The “Nature and Importance” of Technical Communication

In the article, “The Technical Communicator as Author” authors  (Slack, J.D., Miller, D., and Doak, S.) proposed that technical communicators should claim their role as author. As a Physical Education major transitioning into Graphic Design, technical communication is a must. The Graphic Design field is considered a subset of visual communication and communication design, but sometimes the term “graphic design” is used interchangeably with these due to overlapping skills involved. The authors also go into depth explaining the three views of communication (transmission, translation, and articulation). They argue that viewing communication as articulation gives us a better understanding on how things work and how to make them better.

ICT

This picture links to the video “Teaching and Importance of Technical Communication,” by Professor K. Muralidhar.

For the transmission view, it is the writer’s goal to transmit the message from its source to the reader.  In translation view, the author is just that, the translator. The writer’s goal is to take what an engineer or scientist or whoever says, understand it, and then convert it into a message that an everyday reader would understand. Finally, in the articulation view, the writer’s goal is to articulate the message so that it is timeless in a sense.

My Favorite quote from the article:  “The Technical Communicator as Author“.

The articulation view allows us to move beyond a conception of communication as the polar contributions of sender and receiver to a conception of an ongoing process of articulation constituted in (and constituting) the relations of meaning an power operating in the entire context with which messages move.” (pp.89)

The quote above stood out the most because the articulation view of communication breaks down information so the reader better understand it. Like technical communicator, Graphic designer also adapt an articulation view. Graphic designers convey inspiring and informative ideas in advertisements, brochures, and other marketing materials.  The strong meaning of graphic stimulates a person to reach for the product or feels drawn to it or immediately decide its an inferior product and has no use for it. Below is a video that explains “What is Technical Communication”.

Technical communication is a broad field and includes any form of communication that exhibits one or more of the following characteristics: Communicating about technical or specialized topics, such as computer applications, medical procedures, or environmental regulations. Communicating by using technology, such as web pages, help files, or social media sites. Providing instructions about how to do something, regardless of how technical the task is or even if technology is used to create or distribute that communication.

 

Shifting Realities: TIme for A Reality Check

In the text, Virtual Realities: Transitions from University to Workplace Writing, the issue that occurred in the changeover were the effectiveness of what potential academic professionals and non-academic professionals bring forth to the workplace. Because technology is ever-changing, the modern learner style of learning is colliding with new realities in the learners’ job, academic and professional writing skills. Being flexible in where and how they learn is becoming important. While coming straight out of college into the workplace, the student who is now a new employee wants to learn from their peers and bosses as much as from the experts or professionals.

“Research into transitions to the workplace has made it clear that developing competence in workplace writing requires much more than learning the formal features of the particular workplace genres .” -Anson and Forsberg

With this approach you will be taking control over your own development.   Dias, Freedman, Medway and Pare used the terms attenuated authentic participation, facilitated performance and legitimate peripheral participation to break down the concept of how learning is evolved and transmitted to the experienced company. These philosophers advocate that the way a student writes inside and outside the classroom is imperative to the way they learn. They insist with the theory that you must get experience outside the classroom in order to be flexible with the writing transition to the workplace style. This educational transition grid is supposed to capture the issues of the virtual reality of what is occurring in the workplace.

In the video below, Madhukar Shukla explains his theory of the significance of learning outside the classroom and the beneficial factor that every student should be given the opportunity to explore outside the traditional setting for better preparation.

 

Shukla argues that 75 percent of learning happens outside the classroom. I agree with this statement because majority of learning is experiential. As college students, we will only be better prepared for the workplace if we are given hands on, face-to-face outside the classroom encounters. Even by allowing guest speakers to come into the classroom will be more helpful because it’s an outside element coming in to bring advice. By advocating this, students are more likely to come across new ideas and they could potentially become more socially aware. Applying social media with this generations new technology, the traditional learning style and techné are becoming less important and there’s almost no need for it any more. This video is substantial because he explains how technology is ever changing and it’s up to the teachers, the educators to remain in the loop so they are able to expose better transitional information to the up and coming.

In English 335: Issues in Professional Writing, we incorporate our scholastic “knowing” into the professional writing. With a course like this one here, as a student, the teaching and writing that is done throughout the semester has prepared me for the professional field of law. Every writing assignment that is given enables we, the students, to manipulate when and how we choose to portray our writing; academically or professionally. As collegiate students, we learn to write professionally by knowing, doing and making. Using the rhetorical reference of knowing, doing and making I will explain just how deliberate and conscious this participation happened.

As a student in English 335 course we have to know; know what the issues are in professional writing. Not any professional writing but the area of struggle or “professional issue” in our career fields. We must research and understand the pertinence of the issue. Identifying and self-educating is the first step. Then, we must act on combining our academic writing and potential careers into a logical setup for our pathos. As students, our professor instructs us to build a blog post that demonstrates our learning process; which is our facilitated performance. We all watch and learn from each other by this collaborative blog by giving and receiving comments, suggestions and classroom workshops. Lastly, the making portion, after establishing the problem and taking action we put all of it together and make our logos. Each student will engage in their post and re-work their post to better persuade their audience. Using constructive criticism and feedback from fellow classmates and the professor we are now in the stage of legitimate peripheral participation. We are in a reality of co-producing and practicing at a professional level.

During my fall semester of 2013, I was enrolled in a legal studies course. Prior to signing up for the class, off of the name basis, I automatically thought the course would be consumed with Political Science or Pre-Law intuitive but this course turned out to be one of the English curriculum. This subject actually dealt more with writing, analytical and critical thinking activities; which is what my future professional career of obtaining a JD consisted of. The directness of each assignment was skill based of writing concisely, straight-forward and effective. I found the assignments especially helpful because it allowed me to practice and configure more assets that will benefit me going forth to law school and it gave me more insight of what I should expect. The course work allowed me to improve my skills in reading comprehension, logical reasoning, and analytical reasoning, develop well-reasoned arguments, Prepare effective personal statements for law school applications and examine and compare law schools and specializations within the legal field.  There was a workshop also that was required to be taken with this course and it was a LSAT prep guide. We were required to take timed pre-tests and it helped us focus on preparing for a career in law.

With rapid changes in businesses, organizations and careers, this is making everyone want to learn more. Employers are looking for new hires that are different and are offering a new exclusivity than they once were before.  They’re seeking to hire someone that’s outside the element of traditional training and cookie cutter made. Technology and new age media is making everything more competitive and it’s starting to become expected that you can adjust and adapt writing styles when leaving the university setting and entering your professional field.

As a professional, the language and writing discourse varies; allowing academic and nonacademic employees to interact on the same level, educationally speaking. In terms of professional ethos, depending on your profession, there will be a variety of ways to communicate with colleagues while using your professional ethos. The dilemma at hand is solution that could assist with an easier and proactive transition from the university to the workplace. The types of writing that I have encountered at the university level were more problematic versus hypothetical. This essay argued that school-based writings should relate to one’s potential career and it should also be followed by an extensive learning or professional-prep training.

This is what transitioning from the university to the workplace is about; using academic settings to exude an adequate learning process. In both semesters, both courses focused on fundamentally building strengths in the student’s professional genre. I believe that every university in this modern time should offer or make it imperative that students are engaging and preparing for the ‘leap of faith’ or as what the article refers to as the transition from the university to the workplace. These two courses alone that I have taken have helped me tremendously as far as gains into a better preparedness for the next line of work. The issues of professional writing starts within the university. This will be in my opinion the easiest way to alleviate the problems that are in the means of the transition. The time to learn how to make the switch are outside the classroom and this transition will only keep changing in the future.

 

Blogging Out of Bonds: Professional Writing as the “Trickster”

I would like to discuss Elizabeth Martinez’s What is White Supremacy?bound_hands in relation to Cezar M. Ornatowski’s Between Efficiency and Politics: Rhetoric and Ethics in Technical Writing and the relationship the two articles share in the acknowledgement of a system that subdues writing and language. All around us we see the by-products, particularly in writing and language, of those who have conformed to a writing style that suits white supremacy. In his discussion about the education of technical writing students, Ornatowski would call this objective, neutral, plain, and clear approach to writing as one of the two contradictions students are schooled in (175). I want to expand on his observation and argue that it applies to all writing and language because it is a tool of colonial thinking. Malea Powell confirms the thought that the “Academy” is an institution established on “Western European ideas and values” (3). The way in which we alter our language to appease the oppressor has resulted in a persistently censored culture in which the truth is hidden and we are either afraid or don’t know how to express ourselves in our writing and language. I suggest we incorporate a trickster rhetorics approach, a way of survivance, to use what we know about language and the structure of colonial thought as a way to fight back.

To further elaborate on what each article touches on, Martinez discusses the infrastructure of white supremacy and its beginnings as a tool of colonization in America. An issue that I find has continued to breed generation after generation in the American education system, the proof lying in all of the textbooks and lesson plans that congratulate Christopher Columbus on a job well done.This system that has successfully lied to us about our country’s past is the same structure that subconsciously subdues our own writing. Ornatowski tackles the issue of the education of technical writers, and how it hasn’t prepared them for the workplace environment. He acknowledges a truth: technical writers will be serving the goals of their company who expect them to be “efficient” and “useful”; they are serving a system bigger than themselves and decisions must be made in their writing that reflects such. Below is a quote from Ornatowski’s article and his earnest description of what corporate America essentially is:

The dominate purpose of such organizations is the maximization of advantage and increased control of resources in the major operative sphere: economic political, intellectual. It is the maximization of the symbolic of real “capital” (180).

