This article's use of external links may not follow Wikipedia's policies or guidelines. (January 2016) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
Digital rhetoric is a way of informing, persuading, and inspiring action in an audience through digital media. It is an advancing form of communication composed, created, and distributed through multimedia platforms. Rhetoric combines multiple methods such as persuasion, effective writing, and effective speaking to present information in inventive ways. The meaning of rhetoric has changed over time, developing with changes in technologies. Online media are increasingly used as communication and information platforms, and since more text is placed online, there is more opportunity for persuasion through innovative and creative means. Because of this shift in rhetoric, the relationship between writers and readers has changed in form, communication style, and effectiveness. Digital rhetoric is advancing and changing how people choose to communicate their ideas with broader audiences. Both rhetoric and digital rhetoric hold various meanings and definitions depending upon who is looking at it; for example, the online journal Harlot of the Arts holds a competition through Twitter for people to define rhetoric, and the submissions are extremely varied.
- 1 Uses
- 2 History
- 3 Concepts
- 4 Controversies
- 5 See also
- 6 References
- 7 External links
The term digital rhetoric was coined by rhetorician Richard A. Lanham in his 1993 essay collection, The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts. In 2009, rhetorician Elizabeth Losh offered this four-part definition of digital rhetoric in her book, Virtualpolitik:
- The conventions of new digital genres that are used for everyday discourse, as well as for special occasions, in average people's lives.
- Public rhetoric, often in the form of political messages from government institutions, is represented or recorded through digital technology and disseminated via electronically distributed networks.
- The emerging scholarly discipline concerned with the rhetorical interpretation of computer-generated media as objects of study.
- Mathematical theories of communication from the field of information science, many of which attempt to quantify the amount of uncertainty in a given linguistic exchange or the likely paths through which messages travel."
Losh's definition demonstrates that digital rhetoric is a heterodoxical field, one that relies on different methods to study various permutations of information: as code, as text, as visuals, as videos, and so on.
Scope of influence
As the power of technology grows, so too do the uses and scope of digital rhetoric. This includes schools offering online classes and test-taking, online news sources including scholarly journals and online editions of newspapers, and people searching for information online rather than consult a more traditional means such as an encyclopedia. Teachers can use podcasts, YouTube videos, and social media sites like Facebook and LinkedIn to facilitate discussions and increase students' interest in a topic. In addition, they can make use of distance learning modules, as a form of online teaching. In academia, online journals allow for information to be more accessible due to the use of digital rhetoric. Writers also have more opportunities to write in various formats instead of a traditional linear format. In social media, people come into contact with digital rhetoric on a daily basis whether it be an updated Facebook status, a 140 character tweet, or even the use of visual rhetoric on websites such as Instagram. Social media is being used universally to allow for people to connect from all places. The choice of one's rhetoric can influence and alter other peoples opinions and thoughts on certain subjects impacting the ideology of collective identity vs. individual identities. This scope of influence that digital rhetoric obtains can also be seen in commercial branding and politics.
In a 2012, a rhetorical analysis of Coca-Cola, Southwest Airlines, and the U.S. Army, three brands that often successfully employ social media, showed their social media utilized ethos, pathos and logos to promote the brand.
Coca-Cola spends 6.6% of their advertising budget on social media as they use nearly every platform. Their foundation of storytelling has consistently allowed the brand to be a top marketer of all time. Initially, Coca-Cola did not start utilizing social media, however with the use of pathos that marketing is thriving. The famous polar bears are a great way every year to create nostalgia and reminding viewers of the older generations loved the product. Coca-Cola’s Vice President of Global Advertising and Strategy states that Coke’s stories must add substance and value to people’s lives and it has to be the most compelling content possible. This focus on pathos successfully benefits the Coca-Cola brand. Now with these holiday cans, Coca-Cola provides information about the endangered Polar Bears as well as donates proceeds to saving them.
Southwest Airlines started its media campaign in 2006 by starting their own blog. As the first in the field to rely on social media, Southwest employs ethos to engage the community as well as help their customers. Focusing on transparent and timely responses, the airline hopes to be able to create a comfortable atmosphere. Through social media the brand has been able to showcase the personality as well as the core beliefs it stands for. While planning for content is an internal effort of multiple departments, Southwest also reaches out specifically to influencers: travel bloggers, brand fanatics, avid travelers, and importantly, employees who all contribute to the content. This creates a personalized yet authoritative position as these individuals have credibility and support the brand.
U.S Army was the first department of defense branch to come up with an app and regularly participate in social media discourse. The army first utilized social media when media outlets began more aggressively reporting on war efforts. Through this they were able to connect with their audience as well as bring new facts and figures into view. This use of logos allowed individuals to understand both sides of the story as well as draw support for the army. To strengthen the brand the social media is often filled with powerful quotes from leaders, historical moments as well as current mission updates. Using powerful language that strikes responsive chords to the audience, often seen in stories of sacrifice and heroism. This engages future recruits, people with loved ones serving, and anyone else interested in the army.
