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Selected Publications

Digital Rhetoric | Rhetoric of Science and Technology | Rhetorical Theory | Curriculum, Teaching, Technical Writing

Digital Rhetoric

"What Can Automation Tell Us about Agency?" Rhetoric Society Quarterly 37: 2 (2007): 137–157. PDF file.  
Rhetoric Society Quarterly

“Blogging as Social Action: A Genre Analysis of the Weblog, first author with Dawn Shepherd.  Into the Blogosphere: Rhetoric, Community, and Culture of Weblogs, ed. Laura Gurak, Smiljana Antonijevic, Laurie Johnson, Clancy Ratliff, and Jessica Reyman. University of Minnesota Libraries, 2004. Published online.


Into the Blogosphere

“Expertise and Agency: Transformations of Ethos in Human-Computer Interaction.” The Ethos of Rhetoric. Ed. Michael Hyde. University of South Carolina Press, 2004. 197–218. PDF file.


The Ethos of Rhetoric

“Writing in a Culture of Simulation: Ethos Online.” The Semiotics of Writing: Transdisciplinary Perspectives on the Technology of Writing. Ed. Patrick Coppock. Turnhout, Belgium: Brepols, 2001. 253–279.  PDF file.

  • Reprinted in Towards a Rhetoric of Everyday Life. Ed. Martin Nystrand and John Duffy. Madison: University of Wisconsin Press, 2003. 58–83. 

Toward a Rhetoric of Everyday Life

“IText: Future Directions for Research on the Relationship between Information Technology and Writing,” with Cheryl Geisler (first author) and nine others. Journal of Business and Technical Communication15:3 (2001): 269–308.  PDF file.


Journal of Business and Technical Communication

Rhetoric of Science and Technology

"Novelty and Heresy in the Debate on Nonthermal Effects of Electromagnetic Fields." Rhetoric and Incommensurability. Ed. Randy Allen Harris. West Lafayette, IN: Parlor Press, 2005. 464–505. PDF file.  
Rhetoric and Incommensurability

“The Presumptions of Expertise: The Role of Ethos in Risk Analysis.” Configurations 11 (2003): 163–202. PDF file.



“Learning from History: World War II and the Culture of High Technology.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 12: 3 (1998): 288–315. PDF file.

  • Best Article in Historical Research or Textual Studies in Technical and Scientific Communication, National Council of Teachers of English, 1999.

Journal of Business and Technical Communication

“The Low-Level Radioactive Waste Siting Controversy in North Carolina: Toward a Rhetorical Model of Risk Communication,” second author with Steven B. Katz. Green Culture: Environmental Rhetoric in Contemporary America. Ed. Carl G. Herndl and Stuart Brown.  Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1996. 111–140.  PDF file.


Green Culture cover

“Opportunity, Opportunism, and Progress: Kairos in the Rhetoric of Technology.” Argumentation 8: 1 (1994): 81–96. PDF file.



“Reading Darwin, Reading Nature;  or, On The Ethos of Historical Science,” first author with S. Michael Halloran. Understanding Scientific Prose. Ed. Jack Selzer. U of Wisconsin P, 1993. 106–126. PDF file.


Understanding Scientific Prose

Kairos in the Rhetoric of Science.” A Rhetoric of Doing: Essays on Written Discourse in Honor of James L. Kinneavy. Ed. Stephen P. Witte, Neil Nakadate, and Roger D. Cherry. Carbondale: Southern Illinois UP, 1992. 310–327. PDF file.


Rhetoric of Doing

“Understanding Failures in Organizational Discourse: The Accident at Three Mile Island and the Shuttle Challenger Disaster,” third author with Carl G. Herndl and Barbara A. Fennell. Textual Dynamics of the Professions. Ed. Charles Bazerman and James Paradis. Madison: U of Wisconsin P, 1991. 279–305. PDF file.


Textual Dynamics of the Professions cover

“The Rhetoric of Decision Science, or, Herbert A. Simon Says.” The Rhetorical Turn: Invention and Persuasion in the Conduct of Inquiry. Ed. Herbert W. Simons. Chicago: U of Chicago P, 1990. 162–184. PDF file.


The Rhetorical Turn cover

“Special Topics of Argument in Engineering Reports,” first author with Jack Selzer. Writing in Nonacademic Settings. Ed. Lee Odell and Dixie Goswami. New York: Guilford, 1985. 309–341. PDF file.


Writing in Nonacademic Settings cover

“Invention in Technical and Scientific Discourse: A Prospective Review.” Research in Technical Communication: A Bibliographical Sourcebook. Ed. Michael G. Moran and Debra Journet. Westport, CT: Greenwood, 1985.  117–162.


Research in Technical Communication cover

“Public Knowledge in Science and Society.” Pre/Text 3 (Spring 1982): 31–49.


“Technology as a Form of Consciousness: A Study of Contemporary Ethos.” Central States Speech Journal 29 (Winter 1978): 228–236. PDF file.


Rhetorical Theory



“Rhetoric, Disciplinarity, and Fields of Knowledge,” second author with John Lyne. The Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies, ed. Andrea A. Lunsford (Sage, 2009). 167–174. This essay introduces the section on Rhetoric across the Disciplines, which Lyne and I edited.


Sage Handbook of Rhetorical Studies

“Audience, Persuasion, Argument,” first author with Davida Charney. Handbook of Research on Writing: History, Society, School, Individual, Text. Ed. Charles Bazerman. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2007. 583–598.  
Handbook of Research on Writing

“The Aristotelian Topos: Hunting for Novelty.” Rereading Aristotle’s Rhetoric. Ed. Alan G. Gross and Arthur E. Walzer. Carbondale, IL: Southern Illinois University Press, 2000. 130–146. PDF file.


