Reading Log–Article 8

  1. Rude, Carolyn. “Mapping the Research Questions in Technical Communication.”

The main purpose of the Rude article was concerning research questions that are separate and ones that will overlap. looks primarily at the four areas of related questions that are directed at researchers. Disiplinarity, which concerns definitions, history, status, and research methods. Pedagogy, which encompasses content, possibilities, and teaching. Practice, or how to construct work effectively and ethically. Then finally social change, which is how texts function as active agents. Each of these are discussed with relevant examples and detail. The article concludes that technical communication is mainly a field of pedagogy and practice, though the fields are interconnected. How long this will be the case, and whether the field will ever trickle into other areas, is to be determined.

The identity of any academic field relies upon its research, and research questions help to map coherence. While Rude’s article offered a lot of extensive research into the different aspects of the technical communication field, it was difficult for me as a reader to understand what the main take away points were. It was interesting to look at technical communication as a field of study, and ponder how heavily it is focused on research, but also how much it has grown in a relatively short span of time. It requires us as technical communicators to think fast because of its quick development, sometimes improvisation. As it continues to develop, likely at the same rate it has, I imagine it will only continue to grow into the other two elements. It was fascinating to see how it applied into those four elements.


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