1st Edition

Qualitative Research in Technical Communication

Edited By James Conklin, George F. Hayhoe Copyright 2011
    416 Pages
    by Routledge

    416 Pages
    by Routledge

    Addressing the explosive growth in qualitative research in recent years, this volume represents the first anthology to bring together a representative sample from this growing body of work, and comments on the reasons for the extraordinary interest in qualitative research. Contributors to the volume bring forward reports of significant, structured qualitative research into various aspects of technical communication practice, addressing the questions of what new insights researchers are generating about the working reality of today’s technical communicators, and how technical communicators are perceived and treated by managers and by colleagues from other disciplines.

    Including examples of qualitative methodologies—including ethnography, case study, focus groups, action research, grounded theory, and interview research— used by technical communicators to strengthen their practice, the result is a rich harmony of perspectives, as diverse as the field of technical communication itself.

    This book will be of interest to to students and academics seeking up-to-date information on current industry practices in technical communication, as well as to practitioners in technical and professional communication. The book will also serve as a text in undergraduate seminars and courses at the master’s level.

    1 Introduction
    James Conklin & George F. Hayhoe

    2 Qualitative Research in Technical Communication: Issues of Value, Identity, and Use
    Patricia Sullivan & Rachel Spilka

    3 Evaluating Qualitative Inquiry in Technical and Scientific Communication: Toward a Practical and Dialogic Validity
    Ann M. Blakeslee, Caroline M. Cole, & Theresa Conefrey

    4 The Future of Technical Communication: How Innovation, Technology, Information Management, and Other Forces Are Shaping the Future of the Profession
    Barbara Giammona

    5 Modeling Information for Three-dimensional Space: Lessons Learned from Museum Exhibit Design
    Saul Carliner

    6 Toward a Meaningful Model of Technical Communication
    Hillary Hart & James Conklin

    7 The Role of Rhetorical Invention for Visuals: A Qualitative Study of Technical Communicators in the Workplace
    Tiffany Craft Portewig

    8 A Work in Process: A Study of Single-source Documentation and Document Review Processes of Cardiac Devices
    Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch

    9 A Call for New Courses to Train Scientists as Effective Communicators in Contemporary Government and Business Settings
    Scott A. Mogull

    10 Proceeding with Caution: A Case Study of Engineering Professionals Reading White Papers

    Russell Willerton

    11 Using Web 2.0 to Conduct Qualitative Research: A Conceptual Model

    Christopher Thacker & David Dayton

    12 Heuristic Web Site Evaluation: Exploring the Effects of Guidelines on Experts’ Detection of Usability Problems

    Marieke Donker-Kuijer, Menno de Jong, and Leo Lentz

    13 Making and Acting: Ethnographi Development of a Case Study Approach

    Thomas Vosecky, Marika Seigel, & Charles Wallace

    14 Integrating Experts and Non-Experts in Mathematical Sciences Research Teams: A Qualitative Approach
    Linda Phillips Driskill & Julie Zeleznik Watts

    15 Team Learning in Usability Testing

    Michael Hughes & Tom Reeves

    16 Qualitative Research in Technical Communication: A Review of Articles Published from 2003 to 2007

    Debbie Davy & Christina Valecillos

    17 Conclusion
    George F. Hayhoe & James Conklin


    James Conklin is president of Cadence Human Systems, Inc., and currently serves as the coordinator of the Ontario Research Coalition of Research Institutes / Centres on Health and Aging, and as the co-leader of the research and evaluation team that is investigating the performance of the Seniors Health Research Transfer Network. He has a professional adjunct appointment with Concordia University, where he teaches in the MA program in Human Systems Intervention. 

    George F. Hayhoe is professor of Technical Communication and director of the MS program in Technical Communication Management at Mercer University’s School of Engineering. A fellow of the Society for Technical Communication, he was editor of its journal, Technical Communication, from 1996 to 2008. He has co-authored two books, and published book chapters, articles, and conference papers on a variety of topics in technical and professional communication.

    "Conklin and Hayhoe have assembled an impressive collection of work in Qualitative Research in Technical Communication. ... The editors neatly weave the chapters into a coherent whole. ... For students and academics, this book would be a valuable (and at a list price of $44.95 paperback, an affordable) addition to one’s professional library."