Dynamic Workplace Writing Transfer: Writing Across Career Change

Jessica McCaughey

Advisor: Heidi Y. Lawrence, PhD, Department of English

Committee Members: Michelle LaFrance, Douglas Eyman

Horizon Hall, #4225; https://gmu.zoom.us/j/98116052786?pwd=QnlYV2VXcE42a0hzT2ZQN01YK1hCdz09
February 25, 2022, 10:00 AM to 02:00 PM


This dissertation provides insights and analysis from a qualitative study about workplace writing transfer during career change. The study relies on narrative-driven, long-form interviews with professionals across fields and roles who have changed careers at least once, about their writing, writing development, and experiences with communication in the workplace. The findings of this research suggest that the workplace-to-workplace writing transfer process is very different from other, earlier transitions. In situating this study, the researcher first calls for a transdisciplinary approach to transfer and workplace writing between the writing studies subfields of rhetoric and composition and technical and professional communication. Next, this project offers up a new theory, specifically targeted toward professional and technical communication scholars as both guidance and encouragement for further study in workplace transfer: Dynamic Workplace Writing Transfer Theory. This theory encompasses both more traditionally studied transfer elements, such as rhetorical awareness and metacognition, but also under and un-studied elements, such as personal writing as workplace transfer mechanism and invention processes in organizations.