English and Technical
236 Humanities-Social Sci.
500 W. 14th St.
Rolla, MO 65409
Graduate Student Research
The English and technical communication department at Missouri S&T provides research opportunities to graduate students. Below are some examples of faculty-student collaborations and graduate student research.
In this study, Ms. Shristy Bashyal examined how the ten plastic-packaging companies use artificial proofs and topics of invention to communicate sustainability-related information. The objective of this study was to answer the following research questions: (i) Do plastic-packaging companies define sustainability on their website? (ii) What are the strengths and weaknesses of the arguments in these companies' sustainability-related communications? (iii) What invention strategies should technical marketing communicators use to communicate company's sustainable practices? To answer these questions, Ms. Bashyal analyzed the sustainability-related documents available on the websites of the ten companies. On the basis of this analysis, she developed an invention heuristic that can be used by technical marketing communicators to communicate sustainability-related information on their website.
Advisor: Dr. Ed Malone
This thesis is a study of the published scholarship in international technical communication from 1950 to 1989. It provides insight into the four decades' worth of scholarship as well as a resource for the development of present and future scholarship in international technical communication. It attempts to answer the following research questions: What did scholars of international technical communication study in each decade? What are the similarities and differences among the four decades in terms of scholarship in international technical communication? What are the strengths and weaknesses of the relevant scholarship in the four decades? What can we learn from the scholarship in these four decades? To answer these questions, Ms. Huang reviewed articles collected from the main journals and conference proceedings in technical communication published in the United States. She summarized and coded these articles according to their major subjects. Based on her review of this literature, she drew conclusions about the character and value of the published scholarship in international technical communication from 1950 to 1989.
Advisor: Dr. Ed Malone
This thesis provides a written record of the history of technical communication instruction at Missouri University of Science and Technology (Missouri S&T). Interested in the period from 1871 to 2005, Ms. Elizabeth Roberson examined university course catalogs and department files and conducted interviews to provide an overview of the evolution of technical communication instruction at this Missouri S&T. To better understand this evolution, she provided a framework for the development of the English department from a single course in 1871 to the current Department of English and Technical Communication. In addition to recording the history of technical communication instruction at Missouri S&T, Ms. Roberson conducted research on the history of technical communication instruction at colleges and universities similar to Missouri S&T. This research allowed her to contextualize the evolution of technical communication instruction at Missouri S&T within the appropriate framework of technical communication instruction at similar colleges and universities in the United States and to contribute a case study to the developing research of the history of the teaching of technical communication in the United States.
Advisor: Dr. Ed Malone
In this study, Ms. Irangi Egodapitiya examined how tsunami satellite images operate and can provoke various interpretations. The goal of the project was to study whether the interpretation of tsunami satellite images could extend beyond scientific features to affective messages. Primarily based on the satellite images of Sri Lanka taken before and during the 2004 tsunami, this study addresses the following questions: How could mechanical satellite images, taken automatically by a machine in orbit, become an object of profound emotional meaning? How do viewer's experiences, knowledge, and discourse affect their interpretations of mechanical artifacts? How are tsunami satellite images connected to affective responses by viewers? How can tsunami satellite images be interpreted and analyzed in a humanistic way? What can the understanding of the ways people analyze and interpret satellite imagery contribute to our knowledge and practice of visual technical communication and visual rhetoric?
Advisor: Dr. Kathryn Northcut
A History of the Future: Prognostication in Technical Communication: An Annotated Bibliography
Ms. Roberson collaborated with Dr. David Wright, Dr. Ed Malone, Gowri Saraf, Tessa Long, and Irangi Egodapitiya on the article "A History of the Future: Prognostication in Technical Communication: An Annotated Bibliography," which will appear in the November issue of Technical Communication Quarterly. Ms. Roberson read and annotated articles that predict and discuss the future of both academic and professional technical communication. "A History of the Future" is, thus, a collection of article annotations (written by Wright, Malone, Roberson, Saraf, Long, and Egodapitiya) as well as a discussion of the articles that were annotated (written by Wright and Malone). This article will appear in the November issue of Technical Communication Quarterly.
Light's "Technical Writing and Professional Status" : Fifty Years Later (2012)
In this article forthcoming in Technical Communication, Dr. Ed Malone and technical communication major Patricia Hallier highlight a historical perspective on professionalization. In 1961, prominent technical writing practitioner and educator Israel Light wrote an article critiquing then-current efforts toward professionalization in technical communication and recommending steps for the future. Dr. Malone and Ms. Hallier contextualize Light's perspective against both his background and the state of the technical communication field in the mid-twentieth century.
Consent Process for Cancer Research
Dr. David Wright is currently working on a project designed to improve the informed consent process for cancer research. He has been working directly with other faculty members on campus and students in our department. The research is designed to develop patterns in human urine that can be used to screen patients for cancer in the future. If successful, the screening process should provide a quick and effective method for cancer screening. The students in his classes have been working on creating multimedia materials that will both inform patients about the research and encourage participation.
The Role of Historical Studies in Technical Communication Curricula
Dr. Malone and Ms. Bryan, a former graduate student in the technical communication program, worked collaboratively on a CPTSC-funded project titled "The Role of Historical Studies in Technical Communication Curricula." It was a survey-based research project which explored how academic programs in technical communication make use of historical research. The research project surveyed approximately 30 schools offering degrees in technical communication or a related field.
Dr. Malone and Ms. Bryan have also published "Technical Marketing Communication: A Sequence of Three Exercises" in the Proceedings of Missouri State’s 3rd Almost-Annual Conference on the Teaching of Technical Writing & Missouri State’s STC Region 6 Student Conference (2007).