John Gallagher

Assistant Professor


I research the ways that writers contend with interactive and participatory audiences on the Internet, including via user design. I teach technical writing, including search engine optimization, data visualization, visual rhetoric, interviewing techniques, document design, and digital rhetoric. I value students as holistic people and not a set of skills. 

Research Interests

I study the way writers contend with participatory audiences in the context of Web 2.0. I specialize in qualitative research methods; in particular, case study methodologies. I also draw on quantitative methods, such as web-scraping and computational analysis, to study online comments and participatory audiences. 

  • Writing Studies
  • Audience Theory
  • Web 2.0
  • New Media
  • Online Participatory Cultures
  • User design
  • Online ethics
  • Search Engine Optimization

Courses Taught

  • BTW 250
  • BTW 490
  • ENGL 582
  • ENGL 380
  • ENGL 482

Recent Publications

Gallagher, J. (2019). A Framework for Internet Case Study Methodology in Writing Studies. Computers and Composition, 54, [102509].

Gallagher, J., & Holmes, S. (2019). Empty Templates: The Ethical Habits of Empty State Pages. Technical Communication Quarterly, 28(3), 271-283.

Gallagher, J., Chen, Y., Wagner, K., Wang, X., Zeng, J., & Kong, A. L. (2019). Peering into the Internet Abyss: Using Big Data Audience Analysis to Understand Online Comments. Technical Communication Quarterly.

Gallagher, J. (2018). Considering the Comments: Theorizing Online Audiences as Emergent Processes. Computers and Composition, 48, 34-48.

Gallagher, J. (2018). Monitoring and Managing Online Comments in Science Journalism. In G. Y. Agboka, & N. Matveeva (Eds.), Citizenship and Advocacy in Technical Communication: Scholarly and Pedagogical Perspectives (ATTW Series in Technical and Professional Communication). New York: Routledge.

View all publications on Illinois Experts