Rachel Spilka

Associate Professor Emerita


PhD, Rhetoric, Carnegie Mellon University, 1988
MA, English, Boston University, 1982
MS, Journalism, Boston University, 1977
BA, English, Clark University, 1975

Research Interests

Status of Audience Scholarship in Technical Communication
Contextualized Approaches to Theory and Research
Issues of Identity and Exclusion for Minority Students in Professional and Technical Communication

Teaching Interests

Professional Writing Research
Qualitative Research in Writing and Literacy
Technical Editing
Project Management
Introduction to Professional Writing Theory and Practice
Advanced Business Writing
Business Writing

Other Relevant Activities

Fellow, Association of Teachers of Technical Writing, March, 2010
Delivered the Keynote Address at the annual meeting of the Council of Programs in Technical and Scientific Communication (CPTSC), "Technical Communication Research in Academic Programs: A Call for Action," Lubbock, TX, October 20, 2005

Recent Publications

Spilka, Rachel. “Foreword.” Designing for User Engagement: 10 Basic Principles. Ed. Geisler, Cheryl. Taylor and Francis/Routledge, (2013).
Spilka, Rachel, ed. Digital Literacy for Technical Communication: 21st Century Theory and Practice. 1st Edition. Routledge, 2010.
Spilka, Rachel. “Practitioner Research Instruction: A Neglected Curricular Area in Technical Communication Undergraduate Programs.” Journal of Business and Technical Communication 23. (2009): 216-237.
Blakeslee, Ann, and Spilka, Rachel. “The State of Research in Technical Communication.” Technical Communication Quarterly 13.1. (2004): 73-92.
Spilka, Rachel, and Mirel, Barbara, eds. Reshaping Technical Communication: New Directions and Changes for the 21st Century. Lawrence Erlbaum, 2003.
Spilka, Rachel. “The Issue of Quality in Professional Communication: How Can Academics Make More of a Difference?.” Technical Communication Quarterly 9.2 (2000): 207-220.