Rereading Aristotle's Rhetoric

“Classical Rhetoric without Nostalgia: A Response to Gaonkar.” Rhetorical Hermeneutics: Invention and Interpretation in the Age of Science. Ed. Alan G. Gross and William Keith. Albany: SUNY Press, 1997. 156–171.


Rhetorical Hermeneutics cover

“Rhetorical Community: The Cultural Basis of Genre.” Genre and the New Rhetoric. Ed. Aviva Freedman and Peter Medway. Taylor and Francis, 1994. 67–78. PDF file.


Genre and the New Rhetoric cover

“Rhetoric and Community: The Problem of the One and the Many.” Defining the New Rhetorics. Ed. Theresa Enos and Stuart C. Brown. Sage Series in Written Communication. Vol. 7. Newbury Park, CA: Sage, 1993. 79–94. PDF file.


Defining the New Rhetorics cover

“The Polis as Rhetorical Community.”  Rhetorica 11: 3 (1993): 211–240. PDF file.  
Rhetorica cover

“Aristotle’s ‘Special Topics’ in Rhetorical Practice and Pedagogy.” Rhetoric Society Quarterly 17 (Winter 1987): 61–70. PDF file.


Rhetoric Society Quarterly cover

“Discourse Classifications in Nineteenth-Century Rhetorical Pedagogy,” first author with David A. Jolliffe. Southern Speech Communication Journal 51 (1986): 371–384.


“Genre as Social Action.” Quarterly Journal of Speech 70 (May 1984): 151–167. PDF file.  

  • Translated into Norwegian as “Genre som Sosial Handling.” Rhetorica Scandinavica 18 (2001): 19–35.
  • Reprinted in  Landmark Essays on Contemporary Rhetoric. Ed. Thomas B. Farrell.  Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum, 1998. 123–141. 
  • Reprinted in Genre and the New Rhetoric. Ed. Aviva Freedman and Peter Medway.  London: Taylor and Francis, 1994.  3–42.

Quarterly Journal of Speech cover

Curriculum, Teaching, Technical Writing

“Reuniting Wisdom and Eloquence within the Engineering Curriculum.” Liberal Education in Twenty-First Century Engineering: Responses to ABET/EC 2000 Criteria. Ed. David F. Ollis, Katherine A. Neeley, and Heinz C. Luegenbiehl. New York: Peter Lang, 2004. 41–50.  
Liberal Education in Twenty-First Century Engineering cover

“Integrated Approaches to Teaching Rhetoric: Unifying a Divided House,” first author with Michael Carter and Victoria Gallagher. The Realms of Rhetoric: A Multidisciplinary Inquiry into the Prospects for Rhetoric Education. Ed. Joseph Petraglia. State University of New York Press, 2003. 209–228. 


Realms of Rhetoric cover

“Assessing Technical Writing in Institutional Contexts: Using Outcomes-Based Assessment for Programmatic Thinking,” third author with Michael Carter and Chris M. Anson. Technical Communication Quarterly 12:1 (2003): 101–114. PDF file.


Technical Communication Quarterly cover

“Active and Interactive Learning Online: A Comparison of Web-Based and Conventional Writing Classes,” second author with Brad Mehlenbacher, David Covington, and Jamie S. Larsen. IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication 43: 2 (2000): 166–184. PDF file.


IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication cover

“What's Practical about Technical Writing?” Technical Writing: Theory and Practice. Ed. Bertie E. Fearing and W. Keats Sparrow. New York: Modern Language Association, 1989. 14–24. PDF file.

  • Reprinted in Teaching Technical Communication.  Ed. James M. Dubinsky.  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 154–164.  
  • Reprinted in Professional Writing and Rhetoric: Readings from the Field. Ed. Tim Peeples.  Addison Wesley Longman, 2003. 61-70.
  • Listed in Gerald J. Alred, “Essential Works on Technical Communication.” Technical Communication 50:4 (2003): 585–615 (115 works listed).

Technical Writing: Theory and Practice cover

“Job Application Letter and Resume.” What Makes Writing Good. Ed. William Coles and James Vopat.  Lexington, MA: Heath, 1985. 235–243. PDF file.


“Vocationalism and Vision in Writing Courses.” Journal of General Education 32 (Fall 1980): 239–246.


Journal of General Education cover

“A Humanistic Rationale for Technical Writing.” College English 40 (Feb. 1979): 610–617. PDF file.

  • Reprinted in Teaching Technical Communication.  Ed. James M. Dubinsky.  Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2004. 15–23.  
  • Reprinted with author commentary in Central Works in Technical Communication.  Ed. Stuart Selber and Johndan Johnson-Eilola.  Oxford University Press, 2004. 47–54. 
  • Listed in Gerald J. Alred, “Essential Works on Technical Communication.” Technical Communication 50:4 (2003): 585–615 (115 works listed).
  • Most frequently cited article in technical communication, 1988–1992, according to Elizabeth Overman Smith, “Points of Reference in Technical Communication Scholarship.”  Technical Communication Quarterly 9:4 (2000): 427–453. 
  • Subject of analysis in Elizabeth Overman Smith, “Intertextual Connections to ‘A Humanistic Rationale for Technical Writing.’” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 11:2 (1997): 192–222. 
  • Reprinted in Defining Technical Communication. Ed. Dan Jones. Arlington, VA: Society for Technical Communication, 1996. 113–118.
  • Best article in the Philosophy or Theory of Technical and Scientific Communication 1975–80, National Council of Teachers of English, 1981.

College English cover


Last update 03-Feb-2009