Tag: technical communication

Infographics in Technical Writing and Communication

By Lee Brasseur  Department of English, Illinois State University

Infographics seem to be the “in thing” in information design these days, and more technical writing instructors are beginning to include them as assignments in their classes.  I first became interested in infographics when I started to see how the genre of graphs and charts had shifted from simplistic representations to ones embellished with graphics (as those originally shown in USA Today). I then saw this trend move to even more complex visual and verbal presentations of quantitative and qualitative information in newspapers, websites, and books.

Infographics were a new kind of genre, offering a more complex, more encapsulated way of understanding quantitative information for a new generation.  In this article, I will discuss the genre of infographics, its relationship to both cognitive and contextual theories, and using them as a technical writing assignment. Continue reading “Infographics in Technical Writing and Communication”

Ethics in words: The conundrum of nuclear safety

Paul Dombrowski
University of Central Florida
Spring 2011

Nuclear energy is becoming an increasingly important component of the overall national energy picture. In a technical communication course for juniors and seniors, both majors and non-majors, we discuss the ethical challenges of representing nuclear energy realistically and fairly in discourse. We examine how everyday language can become confused, misused, and misunderstood when applied to technical and scientific information. We also discuss how this  difficulty is compounded by the emotional, political, and world-view dimensions of the discourse context.   Continue reading “Ethics in words: The conundrum of nuclear safety”

Evaluating Textbooks: A Recommendation Report Assignment for Introductory Technical Communication Courses

Michael J. Albers
East Carolina University
Spring 2009

In many introductory technical communication classes, students may have trouble finding recommendation report topics which lend themselves to a reasonable assignment length. If left to themselves, students tend to come up with variation on the infamous “new parking garage” report that frequently does not fit within 5-7 pages because the problem is too large. With other topics, the nature of collecting and analyzing the information results in a highly artificial environment with students unable to collect enough information to report. As a result, they end up making stuff up. Continue reading “Evaluating Textbooks: A Recommendation Report Assignment for Introductory Technical Communication Courses”