The arrangement of a discourse, as Sharon Crowley (1994) observes in Ancient Rhetorics for Contemporary Students, often depends on the genre. Each genre carries a particular “formula” for arrangement. Readers familiar with a particular genre can more easily follow an argument based on knowledge of the organizational conventions associated with that genre (p. 171). Print-based research articles typically reflect Glassick, Huber, and Maeroff’s (1997) scholarly goals as evidenced by a conventional division of content into segments including: an abstract or introduction of the argument outlining the main claim, a description of the research methods employed, a review of the results or findings of the study, an analysis or discussion of the results, and a conclusion that summarizes the main argument.

The division of content into these common parts of scholarly research arguments is one convention of the print-based process of arrangement that may be identified within Kairos webtexts. The other significant aspect of arrangement, inherent in Crowley’s (1994) use of the term “formula,” involves the order in which the parts are organized. Traditional research-based arguments follow the pattern of parts in sequence, offering a single, linear read through the text. (Clearly, section headings such as “introduction” and “conclusion” denote the beginning and ending moments, respectively, of an argument.) However, online texts that incorporate multiple navigational link choices provide a multi-linear read through the text and may divide content by topics or themes that contribute to the overall argument rather than by the conventional divisions discussed above. Scholars assert that the most significant distinction between print and web-based texts appears in their formal structure (see Bolter, 1991; Landow, 1992, 1994; Snyder, 1997). To this end, a consideration of arrangement based on a multi-linear design made possible by the hypertextual allowances of the medium is discussed in detail in Category B. The second question in Category A of the assessment tool considers the extent to which webtexts follow a conventional arrangement of content based on division into discrete parts.

Question 2: Arrangement