Assessment Category B: Web-Based Conventions

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.