April 17, 2014

MS in STC Research Showcase

Research Showcase
Featuring Spring 2014 M.S. in Scientific & Technical Communication Graduates

Please join us for research insights, networking, and snacks.
All faculty and students are welcome to attend.
Tuesday, April 29, 2014
235 Nolte, 4:00-5:00 p.m.
Presentations, 4:10-4:40 p.m.

Event Flyer

April 1, 2014

Congratulations to Katharine Swenson!

Congratulations to recent Certificate graduate Katharine Swenson, new freelance medical editor for Cardiotext, a Minneapolis-based publisher in cardiovascular medicine, where Katharine combines prior medical training with technical communication knowledge to provide substantive manuscript editing, content strategy, and author relationship management.

Reconstructing Oratorical Performance Space in Ancient Greece

Graff IAS flyer

April 22, 2014, 3:30pm
Best Buy Theater, Northrop
Richard Graff, Writing Studies & Literacy and Rhetorical Studies, U of M; 2013 IAS Residential Fellow


March 28, 2014

GPEA: Spring 2014

Joe Moses and Ann Duin will be presenting at the Spring 2014 Graduate & Professional Education Assembly as part of the Digital Fair (1:00). And Ann will be presenting with Chris Cramer as part of the panel presentation at 2:15, and also at the breakout sessions.

Wednesday, April 2 | 1:00 - 4:30 p.m.
Mississippi Room, Third Floor, Coffman Memorial Union

February 27, 2014

Working Closets: Navigating Rhetorics and Discourses of LGBTQ Professional Identities Inside a Corporate Workplace

Please join us for a conversation with Matt Cox, March 14th, in Nolte 125 at 2pm.

Event flyer

Please join us March 14th at 2:00pm for this special event in our "Current Research in Writing Studies" series. Refreshments will be provided.

Matt Cox joined the ECU Technical and Professional Communication faculty in summer 2012. He is currently in the initial stages of a book length project on LGBT professional identity as narrative practice within a Fortune 500 workplace. He is also working on an essay titled "A Queerness of Belonging," for the forthcoming edited collection Echoes of Home: Bringing Home to Work. He also has over 12 years of industry experience in software documentation and publishing for software and hardware user guides. He has worked extensively as a freelance editor and web content consultant. He remains active in the Queer Caucus of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (4C) and the Association of Teachers of Technical Writing (ATTW).

Matt holds his B.A. in English Literature from Indiana University, Bloomington, his M.S. in Technical and Professional Writing from Utah State University, and his Ph.D. in Rhetoric & Writing and Cultural Rhetorics from Michigan State University. His primary Areas of research/and teaching expertise include: technical and professional writing, LGBT and queer rhetorics, cultural rhetorics and studies within professional writing, and studies in professionalization and identity as narrative.

February 11, 2014

Upcoming publications by Prof. Anne Lazaraton

Based on her very productive sabbatical last year, Professor Anne Lazaraton has two papers forthcoming: one in Language@Internet and the other in the Journal of Pragmatics. "Aaaaack! The active voice was used!: Language play, technology, and repair in the Daily Kos weblog" is one great title!! Congratulations, Anne!

Brian Larson to present at ISSA conference

Ph.D. candidate Brian Larson will be presenting at the 8th quadrennial conference of the International Society for the Study of Argumentation in July 2014 in Amsterdam. His presentation is titled "'Irreparable harm' and legal arguments by analogy and example." He will present the results of a pilot empirical study of written legal arguments and oral reports of authors' cognition to explore the following research questions: Do American lawyers perceive differences between arguments by analogy and arguments by example, and if so, how are those differences represented in their argumentative writing? The complete abstract is available on his academic blog.

Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB)

The department is proud of the amazing presence we'll have at this year's Writing Research Across Borders (WRAB) conference! We're pleased to be able to support our faculty and graduate students to attend this prestigious meeting in Paris. Congratulations to PhD students Ashley Clayson, Kira Dreher, Brian Larson, Molly Li, Michael Madson, Timothy Oleksiak, Rachel Tofteland; to instructors Bill West and Kimberly Thomas-Pollei; and to Professors Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch and Christina Haas.

