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The confusing concept of Digital Rhetoric




Last post we looked through Doug Eyman’s work on his discussion of Digital literacy. From there his words were clear when discussing digital literacy and how it relates to digital rhetoric. However, within his section specifically about digital rhetoric, it felt more confusing to understand at the beginning.

Confusion of Evidence in Digital Rhetoric

                At the beginning of this section, Eyman calls back to others’ work on the subject as evidence. Consequently, with his use of other people’s words, the main idea was lost to expansive wording and confusing diction. Eyman would include Richard Lanham’s words and confuses the main idea through interjecting paratheses between the main thought. This can be seen when Eyman uses Lanham’s lecture to show the first instance of the word “digital literacy”. He focuses on Lanham’s connection between computer-mediated communication and rhetoric but then interjects himself with “(placed in opposition to philosophical theories about computing, logic, and artificial intelligence).” This breaks the idea of the paragraph as a whole and leads me to be confused on what this means because there is not much explanation of this part.

Understanding and Take aways

                Despite having some confusion within this section, I was able to take away keep points such as understanding how hypertext affects digital rhetoric. Before reading this section, I did not know there would be much thought put into hypertext links in connection to digital rhetoric. However, there is something called hypertext theory. This theory explores hypertext in the context of literacy, and how hypertext has changed rhetoric in how one source is connected to another source. This is especially true when comparing digital articles to printed articles. For instance, in printed articles the only way to connect one printed source to another was by mentioning it in the “reference” section. A digital article can easily reference another source through hypertext. This makes the connection quicker and instant for readers who want to explore more. But hypertext is not the only one that can affect digital rhetoric.

Screen and Visual Rhetoric

                Screen literacy and visual rhetoric are shown to be important parts of digital rhetoric. Kathleen Welch argued that video format helps bridge print and oral literacy. This relates to digital rhetoric as videos are a part of the digital world. This connection Welch made is an interesting one as oral literacy before video could only be translated into print. But videos like YouTube videos can have both Oral and digital text descriptions. If one would like the description, it can be taken from the video and printed out in printed text. Videos are an important form of digital rhetoric. This is because it is shown that it has an impact on society as a whole. This can be through media discourse, online political campaigns, and parody.

                Overall, this section was a bit more confusing than others but does have a lot of important and interesting information on digital rhetoric and what affects it.            


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