Written items: Most often vs. Most valued
I enjoyed Blythe, Lauer, and Curran’s (BLC) article immensely because it directly ties into my post from last week that discussed the value of a writer.
In one section of their study, BLC display a graph that shows the most often produced written materials as well as the most valued written materials. The first four items in each graph (email, websites, instructions/manuals, presentations) are the same, which did not surprise me because these seem to be the standard documents any tech writer is responsible for in a modern workplace.
However, a trend began to emerge after the first four. I noticed that it seemed as if the writings that had more value were written the least often. This appears to be true, save for the top four items, which may require further exploration and research to find out why these four things are mirrored on both lists.
For example, press releases are not highly-valued yet they are written quite frequently. Research papers on the other hand are written less frequently, but have a high value. The most interesting aspect of this article was the inclusion of fiction, which I found odd for an article regarding tech writing. What is even more interesting is that fiction is listed as being valuable, but it is nowhere to be found on the most often written chart.
These graphs and discussion of the value and frequency of different writing types was a small section in this paper, but a very important one that I think has the potential to be explored in more detail in future research studies. BLC may be well on their way to pinpointing exactly why writers are often undervalued and understand what makes other types of writing more or less valuable than others, even if it is written at high frequencies.