Ornatowski warns that if writers aren’t capable of some “rhetorical saavy,” and persist to write in way that is neutral, clear, objective, and plain, they won’t ever make it in the demanding corporate world that is a “complex game of trade-offs and judgment calls” (176). Essentially, a writer has to have some fluidity. The writer has to play the system to win. Yes– white supremacy has structured our writing so that we have come to accept  we use a neutral and passive voice to get ahead, but the sooner we acknowledge this fact, the sooner we can move towards playing the system at its own game.

trickster-21Next, I am going to propose using the concept of trickster rhetorics, originally coined by Gerald Vizenor, as a way to work against the system while revealing its mistakes. Malea Powell writes, “Trickster discourse is deflative. It exposes the lies we tell ourselves and, at the same time, exposes the necessity of those lies to our daily material existence” (9). Trickster rhetorics is a way of survival; a way to make sure that our real voices are heard. Ornatowski conducts an experiment with a test engineer named Stephen, and Stephen uses his own form of trickster rhetorics in the professional world of technical writing. He says he reports with “selective emphasis” (177-178) Ornatowski considers Stephen a good organizational writer. He is someone who can “negotiate successfully the boundary between” using formal devices of clear, objective, and neutral language, while also incorporating institutional, political, and situational demands into their writing (178). A balance and negotiation is needed between keeping true to our message and understanding the colonial framework.

As students I think we have become prey to a system that tells us what we can or cannot write.Unless encouraged, we often do not take the liberties to attack issues of race, gender, sexuality, and many other political issues. Why? Because of a colonial frame of mind that has taught us to write in passive and objective ways; it has taught us to be scared of our superiors and audience in fear of approaching something in an unethical way. Just the other day I heard a professor of mine ask a fellow English major why didn’t he attack his thesis as he would the topic in a class discussion. He replied that he’s been taught to be careful of what he writes and that it might offend someone. While it’s a valid reason most students may share in their experiences with writing, it’s amazing that this is just another result of a system designed to produce desired results.  We are victims of this colonized form of thinking.

Martinez puts the issue of white supremacy in perspective for us, just as Ornatowski puts it in perspective that technical writers must break out of their assuming roles (clear, objective, and effective) and incur the rhetorical saavy required to manipulate both the desire of the corporate world and the hard facts. Malea Powell’s understanding of trickster rhetorics is a way to keep our identity in a world that wants to strip the color away. As argued earlier, all writers, not only technical writers, are faced with the historical models set up by white supremacy. Not only have we inherited a passive way of writing, but we are also subconsciously afraid to speak our minds. Thus, leaving our writing and our language censored.

My argument is to not only point out how the system has suppressed the writing of students and employees, but to also incite change in how we can fight back against the system in both the scholastic and professional world using ideas from Ornatowski and Powell. Below is a video in which Malea Powell touches on the importance of rhetorics and writing in the real world; change is possible through our writing!

Writing Context in the Healthcare Professions: Social, Textual and Individual Perspectives

Does how we write in the workplace matter? Nonacademic Writing : The Social Perspective by Lester Faigley (Professional Writing and Rhetoric pp. 47-59).  discusses how the job-related writing is worthy of our interest. Faigley talks about the three major theoretical perspectives– the textual perspective, the individual perspective and the social perspective and how it might contribute to research in nonacademic writing (pp. 47.)   As an Licensed Practical Nurse, I am always documenting in the patient’s chart. Here is an example: Patient states, ” I am tired of being here, I am ready to go home!” MD notified of Pt’s concerns, writer will continue to monitor. In nursing we use a lot of abbreviations, which are approved  by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.  Also, there are some abbreviations we do not use, and these abbreviations keep the nurse professional out of the court system. Here is a video on nursing errors.

This video cites how documentation by nurses failed the patient and how to avoid the pitfalls of documentation.

Faigley states, ” They (the researcher) might look at errors in the nurse’s writing and measure “improvement” (p. 49). How can the nursing staff improve on their charting? This video is about  different methods of how the nursing staff can avoid charting errors.

Nursing documentation needs to be clear and concise.  Faigley states, ” The primary attention shifts away from the text to an individual writer’s emerging conception of the writing task ” (p. 49). It is about how we write or how we make certain choices when we write. In nursing documentation the nurse is always updating notes in the patient’s chart.  As an LPN,  my charting is part of my job and I get paid to do just that. If I don’t chart on a patient every two hours, what are the consequences of my decision? Who do I answer to?  Am I neglecting my patients? I may link my communication from  the to the physician, to the lab  and back from the lab to the physician. When we write in a social perspective  it is a broad view of how we write as a community.  An example would be how we Facebook and Twitter. It is about what we are writing, how we are writing, who has access to it, who read it and  who does not reads it. For example, there is a new app similar to Instagram that is now available to healthcare professionals.

Listen to the different topics regarding healthcare professionals

Listen to the different topics regarding healthcare professionals.

Empirical  Research relates  to nursing. Here is an example: hand washing is a must in healthcare. One staff person is chosen to observe the hand washing technique of all employees on  the unit. After the staff person finishes his observation, a percentage is  made of the number of people who washed their hands vs the number of people who did not wash their hands during patient care. We strive for 100% and we get it. Once we got 98% and it wasn’t because of the nurses. I would use the qualitative approach when I gather information from my patient and ask him open-ended questions to find out exactly what is go on with him.  A quantitative approach would be when JCAHO  visits the hospital  to make sure  the healthcare professionals all following policies and  procedures to keep the hospital accredited. In my field of Nursing, I can relate to Faigley’s  three major theoretical perspectives in my work place. I compose my thoughts and I write in the patient’s chart, then I compose and revise and revise again in the patient’s chart. Lastly, I follow  policies and procedures to help keep the hospital accredited. The video was about the pitfalls of nursing documentation; the charting should be clear and concise, lots of revisions and what happens when a nurse makes an error? When a nurse makes an error, she hurts the patient, she hurts the hospital accreditation and she hurts herself. She could  lose her license to practice as an nurse. Nonacademic writing in the work place matters to all of us! MOREOVER, WRITING IN THE HEALTHCARE WORKPLACE MATTERS EVEN MORE BECAUSE IT’S LIFE OR DEATH.  If a nurse over medicates a patient, because she was following the physician’s order and the patient dies. The nurse will lose her license and she could possibly be charged with murder or manslaughter.  We all are responsible for how we write in the work place and there are consequences for the wrong actions!

 

 

What’s all the rush about?

  The Division of Labor or Integrated Teams: A Crux in the Management of Technical Communication by MJ Killingsworth, BG Jones

There will always be theorist available to hypothesize the many ways that make things better or worse for us. The managing of communication in organizations has been labeled as managerial. In reality, some businesses can not function as well in an environment that is strictly managerial or too regulatory. This causes mistakes in the workplace from being rushed by the bosses and not having adequate time to get the job done properly.  According to historical perspectives such as Max Weber, it would be more productive to use the linear process as compared to the recursive process. You can watch this quick 2 minute video to get a better idea of Max Weber. 

Max_Weber_by_PingChoots

Iron cage is a sociology term coined by Weber, relating to his views on bureaucracy and rationalization.

workers2

Women from the 1940’s at work

In his opinion , there were specific principles to be used when analyzing a work pattern. One theory, as stated by Weber, elaborated on his opinion about the organizational process of workers. He stated “The decisive reason for the advance of bureaucratic organization has always been its purely technical superiority over any other form of organization” (p 973). What his theorist ideas say to me is that; he believed managers should be strict on their subordinates and compared workers to machines. When people are preparing for work they do not expect to be treated as an assembly line worker unless they work at a factory of course. The following picture shows an example of the linear process and links to women from the 1940’s              .

Many of these ideas have spilled into the healthcare industry, I can attest to this from my experience as a licensed practical nurse. I have come to learn that the quality of patient care is dwindling away. There are too many incidents that reflect this fact; especially when relating it to the administration of medication. This happens everyday in all healthcare settings around the country. The most neglected individuals are patients living in nursing homes. This is where the LPN makes the most money, usually because miracles are expected of them. Miracles such as passing loads of medications to umpteen patients and doing so in a short period; there is not enough time in the day for complete proper documentation.

How would you feel if you knew your loved one was not receiving proper treatment all because of their care taker being rushed?! Where the problem lies is in communication and documentation is the key. State laws require each institute to provide their workers with a certain time limit allowed during med pass. Many times the documentation is sloppy, too short-handed, and incomplete. After reading this article: “The Division of Labor or Integrated Teams” (by Killingsworth and Jones) pp 321-339, I was able to understand the historical perspectives that discussed how the “scientific management” process is introduced early on. Frederick Taylor was a famous theorist who promoted this labor of quantity instead of quality, also called “Taylorism“. Below is a short, but good informative clip of his ideology: 

According to the text, Frederick Taylor applied the scientific method to study the optimal way to do any type of workplace task. Taylor stated the following: “Work should be selected scientifically through rigorous testing, effectiveness should be objectively measured, managers are planers, and workers are doers” (by Killingsworth and Jones) p 322.  He found that by calculating the time needed for the various elements of a task, he could develop the best way to complete that task. This caused people in management positions to mandate more of an organized process where workers had their tasks assigned to them individually.

