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ENGL 612: Approaches to Professional and Technical Writing

In this course, we will explore approaches to professional and technical writing by considering the basic question of how communication facilitates action across a range of rhetorical, social and political contexts.

Our work will include—but not necessarily center—the communication happening in the traditional workspaces that are commonly associated with the field: corporations, businesses, government agencies, non-profit organizations and the like. We’ll also push beyond the scope of these contexts, with particular attention to action-oriented communication in contemporary social movements (such as #BlackLivesMatter and #MeToo) and public discourse on social media (such as Zoomers on TikTok and #SharetheMicNow on Instagram).

To illuminate the principles, practices, and politics of professional and technical communication, we’ll think through the following questions: What does professional mean? What does technical mean? Who and what is included and excluded in these definitions? How do the concepts of work, workplace, expert, and digitality shape inquiry in the discipline? In what kinds of genres do technical and professional communicators compose? What genres do technical and professional communicators create? Whose social goals does (traditional) professional and technical communication advance? What happens when we expand our notions of what counts as technical or professional?

Our collective pursuit of potential answers to these questions will help us consider ways to approach professional and technical communication by grappling with the dilemmas defining the field as it evolves to be more inclusive going forward and to reclaim unnamed histories from the past.


0101 - Dr. Cecilia D. Shelton
M 6:30pm - 9:00pm

Schedule of Classes
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