Introduction to Elaine, Discourse Community Discussion, and Building a Credible Technical Writing Persona

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Photo credit: Vladislav Klapin, Unsplash

Brief Introduction to Elaine

Hi there,

My name is Elaine Streeter, and I am a creative, professional, and technical writer, currently pursuing my master’s in technical and professional writing. In 2017, I graduated from Columbus State University with a BA in Creative Writing. I am new to the technical and professional side of this field, but I am eager and excited to learn through this program. Some of my interests in the technical writing field are grant writing and content creation for blogs and social media. I’m excited about this class, and the opportunity it is giving me to get some experience in Wikipedia and blogging!

Elaine’s Discourse Community

The discourse community I have chosen to represent this semester is a team of “Student Learning Success Professionals” made up of academic advisors that are part of Columbus State University’s CSU Advise and peer tutors that are part of CSU’s Academic Center for Tutoring. The members of this community work to help students stay on track for graduation, succeed in their courses, and develop plans to keep them moving forward towards their academic and career goals. They study patterns in data that help with student retention and completion rates, and they look at an individual’s study skills and practices to analyze what works and what does not for individual students.

This team uses many different types of documents and materials daily, such as administrative guides on how to use our scheduling software, various training videos, team meeting PowerPoints and agendas, report templates, Excel sheets, newsletters, and more.

Elaine’s Technical Writing Persona

Here is my domain name: https://elainestreeterportfolio.godaddysites.com/ I am considering purchasing a domain name so that I can get rid of the “godaddysites” part, but that may have to wait due to budget constraints. In my opinion, “elainestreeterportfolio.com” will come across as more professional to my audience.

I made this website for a previous class, but I am working on updating it to include technical writing instead of only my creative writing.

Building and Maintaining Credibility

As I develop my technical writing persona through this course, I want to make sure that I incorporate the strategies from our readings regarding building and maintaining credibility.

The first way I will build and maintain credibility is perhaps the simplest: I will produce high quality and error free writing that I am proud of. I will proofread and make certain that my persona is perceived as credible by delivering well written and grammatically correct materials and documents. I know typos and other errors are bound to happen, but I will try to keep them minimal and correct them, if possible, after publication or submission. Too many errors come across as laziness and it lacks professionalism, according to Dr. Lucas, so using grammar and spell checkers will be essential to keeping my credibility.

I will also be transparent about any changes made to a document or material by letting my audience know when I edited and why. Transparency is also important if there is any type of bias or conflict of interest in my work. I will make my audience aware of any of these or limitations in my knowledge about certain topics. Along with this transparency, I will refer my audience to other experts or sources they could find more reliable than my own knowledge.

I’ll also ensure credibility by fact-checking any information I provide to my audience and providing sources so they can also validate information. I will strive to only include information from credible sources. These practices show readers that they can trust me and the information I am giving them. I only want my technical writing persona to be associated with accurate and verified information.

As a technical writer, plagiarism would be detrimental to my credibility. All writing I produce will be my own thoughts, and any sources I use, or reference, will be cited in some manner, whether through a link or a full citation.

I will also avoid using too much jargon as this could come across as trying too hard to impress my audience, and it could alienate readers who might not be as versed in the discourse. In my opinion, someone truly adept in their area of expertise will be able to break down concepts and ideas in a way that people without as much familiarity would be able to understand.

I am sure that, by using these best practices, I will be able to build a credible and trustworthy technical writing persona that extends beyond this class and into my career.

Elaine Streeter

Elaine Streeter

Elaine is a creative and professional writer based in Columbus, GA.