Professional Writing in Context
Lessons From Teaching and Consulting in Worlds of Work
By John Frederick Reynolds, Carolyn B. Matalene, Joyce Neff Magnotto, Donald C. Samson, Jr., Lynn Veach Sadler
Routledge – 1995 – 200 pages
This volume explores adult work-world writing issues from the perspectives of five seasoned professionals who have logged hundreds of hours working with adults on complicated written communication problems. It examines the gap between school-world instructional practices and real-world problems and situations. After describing the five major economic sectors which are writing intensive, the text suggests curricular reforms which might better prepare college-educated writers for these worlds. Because the volume is based on the extensive work-world experiences of the authors, it offers numerous examples of real-world writing problems and strategies which illustrate concretely what goes wrong and what needs to be done about it.
"…a rich, relevant, useful, and coherent source of the various, writing-related goings-on in the world of work. The articles touch on aspects of writing which are usually not dealt with in the academic context, as composition teachers immerse themselves totally and solely in linguistic concerns, which often make them lose sight of the 'big picture,' that is, the outside world of the work environment. Furthermore, the authors deliver their views in a personal tone which adds to the reader-friendly quality of the text."
In addition to taking the time to learn from the originality and insightfulness of Matalene's piece, I would recommend that both scolars and newcomers to professional communication at least skim through all five "stories" to develop an overall flavor of the realities of workplace communication. Doing so will provide a valuable reality check for scholars, and a useful overview for newcomers.
—IEEE Transactions on Professional Communicaton
There is a pleasant spirit of collaboration in this collection that readers will enjoy. All five authors assume equal status as volume contributors, and they all had the chance to read and comment upon each others' earlier drafts. Most of the essays are highly readable, informal, "chatty," and comfortable, and readers can move through all five chapters quite quickly in about half a day.
—IEEE Transactions on Professional Communication.
Contents: Preface. F. Reynolds, What Adult Work-World Writers Have Taught Me About Adult Work-World Writing. C. Matalene, Of the People, by the People, for the People: Texts in Public Contexts. J.N. Magnotto, Consulting in a Bureaucracy: Helping Government Evaluators Write Effective Reports. D. Samson, Writing in High-Tech Firms. L.V. Sadler, Preparing for the White Rabbit and Taking It On the Neck: Tales of the Workplace and Writingplace.