Writing to the World Wide
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Due: Monday, February 17th at 5 p.m.
Total Points: 100
Find a Web site -- a series of linked pages created by an organization,
company, institution, or individual - that you find interesting, unusual, poorly designed, well-designed,
etc. Using as a guide the rhetorical principles we're discussing in class - considerations of the audience's
how appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos mesh with these values -- as well
as anything you've read so far that might help you out,
evaluate how well the site serves its purpose. Use the following checklist as a guide for completing your
Based on the above checklist, compose your critique as a Web page (or pages). In your critique, consider
establishing links to the examples of how language, graphics, etc., are used at the site you're critiquing.
Although I won't be evaluating your critique on how effective your page(s) look or are structured, I
encourage you to think through and take advantage of the ways you can complete this assignment using
the characteristics that the Web affords. In other words, I encourage you to develop a critique that differs
from one that you would normally compose on paper.
- Describe how you found the site and how you think people are most likely to find the site.
- Describe who you think the intended audience is for the site. Be specific - think of the age, gender,
income level, education level, occupation, hobbies, etc. Think of their experience using computers, the
Web, etc. Think of demands on their time. What are you basing your assumptions of the
characteristics of the audience on? What sort of values or beliefs would this audience hold in common?
Could there be more than one intended audience, or perhaps a secondary
audience? Could the needs or values of the audiences come into conflict?
- What is the purpose of the site? Entertainment? Promotion of a product or service? Self-promotion or
self-publishing? Information provision? Etc.
- How well or how poorly does the site meet the needs of its intended audience? How effectively does
it appeal to the audience? Look for and provide numerous and specific uses of language (specific words,
phrases, or descriptions), uses of graphics (colors, photographs, line art, icons, bullets, background patterns,
etc.) and overall structure (the overall structure of how the pages are linked together, the cues that are
provided for helping users navigate the site, etc.). Describe how each of these elements (language, graphics,
and structure) establishes a character (ethos), or makes an emotional appeal (pathos), or
conveys a systematic structure of thinking (logos)? Does the site include multiple appeals using
multiple elements (language, graphics, structure)? Do these appeals and
elements come into conflict with each other?
- If you were the Webmaster for the site, what would you add, change, delete, restructure, etc., and why?
(Better yet, can you provide an example of how you would change it by reconstructing it?)
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Created 1.12.97 firstname.lastname@example.org