Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)

Semester of Degree Completion


Thesis Director

Terri A. Fredrick


This paper, the companion to the written work I completed for the Center for Digital Inclusion (CDI) at the University of Illinois, will provide the background of the project and describe my involvement in its production. The project itself is a comprehensive history of the center's work in the field of information access, with particular emphasis on the digital divide. Insofar as gaining an understanding of digital divide theory was a necessary precursor to researching and writing this history, the companion paper will begin with an exploration of the literature on the digital divide debate and proceed with an analysis of the debate with respect to my client's work. It will conclude with a discussion of the literature on professional writing for organizations as it applies to my professional writing experience in the present context.

My applied thesis--the work I completed for my clients--consisted of a white paper and a suite of promotional materials in support of the CDI and its parent organization, the Graduate School of Library and Information Science (GSLIS) at the University of Illinois. My clients, professors from the CDI, requested that I write a 10,000-word narrative describing the school's ongoing efforts to bridge the digital divide. As happened in the real history, the story was to begin with Prairienet, proceed through the initiatives that came after, and conclude with the work currently being carried out.