This “scientific management” method was used in a way that made workers complete their work in a more timely manner. Taylor felt as though uneducated people would not know any better, and he proceeded to use a scientific method while watching the workers and making sure there wasn’t any waste of time. For example, when people are working on a job, they do things such as singing to allow time to pass by quicker, making a more enjoyable environment. Unlike the theorist beliefs, work is actually more productive when using techniques that promote a happier environment. Here is a video showing workers at Google and how they promote a happy environment: 

Along with Weber, Taylor’s theory has also spilled into the healthcare industry, causing an atmosphere of being understaffed.  Well, when you rush or force a nurse to pass medications within a certain time mistakes can be made, even purposely. For ex: eye drops have to be given in increments over a 45 minute period, but during that time the nurse has already moved on to the next patient and is likely to forget to return, or even rush and instill all three drops at once! The medication is not effective when not given properly. So, your grandma who has glaucoma just missed her eye drops, and risks falling because her vision is now even more impaired. This is not “efficient”, but rather damaging for the patient who may be you one day. Here is a list of reasons nurses make mistakes from being rushed! 

These problems of rushing clearly relates to the mis-documentation of patients’ charts. A nurse who in not paying full attention just may miss a simple documentation such as an allergy. I agree it is important to have a time line to abide by, because when taking medications you usually only have a two hour time frame within the prescription time. The biggest problem is being understaffed. CNA’s usually know their patients better than the doctor’s because of the time they spend with them. Most healthcare settings hire more CNA’s then LPN.’s because they save money. The local hospital in my city does not hire LPN’s because they know they can have the RN’s pass the medications, which works the CNA’s even harder. Because as every nurse knows, RN’s do not like getting their hands dirty for the most part.

This particular issue of education is not only seen in the healthcare field; because professional writers such as engineers, also experience issues when planning documentation. After surveys were administered to a variety of companies, by Killingswoth and Jones, they found that “The occasional defensiveness about qualifications demonstrates a perceived need for credentials, even if that need is self-imposed” p 333.

The more education, the higher the pay, the more easy laid back job you will have in the nursing world. Just as Taylorism demonstrated when hired as a steel consultant by Henry Ford; where he recommended that there be no wasting of time, the workers on the assembly line must do what their told.  Nurses, such as LPN.’s at nursing homes, have no time to waste. There are five rights one must follow when passing meds, including documentation. If a nurse is assigned 45 patients, and given two hours or less to pass all of the meds, this is actually a mission impossible. Nurses complain all the time about being understaffed, and by the time new staff is hired, nurses have quit from being over worked. Taylorism’s “scientific managementmethod may be useful when engineers are writing a manual; but it is definitely not that useful in the healthcare setting. 

Therefore, when discussing topics related to work ethic; the facts of time management and teamwork are important to discuss. Although, previous theorist have described the scientific management method to be the most productive; this does not mean it’s always going to be the best choice. People can relate to their duties at work better if they have an understanding with each other, and collaborate ideas to make a better and more beneficial work environment. Since I am a nurse, I am able to see the time management skills according to a healthcare setting. The author, Killingsworth described the reasons it is so important for people to realize how a teamwork can be beneficial for a company. Practicing these skills will decline patient errors and make a more happy and healthy environment.

Busted! Hyperlinks and Automated Job Hiring

As a criminal justice major and as a former HR manager, I found the article by Johndan Eilola and Stuart Selber, “After Automation: Hypertext and Corporate Structures,” to be quite interesting because hypertext and hyperlinks when using googling an individual it could hinder someone for a job opportunity, rather they were falsely accused or it was something that may occurred 6 or 7 years ago. Rhetoric and today’s writing greatly involve hypertext. Hypertext is a term used to describe text displayed on computer screens and any other electronic devices that have references (hyperlinks) to other text that the reader can access immediately.

Please take a look at this quick clip and get a clear understanding of the history behind hypertext. I find it very informative.  For example, it goes and explains how technology changed overtime. The inventors felt as if hypertext would help world peace through a global share of knowledge. 

Hypertext Pioneers

Look at how technology has changed over the years, now thanks to our hypertext pioneers navigating through the world wide web with hypertext has definitely helped the world as a whole.

Some hypertext exposes the intellectual and social revolutionary potential of the devise or medium, but specific hypertext just support relatively ranked social and textual relationships. Some original versions of hypertext include  Memex, Xanadu and Augment system or online system (NLS). Since hypertext is viewed as method of automating existing work patterns, they are restricted to contract vital processes of communication. As a previous Human Resource manager the restrictions of hypertext and processing the communication when researching my potential job seekers by the world wide web of google and searching who they are, and what professional name they have out there. Various types of hypertext, corporate structures, and technical communication are intertwined in complicated relationships. The commercial hypertext serve to automate and conserve the more traditional corporate structures and contract the range and significance of technical communication. The commercial hypertext establish valuable improvements over the old ways of working. However, the over reliance that is established by this automation of communication dis-empowers the users and technical communicators. The low value placed on reading and using technical documents in the automated view of hypertext carries much of the load for the parallel low status of the writers of such automated text. Generally, users who underutilized computers may devalue writing. For example, I had a employee who could not write a simple email in speaking in a professional manner, instead my employee would send emails by actual talk to text dialect. The importance of knowing the importance of knowing how to write professionally. Below is a picture that links to the NPR website where it goes in depth on how your background check can affect you in receiving employment for a potential job.

Listen to this background searches and professional writing situations.

This picture links to the NPR website where you can listen to how background checks can keep you from getting a job.

Some significant and powerful aspects of hypertext have been mostly left undeveloped or are limited to specific sites and users. A great amount of this underdevelopment is not due to isolated technology but due to emphasize on efficiency and short over long term profit and productivity in some forms of corporate and industrial cultures. These dynamics are not by themselves dis empowering or repressive, but they usually become so dominant that they overpower other concerns and actions. For example, I had a new applicant who applied for working in our cash office, when I looked up the applicants name he was previously charged with larceny over eight years ago, but with technology today these third party vendors will buy information to make a profit from us as people to have their information removed from these sites.

Automation from the Human resource perspective automation is the process of transitioning your burdensome, time-consuming paper-based HR processes such as payroll processing and benefits administration to a streamlined, computer-based online system. Much of HR automation is based on the concept of self-service. Self-service enables us managers and employees to perform HR-related functions on their own, at their convenience, from their computer desktops. For example, employee self-service enables an employee to view pay slips, manage benefits elections, sign up for direct deposit and update their personal information. Manager self-service allows a manager or designated staff person to perform tasks such as submitting salary and rate changes, and processing new hires or terminations. It also enables managers to create, track and manage a variety of employee attributes, such as salary, performance, competencies, absences and paid time off. There are two major methods of computerization in corporate sites: automating and informating. Automating technologies function to speed up the working pace by translating repetitive, predictable human activities such as turning pages into machine instructions.Informating technologies produce new information based on automated tasks. The informating technologies threaten the since they encourage decision making capabilities and skills to move outward from a central control. They encourage networked relationships rather than hierarchical relationships. Notably, the procedures software tool (PST), can automate and informate the process of writing procedures.

There are two opposing views in reading and writing: expansion and contraction. In the contraction view, technical communication is the process of information transfer from sender to receiver. For instance, I examine how employees’ political skill, personality traits, and creative performance, along with the situational variables of social support from managers and co-workers, the perceived level of routinization of the job itself, and levels of work-family conflict encourage or discourage job crafting by moderating the relationship between tendencies toward workaholism and expansion and contraction oriented job crafting. Communication in a contractive technology visually shrinks in size to make the gap between the sender and the receiver frictionless, noise free and invisible. Hence, communication technologies are designed to accelerate reception of information and the speed at which information moves from writer to reader. In the expansion view, writing and reading are modes of thinking with opposite meanings. Information transfer is less than a continual process of constructing and deconstructing. Hence, communication is a political and social process rather than automatic transfer of information packets.

As a prior human resource manager and criminal justice major, there are significant social relationships and tendencies that influence the shape of communication and communication process by hypertext in making a job connection when research is done on the applicant.  Concepts such as work environment, technology, readers and writers are exemplified in hypertext being produced and used in a corporate situation. Generally, hypertext has been edged in automating footings, having no reminders that the technology may be articulated in means that can support technical communication of a different type and toiling to expand rather than contract the process of communication. Try it out and see what you come up with, for once try googling your self and take a look at all the third party developers who have any information on you as an individual. Ask your self is this what you want a future employer to be able to have access too?

Orality is the New Black: How Conversation and Technology Influence Education

collegecomputer-95da5affc66cbfe8b76807ae748dfe628f430723-s400-c85 When I first read “Orality and Literacy in the Workplace: Process-And Text-Based Strategies for Multiple-Audience Adaptation” by Rachel Spilka I didn’t see how it applies because it’s uses the example of engineers. Since I am an education major and will be teaching middle school grades, it seemed somewhat foreign. Upon a closer read of the article, however, I can now see how this relates to education.

Spilka stated, “I use orality to refer to the process of transmitting ideas via any conversation or message between project participants that involves speech (e.g., electronic mail, written notes sent between writers and readers, or comments written in margins). Literacy refers to the process of transmitting ideas via any written materials used primarily in isolation rather than for conversational purposes- materials such as preliminary drafts, final products, source documents, outlines, and planning notes used by writers while working on subsequent drafts” (p.147).

