Week 6

This weeks reading were very enlightening. Chapter 15 discusses the approaches technical writings encounter when creating new documents for user. Blakeslee and Savage do a great job breaking down the process into six categories. Looking at this reading from a rhetorical point of view, this chapter almost gives a visual of a writing process that we see in an academic setting. Just reading the title, I noticed a connection with the project that we previously performed. What I took from this chapter is how different task require different outcomes that effect the quality of the work being done. This is seen in an academic writing course as well as in the field of technical communication.

In chapter 18, Burnett, Cooper, and Welhausen explore the positive and negatives of collaborating in the field of technical communication. When I think of collaboration within the field, I tend to think of a sports related game, especially baseball. As a previous college baseball player, I look at how athletes on a field collaborate just like tech comm writers and their projected outcomes and goals. Everyone cannot be a homerun hitter and not everyone in the field of tech comm can produce a document on their own. Another aspect from this chapter that was interesting is how the authors believe that conflict can be a good thing. “Conflict can be good, increasing interaction and improving the qualities of deliverables. Voicing disagreement and urging collaborators to consider altenatives can result in substantive conflict if the disagreements and alternatives focus on rhetorical elements such as context, argument, and purpose. I do find this to be true, because we have to think who we are writing for, which is the users/audience. Productive conflict can improve the content of a particular document.

In chapter 19, Dr. Kirk St. Amant effectively explains how we should think about writing for different cultures within the field of tech comm. This left me with a few questions on how we should go about this certain process. my question for him would be ‘How do technical writers make the decision to illustrate an acceptable representation of a particular culture?’ “What is essential to these rhetorical differences is that no culture is correct or incorrect when compared to another. Rather, each culture has its own internal rules for determining what is an appropriate and expected—or credible—way to do things according to the shared worldview of the members of that culture” (482). We must understand that writers in the field have to also have to value the expectation of the company who they are writing for and the particular audience/culture for a document. It just dawns on me how a writer would be able to balance those two aspects while creating a document. Going back to last weeks readings in chapter 9, I think we have to explore our values and ethical views as writers. I wonder how this situation would directly effect collaborating with other while creating a document for a global environment.


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