Applying Warnick’s Model & Looking at “Online Rhetoric”

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This week in Rhetoric and Digital Media, we’re reading Barbara Warnick’s useful critical text, Rhetoric Online: Persuasion and Politics on the World Wide Web. This work is one of the first attempts to differentiate between traditional text-based or speech-based rhetoric and new digital forms of rhetoric, or “online rhetoric.” To briefly summarize, she argues for critics to still consider elements of traditional rhetoric, but that online rhetoric necessitates new critical inquiries and methods to be fully understood.

Those of us studying rhetoric and digital media know that we no longer have to justify web sites or internet applications as legitimate texts for study – we know they are important and have significant impact on our culture. And thanks to Warnick, we have a good starting place for thinking about web texts rhetorically.

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