Nonacademic Writing: Social Theory and Technology

By Ann Hill Duin; Craig J. Hansen | Go to book overview

11
Issues in Hypertext-Supported Collaborative Writing

Stuart A. Selber Clarkson University

Dan McGavin Michigan Technological University

William Klein University of Missouri at St. Louis

Johndan Johnson-Eilola Purdue University

Collaboration plays a substantial role in the activities of workplace communication, a fact recognized by workplace writers as well as researchers and theorists of nonacademic writing ( Couture & Rymer, 1989; Faigley & Miller, 1982; Lunsford & Ede, 1990; Paradis, Dobrin, & Miller, 1985). Recently, for example, it has become evident that communication specialists often collaborate in order to verify technical information ( Grice, 1991), to strengthen the quality of documentation through peer and hierarchical editing ( Shirk, 1991), and to ensure both the soundness and utility of usability test design for documentation processes and products ( Simpson, 1991). It is also apparent that collaboration oftentimes occurs in more subtle ways: as a series of exchanges between writers and readers ( Blakeslee, 1993), or as influence exerted from groups and subgroups with which writers regularly identify ( Allen, 1993). Moreover, work in composition and rhetoric indicates that writing itself is largely a social act ( Bruffee, 1986; Cooper & Holzman, 1989; LeFevre, 1987), and that collaboration is therefore inherent in the day-to-day work of technical communication specialists in workplace settings ( Dobrin, 1989; Odell, 1985; Selzer, 1989).

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