Way back in the Fall Semester of 2010, I was contemplating topic for my undergraduate thesis, a required component of my school’s Technical Communication degree. A mandatory part of the thesis was submitting the finished product to a scholarly journal for publication. I decided at the time that I would aim high and try to publish my thesis in Technical Communication, the peer-reviewed journal published by the Society for Technical Communication. It was almost a throwaway idea; I didn’t think that a professional journal would be interested in undergraduate research.
Well, I guess I was wrong. My original research article, “The Use of Online Collaborative Writing Tools by Technical Communication Practitioners and Students,” has now been published in issue 60.1 of Technical Communication. I am very proud and humbled to think that my research and my writing were considered a worthy contribution to the field’s body of work. (Note that only STC members or subscribers to the journal will be able to read the article online.)
It is also valuable self-validation at a time when I’m feeling hard on myself. The job hunt has not been going well, and I’m starting to doubt my abilities. Having my work published could not have come at a better time for the sake of my self confidence.
Unfortunately, it seems academia matters little to industry hiring managers, so it won’t help me get a job. In fact, it didn’t help at my last interview. But, I can at least say that my writing skills are publication worthy and I have strong research skills.
All that aside, I’m still very excited. I poured so much work and heart into that article–even after I had graduated and gotten the grade on it! I’m so pleased to see it all come to fruition.
On a slightly humorous note: I’ve always been slightly disgruntled at the sheer wordiness of my article’s title. As it turns out, my article has the shortest title in the issue!