Every school has its own style of communication; some use social media and some are more strict. The more strict schools will use meetings and conferences in order to discuss important announcements, while others will post their announcements on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Instagram can help schools gain support from the community with the public recognition. For example, if the school is having a fundraiser and they need help getting the word out to the community, they can post their flyers on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter! Students who attend the school or maybe not attend can re-post, (share-Facebook and re-tweet-Twitter), to all of their followers and friends and help support the school.

“Orality was the central means of analyzing multiple audiences. The more rhetorically successful writers were those who interacted with readers and other project participants throughout the composing process to update, revise, and make more accurate their initial impressions about their rhetorical situations (including audience needs, orientations, and preferences) and to expand their knowledge of social contexts characterizing these situations” (pp. 147-148).

Interacting with your audiences, (in my case, teachers, students, administrators, and the community), will make certain situations better and more clear. Orality as stated, is spoken or informal interaction such as e-mail.

instagram

Why schools should use Instagram

In order to be a successful teacher, I believe it is important to chose which ways are easier for your students to learn. Is it easier for your students to read all material needed for the class or will it be easier for them to engage with group discussion on how to have all materials and follow the rules. What is talked about (orality) is different from what is actually written (literacy).

You could prefer to have group discussions over reading because having a group discussion could possibly expand your knowledge of the text, and me personally, I would rather discuss it than reading it. Being an education major, it is essential to know the difference between orality and literacy. My style of teaching can determine how and what my students learn. Rather my students learn from just reading it, or learn it by engaging in discussion.

 

Legal Scholarship in the Digital Age

As a Pre-Law studies Psychology major, I find that the Durham Statement has played a major role in the lives of those in the legal profession. Over the past six years, there has been a great deal of discussion about the Durham Statement’s call for open access publication of law journals. The article “The Durham Statement Two Years Later: Open Access in the Law School Journal Environment,” seeks to examine the key issues from the Durham Statement’s aspirations to end print publication of law school journals.The life of a student is all about research. Your professors will require that you use primary or secondary sources in your research paper such as books, journals, and the Internet. In most cases we use the internet to access our sources for convenience. While searching the internet for a great journal; have you ever came across a great abstract that had exactly what you were looking for? You begin to think to yourself that you have hit the jack pot, this journal may support your whole paper! However, once you click the ‘Full Text’ link it sends to a subscription page.

This photo links to an NPR titled Social Media Crashes in the Courtroom.

This scenario has brought about an uproar in the publication community. In efforts to provide students with free access to scholarly publication; the Durham Statement was drafted by a group of academic law library directors in February 2009. It calls for two things: (1) open access publication of law school–published journals; and (2) an end to print publication of law journals, coupled with a commitment to keeping the electronic versions available in “stable, open, digital formats.”

The recurring issue seems to come from the Durham Statement’s argument that: “If stable, open, digital formats are available, law schools should stop publishing law journals in print and law libraries should stop acquiring print law journals.” Many critics assert that we may never have stable, open, digital formats, therefore, this request is misplaced. In a posting to a discussion list for law library directors under the heading “Why I Did Not Sign the Durham Statement,” Margaret Leary wrote:

The answer is simple: I do not agree with the call to stop publishing in print, nor do I think we have now or will have in the foreseeable future the requisite “stable, open, digital formats.” As long as we believe legal scholarship is worthy of permanent retention, we should encourage the existence and retention of paper, in addition to digital copies.

So what does “stable, open, digital format” really mean?

The concerns about “stable, open, digital formats” seems to be a fair issue. In order to get a better idea about what “stable, open, digital formats” are, I read the article “General Study 11 Final Report: Selecting Digital File Formats for Long-Term Preservation.” Evelyn Peters McLellan defines stable as file format appears to be one that is both backwards compatible (i.e., compatible with previous versions of the format) and well-supported by the software industry. A open file format means that the specification is published and freely available and that the format is created by non-proprietary (or open-source) software. It may also mean that the format is free of patent or royalty fees or the possibility of such fees being applied in the future, and/or that it is widely adopted. In other words, stable, open, digital formats must be free and open to the public. It must also be able to be accessed for many years to come. Due to the rapid development in technology, the Durham Statement’s call for ending print appears to be unreasonable.

The following video created by Nick Shockey and Jonathan Eisen explains the world of open access publishing. Although the video refers to open access in regard to scientific scholarship, the facts still stand. This video gives a very clear explanation on the significance of open access.

Can we rely on digital formats for permanent retention of legal scholarship?

One reason that “digitization is not preservation” stems from the loss of information that comes in the move from analog to digital format. “Backup is not preservation…in contrast to backup, a preservation version of the data is designed to mitigate the effects of rapid technology change that might otherwise make the data unusable within a few years.” Digital copies can never be perfect copies—or at least not yet. However the ARL, an influential Association of Research Libraries, confirms that librarians and archivists are growing more optimistic about making digital forms more permanent. Several national and international initiatives are currently formulating a digital preservation architecture that will confront many of the anxieties about the possible end to print and non standardization. Sarah Rhodes, digital collections librarian at Georgetown Law Center, has written:

Frankly speaking, our current digital preservation strategies and systems are imperfect – and they most likely will never be perfected. That’s because digital preservation is a field that will be in a constant state of change and flux for as long as technology continues to progress.Yet, . . . libraries today have a number of viable tools,services, and best practices at our disposal for the preservation of digital content.

Keep in mind that no system will perfectly accommodate your needs. . . .And there is no use in waiting for the “perfect system” to be developed. We must use what’s available today. In selecting a system, consider its adherence to digital preservation standards, the stability of the institution or organization providing the solution, and the extent to which the digital preservation system has been accepted and adopted by institutions and user communities.

In short, although we may never have stable, open, digital formats available, I feel that it is still very important that access to legal scholarship is free and available to the public. Open access allows efficiency for students, those practicing law, as well as anyone who wishes to expand their knowledge of the law. In my opinion, ending all print publication should not be the primary concern due to the stable, open, digital formats issue previously discussed. Until technology improves in a way that will ensure that scholarship will be stable, limited print should still be produced. Access to legal scholarship is very essential in the life of those in the legal profession.

Technical Writing vs Classic Composition: Which Makes A Better Employee?

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As a college student of many… many years, I have come to the conclusion that all students of higher education institutions (university, community or technical college) hate their English courses. Unless if you’re an English major, like myself, the utility of taking English courses for a career as a nurse, mathematician or physical therapist seems almost nonexistent to the blind eye. This feeling only intensifies among those in schools of trade and vocation, where teachers within these schools teach with an approach that prepares them for jobs where little to no writing is required outside of the actual job application. However, employers are beginning to dig for potential employees capable of stringing together cohesive and structured word documents and coming up empty handed. In Carolyn Miller’s “What’s So Practical About Technical Writing?”, she points to the pedagogical methods used in Technical Writing classrooms as a cause of the current turn out of employees with inapt professional writing skills.

Let’s rewind for a second, and examine how English courses are broken down according to Miller. At most universities, freshmen are required to take composition courses to become “more effective as students,” literature courses aim “to help them be more effective as reader-critics,” while technical writing classes aim to make students “more effective as engineers, accountants or systems analyst” (Miller, 61). According to Carolyn Miller, technical writing classes are often described as practical, where efficiency and effectiveness are key, and getting things done are the main objective. Effectiveness and efficiency are qualities that any potential worker bee should hope to acquire during a long stint on a mundane campus, however, technical writing classes are proving inadequate, and often leaving students unprepared for the lives they plan to lead in their working field of choice.

Technical writing is known as the rhetoric of “the world of work.” In Chapter two, Carolyn Miller goes over problems with how technical writing is currently taught from a nonacademic standpoint when preparing students for the workforce, a “practical”, “goal oriented” standpoint lacking “theory, history, experience or general appreciation” (Miller, 61). Miller suggests that educators change the standing pedagogy of technical writing to better prepare workers for the writing they encounter on the job, and this is only possible through intimate understanding of the professions students hope to pursue and adjusting teaching methods accordingly.

Out of the gate, Miller’s approach seems promising. There are base elements to writing that everyone should know when writing in the professional sense, whether you work on a construction site or writing for a newspaper. A professional writer should be able to shift between discourses. A loan proposal for a small business can’t sound like a Facebook message between buddies. Even if grammar is used correctly, one must learn to steer away from colloquialisms, run on sentences, and how to speak in a familiar and a formal tones. One can only gain this flexibility through rigorous training in grammar. The kind that should be provided in all English classrooms.

As a gymnastics coach of seven years, the idea of flexibility is all too familiar and is equally useful this context. Flexibility within the back, shoulders and abdomen is essential to excelling as a gymnast. Combined with strength and mental capacity a gymnast can reach amazing heights. As a former gymnast (who wasn’t flexible), I can testify that it is possible to do gymnastics without being very flexible, using strength, I was able to compensate for what I lacked in flexibility. However, at some point, the lack in flexibility will limit one’s performance and ability, which is why I’m in college rather than the Olympics. On the contrary, too much flexibility will make a gymnast appear sloppy and noodle like when performing. It’s the coach’s job to understand what a gymnast lacks in regards to flexibility, strength or mental capacity, and present the athlete with exercises to build the area of insufficiency (stretching, weight training, simulation drills) while at the same time providing refreshment drills to ensure that what the gymnast already has isn’t lost.