The urge for digital rhetoric to be introduced to classrooms is the fact that in the era of Web 2.0, quite a proportion of school managements and instructors stick to the traditional rhetoric and resist the pervasiveness of technology. For the first time, the knowledge taught at and the methods employed by the academia are far behind the social and cultural advancement, rather than leading it. As Clark (2010) argues, "...the traditional essayistic literacy ... needs to be replaced by an intentional pedagogy of digital rhetoric that emphasizes the civic importance of education...".
In universities, courses on digital rhetoric are taught at the graduate and undergraduate level as courses in English, Communication, and Media Studies departments. Courses in digital rhetoric study the interactions between users and digital texts, as well as how different backgrounds such as age, ethnicity, gender and more can affect these interactions. By studying digital rhetoric in this way, students are able to better understand the uses and purpose of digital rhetoric in the modern world.
Scholars like Jeff Grabill contribute to the use of digital rhetoric by pushing for its use in the classroom. Grabill embraces the age of technology and encourages his contemporaries to do so as well. His backgrounds in English, education, and technology and work in those fields make him a gateway between the scholarly field of digital rhetoric and its implementation. Another scholar, Cheryl Ball, specializes in areas that consist of multimodal composition and editing practices, digital media scholarship, and digital publishing. She also focuses on university writing pedagogy. Ball teaches people to write and compose multimodal texts by analyzing rhetorical options and choosing the most appropriate genres, technologies, media, and modes for a particular situation. During her own education, Ball made significant advances in the digital rhetoric field by completing her school's first electronic and interactive thesis. She also received tenure at another university using the first all-digital tenure portfolio. For her undergraduate course, Clark created and employed a set of practices, including ePortfolios, digital stories, online games, Second Life, and blogs. In doing so, she managed to "engage(s) students in the interactivity, collaboration, ownership, authority, and malleability of texts". In another approach, Douglas Eyman recommends a course in web authoring and design that provides undergraduates more practical instruction in the production and rhetorical understanding of digital texts. Moreover, he explains that web authoring and design for digital rhetoric instruction provides opportunities for students to learn fundamentals of web writing and design conventions, rules and procedures. Attention to multimodality has also influenced Understanding Rhetoric: A Graphic Guide to Writing by Elizabeth Losh and Alexander Jonathan, which emphasized engaging the comic form of literacy.
Digital rhetoric pedagogy has been further developed in the secondary level of education due to support at the university level. This allows for students to create and edit projects simultaneously through the internet. Collaboration is seen as one of the biggest advantages to digital rhetoric, as it gives students and teachers the ability to collaborate and critique anywhere anytime. By being educated in various forms of technology, students are exposed to a more multimodal world and teachers foster a more well-rounded learning environment. Through digital writing, students have a broader choice of composing to fit their needs. Students can have people see their work anywhere, which reflects the accessibility of social media that students are used to in their everyday lives.
The increase in digitalization of media has amplified the importance of digital rhetoric in politics as it has introduced a new relationship between politicians and the citizenry. Digital communication platforms and social networking sites (SNS) are means of allowing citizens to share information and engage in debate with other people of similar or distinct political ideologies. The topics and ideas communicated through digital rhetoric have been shown to influence and predict the political behavior of individuals outside the digital world. Politicians have been known to use digital rhetoric as a tool to communicate information to the citizens. Likewise, digital rhetoric has enabled increasing political participation. Theoretical political research on digital rhetoric has attributed to the increase of political participation to three models; these include the motivation model, learning model, and attitude model. In 2008, the first wide scale political campaign through Twitter was utilized by President Obama. This success is measured in the over half a billion dollars raised through the internet. This use of social media has become a large asset for all political candidates and is currently utilized by all. The 2016 elections brought social media to the forefront and all presidential candidates utilized different forms of persuasion in their 140 character tweets.
- The motivation model proposes that digital rhetoric has decreased the opportunity costs of participating in politics since it makes information readily available to the people.
- The learning model established the increase in political participation to the vast amount of political information available in the internet which increases the inclusion of the citizens in the political process.
- The attitude model extended from the previous two by suggesting that digital rhetoric has changed the perception of citizens towards politics, particularly by providing interactive tools that allow people to engage in the political process.
Social media incorporates numerous characteristics of interactions between people in the public sphere. Social media is not characterized as an ideal public sphere because it fails to provide equitable access to information and participation for women and minority groups. Nevertheless, social media has shown to be useful in the propagation of digital rhetoric for political campaigns as shown in Obama's 2008 and 2012 presidential campaigns in which digital rhetoric made its first successful appearance at a U.S presidential election — which marked a guideline for future elections. The presence of digital media companies such as Facebook, Microsoft, Google, and Twitter has been well established in the promotion of digital rhetoric for political purposes. These firms have influenced the political process by providing strategic information about people demographics, behaviors, attitudes, and interests, all of which have increased the efficiency of political discourse — especially for political campaigns. In 2013, Twitter released a manual targeted towards politicians that outlined the main features of their platform and how they can be used to increase political communications. In 2018, Facebook devoted $62,500 dollars to create a space for politicians to learn ways in which they can use digital rhetoric in Facebook to increase the impact of there campaigns. Steir conducted a study to analyze the different types of rhetoric that took place in social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter; during the 2013 election campaign for the German Bundestag, he found that the types of information that politicians share on both platforms varied — Facebook was found to be the preferred medium for campaign rhetoric while Twitter was mostly utilized for rhetoric regarding political debates, infrastructure discussions, and law and order.
