Digital Rhetoric: The ins and outs





Doug Eyman has a rather interesting writing style, but his ideas are thought-provoking. In his book Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice Chapter One, he discusses the topic of digital rhetoric. The term appears in a wide range of writing from scholarly articles to popular blogs which can make it difficult to define the felid without excluding others. Partly the reason why it has yet not become an established field.

To break down this type of rhetoric, we must break down its components. Rhetoric is essentially persuasion. In writing, it’s how you write to convince the reader whatever the purpose of the work is. As such, all writing can be considered persuasion. Digital meanwhile encompasses technology. Technology is vast but in this case, it’s what is used to create, so typing programs like Google Docs. But it can also be as simple as tweets. Thus, digital rhetoric is rhetoric in digital spaces.

A lot of open books overlapping each other, showing the chaos of digital rhetoric
So what does Eyman want us to do? and who’s we?

While it can be hard to get the core of matter, due to the sheer amount of sources, Eyman sums it up at the end. First, the ‘us’ he talks about here are those who do digital writing. As mentioned, it’s the core of writing and what makes it interesting. Without it, it wouldn’t be as effective. Yet at the same time, Eyman believes the rhetoric we have now isn’t what we need.

Eymans believes that we need the development of new materials, what he calls “born-digital”, to improve our current understanding of this kind of rhetoric. Specifically, he wants to bring digital humanities and internet studies to it as they both have something to offer. Rhetoric can reclaim neglected memory and delivery while internet studies methods have a similar approach. As Eyman says, we have opportunities to learn and incorporate the central work of these fields in digital rhetoric.


One response to “Digital Rhetoric: The ins and outs”

  1. […] setting and make way for new ones. As mentioned in the last post, we have to develop new kinds of material for this new age. For example, our standards for rhetoric must change to accomodate for this new […]

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