Tag Archives: technology

Rhetorical & #TechComm Analysis of AT&T “CPNI” Opt-Out Email

As I have mentioned in previous posts (analysis of hacking responses and Kickstarter PR response), as more PR and marketing communications concern technical issues (either directly regarding a technology or technological information about a product or service) there is a need for writers who can write both technical and rhetorically — that is, knowing not just what to say but how and where.

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Filed under Data Breach Analysis, Rhetoric, Technical Writing, User experience

Rhetorical & #TechComm Analysis of Kickstarter “hacking” response

What happened?

“Important Kickstarter Security Notice”


What happened in summary?

  • Last week on Wednesday (this date is relevant) Kickstarter’s website was hacked and users’ personal data was stolen. Kickstarter released a PR statement regarding the security incident on Saturday (yes, 3 days later, on a holiday weekend) with recommended instructions that users should take.

Why am I writing about this?

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Filed under Data Breach Analysis, Rhetoric, Technical Writing

Article Review: 350-word summary of “Do Curricula Correspond to Managerial Expectations? Core Competencies for Technical Communicators”

Rainey, Kenneth T., Roy K. Turner, and David Dayton. 2005. “Do Curricula Correspond to Managerial Expectations? Core Competencies for Technical Communicators.” Technical Communication 52 (3) (August): 323–352.

This research article uses survey data to analyze the curricula at undergraduate technical and professional communications programs (TPC) and interviews with technical communication managers to evaluate which competencies they desire in workers.

The research takes a broad view and only looks at which competencies (skills or knowledge) programs focus on and which ones managers desire—it does not determine the value of these competencies outside of these two perspectives.

The findings

Similar to other research of TPC program curricula, ethical considerations rank in the 50-percentile based on the qualitative content analysis curricula correlated to the surveyed manager expectations. The findings are not representative of all technical communication managers, as noted by Rainey et al. because a large enough random sample could not be found and instead a “sample of convenience” was used to draw some general trends. The top competencies and trends that managers desire from TPC graduates are interpersonal skills and a general knowledge of technology—the ability to learn new technologies is valued more than specific knowledge of technological tools.

Application of research

There are a few ideas that I thought were interesting when applied to my own research. Related to this paper’s methodology, I thought that using a “pre-survey” at the beginning of the survey to gain unbiased results before presenting the managers with a selection to choose from is a good idea. And whereas my research will focus only on ethical considerations, this research did present findings that support my research topic—namely, how approaches to “skill building” versus “depth of cognitive insights” (Rainey, Turner, and Dayton 2005, 323) are important TPC curricula to prepare graduates to understand the impact technology has on people and on their own work.

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Filed under Article Reviews, Technical Writing

Article Review: 350-word summary of “TPC Program Snapshots: Developing Curricula and Addressing Challenges”

Allen, Nancy, and Steven T. Benninghoff. 2004. “TPC Program Snapshots: Developing Curricula and Addressing Challenges.” Technical Communication Quarterly 13 (2): 157–185.

This article combines quantitative data from the results of surveys of technical and professional communication (TPC) programs along with a literature review of humanities and technology literature. The surveys examined what the core program curricula were for TPC programs—the authors examined the courses using a quantitative scale to rank the frequency and breadth of the courses within a program.

The examination itself (more so than the results) provides a background that helps frame my research on ethics in TPC programs and whether the curricula adequately prepare students for the workplace. Continue reading

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Paper abstract: Is Technical Communications Rhetorical? Ought It Be?

I am excited for the opportunity to attend the Southwest Texas Popular Culture and American Culture Association Conference ( SW/TX PCA/ACA Conference) this February. When I received an email from a professor at my school (Minnesota State University, Mankato) with information about the conference, I was interested immediately. There are many topics covered at the conference but my subject area of interest is “Computer, The Internet & Technical Writing” and specifically, the Rhetoric and Technical Communication subject chaired by Sean Zdenek of Texas Tech University. Continue reading


Filed under Presentations, Published Articles, Rhetoric, Technical Writing