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Let’s look at flexibility as a professional writer’s ability to shift from an informal discourse to the formal, professional writing discourse sought after by employers, strength will represent grammar know-how (punctuation, subject-verb agreement, etc.), while mental capacity represents organization, spelling and word usage. While it is possible for a student to construct sentences with some good spelling and basic grammar knowledge, eventually, a lack in flexibility will limit a student’s opportunities in the professional world. It is the teacher’s job to provide lessons, exercises and homework to build a student in all three of these areas then drill them to combine them into through practice essays and papers similar to those provided in the professional realm. Miller points out that this kind of training should be expected of all writing teachers, however, in technical writing classes teachers take a relaxed approach, demanding less since the students who are required to take these classes are aiming to be craftsmen and workers in fields where writing and academics aren’t expected to be needed. In David Guggenheim’s “Waiting for Superman”, the process of “student tracking” is explained, a process where students are placed on high or low tracks of educations. Students on the high track, receive “the best of the best” in regards to resources and are pushed to achieve a higher standard. Lower tracks have “low expectations and worse teachers” and the students are taught according to curriculum made less demanding and are “tracked” take on non-academic careers.

At the moment, the practice of teaching technical writing from a nonacademic stance has been widely accepted in our school systems for some time. This is the type of class you’d find in a lower, less demanding, track as the video above details. While the video discusses the systems used within the American education as a whole, Carolyn Miller’s article focuses on how this same division is implemented with writing classes today. Richard Bernstein divides practical writing classes into two groups. Low sense, found in Technical writing classes, pertaining to those of the working class, or the craftsman, who only use writing as a means of getting things done, those who aren’t concerned with rhetorical thinking or theory; the anti-intellectual, whose primary concern is providing for their household. This group is taught through the non-academic technical writing classes that Miller speaks against. Practical in the high sense pertains to those who learn writing skills through studying theory and classical compositions of literature, this is considered the education of people of power and means, and in Aristotle’s time would have been rhetoricians, philosophers, politicians and great debaters. This division of education, however, is not new, and originates from the rhetoric of the ancient Greek. The concept of practical stems from the ancient Greek philosopher, Aristotle. Praxis is the basis or process by which a theory, lesson, or skill is enacted, practiced, embodied, or realized. With this concept, Aristotle categorizes knowledge into three distinct groups, theoretical (concerned with knowing), productivei5 (concerned with making and), practical (concerned with doing). Sound familiar? To Aristotle, praxis was activity engaged in by free men. This sets the tone for the basis of all knowledge and its distribution within Greek society. In Aristotle’s day, the High sense was prescribed to the Greek citizens; all were eligible to participate in political activity. The low sense was reserved for the working class who weren’t allowed to participate in political affairs: slaves, foreigners and prisoners of war.

These preconditions of classism have managed to survive into the education systems of our country, plaguing learning and modern rhetorical thought to this day. It’s a plague that Carolyn Miller seeks to stamp out. To mitigate the problem, Miller proposes that teachers of technical writing become more acquainted with the fields of study that their students fall into and the jobs they plan to seek, then, design a curriculum that properly prepares them. She suggests that educators shun the “practical” mentality and begin blending theory and classic composition when teaching students professional writing in vocational schools, bridging the gap between technical writing and classic composition and holding all students within writing classes to the same standard. Learning to write isn’t just a means to achieve a goal, it’s essential to attaining the critical awareness that employers look for in their potential employees to ensure success, even in professions outside of the realm of academics. Miller’s aim, is to sway the standing pedagogy and teach writing as the art it is, thus, making a more rounded, knowledgeable and productive employee, who is both skill in their profession and, both, culturally and critically aware.

Would you consider your Children “Merchandise”?

Character education

           I am someone’s child, I AM  HUMAN!!!

This week’s reading was on “The Ethic of Expediency: Classical Rhetoric, Technology, and the Holocaust” by Steven B. Katz. In this reading Katz takes on ethics and expediency. Ethics means moral principles that govern a person’s or group’s behavior and expediency the quality of being convenient and practical despite possibly being improper or immoral’ convenience. Just made it clear in very detail how to make the expediency less dramatic and how technology can be more helpful for their jobs as Nazi’s. So it made me wonder,  as an educator do we not experience Expediency during our lives. We as teachers’ stand between a rock and a hard place. We are given a policy by the Public Schools that we follow from the moment we start as educators to the moment we retire. The same way “Just” had explained what he had to do as a Nazi. We as teachers deal with our students facing tremendously abuse, starvation, no help, no support  at home, to where school is their safe environment. As for the women and children from the Holocaust, they experienced abuse and starvation in their environment they had and lived by. So should I see my students as merchandise or as a human being? Or, is technology more important to our jobs by making it easier than giving our students the education they deserve? This video contains a debate, and you will see what teachers has to say. As well, you will see two people one that agrees and the other who disagree.

Is it really teachers, our students, or is it the memo (policy) we as educators have to follow?

Now as Educators we follow memo’s through out education called Public Schools Policy. But, are we not called merchandise when it comes to us as teachers and students. If we do not follow the memo that was given to we too would be thrown into a van. This memo was made by man kind and it affects not only teachers but our students as well, that are someone’s child and grand child. Teacher’s are here to help educate students on the things they need to know, but its hard when you do something to help your students but it cost you your life or your job.

Are we here to help our students succeed, or is it costing us our lives as Teachers and as Parents.

Who would want to be called “merchandise” and know the last day you will see will be inside a gas chemical van and the last light’s you will ever see would stay on during operations.Once the operations is completed you as a merchandise are lying where they last stand. The repair’s Just requested were expected on the next ten vehicles. They had to be equipped with all innovations and changes.

In the article We don’t need more STEM majors. We need more STEM majors with liberal arts training written by Loretta Jackson-Hayea professor of chemistry at Rhodes College in Memphis. What is STEM? STEM is known for Science, Technology, Engineering and Math Education. This article from Hayes and the reading written by Katz have a lot of similarity. When Dr. Jackson mention “We don’t need more STEM majors” from my understanding she was mentioning STEM cells. The reason for this is because this can cause a life of a child, or taking a life of a child. However, STEM majors with liberal arts training is when is comes down to education and learning. Here is a video where a person is speaking out on the truth about our education.

SPEAK UP-SPEAK OUT

The speaker in this video wanted to be heard and he spoke up to the people of the court. He spoke up for teachers and the education system. Our children are not merchandise to where to can give them a test and they should just past it. You shouldn’t bare the teachers by having them to apply the students to prepare them for at test, when they should really be educating them for their next year and their future to come. We teachers need to be heard, lets write our own memo, but speak up about it. We as teachers are here to help educate our students, not to test them out of school.

In my opinion, I am amazed how people can point out things that happens in the past when it is going on today in our society. However, does the education department have any ethics or expediency towards as teachers and students today. Why wake up every morning worrying about passing a class or if you still have your job as an educator! It is RIGHT?

Traditional reading is outdated

The shape of text to come by Stephen A. Benhardt uses analytical approaches to identity the differences between on-screen and paper text. Can you remember the last time you actually picked up a book? From a psychology major perspective, the brain works in mysterious ways when it comes to retrieving information. Being a sophomore in college it took me a while to figure out my interest and I ended up enjoying studying psychology. I learn about the human mind and its functions, especially those affecting behavior in a given context. I would like to talk about how now a days people read texts on screens instead of books. We grew up were people would often say “read a book”, but now its “Google it.” So what do I mean by traditional reading is outdated? 

While researching have you ever found yourself just scheming over that five page long essay, because you just don’t have time? Oppose to actually reading an article in a bullet list form or a paragraph that’s short and sweet. Normally when I’m assigned to do research, I look for information on a search engine and the back button becomes my friend. If the information isn’t easy to look for I won’t even bother, I’ll just keep looking. The way certain text is set up on screen does something to the naked eye either appealing and engaging or just plain boring. My personal preference is to read things off of my phone, it’s right in my hand and makes my life and college career so much easier.

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Take a look at this video to find out a little bit more on how the technology is changing our brains.

It is important know why the technology is changing our brains because we need answers to why people like looking at print on screens better than reading a book. Here’s a quote from Berhardt that further expands on what I mean by traditional reading is out dated.

“Readers on screen-based text are not so much readers or seekers: they read to find out how to do something or to retrieve some bit of information to write, or read to operate, or read to look up.”

According to Stephen Bernhardt he describes on screen reading is a more behaviorally interactive process.Time is everything to most people and the fact of the matter is people want the quicker way to getting information.

Furthermore, this day in age the way information is registered to the brain is different. We have our Apple equipment such as iPhones and iPads. Then we have our laptops and smart boards. Nobody really picks up books anymore unless they have to. Being a college student I can’t help but realize that the only time I see a lot of people at the library is when we have midterms and finals, an actually reading the textbook and doing last minute studying. People have a tendency to Google answers because it’s right to the point. In my opinion reading passages is indirect and makes you read between the lines for the answer, more like making it difficult to understand.

imagesJ5MGYOC1 For instance, In my English 335 class I was assigned to read pp. 232-249 in my textbook. I read it over and over and over again, I couldn’t understand it. In result I had someone read it aloud to me while I was actually reading it on the computer along with them and I understood everything. Weird right? Maybe my brain is so used to things that are electronic with lights or maybe books are going out of style who knows. I literally had to write this whole blog in my notes on my iPhone before putting it on WordPress. It was so much easier for me. You should see my floor, it’s filled with balled up paper of things I was trying to say. It’s like soon as I picked up my phone words just began to flow. I wanted to further my knowledge to make sure this wasn’t happening to only just me. During my research I came across an article about kindergarten kids sharing iPad’s in the class room. It was interesting because it actually made their test scores increase contrary to students with out iPad’s. The only question is, what is this the right way of learning? should we revert back to encyclopedia’s and newspapers? Or would it just hinder some people from actually learning?.

