Department of English

Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 2005


At the time of this study, I was primarily a compositionist becoming acclimated into the field of technical writing. I was used to teaching "universal" concepts of the writing process (pre-writing, drafting, editing, and proofreading) and historical concepts ofrhetoric (writer, audience, purpose). Furthermore, I am a liberal, from the 70s no less. I emerged into my young adulthood believing that positive social change could be effected primarily by resistance to corporate culture, a culture I perceived as antithetical to individuality. In this study of one document produced by one writer in a large corporate organization, however, I noted a dynamic, as opposed to oppressive, interplay between the writer I observed and the culture in which he operated. I also came to appreciate that it is important for observers to be aware of and honest about their own biases when they enter into a research project. As a result ofmy study, I cautiously put forth two claims: 1) that traditional first-year writing pedagogies can provide lasting information beneficial to an employee's success and 2) that the direct study of writers in corporate structures can aid teachers of technical writing in the methods of writing instruction they choose to emphasize.