Teachers Teaching Teachers

Please join us for Teachers Teaching Teachers tomorrow, February 12th, from 3-4pm in 229 Nolte. Light refreshments will be served.

The format will include two presentations:

Laura Pigozzi and Brian Larson "WRIT 3029W, WRIT 3562W, and the Writing for International Students Program (WINS)"
The Writing Studies Department has received funding from the University for the Writing for International Students Program (WINS). Among the projects slated for that program is the launch of non-native-speaker (NNS) sections of WRIT 3029W Business and Professional Communication and WRIT 3562W Technical and Professional Communication. The WINS team is developing curriculum and materials for those sections, but it is also developing resources and training for all 3029/3562 instructors, because there will continue to be international students in all sections of these courses. Pigozzi and Larson are engaged in research and development activities this spring as RAs for WINS. Come to hear the direction their work is taking, share your perspectives on teaching NNS students, and have input into this new program.

Trent Kays "Infographics, Timelines, and Other 21st Century Multimodal Tools for Student Projects."
In this presentation, Kays will discuss various free, online multimodal web-based tools and how these tools can be used in various writing courses to encourage non-
linear and abstract thinking. He will address the question: in what ways can instructors evaluate student projects created with these tools? Additionally, Kays will provide a handout with a detailed list of these tools and demonstrate sample projects and project design based on using specific tools.

November 18, 2013

S&TC Alumna: Rose Hruska

Rose Hruska
Technical Writer/User Documentation Specialist
Advanced Informatics
B.S. in S&TC, 2013

What is your current position?
I am a Technical Writer/User Documentation Specialist at a Minneapolis-based healthcare educational software company called Advanced Informatics. Our company produces E*Value, a customizable software that assists healthcare educators in managing student data and administrative processes. My main duty is to create and update documentation about E*Value functionality for the software's online help manual. Since the tools within the software are always changing, I am constantly editing existing documentation and creating instructions for the use of new tools. Another duty I am tasked with is adding documents that assist my co-workers in communicating with clients to the company Wiki. I also post updates about new tools and features on the client-facing administrator homepage in E*Value and my co-workers often ask me to proofread and edit their documents.

How does your position relate to technical communication?
My position relates directly to technical communication because it requires me to present technical information in a language and format that is concise but easily understandable.

What aspects of your study in technical communication have been most relevant to your current work?
Learning the process of editing my own and others' writing during my undergraduate career definitely helped prepare me for the job I have now. After I draft a document, I consult subject matter experts within the company and ask them to check the text's accuracy. Often, I need to revise the documentation to reflect obscure variables that can be produced within the software. Being able to revise my work to make it as accurate as possible is crucial for creating documentation that is useful for clients. Another aspect of my study in technical communication that has been extremely relevant to my current work is being able to analyze the needs of my audience.

What did you learn about technical communication that surprised you most in the workplace?
The most surprising component of technical communication in the workplace is how much I must communicate with other employees in order to complete projects. Although technical writing seems like a fairly independent line of work, I often need to consult coworkers from multiple departments to gather all of the information needed to write technical documentation. I was also surprised by the importance of well-written emails in the workplace. Emails that are poorly written and unclear can waste the time of all parties involved if they have to ask for clarification.

What message do you have for our current students?
Work on creating a clean, detailed resume. Your resume should show employers not only why they'd want to hire you, but also why they'd want to work with you. Internships can be crucial; relevant experience is attractive to potential employers, and internships give you an idea of what your career after college might involve. Also, start applying for jobs a few months before graduation. Even if you don't get a job offer right away, potential employers may keep your resume on file in case a position you're qualified for becomes available.

November 5, 2013


November 6, 2013, 3-4 pm
229 Nolte Center
Department of Writing Studies

Please join us for Teachers Teaching Teachers on November 6th. This is an opportunity to participate in a teaching community that will support your work as instructors in Writing Studies. We will hear two presentations.

Jarron Slater "Connecting a Critique Assignment to Writing and Revising Student Research Reports"
This discussion will present a sample critique assignment that works well to help writing students workshop and evise research reports. I will share sample critiques that may be used to show students what a critique could look like. Instructors at this discussion will receive two handouts: an assignment sheet and a sample critique.