“While books are self-contained, portable, and useable within almost any situation, screen-based text becomes dependent on a larger technological and social environment”, stated by Benhardt. This quote is relevant to my blog because it further explains that technology is taking over the world right before our eyes. Everything is electronic now, when you go to the doctors office you hardly see them writing on charts anymore, even when you file your taxes.

Hook, Line And Sinker: What Are We Blogging For?

A  game changing move occurred through the advances in science and technology. A radical explosion in the computer science Industry changed how yesterday’s business gets done today. Professionally and socially we have become much better and faster in being responsive, mobile, multi-taskers. People stay in a continuum of learning trying to keep up with the advancements in technology or trying manage all the different ‘smart tools’ promoted DAILY.  Technology is changing the modern workplace and changing our lives too. As our instructor passionately explains to those  students  displaying an irreverence  “Technology is advancing so fast that we continually bear witness to new idioms”(N.McFarlane).Technology grows faster than a fueled fire in a dry forest.“The Law of Accelerating Returns” by Ray Kurzwell, is a current model that states that there is an 11 months of doubling rate and  that technology is going to continually get faster.

Captivate Your Audience With Visual Appealing Rhetoric

Captivate Your Audience With Visual Appealing Rhetoric

Charles  Kostlenick’s document was published in 1988 but  it is still relevant in this  ‘Digital Age’ of 2015. Dr. Kostlenick describes his method for the analysis of visual language in his 12-celled matrix. This modeled 12 cell matrix is for the identification and the edification of  Visual Analysis  and for communicating textual design. The skill of designing needs to be practiced, rehearsed, re thought  and experimented with in order to master. Kostlenick’s article has been cited over 42 times, but ironically, I found a coincidental    ) :    sad face emoticon  (pg. 27, para 4), exactly how I was feeling trying to read  it and understand this information as  it is presented in our textbook.  The plain block shape paragraphed page reads : “A 12-Cell Schema of Visual Communication : Four  Levels  and Three  Coding  Modes  …   ”  The three modes involve: 1) Spatial; 2) Textual; and 3 )Graphics with four levels: 1) Intra; 2) Inter; 3) Extra; and 4) Supra. The editors could have illustrated the information better by example through the designing of this information. However this states  that it is through the combination of these different cells that documents are created. For instance,  in  this blog  my title is in a larger font and it is analyzed by the textual and supra cells of the matrix . My picture and its caption is identified by the textual and extra cells of the graph mode and text mode.The bold font I used above is an example of my visual choice (for emphasis) in  my text at an intra text level.  If I were only talking about the sentence its intra but if I were analyzing the whole page, a complete paragraph, or the whole content, I would be examining and identifying the textual & graphic elements at the inter & supra-level cells. I would examine the picture in the ‘extra-graph’ cell. Therefore, the visual analysis  of the 1) Intra level is text @ line level;  2) Inter is includes      text and space @ paragraph, page, or field level); 3) Extra-level is non-textual additions on a document and the 4) Supra-Level makes references to the whole document (everything  that is inside, outside or just hanging on as accompaniment). Levels and coding modes are interdependent.

The matrix is a tool that helps to categories the visual language of any document by combining textual & graphical elements. Important to note  however  is  that each  document is unique and not all visual information will fit neatly into one cell of the matrix. There may be exceptions, specifications, or restrictions that apply depending on  the required format  of some document’s style and the  purpose  or  the  mode  of  communication  and the  program  that you have chosen to  perform your task. You should exam the semantic quality of  the text, not just for the textual language but also analyze  all  visuals for eye -pleasing qualities and  appropriateness.  Does it serve and meet its purpose?  Is it designed to target?  Visual choices demand adapting to  particular audiences,  particular purposes, and  for the  particular circumstance of each document.  What is pleasing to one reader may not please another. Picture this: you don’t use the same language when  you’re talking with your  grandparents or your parents, as you would talking to your friends, or to your teachers. Elevate and purpose your authentic voice. This is why it is imperative to make your document, like your speech,  a user-centered text for these specific rhetorical situations. Regarding rhetorical situations, Dr. Nancy Smith  writes,  “According to Charles Kostelnick in  Designing Visual  LanguageAudience, Purpose, and Context,  a document’s visual language cognate strategies and guides those strategies” (Dr. Nancy Barta-Smith). Factors of rhetorical situations state that your investigation should include all the characteristics of a document like the text space, the size, language, any of the inserted charts or graphs, links/hyperlinks, symbols and the content of  the document. There are two levels of visual documents or configurations that range from low to high. “The low-end of the continuum calls for something far less visual: ideally, a string of embellished signs flowing in a single direction, unrestricted by margins or pages. Rendering the text entirely in upper case and the elimination punctuation would further reduce visual dependency” (p. 272). A novel or research paper are documents that reflect the low-end of the visual continuum. Not much emphasis on a visual impact but usually there is a required format.  However “at the high-end of the visual continuum, designing and seeing assume a far greater role in shaping and receiving the message. As text is segmented into chunks, chunks into lists, and lists into matrices, charts, diagrams, words become ‘thing-like’ entities transfixed spatially and graphically”(p. 272), like our textbook and Kostlenick’s article. The high-end of the visual continuum is more like this blog site where an emphasis is own ‘seeing’ and in ‘designing’. Readers are quickly surfing the internet and  our goal is to catch their interest with a visual appeal. Successfully capturing of an audience with visual appealing rhetoric is a hook, line and sinker !

Visual choices demand adapting to particular audiences, particular purposes, and for the particular circumstance for each document.  But what is pleasing to one reader may not please another.

You don’t use the same language when you talk to your grandparents or your parents as you would talk to your friends, or to teachers. The appropriate elevation of your authentic voice is important. This is why it is imperative to make your document a user-centered text.  Regarding specific rhetorical situations, Dr. Nancy Smith  writes, “According to Charles Kostelnick in  Designing Visual Language, Audience, Purpose, and Context,  a document’s visual language cognate strategies and the guides those strategies” (Dr. Nancy Barta-Smith). Factors of rhetorical situation states that your investigation should include all the characteristics of a document like the text space, the size, language, any of the inserted charts or graphs, links/hyperlinks, symbols and the content of  the document. Optimize the interest of your audience, meet the desired intention, keep the text simple to understand, and add interesting concepts to complex ideas help to capture and keep an audience.

Keep text straightforward, unambiguous, and easily maneuverable and  the instructions should be simple, clearly stated, concise and easy to pivot through making the Supra simple to understand yet multifunctional for using at the inter,intra, extra and supra levels with both the graphics and text. Trials, errors and experimenting with visuals are absolutely necessary for producing  a visually seductive document that have inviting tones and proof of skill.  A  great  example  of skilled  design  is Creativeblog.  It is informative, while filled with relevant information regarding “Typography’s Do’s and Don’ts.”   Well designed and visually stimulating, creative blog is also practically designed enabling   effective guidelines for anyone who wants to create their own blog site.

Reader’s  impressions are influenced by choices of textual surfacing. Isolation and emphasis can reshape any message. However,  “Pale pink text on a pale blue background might match your t-shirt but it does not read well” as similar to the case of this very sentence that I type now (Chapman).
“Visual design, like writing, is a process of discovery. This discovery process occurs within and outside the text. Articulating a text with intra and inter-textual cues— typographical variations,  paragraph breaks, headings, lists, tables— unfolds and structures ideas, enabling the writer to re-see the logic of the message” (p. 283).  Informed appropriate choices at the simple intra cell choice of typeface, can have a huge impact on how the reader perceives the intended message.  If your text is not constructed and contrasted well, it will not be easy to navigate,and will likely not get read by fickle web audiences who will click away from your post and quite possibly—never return. Purdue Owl teaches its readers how to manage the visual elements. The most effective contents direct the focus of the readers and this video illustrates how important the size of a picture is in order to be most effective . Avoid  the visual noise of having a document of fillers .Choose contrast to make intra-text of documents easiest to read

Literature is not meant to be just entertainment but is intended to shape the perspectives of its reader. Rhetorical literature with visual appeal is our goal. Literary device  can help you to define and optimize your choice in elevating your authentic voice. Capture an audience whether you are writing an office memo or you’re writing a novel. Your voice needs to be unique and it should be persuasive the reader to stay reading to hear what you are saying. There is much competition for the space and place of time  in today multitasking society. The visually enchanting, effectively persuasive document can be achieved through the continuum of practice making it purrrrfect and captivating new readers.

The Risky Evolution of Physicians

Risk Communication is the process of releasing information in the result of an untimely occurrence to maintain the health of public. The word risk by itself is  described to be “socially constructed,” meaning it is a process that society dictates right from wrong, or in this case, what event is enough of a risk for exposure and what is not. Communication is simply the explanation targeted information. In chapter 7 of the Professional writing and Rhetoric textbook written by Tim Peoples,  it is stated that “Risk communication evolved out of the need for risk managers to gain public acceptance for policies grounded in risk assessment methodologies.” (361)There needed to be a way to inform the public of  heath issues and the proper precautions to take to make such issues preventable. Because of the lack of effective communication to the public, models and steps were designed to professionally and diligently explain such risks to the public in a timely manner. These steps are detailed below.

