Competitive Communication: A Rhetoric for Modern Business

By Barry Eckhouse | Go to book overview

13
ELECTRONIC ETHOS
Computer Revision

Businesses have long relied on computers and word processing to produce documents that are acceptable by most standards of professional appearance. Although initial offerings consisted of little more than electronic versions of the more familiar hardcopy typewriter, more recent programs offer features rivaling those of dedicated desktoppublishing systems. Employing automatic formatting, designer style sheets, full graphics capabilities, and on-line layout assistance, the current market's major word processors now insure that the appearance of the final product will be acceptable. 1 Produced on even a low-resolution laser printer, most documents can easily acquire the look of a commercial typesetter. The quality of appearance is thus insured. However, the quality of the writing is relatively unaffected.

Or is it? Some researchers in the field of computer-assisted composition have suggested that the quality of writing can be improved, if only indirectly, by the use of word processing. 2 A study conducted at UCLA revealed, perhaps not surprisingly, that students found electronic revision faster and easier when compared to the more traditional precursors of type and handwriting. 3 Researchers reasoned that such speed and ease can only make the otherwise burdensome tasks of composition much more pleasant, or at least less tedious, and thus the probability of producing quality prose can be increased. A similar study concluded that the "computer provided incentive to spend more time making revisions, and that it allowed more attention for developing content by deemphasizing correctness on the initial draft."4 From this point of view, the kind of revision that is promoted by computer-assisted composition results in better writing.

These studies, as well as others, suggest that word processing can contribute to the quality of writing, as long as one assumes that ease, speed, and incentive to revise will of necessity result in better prose. 5 How safely one might assume this is another matter. But even if such an assumption were safe, the word processor's contribution would still only be incidental to improving the quality of writing, and better writing would at best still be a byproduct of the computer's assistance. The primary benefits of word processors are thus the same now as they were when such programs were first offered: convenience and speed.

However, much of this may be changing. Recently, manufacturers of major word processors have begun to market their programs with extended claims. 6 They no longer claim increases only in ease, speed, and the quality of the document's appearance,

-205-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Competitive Communication: A Rhetoric for Modern Business
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Help
Full screen
/ 288

matching results for page

    Questia reader help

    How to highlight and cite specific passages

    1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
    2. Click or tap the last word you want to select, and you’ll see everything in between get selected.
    3. You’ll then get a menu of options like creating a highlight or a citation from that passage of text.

    OK, got it!

    Cited passage

    Style
    Citations are available only to our active members.
    Buy instant access to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

    "Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

    1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

    Cited passage

    Thanks for trying Questia!

    Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

    Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

    Buy instant access to save your work.

    Already a member? Log in now.

    Author Advanced search

    Oops!

    An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.