Donald Trump often lacks factual references and has bombastic language that leads to a heavy emphasis on emotional rhetoric. Majority of his tweets lack factual basis that can withstand empirical verification. If taken a position the language used is vague and abstract. Nearly a quarter of Trump's tweets are Ad Hominem. Mostly, utilizing pathos Trump's twitter is now a major play in the world of politics.
Bernie Sanders uses Twitter in response to political events, issues, or fact. 82% of Sanders tweets state a position. Through these position-based tweets he also makes claim of "values" of himself, his political party, or Americans. While values are not a truth, they are considered a pseudo-truth. These blend together the strong uses of logos as well as pathos.
Hillary Clinton's tweets are mainly driven by facts, logos. This increases the validation through empirical means. Her tweets are written with direct reference to evidence or concrete situation. However, can contain ambiguous language that makes the merit of degree of truth less clear. Clinton also lacks emotive language in her messages, sticking only to the facts.
Jeb Bush employs rhetoric that is mainly fact oriented, with occasional ambiguity. Bush mostly Tweets with ethos through pseudo-concepts. Unlike other candidates, he makes moral statements. Bush's rhetoric mixes logos, pathos, and ethos.
Digital media has increased its domination of the political sphere, especially with social media. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram have become a significant part of the political engagement process with regard to to elections, campaigns, or elected officials trying to connect with their constituencies. Social media globalizes communication. Especially political communication, fostering discussions and connecting communities as it reaches a significant amount of people. Amidst all of these outlets, Twitter is the form of social media that’s primarily used by candidates running for public office, elected officials, and government agencies.
- Currently, in the 115th Congress, 428 out of 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives have Twitter.
- On the Senate side, all 100 members are active on Twitter.
Members of Congress use Twitter, and other forms of social media, to connect with their constituency. Members use social media to convey their stances on important issues, bills they have sponsored or have positions on. They use it to post about events they are hosting and the work they do in Congress. This includes meetings with constituents in Washington and back in their districts. According to former Congressman George Miller, Twitter is a mechanism to answer questions from people in his district. Conversely, Representative John Culberson said he uses Twitter to assist people in engaging themselves in their government. Many of these sites provide features for people to connect with their elected officials. For example, on Facebook the Town Hall feature connects users with their federal, and state officials. According to PEW Research center 20% of people who use social media have taken advantage of the fact that they can connect very easily with their officials by a simple “like” or “follow.”
- In addition, there have also been various trends in the differences of uses between political parties in the United States and their usage of social media. In the 111th Congress, when Twitter was still fairly new; over half of Republican members of the House of Representatives were active on twitter.
- When it comes to citizens, according to PEW, 32% of conservatives follow their elected officials on Twitter, and 27% of Democrats follow their officials.
Social media has a significant influence on political campaigns. The use of social media helps both candidates and constituents connect with one another. During the 2016 election cycle, candidates would post 5-7 times and would tweet 11-12 times a day.
For candidates, Facebook brings publicity and enables them to communicate effectively to the voters. This information has become very valuable for candidates. One super Political Action Committee that was anti-Trump, spent $9.9 million dollars in digital media. For candidates, social media provides them with a platform to highlight their ideas, and curate what they would like voters to see. According to the PEW research center, 35% of users of social media have taken advantage of sites like Facebook, in getting out to vote. Therefore, it has become a valuable tool for candidates. In the 2012 reelection campaign for President Obama, the campaign used over 15 different methods of social media. This was to reach out to a broader audience. Social media provides a mechanism for candidates to directly engage with society and potential voters. In Romania, during the elections for Mayor in a town called Bacau only 3/10 candidates used Facebook in 2012. In 2016 all of the candidates engaged in the use of social media and Facebook.
Social media also provided candidates with an insight into predicting the outcome of votes, which are more accurate than normal polling methods. Social media is a tool for campaigns as it provides an analysis as to the political climate, as well as the levels of engagement.
For potential voters, social media is a way to get information. According to the PEW research center, 44% of the voting population surveyed used social media as a way to get information about the 2016 election. This was significantly more than print newspapers at the local and national level. Furthermore, 24% of those surveyed claimed that they directly got information about the election at the national level from the two candidates; Donald Trump, and Hillary Clinton.
Rhetoric to digital rhetoric
Rhetoric is defined as the art of discourse, and is the root of digital rhetoric. As technology has changed, so have rhetorical situations. While the five canons of rhetoric developed for oratory print still apply, they are reconfigured to work in new contextual forms like the database, the hypertext, the cybertext, and other born-digital texts. Invention, arrangement, and style take on new meanings while delivery is elevated to new importance, and memory comes to refer to textual forms like search engines, archives, and tags. Although the rhetorical canon of delivery once referred to the oral/aural and bodily aspects of delivery, in the age of digital rhetoric, it refers to "Internet-based communication", and the mediums that are used. While the study of digital rhetoric is not specific to any one technology or era of technology, ideas in digital rhetoric do evolve alongside new technologies such as smartphones, new and easy to use composing platforms like Storify, Pixorial and WeVideo, and techniques such as Ajax. Ideas evolve as technology evolves, because one way of studying digital rhetoric is to trace the ways that the affordances and constraints of technology "support and enable the transformation of the old rhetoric of persuasion into a new digital rhetoric that encourages self-expression, participation, and creative collaboration". Many trace the transformation of old rhetoric into digital rhetoric through the classical rhetorical canons.
