RE: Tech Comm Survey - Literacies of the field

Subject: RE: Tech Comm Survey - Literacies of the field
From: "John Fleming" <johntwrl -at- hotmail -dot- com>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Mon, 18 Oct 2004 15:35:55 +0000

Well, as a couple of others have pointed out, the term "literacies" is kind of vague and needs to be better defined. What do you mean by the term?

A lot of my own writing these days has to do more with social sciences rather than pure technical writing, and this is an area where defining our terms is important.

Take a study on recidivism in the offender population, for example. For the purposes of the study, if I define recidivism as an offender who reoffends within two years of commiting an offense, I am going to get very different (and lower) results than if I define a recidivist as an offender who reoffends within five years of commiting an offense. Ditto if I limit my recidivists to those who are readmitted to jail as opposed to a recidivist being anyone who commits another offense--including illegal parking. (Interesting to argue, though, that someone released after 25 years in the slammer for first degree murder is really slipping back into a life of crime by making an illegal left turn.)

So, I expect that if you come back with a clearer idea of what you mean by literacies, we could probably give you some more meaningful results.

By the way, I expect you are interested in something other than basic literacy skills like reading and writing, both of which I can do with at least a marginal level of competence.

John Fleming
Technical Writer
Edmonton, Alberta, Canada

From: ccrim -at- unmc -dot- edu (ccrim -at- unmc -dot- edu)
Subject: Tech Comm Survey - Literacies of the field
Newsgroups: bit.listserv.techwr-l
Date: 2004-10-17 21:13:37 PST

I'm a new graduate student in tech comm. I have been assigned to write a
series of articles about what kinds of literacies students need to be
successful professionals in the field. If anyone could offer an opinion(s)
of the various aspects of literacy in tech comm, I would greatly appreciate

Thank you.

ccrim -at- unmc -dot- edu


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