20 Jan. Introductions!

Featured Image: Oil from Deep Water Horizon Spill, 2010. Getty Images.

Class Meeting Agenda

The Following are the topics/goals we will cover into today’s class session:
  • 1. Overview of class topic; policies; readings; deliverables; schedule; and remote synchronous & asynchronous course structure
  • 2. Multimodal Basics Review
  • 3. IAC Class Blogs How-to
  • 4. Professional Bios: How-to & First Blog Post
  • 5. Closing Question: Does Business Writing Require Information Literacy?”

Remote Class Video

20 Jan. Introductions

Class Overview


Follow along as I cover the following topics & don’t hesitate to stop me if you have any questions:

Multimodal Basics Review

This course builds on the competencies you developed in English 1101 and 1102, with a special emphasis on communicating in scientific, business, and technological fields. You will learn to create workplace genres, ranging from traditional print documents such as reports, proposals, and definitions to electronic forms such as podcasts and websites. Each project affords you the opportunity to skillfully assess the rhetorical situation underlying workplace genres, so you can communicate your expert, technical knowledge and skills to stakeholders.

IAC Class Blogs

Please follow along as I walk you through how to set-up your IAC blog post feed, and don’t hesitate to stop me with any questions:

Professional Biographies

Model 1: Etsy Employee Bios

Model 2: GATech LMC Faculty Bios

Your first Blog Post (Due next Monday, Jan 25) is a professional bio, which you will revise and reuse for both the Proposal and Website Projects later in the semester. To draft your Bios and get to know one another, please take 5-8 minutes and freewrite in response to the following:
  • 1. Position: What is your name, current position and/or what it is/what you do, what is your company or school name and what they are/do
  • 2. Accomplishments:what is one or two professional accomplishments of which you are most proud?
  • 3. Philosophy: in 1-2 sentences explain your work philosophy OR research interests/trajectory.
  • 4. Conclusion: how does your philosophy and/or research perspective inform your position?

Summary/Overview of Katz Article

Katz, I.R., Haras, C., & Blaszczynski, C (2010). Does Business Writing Require Information Literacy? Business Communication Quarterly, 73(2), 135-49.

On the very first page of the article, the authors of “Does Business Writing Require Information Literacy?” argue, earning a top job at a major company requires a combination of technical skill and information literacy. Irvin Katz, et. al explain, “Information literate workers know when to seek new information, how to seek that information efficiently via technology, how to judge relevance and reliability of information to reach new conclusions, and how to use technology to communicate information effectively, clearly, and ethically” (Candy, 2005). So what?

  • Keep in mind that while many of you may not become technical writers, you may be required to communicate with tech writers in your careers.
  • Furthermore, employees can have all the technical know-how in the world, but if that technical know-how is not coupled with what they call the ability seek, evaluate, synthesize, create, and transmit information, then some institutional positions will remain out of reach.
  • Beyond institutional and economic success, the careful technical communication you will practice in this class helps keep people safe and facilitates collaborative responses to complex problems.

Why organize a tech writing course around sustainability?

Because of the unique technical communication challenges that climate changes poses, in this class you will learn how to communicate effectively in workplace genres using sustainability as a vehicle for that communication practice. As a discourse, sustainability recognizes that the cumulative effects of anthropocentric climate change are both material and rhetorical. Not only do experts in all fields struggle to redress the environmental degradation caused by, for example, warming, emissions, deforestation, acidification, desertification, and pollution, they also endeavor to communicate the consequence, scale, and complexity of these processes to expert and nonexpert audiences to initiate change. Given that it spans chemical, biological, economical, and cultural spheres, consider coordinating a response to ocean acidification, as just one example of the complexities of technical communication endemic to environmental issues. What sorts of choices do you have to make to represent and transmit complex, discipline, specific data to experts in other fields? What sorts of choices do you have to make to represent and transmit complex, discipline, specific data to nonexpert stakeholders? These are just some of the dynamic challenges we will practice communicating this semester.



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