This study investigated the nature of research skills transfer from research to professional and technical writing. Detailed analyses of graduate students’ writing portfolios and structured interview responses, show that they carryover a range of research skills to writing for a related but different genre. Simulating the research process during the production of technical documents results in some fidelity to the genre. Research skills, though beneficial are insufficient for professional and technical writing competence. Direct instruction on the characteristics of the genre, genre analysis, and authoring a meaningful, self-selected technical document, contribute to professional and technical writing skill acquisition. The results of this pedagogical inquiry are significant for advancing professional and technical writing as a critical workplace competence and selecting professional and technical writing teaching approaches, that will raise graduate students’ genre awareness to a level of consciousness that results in appropriate transfer for writing tasks beyond the classroom.
Research skills transferProfessional and technical writingGenre competence