Master of Arts, English Thesis: Ethics in #TechComm Graduate Programs

The purpose of this post is to provide some of the content for my thesis that I completed July 2013. The full text of my thesis is available through ProQuest (UMI):

The programs that were included in my study are the following: Auburn University; James Madison’s MA and MS programs; Mercer; Minnesota State University, Mankato; Montana Tech of the University of Montana; New Jersey Institute of Technology; North Dakato State University; University of Wisconsis-Stout; West Virginia University.

Thesis Abstract:

In this research, I performed a content analysis of the required courses in technical and professional communication (TPC) graduate course syllabi to investigate the prevalence of ethics-related materials included in course instruction. The content analysis for my research included collecting the syllabi of required courses from a sample of TPC graduate programs, and coding for the occurrence of journal articles and textbook chapters that included the word “ethics” in the title, summary, or keywords. My findings show that on average, TPC programs assign ethics content both from journal articles and from textbook chapters. However, I was surprised to find more assigned textbook chapters than journal articles, based on my expectations from the literature on this topic. Additionally, my data showed a disproportionate number of ethics references coming from courses I identify as research-focused. Research textbooks typically contain sections on the ethics of research and this can and should be distinguished from the topic of communication-ethics that I reviewed from the literature. The literature on this topic suggests the most effective instruction for ethics is to layer ethics content throughout a course. My research found that on average, programs assign ethics material infrequently. I found that while layering occurs within individual courses, it does not occur throughout the required courses of TPC programs as a whole.

Slideshare presentation:

Fer O’Neil Master’s Thesis Presentation from Fer O’Neil

Adobe Connect recorded webinar presentation — 30 minutes:

Full text of thesis:

The full text will be available on ProQuest after a delayed publication of six months.

ProQuest citation:
The Extent of Ethics Instruction in Technical and Professional Communication Graduate Programs
by O’Neil, Kristopher M.A., Minnesota State University, Mankato, 2013, 100 pages; AAT 1545885

Related Posts

Reflections on Finishing a Technical Communication Graduate Program

Choosing a Technical Communication Graduate Program


1 Comment

Filed under Presentations, Technical Writing

One response to “Master of Arts, English Thesis: Ethics in #TechComm Graduate Programs

  1. Pingback: My digital workflow as a Master’s and PhD #Techcomm student | ferswriteshoe

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