Theory and Practice of Technical Communication (ENGL 789)


Technical communication is treated in this course as both professional practice and as a site for scholarly investigation. Students will learn about the history and theory of technical communication across several disciplines and scholarly traditions.  The activities and practices that constitute “technical communication” are theorized as rhetorical activities, and texts are analyzed using rhetorical genre theory, although we will read more broadly in the field to consider other perspectives. Students will also learn empirical approaches to the study of technical communication genres, including content analysis, interviewing subject-matter experts (SMEs), as well as ethical considerations in qualitative research design. Students in the course will be encouraged to identify their interests early on as major course projects will be tailored to their particular interests and research or professional goals.