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Issue Brief: Technical and Professional Writing

Stuart Selber

Penn State University

sas37@psu.edu

Technical and professional writing is a species of rhetoric that encompasses the discursive work of both technical specialists and workplace writers and communicators. Practitioners tend to focus on best practices for creating effective communication. Teachers at the college level tend to focus on the service course for technical specialists, on courses for students majoring or minoring in technical or professional writing, and on graduate courses that train people to be either workplace researchers or university professors. University professors tend to focus on not only best practices for creating effective communication but also on the social implications of those practices for culture. The topic area holds an expansive definition of "writing," which includes the visual, new media, and electronic communication.

Leading Journals

Technical Communication Quarterly http://www.tandf.co.uk/journals/titles/10572252.asp

Journal of Business and Technical Communication http://jbt.sagepub.com

Journal of Technical Writing and Communication http://www.baywood.com/Journals/PreviewJournals.asp?Id=0047-2816

Technical Communication  http://www.stc.org/pubs/techcommgeneral01.asp

IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication  http://ieeexplore.ieee.org/xpl/RecentIssue.jsp?punumber=47

Programmatic Perspectives: Journal of the Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication  http://www.cptsc.org/pp/

Relevant Organizations

Association of Teachers of Technical Writing  http://cms.english.ttu.edu/attw

Council for Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication  http://cptsc.org

Society for Technical Communication  http://stc.org

IEEE Professional Communication Society  http://ewh.ieee.org/soc/pcs/

ACM SIGDOC (Special Interest Group on Design of Communication)  http://www.sigdoc.org

Relevant Web Sites

Technical Writing at Wikepedia  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Technical_writing

E-Server Technical Communication Library  http://tc.eserver.org

Bureau of Labor Statistics  http://www.bls.gov/oco/ocos089.htm

Relevant Email Discussion Lists

ATTW-L  http://cms.english.ttu.edu/attw/organization/email-discussion-list

CPTSC-L  https://lists.unomaha.edu/mailman/listinfo/cptsc

TECHWR-L  http://www.techwr-l.com

Document and Site Resources

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