Research in Technical Communication / Edition 1

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The purpose of this cutting-edge collection of essays is threefold: first, it presents the principles of data collection and interpretation or the methodological distinctions of a particular method appropriate to technical communication research. Second, it discusses the foundational principles of the methodologies given the primary discipline in which they were created and applied. Finally, it reflects upon the process of importing and employing these methodologies into the research field of technical communication, and on how technical communication research has contributed to the development and application of these methodologies.

Written by many noted scholars in the field and presenting a wide range of research methods, Research in Technical Communication combines theory and practice. Both technical communicators and industry researchers who want to learn more about workplace research and methodologies will find it invaluable, as will beginning and advanced scholars, who will find much that is useful in its variety of subjects.

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Meet the Author

LAURA J. GURAK is Associate Professor and Director of the Internet Studies Center in the Rhetoric Department at the University of Minnesota, where she is also a Faculty Fellow in the Law School.

MARY M. LAY is Professor of Rhetoric and former Director of Graduate Studies at the University of Minnesota.

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Table of Contents

1 Considering Ethical Issues in Technical Communication Research 1
2 Ethnographic Research 23
3 Analyzing Everyday Texts in Organizational Settings 47
4 Historical Methods for Technical Communication 67
5 Surveys and Questionnaires 93
6 Experimental and Quasi-Experimental Research 111
7 Identifying and Accommodating Audiences for Technical and Professional Communication Research 131
8 Evaluating the Complete User Experience: Dimensions of Usability 149
9 Feminist Criticism and Technical Communication Research 165
10 Cultural Studies: An Orientation for Research in Professional Communication 185
11 Science and Technology Studies as a Research Method: Toward a Practical Ethics for Technical Writing 211
12 Technical Communication Research in Cyberspace 229
Index 249
About the Contributors 261
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