University of Minnesota
Department of Writing Studies

Department of Writing Studies

News & Events



  • ´┐╝Issues in the Analysis of Text, Talk and Other Verbal Data: A Conversation with Cheryl Geisler

    Writing Studies welcomes Cheryl Geisler to the department for a talk and lunch, September 2nd from noon - 1pm in Nolte 235.

    Scholars in rhetoric and writing seeking to analyze texts, talk, or other verbal data find a number of approaches described in the literature -- rhetorical analysis, content analysis, qualitative analysis --but little guidance on the differences between them. In this talk, Geisler will provide an comparison of the various approaches to analyzing verbal data, focusing on the issues and choices researchers make in deciding what approach to take.

    Cheryl Geisler is Professor of Interactive Arts and Technology at Simon Fraser University where she served as the inaugural Dean of the Faculty of Communication, Art and Technology. She has written extensively on the nature of texts, especially those mediated by new technologies. A recognized expert on verbal data coding, she is the author of Analyzing Steams of Language (2004) and conducts an annual international workshop on verbal data analysis at Dartmouth College. She has received awards for her work from Computers and Composition, the Rhetoric Society of America, and the National Communication Association.

    We are now accepting RSVPs for the Cheryl Geisler talk on September 2nd.

    August 29th, 2014
  • 2014 Coakley Ames & Mikelonis Award Recipients

    On behalf of the Undergraduate Committee in the Department of Writing Studies, I am pleased to announce the recipients of our 2014 undergraduate awards.

    * Coakley Ames Writing Excellence Award ($1000): Mary C. Stokes and Alexa Keenan
    * Victoria Mikelonis Memorial Award in S&TC ($200): Matewos Gebrehiwet

    More information about these awards can be found on the Undergraduate Awards & Scholarships web page.

    Congratulations to Mary, Alexa and Matewos!

    June 17th, 2014
  • Professor Mary Schuster receives Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award

    We are thrilled to announce that Professor Mary Schuster has been awarded the Arthur "Red" Motley Exemplary Teaching Award for 2013-2014.

    The Motley Award "recognizes faculty of the college who are outstanding teachers of graduate and undergraduate students.

    The Motley award acknowledges faculty who:
    * inspire and care,
    * make themselves approachable,
    * show an interest in individual students' well-being and in programs for the benefit of students generally,
    * give of themselves generously in advising, counseling, and directing projects, and
    * create an active classroom atmosphere.
    Such faculty provide a model to undergraduate and graduate students through their own research and teaching, and leave an impression by their efforts which alumni recall with appreciation and esteem."

    Congratulations, Mary! And thank you to the students and former students, both graduate and undergraduate, who wrote letters for Mary's nomination.

    May 20th, 2014
  • Spring 2014 MS in S&TC Research Projects

    Congratulations to five M.S. in S&TC students who completed professional practice research projects during Spring 2014. They shared posters and presentations at a research showcase event held on April 29th. This excellent work is available at the University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy.

    Short descriptions--

    How Should Technical Communication Students Best Prepare for Careers in Medical Device Companies?
    Heather Sigstad
    Through interviews with technical communicators from medical device companies, this study identifies skills that would help new communicators be successful in the medical device industry and maps them to the University of Minnesota's scientific and technical communication programs.

    Plain English for Korean Non-native English Speakers
    Changsoo Lee
    This study demonstrates that Korean speakers prefer Latinate verbs in general. Test results indicate that using plain English does not guarantee Korean speakers' better comprehension of English and that concise sentences could make Korean speakers less assured of their comprehension.

    Information Design and Uncertain Environments: Cognitive and Ecological Considerations in Technical Communication
    Christopher Cocchiarella
    This case study demonstrates the need for both cognitive and ecological considerations in technical communication through a four-part inquiry.

    Software Patent Application Drafting Guideline Development
    Wonjong Choi
    This guideline development focuses on patent application drafting techniques that request stronger patent rights in the claim, embodiment, and drawing sections of patent applications. This work provides software patent drafting techniques for patent staff-members, inventors, and technical communication students.

    Usability Themes in Open Source Software
    Jim Hall
    Some open source software programs are easy to learn, while others are hard to use. What makes for good usability in open source software? This examination of GNOME, an open source desktop environment, identifies usability themes that open source software developers can use to improve their programs.

    May 16th, 2014

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