Is Web-based Discourse Different than Print Discourse?

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Warnick and Heineman discuss the possibility that Web reading is different than print text reading in chapter 5 of Rhetoric Online. Warnick and Heineman state, "Web reading, however, is discontinuous and fragmented; readers read rapidly and piece together what they read from various sources" (p. 77). I agree with this statement because I scan websites to find my information quickly. Once I find the information I am looking for, I skim the content till I find exactly what I want. If I cannot find exactly what I want I will follow the hypertext links on the site to find the information.

Warnick and Heineman explain that intertextuality is closely tied to the Web. They state, "Thus, intertextuality occurs when one text is in some way connected in a work to other texts in the social and textual matrix." Each webpage is connected to others and leads users to more information at the tip of their fingers. Warnick and Heineman argue, "...readers nevertheless play a strong role in taking in the texts they encounter..." (p. 86). This statement means that the audience and the medium are important factors for rhetoric on the web. The way the webpage or document looks and flows can make a difference in how a user is persuaded by the content. The authors explain the presentational, orientational, and organizational meanings (p. 86-87) for different functions of the readers' role online. All three are important for the user to understand the intertextual-based content.

Connecting different ideas, texts, or signs to the site create the intertextual-based content. This type of content provides to be a good strategy for rhetoric. Comparing Web-based discourse to print discourse shows that they are fairly similar. Both take ideas and information from other sources. The main difference is that Web-based discourse allows users to have faster access to the other ideas, sources, or other features (i.e. signs, menus, etc.). In my opinion, the Internet is better for rhetoric for a greater use of hypertextuality compared to print.

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This page contains a single entry by cotch002 published on March 5, 2013 6:19 PM.

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