The diagraph above shows the dynamics of risk communication. There are three distinct methods of risk communication. They are risk assessment, cognitive psychology, and communication. Risk assessment, being the first assessment, is the process of identifying the issue and determining the cause. Also known as the decision making process, risk assessment is all about discovering the stem of the problem and addressing the public. Cognitive psychology is the dialogue of how to relate information to the public. Experts determine the “discrepancies” between expert and public information. A major thought during this assessment is how will the pubic react to the information that they will be told. Unlike cognitive psychology, Communication doesn’t focus on the public reaction but more so on the message and the information that is being relayed.

Doctors play an important role in risk communication as well because they are detrimental during the risk assessment process. It is the physicians that would, for instance, deal with the new outbreak or illness that is being circulated. They must know the proper procedures to take and what medications can and cannot be given. Since healthcare is constantly changing the role of risk communication changes as well. Currently, new ways of doctors visits are surfacing and these methods could be a positive and negative when it comes to risk communication.

In the article “Take Two Aspirin And Tweet Me In The Morning: How Twitter, Facebook, And Other Social Media Are Reshaping Health Care,” by Carleen Hawn, a new approach was introduced in which doctors now will be able to have online visits with their patients. This concept eliminates extra fees, and helps keep a record of patients information.These new online communities are thought to be more convenient and cost effective. A simple email to your doctor would be free of charge, but charges will start to apply depending on the length of time or amount of care the patient may need. This method is supposed to be a much cheaper alternative to paying a high health insurance bill monthly. In reference to rhetoric, Hello Health would be described as a method of persuasive or impressionable speaking to the patients, and finding a way to relate information in a diligent manner outside of normal health care facilities.

When it comes to risk communication, these new online appointments could help inform the public a lot faster and relate the information needed to uphold a healthy state in the community. The underlying factor would be providing information to each individual while keeping their private information confidential. Also, for communication regarding risk to be effective, it is imperative that the needs such as religion, economic, cultural, political and any aspects associated with the event be taken into account. This will help establish the appropriate preventive measures.

Overall, risk communication through a physician program could benefit in many ways. Effective risk communication is successfully delivering the right information to the public and it being understood and accepted. Even though it is described as socially constructed, following the three disciplines will prove to relay all information in an expeditious and orderly manner.

Unlock Your Writing by Ear, the Key is in See Sharp!!

I’m a mathematician and a musician. I hear pictures and see sound. These vibrations are, to me, the essence of life itself and is exactly what I intend to demonstrate in this blog post. I can relate to this reading based on my experiences and what I heard in this podcast.

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In reading Professional Writing and Rhetoric by Tim Peeples, i’ve learned that many writing strategies that worked well for college students are no longer very effective and many are unprepared to meet the demands of readers whose status, power, and professional orientations vary across departments and corporate hierarchy.  Surface level writing skills are less important for making a successful writer in the professional setting.  Studying writing without considering the importance of its context is, according to my reading material “a little like studying animal life by visiting zoo cages”.

Below is a video explains the key differences between academic and business writing.

My reading assignment contains a qualitative study that examined the transitions that writers made when moving from academic to professional discourse communities.   The subjects were six university seniors enrolled in a special writing internship course in which they discussed and analyzed the writing they were doing in 12-week professional internships at corporations, small businesses, and public service agencies in a major metropolitan area.  Results showed an extremely consistent pattern of expectation, frustration, and adjustment as the interns adapted to to their new writing communities.

The Three Stages of Transition:

  1. Expectation.  In this stage, the writer builds a vision or social construct of his- or herself working and writing in a new professional setting.
  2. Disorientation. As the individual tries to determine a role in the organization, he or she becomes disoriented, which typically leads to frustration and a sense of failure.
  3. Transition and Resolution.  As the writer begins to establish a role and forms new knowledge for adaptation, he or she may begin to take on greater initiative, understanding what is expected and forming new self-concepts.

This study suggests that at the center of this broad concept of transition there is an ongoing process of adapting to a social setting, involving not only the idiosyncratic textual features of a discourse community but a shifting array of political, managerial, and social influences as well.  It suggests that the writer must first become a reader of a context before he or she can be literate within it.

All of these concepts make perfect sense to me because each person has a genius talent or special area of expertise.  When individuals decide to pursue their passions, along the journey they will inevitable learn all of the jargon that pertains to that specific area.  Most of the time individuals have high expectations for themselves, then they quickly realize that they are not as proficient as the people that have gained valuable experience.  They then go through the developmental stages to become proficient, which usually happens over the course of several months or years.

Aristotlelian Style Blogging?

As the first student blogger, I’m covering excerpts from Rhetoric by Aristotle who was a Greek philosopher. I am Major in professional Studies with a Concentration in Education/Communication I would like to become a Motivational Speaker for children and young adults. Being a Professional Studies major we tend to lean on the arts. Aristotle defined rhetoric as the art and study of persuasive speaking and writing. There are several key concepts relevant to this discussion that are listed in our textbook, Professional Writing and Rhetoric: Readings from the Field by Tim Peeples (p. 20).

As an Educator blogging is important because its giving you the hands on teaching skills that you will need in order to teach your future students. An English teacher who encourages or uses blogging to help teach her children about writing skills it more than likely to have satisfied students vs. the teacher who chooses to teach her children using pencil,paper and just a textbook. Blogging is a fun way to learn about different things that go on around the world. Wither it is globally or local…best believe there is a blog about it.

Class textbook for ENGL 335: Issues in Professional Writing at FSU

Class textbook for ENGL 335: Issues in Professional Writing at FSU

Luckily for me, as this week’s featured blogger, these key concepts have — for the most part — been defined by my classmates in their replies and comments to  which are based on our classroom discussions and other bits of research students did on websites like Wikipedia and Silva Rhetoricae.  

  • Ethos has to do with who you are and how you come across. Aristotle would include both the way in which you speak and your individual character or integrity in this category. As he wrote, “We believe good men more fully and more readily than others.” An example of an ethical appeal: “I been attending this HBCU for three years now —an appeal from the speaker’s experience.
  • Pathos involves stirring up people’s emotions. It includes appeals to people’s pity, anger, fear, hope, and the like. An example of an emotional appeal: “HBCU’s are destroying higher education”—as stated here, an appeal to the listener’s fears and values.
  • Logos is the use of argumentation. This category includes arguments, data, statistics, and all types of reasoning. An example of a logical appeal: “Research data demonstrates that students who have attended HBCU’s have a much higher debt load than students at private or public colleges”—an appeal to statistics.

Here is a video on Rhetoric and how it relates not only to writing but our daily lives as well…

Uploaded on Jan 31, 2012 This vidcast introduces viewers to rhetoric and how rhetoric may be used in writing courses. For more information, please check out the OWL Podcasts found here: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/res....  Original podcast recording by Mark Hannah, Morgan Reitmeyer, Christina Saidy, and Lars Soderlund.

This vidcast introduces viewers to rhetoric and how rhetoric may be used in writing courses. For more information, please check out the OWL

In the video, the students break down how Rhetoric is important and how it relates today. It is broken down so that students may understand Rhetoric on a Question and Answer bases. For Example in the video the last gentleman mentions “Now I know why instructors talk about Ethos, Pathos, Logos when they discuss Rhetoric.”

In this post I will discuss examples of how I see rhetoric in action and analyze the usefulness of rhetoric in these instances. Next, I will relate my discussion back to Aristotle’s definition as excerpted in the textbook. Examples of rhetoric today would be, Upon approaching a cashier at the grocery store she asks, “Will you help starving children today by adding $3 to your grocery bill?” This may persuade the customer to do this because it makes them feel bad or they may just do it because it is the right thing to do. The customer may think about the commercial with the starving children. “For just pennies a day, you can help this child, for just pennies a day.”cashier-career-guide1

In Rhetorical situations you have two parties that is the “Rhetor” and the “The Audience”. The Rhetor the individual who is speaking and attempting to be persuasive. The Audience is the person or persons to whom the rhetoric is speaking. So, in the example that I have given for rhetoric the cashier would be the “Rhetor” and the customer would be the “The Audience.”

Going back to our textbook “Professional writing and Rhetoric” on, Pg.20,21 Aristotle explains what rhetoric is in Books 1&2 he lectured on Rhetoric at different times in his career. Throughout books 1 and 2, understanding the available means of persuasion is treated as constituting the whole of rhetoric, properly understood. For them Aristotle  explains the similarities between Dialectic as they know it and Rhetoric as he understands it. Rhetoric tends to lean on positive persuasion where as Dialectic leans upon a more negative standpoint.

The next question you may ask yourself is why is Rhetoric so Useful?

Rhetoric is useful because it is used in every field of learning from Arts to language, if you practice law you use Rhetoric to defend you client, or if you are a doctor and you are trying to explain to a patient about a disease that they have been diagnosed with… they may hand them a pamphlet explaining the symptoms or medicines you should take and things you should avoid because you have this disease. 

 “Of the modes of persuasion furnished by the spoken word there are three kinds. The first kind depends on the personal character of the speaker; the second on putting the audience into a certain frame of mind; the third on the proof, or apparent proof, provided by the words of the speech itself.” -Aristotle’s Rhetoric

As educators, it’s our job to make sure that students (and adults) are learning. Part of that process isn’t only about making an engaging activity or lesson, but also realizing how the modern brain learns. Teachers all over America are faced with this challenge of keeping students engaged in the classroom when their world outside of school is one of constant engagement and stimulation. Knowing the world outside of our institutional walls is only one step in addressing modern learning styles. How to act and adjust schools today is the next step in making the classroom of today ready for tomorrow. How do we persuade our kids that learning is still cool? Technology!

