Publication Date


Document Type


First Advisor

Hamilton, Hallie J.

Degree Name

M.A. (Master of Arts)

Legacy Department

Department of Journalism


Technical writing--Study and teaching (Higher)--Illinois; Junior colleges--Illinois--Curricula; Universities and colleges--Illinois--Curricula


The teaching of technical writing is a part of many curricula in postsecondary schools today. These technical writing courses are taught by individuals with varied educational backgrounds and professional experiences and are designed from a variety of approaches with varying areas of concentration. This thesis presents a profile of technical writing teachers and their curricula within English departments in selected northern Illinois postsecondary schools. It deals with the questions of who is teaching technical writing and what is being taught in these courses. The method of research was a prepaid survey questionnaire. The survey was sent to English department chairmen in 58 postsecondary schools in seven Illinois counties and the city of Chicago. Survey questions covered personal, professional, and curriculum information. Respondents were encouraged to send additional materials (course outlines) along with survey responses. After compiling, analyzing, and interpreting the data, it was concluded that instructors of technical writing were between 35 and 45 years of age and female. Most instructors of technical writing were teachers who held bachelor's and master's degrees in English and most have had nonacademic work experience, although on a somewhat limited basis. Concerning curricula, elements mentioned most often as covered in technical writing courses were audience analysis, formal reports, business correspondence, and English grammar. Proposals were the most commonly included report format in these courses. , A research model technical writing teacher developed from data collected in this investigation is a 40-year-old woman with bachelor's and master's degrees in English and/or communications. She has an average of 15 years teaching experience and a few years of nonacademic work experience. The research model technical writing course in an English curriculum includes the study of audience analysis and various formats of technical writings. Finally, comparisons were made between the author of this research and her technical writing courses and the model teacher and course. Many similarities existed not only in personal and professional characteristics but also in course objectives and content.


Bibliography: pages 77-78.


x, 91 pages




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