Shift from print to digital
Dennis Baron states, "The first writing technology was writing itself." While previous writing technologies involved pencils and hieroglyphics, the evolution of communication technology now allows for online and immediate rhetorical conversations. The evolution of communicative technologies started with the chisel, then the book, the quill, the Greek alphabet, and the pencil, onto more modern technology such as the computer. The origins of modern computing are to be found in the techno-military context of World War II. Just as the pencil was originally intended as a marking utensil for builders and is now used for writing, the computer was originally intended to compute advanced math problems, but is now used for word-processing and a myriad of other tasks. Technology continues to modify itself to meet the needs of people; in the case of digital rhetoric, technology has become more prevalent to match people's usage of the Internet and computers, which creates a technoculture. Another scholar who highlights the changing landscape from print to digital is Jay Bolter. He argues that the computer is the most significant development since the start of the alphabetic/print tradition and that digital texts will continue to move print to the "margins of literate culture."
In the digital age most everything is considered appropriation. Scholars pull their information from a myriad of sources and are constantly redefining terms in order to apply them to the digital world. Appropriation carries both positive and negative connotations. In some ways appropriation is a tool that can be used for the reapplication of outdated ideas to make them better. In other ways appropriation is seen as a threat to creative and cultural identities. Social media receives the bulk of this scrutiny due to the lack of education of its users. Most "contributors are often unaware of what they are contributing. which perpetuates the negative connotation. Many scholars in digital rhetoric explore this topic and its effects on society such as Jessica Reyman, Amy Hea, and Johndan Johnson-Eilola.
James E. Porter defines avatar as a "virtual body". With developments in technology, there are new ways to present oneself online. This online presentation of one's own identity is an avatar. While scholars such as Beth Kolko hoped for an online world without physical barriers, making it a "realm of ideas", there are still social issues, such as gender discrimination and racism. Beth E. Kolko believes that an idealistic online world would be a "realm of ideas", without definitive factors such as gender, race, or age. Kolko argues that a non-gendered online world would not garner enough attention, because individuals could not relate to each other without gender identity. Victoria Woolums found in a study of the video game World of Warcraft that the gender identity of the avatar affected behaviors of other characters, showing a bias even in a realm where gender identity of an avatar may not be physically accurate to its user.
Circulation theorizes the ways that texts and discourses move through time and space. Any kind of media can be circulated. Henry Jenkins "sticky vs. spreadable media" applies to circulation. Essentially, "sticky" media is media that can be spread. A new form of communication is composed, created, and distributed through digital technologies. Explained by Henry Jenkins, there is a shift from distribution to circulation which signals a move toward an increasingly participatory model of culture in which people shape, share, reframe and remix media content in ways not previously possible within the traditional rhetorical elements like print.
"A number of scholars have seen delivery in networked systems as circulation of digital texts, following John Trimbur's (2000) argument that circulation should be re-introduced in writing instruction; however, his definition of circulation is as an element or result of delivery. Trimbur suggests that neglecting delivery has led writing teachers to equate the activity of composing with writing itself and to miss altogether the complex delivery systems through which writing circulates. By privileging composing as the main site of instruction, the teaching of writing has taken up what Karl Marx calls a "one-sided" view of production and thereby has largely erased the cycle that links the production, distribution, exchange, and consumption of writing. This cycle of interlocked moments is what Marx calls circulation. (190)"
Collaboration in digital rhetoric does not mean a co-authorship directly, even though this could be constituted as that as well, but collaboration looks more like an outlet that scholars can share their work and receive feedback as well. Instead of using solely the individual and their work, scholars use each other to spur on each other's ideas and build their concepts upon another. Collaboration takes on a much more broad meaning in terms of content on the internet. Not only does it offer the opportunity for scholars to collaborate with each other, but it also gives readers the chance to share their reactions with creators of content on the internet. In this way, digital rhetoric allows the audience to interact and work with creators of content. In Braun's book "Cultivating Ecologies for Digital Media Work: The case of English studies", she suggests a collaborative work by interdisciplinary scholars. "This is scholarship", a digital article published in Kairos 12.3, is the example of collaborative multimedia text by Catherine Braun as a rhetorician and compositionist, and Kenneth Gilbert as an audio-technician. The shared authorship from this work is shown in the editorial process including writing, digital production, display, and design to produce a final piece of a scholarly article in the form of webtext.
For the general scholar, the term delivery means the way in which a form of information is conveyed to a particular audience or group of people. These ideas of delivery could mean hearing information spoken at a conference or reading the newspaper. The forms can range from podcasts to videos, pictures to text, or even songs and newspapers. Delivery is the modem in which information is given in order for the topic to be best understood and related to. The term "delivery" is often aligned with the term "performance". The Forest of Rhetoric states that delivery is not only the fifth canon of rhetoric, but it is also a translation of the word "hypokrisis", or "acting". This Greek word was translated into delivery in the standpoint of spoken or recited information rather than newspapers or essays. Performance of plays, speeches, skits, etc. turns into the delivery of information in the piece being performed or spoken. This is the same as a piece of literature or rhetoric delivering its information through word choice, layout, and structure.
