Courtesy: Boston Museum of Science


Rhetoric of the Internet

Spring 2004

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Study Guides for the Shedletsky and Aitkins Bookn


James F. Klumpp

Department of Communication

College of Arts and Humanities

University of Maryland


Study Aid for the Final Examination


As announced in the syllabus, the final will be an essay exam. You may want to read some advice on taking essay exams. The exam will have two or three questions. There may or may not be options for a set of questions for you to pick among.

Sample Questions:

  • A webpage is being projected on the screen at the front of the room. The organization who sponsors the website is interested to know whether it is reaching students at the University of Maryland. From your experience with Maryland students, respond to the organization's inquiry. What changes would you recommend to the page based on your understandings of the Maryland students. Be sure you explain the reasons for the changes you have proposed.

  • The webmaster for the University of Maryland Department of Communication website has decided to revise the website to improve its ability to attract excellent high school students to the communication major upon matriculation at Maryland. He asks you to help with this project. Explain the steps you would take culminating in your advice to the webmaster on how to accomplish his purpose with the website.

  • Shedletsky and Aitken stress that the web constitutes a series of communication paradoxes. What seem to you to be the most significant paradoxes? Be sure you explain and defend your judgment on the significance of the paradoxes you select.

  • Evaluate the impact of the web on interpersonal communication. Explain ways the web facilitates interpersonal communication and the ways it inhibits interpersonal communication. Make and defend an overall judgment on whether on balance the web facilitates or inhibits interpersonal communication.

  • You are appointed as webmaster of a non-profit organization of students learning about the web. The President of the organization explains that he feels the organization is not getting enough commitment and feeling of solidarity from its members. You are to make a proposal for the organization's web presence that will address this problem. What plan would you propose to achieve this objective? What innovations will you introduce?

  • You volunteer to help one of your classmates run for the student position on the University of Maryland System Board of Regents. He asks you to design his web presence. Select one of your classmates to run. Then explain the characteristics you would build into the website supporting his candidacy. Your answer should show your familiarity with the principles of political websites and your adaptation of those principles to the specific constitutents.


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