The latest from Drs. Erin Frost and Michelle Eble in Present Tense: A Journal of Rhetoric in Society
Technical Rhetorics: Making Specialized Persuasion Apparent to Public Audiences
As rhetoric and technical communication researchers and teachers, we’re often faced with defining exactly what we mean when we use the term technical communication. Current perspectives on what the term technical communication encompasses are broadening well beyond documentation and user manuals that come with technological artifacts (Haas; Grabill and Simmons; Scott, Longo, and Wills; Slack, Miller, and Doak).1 However, defining technical communication more broadly for ourselves or even others in our disciplines doesn’t always change publics’ (e.g., users/stakeholders/lay audiences) perceptions of this information and how it affects their lives and the decisions they make.
In this essay, we argue that “technical rhetorics” is a concept that has affordances for thinking about how to critically communicate with public audiences about specialized information.