Electracy is a term developed by Gregory Ulmer describing the emerging digital age. Electracy is often discussed as being in transition, advancing along with digital rhetoric. Electracy explains the full communicative potentials of new electronic media. Electracy is embedded in the approach of digital rhetoric and covers a large paradigm of literacy which is enhanced through Ulmer's idea of 'electracy'. The recent decades observes a sound effect of 'electracy' in the field of digital media. According to Arrayo, "Participatory Compositions begins by exploring the apparatus of electracy in many of its manifestation while focus on the participatory practices found in online video culture. As research suggests the concept of 'electracy' has changed through the very idea of Ulmer who once articulated in the orientation of analogue video that serves rhetorical dimension of 'Teletheory'. But his vision of 'electracy' changed by bringing in a more broader literary concept that enterprise writing—coding, hypertext etc.[page needed]
Kairos is catching the opportune moment. It is the rhetorical time, or persuasive relevance, of the context in which a text is written or a speech is given. Kairos refers to the elements of a speech that acknowledge and draw support from the particular setting, time, and place that a speech occurs. It is imperative that the speaker knows when and where to place the argument and if it is appropriate. Aristotle considers kairos as a concept that is related to ethos, pathos and logos. Ethos is defined as the established credibility of a writer or speaker, relevant to the kairos of an argument. Establishing credibility is important to kairos in order to engage an audience and give them a reason to listen to the argument being made. Kairos has been put on the rhetorical back burner, but has become more relevant in the digital age in fact checking and considering the academic relevancy of a source. Digital scholars like Jim Ridolfo are on the forefront of reviving the concept of kairos and implementing it into the classroom.
"At first, Memory seemed to have to do solely with mnemonics (memory aids) that would assist a budding orator in retaining his speech. However, it clearly had to do with more than simply learning how to memorize an already composed speech for re-presentation. The practice of storing up information or other material arrived at through the topics of invention can be called for in a given occasion in order to redistribute information that is already known or given. The canon of Memory also suggests that scholars consider the psychological aspects of preparing to communicate and the performance of communicating itself, especially in an oral or impromptu setting. Typically Memory has to do only with the orator, but invites consideration of how the audience will retain things in mind."
Mind sharing is a way to get collective intelligence—crowd wisdom that is comparable to expert wisdom. The methodology for this is simple. One would look for a consensus from the crowd—the answer that most minds are suggesting is the best answer. If it's a numeric question (like guessing the weight of an ox), it's a calculated average or median. If it's an open question (like "what car should I buy?"), it's the most common answer.
Multimodality means having several modes, modalities, or maxima—in simpler terms, it is a form of communication that uses multiple methods (or modes) to inform audiences of an idea. It can involve a mix of written text, pictures, audio, or videos. Online journals often embrace multimodality in their issues and articles by publishing works that use more than just written text to communicate the message. While the digital turn in rhetoric and composition has encouraged more discussion, theorization, and pedagogical application of multimodality and multimodal texts, the history of the field demonstrates a continuous concern with multimodal communication beginning with classical rhetoric's concern with delivery, gesture, and memory. All writing and all communication is, theoretically, multimodal.
Remix is a method of digital rhetoric that manipulates and transforms an original work to convey a new message. The usage of remix can help the creator make an argument by connecting seemingly unrelated ideas into a convincing whole. As modern technology develops, self-publication sites like YouTube, SoundCloud, and WordPress have stimulated remix culture, allowing for easier creation and dissemination of reworked content. Unlike appropriation, which is the use and potential recontextualization of existing material without significant modification, remix is defined in Kairos as "the process of taking old pieces of text, images, sounds, and video and stitching them together to form a new product."
Rhetorical velocity is the concept of authors writing in a way in which they are able to predict how their work might be recomposed. With the advancement of technology, there is no limit to the speed and distance at which an author's work is able to travel. Therefore, it is important for them to be able to predict how their audience will recompose their works. Jim Ridolfo and Danielle DeVoss first coined this idea in 2009 when they describe rhetorical velocity as "a conscious rhetorical concern for distance, travel, speed, and time, pertaining specifically to theorizing instances of strategic appropriation by a third party".
Visual rhetoric relates to digital rhetoric because they can act together to communicate ideas in a way that is not bound by a linear format. Mary Hocks, a visual rhetoric scholar, states "the screen itself is a tablet that combines words, interfaces, icons, and pictures that invoke other modalities like touch and sound". By manipulating the tools described by Hocks, a writer in the digital world has access to influence a broader audience, and an influx of modes to communicate their ideas. This in turn creates a way for writers to communicate The use of visual images in rhetoric allows for a writer to convey an idea that may be so abstract that the written linear word will not suffice. Abstract ideas in rhetorical images, as Charles Hill states, that not only are abstract ideas represented in images acceptable but they are prominent, images "do not necessarily have to portray an object, or even a class of objects, that exists or ever did exist". Images allow for the writer to depict the closest representation of their thought possible since they can blend abstract and tangible thoughts. Hill uses the peace sign, swastika, and the confederate flags as examples of abstract ideas represented by images. Ironically the image of a peace sign, which seems to be universally accepted as a call from the 1970s 'hippie' movement, originated as an anti-Christian symbol. The original graphic was used to show an upside down broken cross symbolizing the despair of man and the crucifixion of the Apostle Peter. This shows how visual images can change over time and be adapted in such powerful ways that it actually changes the meaning completely. Images are versatile, and coupled with the motive of the author can provide key components to an argument. By being informed on how visual rhetoric interacts with its different components a reader/viewer can reduce abstract ideas to a more tangible state.
