Building the Right House

If composing a piece of writing is like building a house, then analyzing the rhetorical situation is like drawing up the blueprints. When building a house one must consider the needs and wants of the homeowners, your interest as a contractor in profit, the building codes, the lay of the land, and materials needed. When composing a piece of writing, one must consider the Reader, the Writer, the Context and the Text. Without analyzing these aspects of the rhetorical situation, chances are slim that you’ll build the right house.



Welcome to Technical Writing!

So that we can get to know each other a little better, please post a reply to this message in which you

  • describe where you are from
  • give your course of study and year in your graduate or undergraduate program
  • talk about your areas of interest and career goals
  • tell what you would like to get out of this course
  • describe one of your favorite books and what you like about it
David Blakesley Photo

I'll start. I've lived in the Clemson area for almost six years now, having arrived as the new Campbell Chair in Technical Communication at Clemson in Fall 2010. I came here from Purdue University, where I was the Director of Professional Writing and Professor of English for ten years. I earned my PhD from the University of Southern California in "Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Literature." My areas of specialization include rhetorical theory, digital and visual rhetorics, print and digital publishing, information architecture and content management, and film theory and production. In 2002 I founded Parlor Press, an independent scholarly press that has now published about 230 titles. Parlor Press also manages production and editorial operations for a number of journals, including The WAC Journal, WPA: Writing Program Administration, Composition Studies, JAEPL, Community Literacy Journal,and PRE/TEXT. Last August, I completed my three-year term as the Faculty Representative to Clemson's Board of Trustees. Two of my current projects are development of the new Clemson-Adobe partnership (including the Adobe Digital Studio in Cooper Library) and the (new) Production and Design Studio in the 1941 Studio for Student Communication. This summer, I'm working on developing applications for the new Microsoft HoloLens.

I'm excited for this course because I love writing, innovating, and collaborating with others online, and a course like technical writing is all about innovation and collaboration. I enjoy helping students (or anyone) figure out new ways to do amazing things with writing, new technologies, and the Web (it's not always easy, I know). One of the most recent book series I've read and liked is James S. A. Corey's The Expanse, which is also a new SyFy TV series.