Courtesy: Boston Museum of Science


Rhetoric of the Internet

Spring 2004

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Group Assignment #1

Group Assignment #2

Group Assignment #3

Website Analysis

Impact of Internet

Final Exam

Class Discussion

Weighting of Grades


Academic Integrity


James F. Klumpp

Department of Communication

College of Arts and Humanities

University of Maryland


Impact of the Internet Assignment


You are to prepare a website in which to take one of the topics from Unit 2 or Unit 3 of our course and explore it. Focusing on the dimension or venue of your choice, answer the question: How has the internet changed communication? I expect your project to delve into the subject deeper than we do in class.

Criteria for evaluation

Projects will be evaluated on:

  • the insight you provide into the relationship between the internet and communication beyond our discussion in class and the textbook;
  • your understanding of the communication principles involved;
  • the implementation of the principles of rhetorical choice in web design learned in unit 1; and
  • the clarity and persuasiveness with which you support your claim.
  • Rules governing the proper acknowledgment of sources apply.

To submit project

You should submit the project by sending an email from your university registered website including the following:

  • the URL for your website. This means the URL must be placed on a server.
  • A statement giving permission for the posting of this URL on the course website.
  • A honor code statement indicating your compliance with the list of authorized preparation guidelines.

Recommended procedure for completing assignment:

Step 1: Select one of the subjects we have studied in class that address the communication dimension of the internet.

These may be subjects treated by Shedletsky and Aitken, or our discussion of the internet and citizenship. Feel free to discuss your selection with the instructor to make certain it is a good topic for exploration. I recommend completion by April 10.

Step 2: Work to understand the dimensions of the issue as they have been studied in communication.

This will require research in the literature of communication. You can begin that research with your books or our class discussions. It will, no doubt, take you to the library and may involve discussions with others including communication faculty or students including your fellow students in the class. I recommend completion by April 21.

Step 3: Analyze the internet dimensions of the issue you have selected.

As you do this analysis, settle on a short list of ideas that you want to communicate to those who come to your website. Also identify websites that may help you illustrate the ideas on your list, and places in your research in step 2 that may support your observations. I recommend completion by April 30.

Step 4: Prepare the first draft of your website

  • Decide on an organizational pattern for the website that will help elaborate your idea.
  • Develop an overall plan for the site linking pages on the site as appropriate.
  • Assemble the material you will use to support your ideas including illustrations, support for your ideas about communication, and places where those who visit your website can expand their own knowledge.
  • I recommend completion by May 4.

Step 5: Share your website with a colleague from the class for his/her critique.

The critique should probably include:

  • Your ideas. Have you captured what the critic understands about the topic after their study this semester?
  • Your use of the rhetorical principles learned this semester. Are the ideas presented clearly and convincingly on the site? Is the site organized well?
  • General presentation of the site. Are the pages easy to access? Is navigation on the site well done? How well does the site meet the criteria for the assignment?
  • I recommend completion by May 7.

Step 6: Revise the website as desired

Step 7: Mount the website on the server and finish the submission process

Due Date

Project is due May 11.

Honor Code Authorizations

You are authorized to work with others in the followiing tasks:

  • You may seek the help of anyone in learning the principles of communication that inform your website. This includes faculty and other students at the university including your classmates.
  • You may have discussions of various websites relating to the dimension of communication you choose to write about. But those discussions may not include the websites that you use in your project. In short, you may use multiple websites in understanding the principles of internet communication, but should do the analysis of the websites you use in this project yourself.
  • You may use whatever resources are available on the technical aspects of constructing your website and placing it on the internet server.
  • You may use whatever resources are available on the coding of the website. This includes consultation and training in the use of website software.
  • Once you have prepared your website (but only then) you may have a classmate view the website and make suggestions for changes in the rhetorical presentation of the site. The classmate should not work to revise the site, only give you advice on revisions.

Weight in Final Grade

Assignment is 35% of Final Grade

James F. Klumpp, Webmaster
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