Referred to as the digital divide, issues of economic access and user-level access are recurring issues in digital rhetoric. These issues show up most prevalent in computers and writing circles. Access can refer to inequality in the access of information, access to a reading public, and access to means of communicating. For those that teach digital rhetoric in schools and universities, student access to technologies at home and in school is an operative concern. There is some debate about whether mobile computing devices like smartphones make technology access more equitable.
Copyright controversies in online and digital texts affect the way digital rhetoric is utilized. Many of these arguments deal with the problem of cost for the publishers and consumers of scholarly text. Copyrighting materials is an expensive task, especially when the materials can be translated into many other forms of digital sources that are freely found by the public. Because of this ease of transformation, copyright laws are undermined as scholars lose predication in their online materials through maneuvers as simple as copy and paste or translating hyperlinks. In James P. Zappen's piece "Digital Rhetoric: Toward an Integrated Theory", he refers to transferring material in ways that create misapplication of a work that a scholar has written. "A media database, for example, can produce an almost infinite variety of end-user objects, which can be customized for different users, manipulated through hyperlinks, periodically updated, and scaled upon demand." Zappen's statement of "infinite" is in no way subjective or an over statement. Many digital pieces are infringed upon, stolen, or misused by the avoidance of copyright. These many forms of copyright avoidance lend to the controversy of digital rhetoric and media as a whole. Digital composition in the classroom is a practical space for grasping intellectual property and copyright where students can possibly (re) mix and mash digital properties across digital spaces that can “typically at odds with digital (and material) protection practices.” DeVoss argues for the responsibility of a teacher to train students to fairly make use of digital materials borrowed from several digital sources by having copyright negotiation and agreements as well as the knowledge of intellectual property. The introduction of public domain work such as Creative Commons serves as the open source of free-license materials for students to use and combine.
One controversy that has been steady on the rise since the transition of utilizing digital rhetoric in social media is Cyberbullying. An example can be seen in the TLC television series, Here Comes Honey Boo Boo. Viewers have the opportunity to post their opinions and responses on sites such as Twitter and Instagram. The trend that people posting about the characters and their lifestyles, it reinforces the iconography of stereotypes (such as "hillbillies") is successful because of the way in which the rhetoric of difference is a naturalized component of the ethnic and racial identity. The challenge with social media is that since there is a limited amount of characters to convey the message the digital rhetoric tends to be oversimplified and stereotypes flourish. Erika Sparby evaluated that due to the increase of social media users people have found this stronger sense of confidence from the ability from being anonymous and using pseudonymous in digital social media for them to address either someone or something in a negative light.
There is controversy regarding the innovative nature of digital rhetoric. Arguments opposed to legitimizing webtext are Platonically-based in that they reject the new form of scholarship, web text, and praise the old form, print, in the same way that oral communication was originally favored over written communication. Originally some traditionalists didn't regard online open-access journals with the same legitimacy as print journals for this reason; however, digital arenas have become the primary place for disseminating academic information in many areas of scholarship. Modern scholars struggle to "claim academic legitimacy" in these new media forms, as the tendency of pedagogy is to write about a subject rather than actively work in it. Within the past decade, more scholarly texts have been openly accessible, which provides an innovative way for students to gain access to textual materials online for free, in the way that many scholarly journals like Kairos, Harlot of the Arts, and Enculturation are already available through open access.
Open access has removed the barriers of fees associated with accessing a work and restrictions of copyright and licensing. The matter of eliminating fees is most prevalent to digital rhetoric, because it allows for more access to works. Open access and digital rhetoric do not eliminate copyright, but eliminates restrictions by giving authors the choice to maintain their right to copy and distribute their materials however they choose, or they may turn the rights over to a specific journal. Digital rhetoric involves works that are found online and open access is allowing more people to be able to reach these works.
- Composition studies
- Computer-mediated communication
- Digital humanities
- Digital literacy
- Digital media
- Internet studies
- Technological convergence
- Burton, G. (n.d.). What is Rhetoric? Retrieved December 3, 2014, from What is Rhetoric? Archived 2014-12-20 at the Wayback Machine.
- "#DefineRhetoric 2014". Harlot of the Arts.
- Lanham, R. A. (1994). The Electronic Word: Democracy, Technology, and the Arts. University of Chicago Press. ISBN 9780226468853.
- Elizabeth Losh
- Losh, E. (2009). Virtualpolitik. MIT Press. ISBN 9780262123044.
