Webbed text: A new tool for teachers of rhetoric and composition
Jean-Paul Nadeau, University of Rhode Island, United States
University of Rhode Island . Awarded
Webbed Text: A New Tool for Teachers of Rhetoric and Composition argues that composition instructors should take full advantage of students' interest in the World Wide Web. This dissertation explores an exciting new means of written communication, investigating the ways in which it is changing the way we think about, and teach, writing and rhetoric. I borrow from postmodern feminist theory to address the pervasiveness of webbed text in our culture, showing the benefits of making information more available via webbed text. At the same time, postmodern feminist theory helps to challenge the notion that absolute or complete access to information is ever possible, indeed that such a level of access could be dangerous.
Chapter 1 serves as an introduction to the ways webbed text can benefit rhetoric and composition specialists. Webbed text has so much potential in the composition classroom as it both complicates and clarifies such traditional rhetorical concepts and issues as audience, ethos, and kairos. Chapter 2 presents a critical survey of current research relating electronic text to the teaching of writing, establishing the importance of doing more web page-related research. Chapter 3 begins the work of filling this void. Webbed text is defined as a unique type of on-line, electronic text and is identified as a type of writing students are enthusiastic about. The combination of features that make these texts unique—they are electronic, interactive, on-line, timely, easily published, and dynamic/ephemeral—are described as they relate to these texts' capacity to serve as models for rhetorical analysis. Chapter 4 outlines many of the major problems and challenges of teaching with webbed text. These include issues of access as well as problems relating specifically to particular features of webbed text. I conclude in Chapter 5 by offering strategies for managing some of the problems raised in Chapter 4 as well as several course designs.
Nadeau, J.P. Webbed text: A new tool for teachers of rhetoric and composition. Ph.D. thesis, University of Rhode Island.
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