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Graphics and Invention in Engineering Writing

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Abstract:

This study reports on the use of graphics by engineers as a method of stimulating the writing process (rhetorical invention). Information presented here comes from working engineers, based on a questionnaire developed after informal conversations and then administered to 15 participants in private industry, with questions about specific writing genres and types of graphics. Results show that graphics have a powerful function in stimulating writing ideas. Although individual writers’ preferences in graphics are strong, patterns could be seen in (1) overall number of graphics types used by each writer, (2) specific types of graphics used by each writer based on the writing genre, and (3) the most common types of graphics used overall.

Document Type: Book Review

Publication date: February 1, 2007

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  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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