Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)


professional document must convey information with a high degree of readability and usability. The inclusion of visual rhetoric, the transformation of technical writing from product-oriented to user-oriented information, the development of Simplified Technical English, and the adoption of plain writing practices are all steps toward communicating effectively in today’s “postnational” world. Continued evolution requires a deeper understanding of cultural differences—acknowledging not only differing symbols, heroes, and rituals, but the values that inspire them. This study examines the content, organization, and design of two nonprofit annual reports produced in 2013: one from the Russian Federation and one from the United States of America. Similarities and differences are recorded and compared to each country’s scores on the six cultural dimensions outlined in Hofstede, Hofstede, and Minkov’s Cultures and Organizations: Software of the Mind. Hofstede’s cultural dimensions have been paradigms for cultural study since the 1970s, and provide a tool for examining the reasons for similarities and differences between documents produced in different cultures. The findings offer insight into how a culture’s values – its dimensions – result in differing methods of communication; an indispensable tool when communicating in today’s business world. More study is recommended to add valuable knowledge to the business world’s ever-growing understanding of how to produce documents of the greatest readability and usability, regardless of recipient. Only with this understanding can a professional or technical communicator convey information whose content, organization, and design is truly meaningful.


Dr. Yuri Yerastov

Date of Award

Summer 2016

Document Type



© 2016 Lia Blanchard


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