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Light's “Technical Writing and Professional Status”: Fifty Years Later

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Purpose: To present a significant historical document in the decades-long movement to professionalize technical communication

Method: Historical analysis and textual editing

Results: Light's 1961 article applied then-current definitions of a profession to technical writing and suggested that technical writers could become professionals only through formal education and training.

Conclusions: On the 50th anniversary of its publication, Light's article illustrates the tenor of discussions about professionalization in the early years of our profession and invites comparison with current professionalization discussions.


Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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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