Web-based online texts are distinguished from print-based online texts based
on their use of hypertextual and/or hypermedia allowances of the medium.
These new forms cannot be assessed adequately by traditional scholarly standards.
In order to expand the notion of what can be considered “scholarly,” online
texts need to be assessed for the use of conventions that emerge specifically
from the unique allowances of the medium. Scholars have developed several
handbooks or “rhetorics” of online writing from which emerging
conventions of web-based texts can be drawn (Lynch and Horton, 1997; Morkes and Nielsen, 1997; Millon 1999; Troffer, 2000).
Much of this literature regarding strategies for effective online writing
focus on the following elements:
These rhetorics of online writing
demonstrate that while the ways in which writers present their ideas and
meet audiences’ needs are distinct and require distinct approaches,
basic rhetorical principles of writing to communicate effectively to an audience
remain in place regardless of the medium.