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October 3, 2005

Website Analysis

Your assignment is to choose a unique website (by “unique” I mean one that has not already been analyzed by another student) and closely read it. Your goal should be to look at the site as a whole and answer the question “Who is the audience and what does the website purport to do for its audience?

More in the full entry

You will post your analysis to our class blog. You will also need to post at least one comment on another person's post. These posts should be placed in the "Website Analysis" category.

Websites have rhetorical strategies that are not available to more traditional print media. In our papers, we are able to consider style, argument, diction, organization, and a host of other issues that we’ve already discussed. A website, however, can manipulate these strategies using more than just the words written on the site. There are other considerations that affect how it is received by its audience, including:

  • Linked text
  • Layout
  • Ads
  • Audio and Video content, or a combination of the two (flash)
  • Images, including both the content of the site itself and its banner, logo, etc.
  • Affiliations with other sites (sometimes called a "blogroll")

You might want to think of this assignment as a "mini-paper." You will be arguing for a thesis that is specific (it answers the question of the assignment), substantive (it makes a real claim about the site's audience or purpose), debatable (the claim is something that you can defend and could be argued), and assertive (it's not wishy-washy about who the audience is or what the site does). Your thesis ought to be backed up by evidence - most likely an analysis of some of the site's charactistics as listed above.

But it is only meant to be a mini-paper. It should be somewhere in the neighborhood of 300-500 words. Your post should be up by October 14th, and you should have commented on another's post by October 19th. Note: the earlier your post, the more likely you'll be able to analyze your favorite site. No dupes!

One last thing to consider: your second paper is "An argument about writing technology." Since we're defining "technology" very broadly, this could be about any technology you can think of - from grammar to books to, yes, websites. It's perfectly ok to use this assignment as a jumping-off point for your next paper.

Posted by bohn0025 at October 3, 2005 10:03 AM | Course Logistics