Re: Teaching Technical Writing

Subject: Re: Teaching Technical Writing
From: Mark Gellis <mgellis -at- KETTERING -dot- EDU>
Date: Fri, 1 May 1998 16:07:44 -0400


I have to disagree with Beth on this point. ATTW is oriented towards
academics, certainly, and academics do like to chat about theory, but all you
have to do is go to their website, at and you will
find sample course materials and links to related sites.

As for not getting anything out of ATTW, I also have to disagree--the first
thing I got from them when I joined earlier this year was a membership
directory that includes e-mail addresses and a geographical index. Okay, okay,
there are only about fifty other members in easy driving distance, but I might
never have known about these people (and the resources they offer) without

Is ATTW an essential resource that you can't do without? Hardly. It's a
relatively small organization, and that means there will be limits to what it
offers, but it's a long way from some useless ivory tower club. (Beth seems to
have us confused with the MLA....just kidding, honest...) And, of course, if
you are serious about being a teacher, you do want to have some knowledge of
current theories (however academic such things may be to those who have
surpassed us mere "rhetoric types").

mgellis -at- kettering -dot- edu

Elizabeth Kane wrote:

> Fabien,
> I joined the ATTW for one year, hoping to find the same kinds of
> things you cite below. I got nothing of the kind, so beware before you
> join. All I got was academic-style journals that were not at all
> useful. The ATTW seems to provide a place for rhetoric-type folks to
> get published (to get the brownie points that keep them employed at
> universities).
> If you EVER find anything like what you cite below, please let us all
> know. I think I would enjoy teaching REAL-LIFE technical writing, but
> I have no interest in that rhetoric stuff.
> Beth Kane
> Senior Technical Writer
> bkane -at- artisoft -dot- com
> ..ISO, SGML/HTML, Usability, Audience Analysis, online Help, etc.)?
> ..the perspective of the teacher. How to best *explain* these topics to
> students, with examples, exercises, tests, etc.
> ..would like to upgrade my courses with fresh material.

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