This article presents an examination of research methods used in empirical research
over a 5-year period in technical and professional communication. This examination
reveals that the most common methods used are surveys, interviews, usability tests,
observations, and focus groups. In addition, the field does incorporate research
categories of case studies, experiments, and ethnographies. This examination, however,
reveals serious shortcomings that need to be addressed for the field to have a
sustainable research profile.