- Losh, Elizabeth (2009). Virtualpolitik: An Electronic History of Government Media-Making in a Time of War, Scandal, Disaster, Miscommunication, and Mistakes (PDF). MIT. pp. 47–48. Archived from the original (PDF) on 23 October 2014. Retrieved 24 April 2015.
- Sparby, Erika (April 2018). "Digital Social Media and Aggression: Memetic Rhetoric in 4chan's Collective Identity". Computers and Composition.
- Stevanovich, Maja (December 2012). "Rhetorical Analysis of Successful Brands in Social Media Discourse" (PDF). Gonzaga University Communication and Leadership Studies.
- Clark, J. Elizabeth (2010). "The Digital Imperative: Making the Case for a 21st-Century Pedagogy". Computers and Composition: An International Journal for Teachers of Writing. 27: 27–35.
- "Teaching Digital Rhetoric: Community, Critical Engagement, and Application". Pedagogy. 6 (2): 231–259. 2006 – via Project MUSE.
- Cheryl Ball
- Eyman, Douglas (2015). Digital rhetoric: Theory, Method, and Practice. University of Michigan Press. p. 171. ISBN 978-0-472-07268-2.
- Itai Himelboim , Ruthann Weaver Lariscy , Spencer F. Tinkham & Kaye D.Sweetser (2012) Social Media and Online Political Communication: The Role of Interpersonal informational Trust and Openness, Journal of Broadcasting & Electronic Media, 56:1, 92-93, DOI:10.1080/08838151.2011.6486821
- Jiang, Liang (2017-09-06). "Why context matters: the role of campaign context in the relationship between digital media use and political participation". Australian Journal of Political Science. 52 (4): 580–598. doi:10.1080/10361146.2017.1373064.
- Kruse, Lisa M.; Norris, Dawn R.; Flinchum, Jonathan R. "Social Media as a Public Sphere? Politics on Social Media". The Sociological Quarterly. 59 (1): 62–66. doi:10.1080/00380253.2017.1383143.
- Petros Iosifidis & Mark Wheeler (2018) Modern Political Communication and Web 2.0 in Representative Democracies, Javnost - The Public, 25:1-2, 111-112, DOI:10.1080/13183222.2018.1418962
- Kreiss, Daniel; McGregor, Shannon C. "Technology Firms Shape Political Communication: The Work of Microsoft, Facebook, Twitter, and Google With Campaigns During the 2016 U.S. Presidential Cycle". Political Communication. 35 (2): 156–157. doi:10.1080/10584609.2017.1364814.
- Sebastian Stier, Arnim Bleier, Haiko Lietz & Markus Strohmaier (2018) Election Campaigning on Social Media: Politicians, Audiences, and the Mediation of Political Communication on Facebook and Twitter, Political Communication, 35:1, 50-74, DOI: 10.1080/10584609.2017.1334728
- McConnell, Stephen J. (December 2015). "TWITTER AND THE 2016 U.S. PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN: A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS OF TWEETS AND MEDIA COVERAGE". New York University, Master's Thesis.
- Hall, Wendy; Tinati, Ramine; Jennings, Will (2018-01-05). "From Brexit to Trump: Social Media's Role in Democracy". Computer. 51 (1): 18–27. doi:10.1109/mc.2018.1151005. ISSN 0018-9162.
- "A List of Twitter Handles for Members of Congress". Social Feed Manager. Retrieved 2018-04-26.
- Peterson, Rolfe Daus (December 2012). "To tweet or not to tweet: Exploring the determinants of early adoption of Twitter by House members in the 111th Congress". The Social Science Journal. 49 (4): 430–438. doi:10.1016/j.soscij.2012.07.002. ISSN 0362-3319.
- Rainie, Smith, Schlozman, Brady, Verba, Lee, Aaron, Kay Lehman, Henry, Sidney (October 2012). "Social Media and Political Engagement" (PDF). PEW Research Center.
- "Social Media and Political Engagement".
- Williams, Christine (July 2017). "Introduction : Social Media, Political Marketing and the 2016 U.S. Election". Journal of Political Marketing. 16: 207–211.
- "10 facts about the changing digital news landscape".
- "Cicero's Classical Canons of Rhetoric: Their Relevance and Importance to the Corporate Workplace". Mary. 2008-04-23. Retrieved 2017-03-27.
- Delagrange, Susan (2009). "Wunderkammer, Cornell, and the Visual Canon of Arrangement". Kairos: A Journal of Rhetoric, Technology, and Pedagogy. 13 (2).
- Yancey, Kathleen Blake (2004). "Looking for sources of coherence in a fragmented world: Notes toward a new assessment design" (PDF). Computers and Composition. 21 (1): 89–102. doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2003.08.024. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2016-08-13.
- Brooke, Collin (2002). "Enculturation: Special Multi-journal Issue on Electronic Publication". 4 (1).
- Porter, James E. (2009). "Recovering Delivery for Digital Rhetoric". Computers and Composition. 26 (4): 207–224. doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2009.09.004.
- Anne Wysocki; Johndan Johnson-Eilola; Cynthia L. Selfe & Geoffrey Sirc (2003). Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition. Salt Lake City: U of Utah Press.
