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Module Code - Title:


Year Last Offered:


Hours Per Week:













Grading Type:


Prerequisite Modules:

Rationale and Purpose of the Module:

To introduce the students to research strategies in technical communication. To develop their ability to write academic essays. To develop their ability to write research proposals. To develop their understanding of research methods and conventions. To develop their ability to conduct research in technical communication. To introduce the students to the body of research relevant to the work of the technical writer.


The module aims to introduce students to technical communication theory and research methodologies. The module has two principal focal points: Theory topics in technical communication: history, definition and rationale of technical communication, readability, writing processes, information design theory, international communication, online environments and digital discourse, and other topics relevant to theory of technical communication. Research methods in technical communication: focus groups; survey research; discourse analysis; usability studies; writing up research; referencing.

Learning Outcomes:

Cognitive (Knowledge, Understanding, Application, Analysis, Evaluation, Synthesis)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: Discuss research topics relevant to the work of technical communicators. Write and reference essays on topics relevant to technical communication. Identify research strategies in technical communication. Conduct and report on research in technical communication. Reference academic essays and reports. Carry out empirical research. Present work to classmates and instructors.

Affective (Attitudes and Values)

On successful completion of this module, students should be able to: Share resources. Participate in face-to-face and online discussions. Acknowledge their responsibility for citing sources

Psychomotor (Physical Skills)


How the Module will be Taught and what will be the Learning Experiences of the Students:

This module is taught in on-campus and online/blended modes. In the on-campus version, students attend lectures and tutorials. Lectures introduce and discuss key concepts and readings, and tutorials focus on writing and research conventions and practices. In the online version, students use lecture podcasts and learning objects, and interact via the Sulis VLE to collaborate online and submit work. The module incorporates graduate attributes by building knowledge, making students aware of their responsibility as researchers, and foregrounding an articulate writing style.

Research Findings Incorporated in to the Syllabus (If Relevant):

Prime Texts:

Hughes, Michael and Hayhoe, George (2007) A Research Primer for Technical Communication: Methods, Exemplars, and Analyses. , Lawrence Erlbaum
Hayhoe, George and Conklin, James (2011) Qualitative Research in Technical Communication , Routledge
Schriver, Karen (1997) Dynamics in Document Design , Wiley
Johnson-Eilola, Johndan (2004) Central Works in Technical Communication , Oxford University Press
MacNealy, M.S. (1999) Strategies for Empirical Research in Writing , Allyn and Bacon

Other Relevant Texts:

Programme(s) in which this Module is Offered:

Semester - Year to be First Offered:


Module Leader: