Sara Doan

Dr. Doan's research projects examine how translating expertise in can empower non-expert decision-making about COVID-19, workplace writing, and other medical medical contexts. 

In her research on COVID-19, Dr. Doan focuses on the visual and verbal design decisions that interpret scientific expertise about the pandemic's severity and spread. In Dr. Doan's current work, she examines Tweets from public health departments (Doan & Kennedy, 2021) and strategies for communicating the effectiveness of preventative health behaviors like hand-washing and social distancing. 

In her feedback research, Dr. Doan explores how technical communication instructors comment on students' resumes and cover letters. In a pilot study, she found that instructors' feedback focused on lower-order issues of grammar and formatting instead of higher-order issues of purpose, audience, and context. In her following study, Dr. Doan found that instructors' goals for their students' learning did not always align with their feedback about rhetorical theory and information literacy; instructors were also constrained by labor conditions and lack of pedagogical training.  

Dr. Doan's research in the Rhetoric of Health and Medicine examines midwife training and home birth in the United States. She examines midwifery websites and training materials to understand how sharing medical information online affects patients' decision-making about the choice to give birth at home.