TCR Grad Blog

Graduate director's blog for the Technical Communication and Rhetoric Program at Texas Tech University

Posts Tagged ‘MATC’

MATC Portfolios due 6/24

Posted by Joyce on June 10, 2008

MATC portfolios for graduating master’s students will be due in the office by June 24th.

Please see the existing policy at

Based on a 3+ year evaluation of the exam, the faculty is planning a few changes to be implemented for the fall, including the use of a standard web-based portfolio system and asking for a specific reflective essay instead of a general reflection on your program. This summer, we would like to offer you the option of writing a guided essay instead of a general reflection. Although we’re moving towards the guided essay, however, there will be no prejudice as to which essay decide to write for this summer.

If you opt for the guided essay, here are the instructions:

In an essay of between 2000 and 3000 words explain the significance of this quotation in terms of 1) your learning and work in the TTU MATC program, and 2) theories and practices in the field. Cite specific examples and references in your response. Your essay should clearly argue a thesis and should make a convincing demonstration of your competence as a candidate for the Master of Technical Communication degree.

Option 1: “To think about ethics, we first need to accept the premises that ethical insights are not necessarily intuitive, that they do not derive from divine intervention, and that they require a rigorous use of logical argumentation. Thinking about ethics requires that we examine our premises, that we test the logic of our arguments, and that we use evidence effectively.” Markel, Ethics in Technical Communication: A Critique and Synthesis.

Option 2: “For this more critical and proactive approach [to technology] we should borrow from the historians, the sociologists, the philosophers. We should enter the dialogue with our own values, ready to question our own approach while persuading them to question theirs. We should use this new dialogic space to realize new hidden potentials. It is this interdisciplinary space that we should enter as our discipline grows: a space where technical communicators can have the choice of becoming something other than scribes or instrumentalists. First, however, we must practice patience to comprehend what we borrow.” Johnson in “Complicating Technology”

Option 3: “Thinking about design is thinking about structure, function, and aesthetics. Making decisions about layout and text structures is one powerful way a writer brings organization and coherence to a text. Controlling documents with sophisticated tools of word processing and page composition is no simple matter, but goes directly to the issue of capable control over the hardware and software, a skill increasingly critical for all those of us who are surrounded by machines.” Kramer and Bernhardt, “Teaching Text Design”.

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