Graduation Year

2015

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Name

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Department

English

Degree Granting Department

English

Major Professor

Julie Staggers, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Elizabeth Metzger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Elizabeth Metzger, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Jenifer Schneider, Ph.D.

Keywords

Design, Formative Intervention, Professional and Technical Communication, Rhetoric

Abstract

The purpose of this formative intervention was to design a professional and technical communications course around rhetorical inquiry. The participants, undergraduate health sciences majors (N=22 for section A, N=20 section B), were observed throughout the fall semester of the 2014-2015 academic year. A rhetorical inquiry framework was applied via activity systems, and data were collected using several methodologies including participant observations, research questionnaires, as well as participant deliverables, and were transcribed using Daisy Mwanza's Eight-Step Model. Results demonstrated students successfully used activity systems as a means of approaching rhetorical inquiry. Furthermore, students indicated a high level of engagement in the course. This study demonstrates how rhetorical inquiry can be utilized in Professional and Technical Communication for Health Sciences as a means of advancing student agency and participatory learning environments. The study also suggests rhetorical inquiry should be part of the professional and technical communication curriculum and other academic disciplines as well as utilized in the workplace.

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