ERIC Number: ED390048
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1995-Mar
Reference Count: N/A
Towards a Rhetoric of the Hyperessay.
For one instructor, the thought that introducing hypertext into a writing class would immediately revolutionize that environment proved to be naive. The cautions issued by some academics--that hypertext may "disempower" student writers, took on a real urgency in his class. At this point, there are a number of paradigms already established as the process of theorizing about hypertext begins, paradigms that have not been fully tested, such as: (1) the author becomes less of an intimidating figure; (2) the reader assumes more agency; and (3) the text becomes more fluid and unstable. Using the computer program set up for the class, students could open an essay, create a text block to be linked, open a comment window and write, and then link the comment to the text block. They could also create a comment and then import another essay (perhaps their own) into the stack. Not surprisingly, students found it most difficult to deal with issues of ethos, with the nature of the narrative voice, and the identity of the fictive self speaking the essays. What was surprising was the depth of student resistance, the fact that they took the personal essay so personally. What was lost, they felt, was the sense of ownership or, to put it another way, the sense of a unique voice. Student comments testify to a widespread uneasiness with computer-generated community texts, particularly among women, who viewed the comments affixed to their texts as a kind of violation. (Contains 16 references.) (TB)
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Voice (Rhetoric); Writing Contexts
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Conference on College Composition and Communication (46th, Washington, DC, March 23-25, 1995).