Writing a Professional Life: Stories of Technical Communicators On and Off the Job (Part of the Allyn & Bacon Series in Technical Communication) / Edition 1

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This is the first collection of narratives by practicing technical communicators telling their own personal stories about the workplace and their lives on the job. The authors portray a wide range of jobs: writers, editors, interface designers, marketing writers, and trainers working in 9 different technical fields, including software, R&D, engineering , medicine, transportation, and telecommunications. The stories vividly demonstrate the unique power of narrative as a teaching and learning tool. Unlike fabricated cases, these real-life narratives show new and veteran technical writers at work on the job, dealing with tasks, clients, and co-workers, and revealing their insights, values, and attitudes about their work. The stories also show the skills required in the profession and the ethical and other issues raised in the course of the workday. For anyone interested in technical communication and professional writing.

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Editorial Reviews

Noting the lack of first-hand accounts by practitioners in technical communications for students entering the field, Savage (Illinois State U.) and Sullivan (Michigan Technological U.) have gathered 23 stories by writers in medicine, freight safety, editing, marketing, civil engineering, and research and development. They fall into the broad categories of getting started in the profession, the technical communication process, and lives outside the job. They are not indexed. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780205321063
  • Publisher: Longman
  • Publication date: 11/9/2000
  • Series: Technical Communication Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 292
  • Product dimensions: 6.92 (w) x 9.05 (h) x 0.70 (d)

Table of Contents



Rosalie Dwyer, I'm a Nibbie: The Tale of an Object-Oriented GUI Developer.

Brad Connatser, The Great Pyramid War.

Michael Asay, Glimpse into Reality.

Kendra Potts, My Entry Level Life.

Melissa Alton, First Time Out.

Alina Rutten, How I Became a Goddess.

Beth Lee, A Job Like a Tattoo.

Carol Hoeniges, It's Not Mark Twain's River Anymore.


Rahel Anne Bailie, Three Months, Three Pages.

Geoff Hart, Conquering the Cubicle Syndrome.

Mark Bloom, Try and Try Again: The Story of a Software Project.

Tim Casady, Tech Writing and the Art of Laziness.

Julie S. Hile, I've Been Working on the Railroad: Re-Vision at BNP Railway.

Shawn S. Staley, Daze at the Round Table.

Elna R. Tymes, Diary of a Tech Writer.

Steven Jong, Samurai Review.

Rochelle Gidonian, Thumbnails.


Christine Pellar-Kosbar, What a Life.

L.M. Hayes, It Isn't What You Write That Makes You a Tech Writer: A Love Story.

Jerry Kenney, Fluff.

Reva Rasmusson, Madame Mao in the Midwest.

Lenore Weiss, Stranger in Paradigm.

Dale L. Sullivan, Afterword: Talking to the People Who Know.

Further Reading on Narratives.

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