Why Writing Works

Disciplinary Approaches to Composing Texts

Sample of Scholarly Writing In Professional Writing and Communication

Sample of Scholarly Writing In Professional Writing and Communication

(a sub-field of rhetoric and composition)

The scholarship I have published in areas such as professional writing and communication and composition pedagogy has loosely followed a science writing format. Science writing uses something called an IMRaD format which stands for: Introduction, Methodology, Results, and Discussion. In this kind of writing, the writer is out to test and prove a hypothesis. To illustrate how this format works, I have annotated one abstract from a piece of writing I did with another professor, so other scholars and writers can see at a glance the way we stuck to the IMRaD genre.


Sample 1

Article title: Reconsidering Power and Legitimacy in Technical Communication: A Case for Enlarging the Definition of Technical Communicator

Authors: Teresa Henning and Amanda Bemer

Published in: Journal of Technical Writing and Communication in Spring 2016

DOI: 10.1177/0047281616639484


This article considers how issues of power and legitimacy in technical communication are connected to clearly defining what a technical communicator does. An articulation of what technical communicators do can grant the field power in presenting a united front to employers with respect to the value technical communicators bring to the workplace. So as to leverage the power and legitimacy associated with articulating what technical communicators do, this article reviews and revises the Bureau of Labor Statistics Occupational Outlook Handbook (OOH)’s definition of technical communicator. To effectively revise the OOH’s definition, this article reviews academic and practitioner scholarship in technical communication and the administration of technical and professional writing programs. It demonstrates that concerns about practical skills, conceptual skills, and flexibility are related to legitimacy and power. These concerns can be used as criteria to evaluate and revise the OOH’s definition of technical communicator. In closing, the article discusses the benefits associated with the revised definition and how these benefits are related to issues of power and legitimacy in the field.