"Roles For Experimental Methods In Technical Communication Research"

Davida Charney

Research in Technical Communication

Eds. Mary Lay and Laura Gurak

In press, Ablex


Our reasons for conducting research in technical communication are often practical and progressive. We seek to understand how communication works in technical and professional settings in order to make things better: to promote text designs that are easy for readers to use, to acculturate students into professional discourse communities, and to identify and promote effective and ethical communication practices in the workplace. All these goals may be furthered through experimental research methods. This chapter explains how to design experimental and quasi-experimental studies and discusses how to use them in technical communication research.