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The Influence of Writing on Reading Process in Technical Communication

Technical Writing (TW) as a profession started in the early eighties, and, at that time, it referred solely to the process of writing. Gradually, however, the forces of automation, digitalization, and globalization transformed it significantly. Nowadays, TW is considered a highly complex profession exposed to many facets. For instance, according to tekom (2007), a technical writer or communicator needs to possess expertise in multiple domains like information and product development, structuring, standardization, XML, terminology, authoring, and content management tools, etc. (Drewer & Ziegler 2010). Moreover, he or she needs to perform complex problem-solving activities, such as classifying, analyzing, or testing to develop connected, dynamic, and machine-readable content (Parker 1990; Gales 2020). With the abundance of different skill requirements and multi-modality of texts, it is interesting to observe how the processes behind text production operate and how they affect text comprehension. Even more so, if one considers the variety of working practices technical communicator participates in like distributed teams, collaborative vs. individual work, agile or waterfall environments. In this research project, I explore the influence of text production on text comprehension and application processes. Through a mixed-method approach, I attempt to shed more light on how to optimize these processes to facilitate better user performance, the development of more efficient writing processes (and tools) in companies, and the creation of real-world curricula for TW courses.

Date:1 Nov 2020 →  Today
Keywords:technical communication, technical writing, reading processes, usability, writing processes, technical documentation
Disciplines:Translation and interpretation sciences
Project type:PhD project