Qualitative Research in Technical Communication  book cover
1st Edition

Qualitative Research in Technical Communication

ISBN 9780415876360
Published September 20, 2010 by Routledge
416 Pages

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents

James Conklin, "Introduction"

Canonical Article A

Canonical Article B

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

Hillary Hart and James Conklin, "Toward a Meaningful Model for Technical Communication"

Lee-Ann Kastman Breuch, "A Work in Process: A Study of the Development of Single-Source Documentation and Document Review Processes of Cardiac Devices"

Scott A. Mogull, "A Call for New Courses to Train Scientists to be Effective Scientific Communicators in Contemporary Government and Business Settings"

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

Thomas Vosecky, Marika Seigel, and Charles Wallace, "Making and Acting: Ethnographic Development of a Case Study Approach"

Christopher Thacker and David Dayton, "Using Web 2.0 to Conduct Qualitative Research: A Conceptual Model"

Marieke Welle Donker, Menno de Jong, and Leo Lentz, "Heuristic Website Evaluation: Exploring the Effects of Guidelines on Experts’ Detection of Usability Problems"

Russell Willerton, "Proceeding with Caution: A Case Study of Engineering Professionals Reading White Papers"

Linda Driskill and  Watts, "Building the ‘Mathematical Village’ with VIGRE: A Qualitative Study"

Michael Hughes and Tom Reeves, "Team Learning in Usability Testing"

Susan Booker, "Social Action on the Prairie"

Debbie Davy and Christina Valecillos, "Qualitative Research: A Review of Articles Published from 2003 to 2007"

George Hayhoe, "Future Directions in Qualitative Research"

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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."