- Jeff Rice (2012). Digital Detroit: Rhetoric and Space in the Age of the Network. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
- Brooke, Collin Gifford (2009). Lingua Fracta: Toward a Rhetoric of New Media. Cresskill, NJ: Hampton.
- Zappen, James (2005). "Digital Rhetoric: Toward an Integrated Theory" (PDF). Technical Communication Quarterly. 14 (3): 319–325. doi:10.1207/s15427625tcq1403_10.
- Baron, D. (n.d.). "From Pencils to Pixels: The Stages of Literacy Technology". english.illinois.edu. Retrieved January 1, 2014.
- What is Digital Rhetoric?. 2011 – via YouTube.
- Bolter, J. (1991). Writing space: The computer, hypertext, and the history of writing. Hillsdale, N.J.: L. Erlbaum Associates.
- Reyman, J. (2013). "User Data on the Social Web: Authorship, Agency, and Appropriation" (PDF). College English,. 75 (5): 513–532. Retrieved November 1, 2014 – via ncte.org.
- Kolko, Beth E. (1999). "Representing bodies in virtual space: The rhetoric of avatar design". Information Society. 15 (3): 177–186. doi:10.1080/019722499128484.
- Woolums, V. (Fall 2011). "Gendered Avatar Identity. Kairos". 16 (1).
- Eyman, D. "Digital Rhetoric: Theory, Method, Practice". doi:10.3998/dh.13030181.0001.001.
- Braun, Chaterine, C (2014). Cultivating ecologies for digital media work: The case of English studies. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.
- Braun, Catherine, C; Gilbert, Kenneth, L. "This is Scholarship". Kairos.
- Brabham, Daren. Crowdsourcing. MIT Press
- Bashayr, A. (Et al.). "Legal and Ethical Issues of Crowdsourcing" (PDF). International Journal of Computer Applications.
- Burton, G. (n.d.). "What is Rhetoric?". Archived from the original on December 20, 2014. Retrieved December 3, 2014.
- Electracy is to digital media what literacy is to print —Gregory Ulmer.
- Arroyo, Sarah (2013). Participatory Composition: Video Culture, Writing and Electracy. SIU Press. pp. 1–29. ISBN 978-0809331468.
- Sproat, Ethan; Driscoll, Dana Lynn; Brizee, Allen (2012-04-27). "Aristotles Rhetorical Situation". Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- "Ethos - Examples and Definition of Ethos". literarydevices.net. Retrieved 2018-04-22.
- David M. Sheridan; Jim Ridolfo & Anthony J. Michel (March 19, 2012). The Available Means of Persuasion: Mapping a Theory and Pedagogy of Multimodal Public Rhetoric. Anderson, South Carolina: Parlor Press.
- Zoref, Lior (2015). Mindsharing: The Art of Crowdsourcing Everything. Portfolio. p. 95. ISBN 159184665X.
- Ball, Cheryl; Charlton, Colin (2014). "All Writing is Multimodal". In Adler-Kassner, Linda; Wardle, Elizabeth. Naming What We Know: Threshold Concepts of Writing Studies. Utah State University Press.
- Kuhn, Virginia. "The Rhetoric of Remix". Transformative Works.
- "Digital Rhetoric/Remediation and Remix - Wikibooks, open books for an open world". en.wikibooks.org. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- DeVoss, Jim Ridolfo and Dànielle Nicole (2009-01-15). "Composing for Recomposition: Rhetorical Velocity and Delivery". kairos.technorhetoric.net. Retrieved 2018-03-15.
- Ridolfo, J. & Devoss, D. (2009). "Composing for Recomposition: Rhetorical Velocity and Delivery". Kairos. 13 (2).
- Hocks, M. (2003). "Understanding Visual Rhetoric in Digital Writing Environments". College Composition and Communication. 54 (4): 629–656. doi:10.2307/3594188. JSTOR 3594188.
- Handa, C. (2004). "Reading the Visual in College Writing Classes By Charles Hill". Visual rhetoric in a digital world: A critical sourcebook. Boston: Bedford/St. Martins.
- Reynolds, Thomas J. & Charles R. Lewis (1997). "The changing topography of computer access for composition students". Computers and Composition. 14 (2): 269–278. doi:10.1016/S8755-4615(97)90027-X.
- Hea, Amy C.K., ed. (2009). Going Wireless: A Critical Exploration of Wireless and Mobile Technologies for Composition Teachers and Researchers. Cresskill, N.J.: Hampton Press. pp. 15–33.
- Devoss, Dannielle Nicole. "English studies and intellectual property copyright, creativity, and the commons". Pedagogy. 10: 201–215.
- "Creative Commons".
- Massey, Carissa (Spring 2018). "The rhetoric of the real: stereotypes of rural youth in American reality television and stock photography". Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education.
- Borgman, Christine (2007). Scholarship in a Digital Age: Information, Infrastructure, and the Internet. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. p. 78.
- Dunham, Gary. "What are Trends in Scholarly Publishing?".[permanent dead link]
- Ball, Cheryl E. (2004). "Show, not tell: The value of new media scholarship" (PDF). Computers & Composition. 21 (4): 403–425. doi:10.1016/j.compcom.2004.08.001. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2014-10-23.
- Harlot of the Arts