As fast as the internet took the world by storm, the mobile revolution dropped a bomb of societal change and practice. People can now have all of their media in the palm of their hand. They can connect with anyone, anywhere. While there isn’t always value to why we use our devices, having that instant access means our brains can now outsource menial facts and focus on application and creation rather than retention.

One of the greatest challenges to the classrooms of today is mobile technology. Do we fund a 1:1 program? Allow a Bring Your Own Device policy? Won’t this just add the distraction of the outside world into a classroom? Rather than avoid or ban the use of mobile devices, some are embracing it as a way to not only engage learners, but also dig deeper into learning. This isn’t without its pitfalls, and can be quite messy, but setting expectations of use can be a powerful way to model how our kids use these in the non-school setting.  Maybe instead of whipping out their phones when at a restaurant, kids will actually sit and have a conversation with the grown-ups around them.  Of course, this is assuming the grown-ups have put down their devices too. We all love our phones I myself have been pointed out constantly in class about my device… I could be updated a blog post or commenting on a post, sending a email to my teacher. Whatever the reason is we have been told is disrespectful especially when the teacher is talking. I believe that we can persuade students to do their work if it involved their cell phone. What if homework assignments were uploaded to a Facebook page instead of pencil and Paper…Would the students actually take the time to do their homework then. Or say we have a contest who ever reads the most books in class will receive the latest Gadget, that is from an iPhone to and i Pad.

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Middle-school students using their own electronic devices during a science class at New Smyrna Beach Middle School in New Smyrna Beach, Fla.

No matter what Major or field you are in or maybe going into. You will come across many examples or rhetoric. Its almost like communication you don’t have to major in communication but you know that communication is required in all things. You will at some time or another have to communicate with someone. Just like you will at one point or another have to persuade or be the persuader. Rhetoric is going to relate no matter what. My classmates blogs will relate to my blog often and it will enable you to get a better understanding.

 

STUDENT WRITING THAT’S ILLMATIC OR [SIC]… “THUS WAS IT WRITTEN”

To kickoff our Spring 2015 activities, I’m reblogging this post from CircuitouslyCute to begin generating this semester’s conversation about new media technologies, public forms of writing, and the changing conventions of online formatting and citations. 


Too often when teachers discuss student writing we complain; paying too much attention to student’s spelling mistakes, punctuation errors, and grammar. We derisively speak of it in terms of what’s supposedly broken or ill-informed about their writing and pathologize their triple exclamation points and wild use of emoticons as something in need of fixing or treating. Teachers behave more like surgeons or dentists when we approach the writing of students as if it’s diseased by administering whole batteries of “diagnostic exams” prescriptive “essay clinics” seeking to cure their perceived language impairments and try to eradicate the contagion of slang in drill-and-kill writing labs.

Of course what I’m saying is not so different than what’s been said by many other composition scholars for over four decades now, which is why I’m so discouraged by the perennial nature of the pedagogical myth that two semesters of English Composition can — or should — completely erase a person’s culture and the graphic representation of what a person thinks, feels, and believes. Despite all empirical evidence to the contrary and all the reams and reams of quantitative and qualitative data that’s been published on every variety of longitudinal analysis, large sample experiment, and ethnographic case study, it’s common that composition and rhetoric professors must still endure ideas reflected in videos like this:

Yeah, right… Whatev!  ¯\_()_/¯

This problem is taken a step further by the insertion of the word “sic” after sample passages of student writing to indicate everything that’s wrong with it — the supposedly unwashed, uneducated masses — to imply the specificity of the words belonging to the writer. Originally meant to designate the “thus” in sic erat scriptum of the Latin phrase “thus was it written,” the insertion of “[sic]” indicates verbatim transcriptions of a writer’s exact wording. But “[sic]” is also used to ridicule the errors in other people’s writing and derisively draw a distinction between us and them. “Us” being in reference to the group or class of college professors and “them” being the classrooms of students with whom we’re charged with sharing our love of learning. To my mind, the only real writing and composition classroom mistakes that occur are those when we presume teacher superiority and take for granted notions that scholarly betterment is a one-way street. The knowledgeable transfer of becoming well-versed in the arts of rhetoric and poetic language moves in both directions.

Nasty Nas said it best 20 years ago; it ain’t hard to tellYoung folks can and do know how to tell their own stories. They prove it every day, in fact, on their devices with their thumbs. And they’re thinking too. Faculty ought to be meeting students where they are in order to help get where they need to go. It’s the professor’s job to go there with our students and let them show us how they’re writing — more vibrantly and colorfully than ever before.

An iPhone snapshot I first posted on Instagram, taken March 2014, outside the Charles W. Chesnutt Library on the campus of Fayetteville State University.  Fayetteville, NC.

iPhone @2FarLane Instagram taken outside the Charles W. Chesnutt Library on the campus of Fayetteville State University (Fayetteville, NC – March 2014)

One of my goals is to see more regional and public Historically Black Universities (HBCU’s) like Fayetteville State University develop greater openness to the possibility that the teaching of writing requires the efforts of all faculty members in every discipline, across all departments. Moreover, I’d like to spread the word that the flourishing of rhetorical agency for students is a dialogical process where professors must listen as much as they lecture. And help more teachers realize that speaking African American English (AAE) is a legitimate language, and that writing with AAE in mind is a particular form of communication that deserves expression rather than suppression. I’d like to see larger segments of the professoriate from outside the gates of HBCU campuses, beyond the field of composition and rhetoric, to rethink the conversation about what’s supposedly so sic about black students’ home discourses as an authentic expression of themselves. After all, wasn’t Charles Chesnutt among the first to articulate a scholarly theory about vernacular forms of AAE and its literary value, even as he served as the Chancellor of Fayetteville State University and as a member of the teaching faculty? 

The irony is that even the most glowing student feedback written for English department professors in course climate evaluations are more harshly scrutinized for grammar and spelling (unlike, say for instance, those written about Economics, Chemistry, History, Computer Science, Psychology professors). This, despite the fact that students appropriately perceive the rhetorical situation of “teacher evals” as informal, casual, and necessarily ungraded personal expressions of their learning experience — and not as an writing exam. As an HBCU and a century after Charles Chesnutt sought to make similar arguments in his own writings, it would be most ironic if the majority of HBCU’s didn’t recognize the origins and legitimacy of Black English varieties as African Diasporic language formation, especially since this idea has been embraced by research-based and writing-intensive programs at predominantly white institutions, dating back to the 1970s (at least in theory, if not always in practice). I’m happy to say, the department in which I teach does not fall into this category and has a strong tradition of carrying on Chesnutt’s proud legacy.

This is also to say that students, regardless of race or color, should be required to become more proficient writers and speakers of the Language of Wider Communication (LWC), and develop some conversational proficiency and literacy in a foreign language too. It’s vital that creative professionals be fluent in all conventions and practices of both “standard” and “nonstandard” forms of at least 2 languages, as linguistic diversity is something to be celebrated without one or the other being placed at the bottom of a false pecking order and ranked as inferior according to outmoded 19th century hierarchical paradigms. If students are frequently encouraged to speak and write in their home dialects and gain LWC mastery across the entire campus, throughout their entire academic matriculation, they’d develop the confidence to cultivate their professional voices and seek out audiences with whom they are meaningfully engaged, based on the standards they’ve individually set for themselves within their given and chosen communities. But this can only happen if more professors are willing to see misspelled words not as orthological missteps and actually recognize such instances of student rhetoricity as morphological leaps into alter/native perspectives and appreciate that AAE is a legitimate expression of the historical and cultural experiences of African Americans, which deserves to be understood and valued, not denigrated.

"WTF are all these red marks on my paper supposed to mean???"

Student: “WTF are all these red marks on my paper supposed to mean???”

These happy accidents” too often obliterated through our obsessive correction of errors only inhibit students’ explorations into phenomenological abstraction. A pedagogy of over-correcting puts unnecessary prohibitions on students’ abilities to ask new questions and academically traverse uncharted, bleeding-edge territory and begin assuming agency over their written language to produce papers that aren’t [sic], but illmaticAlas, I suspect, it’s much easier (and less time-consuming) to respond to ever-growing stacks of student essays and research reports with fat, red circles, line-item edits for every other sentence, and inserting archaic editor’s proofreading marks; thus subsuming the writer’s ideas and identity with an eradicationist’s pen, pointed toward displacing unfamiliar viewpoints with concepts and structures that seem less strange by traditional print literacy standards — at least to our professorly eyes — lest they be considered in transgression of “proper” English and deemed in violation of the most egregious of all academic writing sins and marked… awkward.

We miss so much when we refuse student rhetorical agency or try to fix and fit their thoughts into our boring little Blackboard boxes. I believe some still fear what ensues when seemingly disparate things are literally con/fused (when one thing seems incongruously combined with another) to ignite tiny rhetorical explosions that spark linguistic innovations and intention brings forth invention. Expression that is both eloquent and meaningful requires element of amusement and play for learning to take place because without it writing becomes petrified, stagnant, and dies (not unlike the Latin that us erudite, professors-types enjoy inserting into our own, more scholarly publications ;-) This is why the rhetoricians and compositionists I respect and pattern myself after teach and embrace diversity in spoken and written language.

As for my own part, I’ll do what I can to keep English Composition alive and ill.