ERIC Number: ED161035
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1978
Reference Count: 0
Problem Definition for Problem Solvers: Applying Rhetorical Theory in Teaching Technical Writing.
Stevenson, Dwight W.; Klaver, Peter R.
Since too many technical students do not get enough experience in problem definition, technical writing teachers can improve the training they provide by introducing their students to principles of tagmemic rhetoric, a problem-solving rhetoric that emphasizes the early stages of the inquiry process. According to tagmemic rhetoric, an adequate problem definition consists of a statement of the problematic situation and at least one unknown. The method for generating problem definitions is a two-stage process of prewriting and writing in which the writer discovers and states the problem in its organizational, technical, and rhetorical contexts. In this way, the writer develops a full understanding of the conflict at issue, the specific technical questions arising from that conflict, and the purpose of the report--the relation of the audience to the problem and its technical aspects. Examples of the way technical writers have used tagmemic theory in work situations and empirical evidence from its use in technical writing courses are indications that tagmemic rhetorical theory can and should be applied to technical writing instruction. (RL)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (29th, Denver, Colorado, March 30-April 1, 1978); Figure 1 may not reproduce well due to small type