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Towards Evidence-Based Writing Decisions: The Knowledge Base Comprehensible Text

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Purpose: This paper introduces the Knowledge Base Comprehensible Text, a digital resource containing 702 studies on comprehension and usability of text and discourse, published between 1980 and 2010. The paper explains which publications were included in the knowledge base, how they were collected, how they were annotated and what the interface of the knowledge base looks like.

Method: Literature search

Results: The paper presents a brief survey of the studies contained in this resource, and discusses the answers of the knowledge base to an exemplary question about the comprehensibility of passives.

Conclusion: The knowledge base makes research on comprehension accessible that is relevant for both practitioners and researchers in the field of technical communication. It is a useful tool in a field which, by its very nature, has a strong interdisciplinary orientation and is therefore hard to oversee.
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Keywords: COMPREHENSION; EMPIRICAL EVIDENCE; KNOWLEDGE BASE; LITERATURE SEARCH; READABILITY; USABILITY; WRITING

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2014

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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