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The Technical Communication Body of Knowledge Initiative: An Academic-Practitioner Partnership

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Purpose: This article chronicles the STC Technical Communication Body of Knowledge process from 2007 to 2009 and provides key elements of a landmark project to develop a body of disciplinary knowledge.

Method: The author, who is a member of the Body of Knowledge Task Force, documents the chronology of the project through firsthand accounts. A brief review of literature helps to place this initiative within the context of technical communication professionalization and identifies its uniqueness from previous efforts.

Results: The project demonstrates a productive partnership between practitioners and academics. It promises to help technical communicators assess their own level of knowledge and skills, provide easily accessible information for those wanting to hire technical communicators or enter the profession, and define the profession as a specialized set of skills, abilities, and knowledge.

Conclusion: This project laid the groundwork for a body of knowledge that has the potential to establish technical communication as a true profession.


Document Type: Case Report

Publication date: 2010-02-01

More about this publication?
  • Technical Communication, the Society's journal, publishes articles about the practical application of technical communication theory and serves as a common arena for discussion by practitioners. Technical Communication includes both quantitative and qualitative research while showcasing the work of some of the field's most noteworthy writers. Among its most popular features are the helpful book reviews. Technical Communication is published quarterly and is free with membership.
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