Ashley Clayson "E-Portfolios for Graduate Instructors: An Exploratory Discussion about Affordances, Constraints, and Ethics"
Online portfolios (e-portfolios) that showcase research and teaching materials can be excellent professionalization tools. As a genre, it seems as if they have evolved to include particular features, but how can they/should they further evolve? This discussion explores issues of affordances and constraints of e-portfolios while foregrounding ethical guidelines for e-portfolio creation. We will consider questions such as the following: how are e-portfolios actually used? How much text is too much? What can/should take the place of text? How do we handle student privacy when considering adding multimodal elements to e-portfolios?

November 1, 2013

Give to the Max Day - November 14


Be a light for the U's Department of Writing Studies on Give to the Max Day. Make a gift at http://z.umn.edu/maxwrit.

October 30, 2013

Excellence in First-Year Writing Award

The FYW Program Excellence in Writing Award will be given to up to three outstanding essays written by current undergraduate students in a first-year writing course in the
2013-2014 academic year. The award recognizes the writing that is generated out of
University Writing, the first-year writing course.

The winner will receive a prize, a certificate, and publication on the FYW Program website. The award winner will be announced at the FYW Program Symposium in the spring.


* Authors must be an undergraduate student enrolled in either a Fall 2013 or Spring
2014 section of WRIT 1301 or 1401.
* Original essays must have been written in response to an assignment in WRIT 1301
or 1401.
* Essays written in any genre for the class are acceptable.
* Authors must be registered students as of May 2014 at the University of Minnesota
in order to receive the award.
* Only one entry per student is eligible for submission.

Submission Guidelines:

1. Fill out the application form. Remember to sign and date it.
2. Attach a typed, double-spaced, clean copy of your essay. Remove your name, but keep the title.
3. Attach the writing assignment the essay was written to fulfill. Your application will not be considered without the assignment sheet. See your instructor if you need a copy.

How To Submit:

Please bring all of the required materials to the Dept. of Writing Studies, 214 Nolte Center. OR, email all of the materials to nmontana@umn.edu with subject line "FYW Writing Award."

Deadline for Submissions:

* Fall 2013 students must submit materials by 4pm on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2014.
* Spring 2014 students must submit materials by 4pm on Friday, May 9, 2014.

Late applications will not be accepted.

All winners will be notified by Thursday, May 15, 2014.

October 2, 2013

Internet Activism

Please join us at noon on October 21st, 2013 for presentations by Laura Gurak, John Logie and visiting scholar Constance Kampf on the topic of Internet activism.

"Art Interrupting Business, Business Interrupting Art: Re(de)fining the Interface Between Business and Society" -- Constance Kampf, Business Communication, Business and Social Sciences, Aarhus University

"Dark Days: Understanding the Historical Context and the Visual Rhetorics of the SOPA/PIPA Blackout" -- John Logie, University of Minnesota

"Trust and Internet Activism: from Email to Social Networks" -- Laura J. Gurak, University of Minnesota

This event will be held in Nolte 229. All are welcome.

September 24, 2013

DASH: Digital Arts Sciences + Humanities Kick-off Event

The University Libraries are excited to announce the first in a new series of monthly events, organized by the DASH (Digital Arts, Sciences, and Humanities) Initiative. DASH aims to bring together students, faculty, and staff from across disciplines and campuses, in order to promote innovative tools and methods for scholarly, pedagogical, and creative projects, including:

Text and data mining
Digital archives
GIS and spatial research
Data visualization and arts
Digital storytelling
Mobile app development
Multimodal scholarship
Digital archives
Critical code and algorithm studies

Where: STSS 119
When: Wednesday, October 2 at 3:30pm

Come learn more about DASH, hear about the events and projects we have planned for the year, learn how to start your own research projects or incorporate these ideas into your classrooms, and meet others interested in building these interdisciplinary digital projects.

Light refreshments will be served.

For more information, email dash@umn.edu. Follow DASH on Twitter @umndash.