Bridging the gap between the workplace and academia: New Directions in Business and Technical writing pedagogy

deadline for submissions: 
May 15, 2021
full name / name of organization: 
Writing Program/Rutgers University

Dear Colleagues,


Business & Technical Writing on behalf of the Rutgers Writing Program will host a conference on Friday, October 1, 2021 on Bridging the Gap between the workplace worlds of professional and technical writing and composition instruction in academia.All conference presenters will be invited to submit their original papers for consideration for inclusion in the special issue of Writing and Pedagogy on Technical and Professional Writing. Depending on the operating status of the university and the state of the pandemic nearing the date of the conference, the conference may be all remote, or it may combine remote and in-person modalities.


The theme of both the conference and the special issue is Bridging the gap between the workplace and academia: New Directions in Business and Technical writing pedagogy. We are soliciting individual contributions that present interesting pedagogical questions, theories, and reflections and innovative and practical, as well as potentially adaptable, approaches that target professional writing teachers and students who are navigating diverse and dynamic professional landscapes in the context of the gap and the changes in the professional writing world. Your presentation can address these questions but are not limited to them:

  • How, when, and to what effect are professional writing teachers able to encourage and assist all students in gaining or maintaining a sense of identity, agency, presence, and engagement in their professional and technical writing endeavors by employing a continued set of targeted, individualized, and active learning processes and practices, especially within online environments?  
  • How are professional and technical writing teachers’ assignments and practices being modified to prepare students for the real world?
  • What diverse and dynamic business and technical writing pedagogical strategies might be presented to the journal’s audience to assist readers in understanding, responding to, and speculating about the differing and shifting elements of business and technical writing's evolving landscape, some of which could remain permanent, and others, more temporary, for the discipline of professional writing?  
  • What educational strategies are being employed to meet the professional and technical writing students’ unique needs, address their diverse learning styles and preferences, and promote a sense of inclusion, while ensuring that students maintain a right to privacy, ownership of their work, and free speech? 
  • How is professional and technical student writing being assessed at this time? Additionally, how and according to what criteria are students placed in writing courses? Also, what are the innovative ways to offer feedback?
  • Inside actual or virtual business and technical writing classrooms, how are activities related to process writing, class discussions, student presentations, peer review sessions, and teacher/student conferences or talks being enacted with the purpose of preparing students for their workplace roles, and with what differences and results?  
  • In spaces outside of the professional and technical writing classroom, what avenues for tutoring, social media  and  public forums are being re-envisioned and undertaken, and with what variations and outcomes?  

You are requested to send your abstract (500 words) detailing your approach before or by May 15, 2021, and your paper by June 15 2021.  

To be considered for publication, articles should not have not been previously published,though anyone is welcome to present on previously published work for the conference. Articles for publication should be 7500 words or more, describe original research, and critically review research studies or otherwise discussing research issues of theory and research related to professional writing and pedagogy. Articles reporting any type of research (linguistic, comparative, ethnographic, survey, historical) are welcome. Evidence of adherence to research guidelines such as review by institutional review board (IRB) may be requested where relevant. Once we receive your  paper in June, we hope to complete the first peer review cycle before the conference on Oct 1, 2021

We look forward to your active participation and scholarly contribution in making the conference and special issue a memorable one.



Sarbani Sen Vengadasalam Special Issue Editor, Writing & Pedagogy and

Assistant Professor, Business & Technical Writing


Donald Dow, Director, Business & Technical Writing


Joann Messina, Assistant Director of Business & Technical Writing