Research in technical communication provides data about our users that inform our design decisions. It grounds our practices in something other than our own idiosyncratic preferences or ego-centric world views.
Michael A. Hughes wrote a book that is currently used in college courses, aimed to technical communication students and practitioners who are new to empirical research. Michael has a PhD in Instructional Technology from the University of Georgia and a Masters in Technical and Professional Communication from Southern Polytechnic State University. He is a Fellow with the Society for Technical Communication and a Certified Performance Technologist through the International Society for Performance Improvement.
The book “A Research Primer for Technical Communication” is a practical volume that provides a thorough introduction to conducting and critically reading research in technical communication, complete with exemplars of research articles for study. Offering a solid grounding in the research underpinnings of the technical communication field, this resource has been developed for use in master’s level and upper-division undergraduate research methods courses in technical and professional communication.