ERIC Number: ED186933
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Technical Writing as a Liberal Arts Skill.
Sparrow, W. Keats
A course in technical writing has justification for appearing in a college English department curriculum if course content as it is currently taught is somewhat modified. In general, business or technical writing has been primarily a study of a wide variety of letter and report writing forms. To be taught as a liberal arts course, a technical writing course should aim at instilling the same competencies and values as would any good composition, advanced writing, classical or modern rhetoric, or other expository writing course. Course objectives should include the refinement of grammar and syntax and the distinctions between technical and nontechnical writing competencies. Technical writing competencies include mastering a few basic forms for letters and reports, using headings, captions, and other graphic aids, handling the mechanics of tabular material, and implementing the strategy of reader adaptation (presenting information in a way that is tailored to a reader's ability to receive, comprehend, and remember information). An example of reader adaptation would be separating out information that would normally be included as supportive sentences in a paragraph and itemizing the information as separate, indented support points under a topic sentence. Technical writing students should learn parallel structure and other rhetorical strategies if their writing is to be effective. (AEA)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Guides - Classroom - Teacher; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the College English Association (11th, Dearborn, MI, April 10-12, 1980).