The following quote makes an intelligent and intelligible point about the nature and uses of point/counterpoint interactions in a newsgroup thread (reproduced as examples in two large graphics):

As a form of argument, these postings are best understood in the context of the larger discussion thread. In many ways, the perspectives represented by the various messages in the discussion form a kind of collective argument, which differs considerably from what we might find in a persuasive essay. We believe, however, that this type of exchange demonstrates the process of education and clarification that is fundamental to any argument. Additionally, these posts can be thought of as a stage in the process of writing a more formal essay. They provide an opportunity for authors to formulate their ideas and to consider what opposition arguments they will need to address if they are to convince an audience. (40-41)

By identifying the collaborative interplay of newsgroup debate as an excellent invention process for the composition of formal arguments, the authors demonstrate awareness of their audience's potential skepticism about writing in newsgroups.

Some chapter titles employ puns or popular culture referneces to appeal to the audience. For example, Chapter 11 is titled "Not Just Slinging MUD: Real-Time Conversation and Interaction in MU*S and IRCs" while another is "Home (Page) Improvement: The Do-It-Yourselfer's Guide to Web Building."

Return to review