities: What is professional about professional communication? Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 16(3), 306-337.
- Locker, K. O. (2003). Will professional communication be the death of business communication? Business Communication Quarterly, 66(3), 118-132.
- Slack, J. D., Miller, D. J., & Doak, J. (1993). The technical communicator as author: Meaning, power, authority. Journal of Business and Technical Communication, 7(1), 12-36. and Slack Postscript (opens as a pdf)
Do for class:
Please bring three questions that the readings raised for you. (typed up or hand written but written down on something that you can turn in).
Please take a moment to click through the course website (which is still very much in progress but has the bones of what you’ll be doing and reading).
- group discussion about expectations of the course
- brief overview of the course
- mini lecture of TPC and “theoretical” origins
- historical TPC
- content knowledge versus teaching writing knowledge versus teaching knowledge
- discussion of the readings
- definitions of TPC