Objective of Assignment
To permit you to demonstrate your mastery of the material from
the first third of the course including the Benum book and work
on rhetorical approaches to web design.
At beginning of class on Thursday, March 18. All papers submitted
after 12:30 will be late.
Based on the knowledge you have acquired about rhetorical dimensions
of design you are to do a two part process:
Write an evaluation of the website. Your evaluation should
be 1500-2000 words (6-8 pages, 10 point, double-spaced). The
best papers will evaluate the strategic decisions made in the
webpage design, will recommend changes, will provide rationale
for those changes based in what you have learned about such
design. General rules of scholarly citation apply: that is,
when you rely on information acquired from other sources you
should credit those sources in a citation method.
- Redesign the home or welcome page plus 2-4 other pages on the
website to implement your recommendations. This part of the assignment
is designed to illustrate your recommendations on the other part.
- This evaluation paper should be submitted in hard copy and
in electronic form by email attachment or disk. Microsoft Word,
WordPerfect, or.rtf files are acceptable.
- Redesigned pages should be submitted in .html format either
on a floppy disk or as an email attachment. Do
not post these to the web.
Criteria for evaluation of project:
- the degree to which your mastery of the material from the course
is reflected in your product:
- the thoroughness and quality of support for your analysis
of sponsors and users
- thoroughness and support for your analysis of strengths
and problems in the site
- quality of your recommendations and support for their appropriateness
for the sponsors and users
- rhetorical quality of your redesigned pages and degree to
which they respond to your evaluation
- the degree to which your analysis reflects your understanding
of rhetorical issues in web design
- the quality of writing in the evaluation including
- organization of your paper
- clarity of your presentation in the evaluation
- support for your claims throughout
- following of all rules of English grammar
- proper spelling and other elements of presentation
- the presentation of a carefully prepared paper including following
of proper form. You may use either the MLA Handbook for Writers
of Research Papers or the Publication Manual of the American
Psychological Association for your form manual.
"A" projects will be outstanding on all three criteria.
Weight in Final Grade
Total project is 35 percent of semester grade.
Recommended procedure for completing assignment:
Step 1: Select one of the following websites for analysis:
Step 2: Do the analysis of your users
Identify and perform the required research for your analysis of
sponsors and users. Remember that claims about the sponsors and
users must be supported. Your research will probably include some
web work, some library work, and in some cases contact with sponsors
and/or users through email. You may analyze your users with the
persona strategy recommended by Benum, an appropriate segmentation
strategy, or even generalizations about them, but whatever strategy
you use must be supported by your research.
Step 3: Analyze the website
Identify strengths and weaknesses of the website based in your
analysis of the interests, needs, values, and capabilities of the
sponsors and users. Your analysis should also reflect your familiarity
with the rhetorical concerns in web evaluation. Then generate a
short list of possible changes in the website based in this analysis.
Remember all recommendations for changes should be justified.
Step 4: Prepare the first draft of your evaluation
- Remember your evaluation should:
- Identify strengths and rhetorical problems in the website
- Recommend changes to address those problems
- Justify your identification of problems and your recommendations
for changes in rhetorical concerns and in your analysis of
sponsors and users
- These papers should be 1500-2000 words (equivalent of 6-8 pages,
10 point, double-spaced). The text should be available to be submitted
in WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, or rtf format.
- Although there is no specification of how the report is presented,
my best guess is that you will use about half your space on analysis
of sponsors and users and about half presenting and justifying
- Sources employed in research should be cited with a note structure
drawn from MLA Handbook for Writers of Research Papers
or the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association.
Step 5: Prepare your redesign of the home/welcome pages and
2-4 other pages from the website
Your changes should implement and illustrate your rhetorical evaluation
of the website. Your redesigns should be in html format although
you can use Netscape Composer or other preparation software to produce
the html code. Note you are not graded on the quality of the html
coding, nor on your ability as a web page designer beyond the rhetorical
elements of web design.
Step 6: Revise the evaluation as needed
Prepare your paper for final submission. Rewrite for clarity and
sufficiency of support. Reread the list of criteria above to assure
that you have attended to them. Check carefully to make certain
your notes and the format of your paper follows the specification
of the MLA or APA manual you chose for your paper.
Step 7: Submit your work
Paper should be submitted in hard copy and as email attachment.
WordPerfect, Microsoft Word, or .rtf files will be accepted. Submit
your redesigned pages in html format as an email attachment. In
the email grant or deny your permission for your work to be shared
with the webmaster of the website you have analyzed and include
the honor pledge.
- You are authorized to discuss general principles of the assignment,
of web design and use, or of rhetorical evaluation with anyone
including but not limited to classmates or the instructor. Discussions
with others in the class, however, must be restricted to general
principles rather than the specifics of the website you are analyzing.
- You are authorized to ask anyone connected with the sponsor
or anyone who is among the target users of the site about their
responses to the website (except if those people are enrolled
in this class).
- Preparation of the report on the site should generally be your
own work without assistance from classmates or others. Any assistance
you receive on the project, including that authorized above, should
be acknowledged in a lead note in the report.
- You are authorized to receive assistance of a consulting or
instructional nature in preparation of your web pages from anyone
including your classmates. Actual preparation of the pages, however,
should be your work.
- Include the honor pledge in your email submitting the work.
This email must be sent from your University registered email
address and sending the message from that address will indicate
your signature on the pledge.
Last revised February 12, 2004