Degree Name

MA (Master of Arts)



Date of Award


Committee Chair or Co-Chairs

Darryl E. Haley

Committee Members

Judith B. Slagle, Isabel B. Stanley


The purpose of this thesis is to determine whether a paradigm shift is occurring or has occurred in technical writing textbooks since 1994. This study will further the work of Jerold J. Jeansonne, who chronicled the paradigm shift in technical writing textbooks from 1900 to 1994. Using product and process orientation guidelines, this thesis will examine several technical writing textbooks produced after 1994. The findings will then be calculated to determine the present status of the paradigm shift.

The thesis will also propose that the technical writing paradigm shift mirrors the paradigm shift in academic writing textbooks. To make this connection, the rhetoric of Aristotle will be employed to show that textbooks, whether they are academic or technical, are essentially argumentative. In light of this, particular attention will be given to Aristotle's characteristics of artistic argument: rational, ethical, and emotional appeal.

Document Type

Thesis - unrestricted


Copyright by the authors.