Daniel Anderson
University of North Carolina


It's not true that putting a finish on something is all about meticulous attention to detail. That detail work is misleading because it relies on so much cutting and clutter that goes unseen. To polish a car or varnish a dresser, for example, you start by making a mess; you slather compounds over paint, scrape and rub and spray chemicals until, slowly, the object becomes recognizable and ready to shine.

This electronic text takes as its subject those underlying activities, the sanding and scraping that go into the creation of a large scale Web project. Specifically, it looks at the development of a literary hypertext devoted to women writers, the Women of the Romantic Period hypertext (WORP).

But, while the text treats the literary issues encountered and enacted in the design of the WORP project, its real focus is Web creation. Creating the WORP project involved brainstorming, false starts, prototypes and revisions. Along the way realizations about the subject and insights into issues relating to hypertext were as common as improved versions of the project.

The subject of this electronic text, then, is just a lens for exploring literature, cognition and design as they relate to Web building in general. The larger point to be made is embarrasingly obvious: the finished texts that we find online display only part of the real work that is Web composition. Finally, this Kairos text enacts that same message and represents an extension of the drafting that has gone into and is the WORP project; hopefully it speaks to not only the polished surfaces, but also the work that lies beneath and comes before.

This web was peer-reviewed by Bill Hart-Davidson, Johndan Johnson-Eilola, and Beth Kolko of the Kairos  Editorial Board.

Contact The Author
About the Author

Daniel Anderson
directs the Studio for Instructional Technology and English Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Along with Bret Benjamin and Bill Paredes-Holt he has recently authored Connections: A Guide to On-Line Writing. His interests include Web-based instructional tools, hypertext theory and design, Web pedagogy, teacher training and using technology in the literature classroom.

About the Text

This project uses server-based scripts to enable reader participation. Readers can converse in discussion forums or embed links and commentary into the article text. To view a pristine version of this article with the interactive features disabled, see the archive version. To read the comments of others and interact with the text participate in the active version. To find out more about the interactive components of the text, read the instructions on the opening screen or see information and download options for the scripts used in the project.

Index of External Links

The active version of this webtext may have changed since publication on 16 November 1998.
If you want to view the original published version, click here.


Kairos: A Journal for Teachers of Writing in Webbed Environments.
Vol. 3 No. 2 - Fall 1998