Mick Doherty's Exam Questions

  1. Major Area, Hypertext Theory (Porush)

    1. Define "hypertext" concretely. What are the differences between hypertextual and conventional communication/knowledge-building? Use examples to illustrate those differences.

    2. Based on (I.), suggest and defend principles for designing a writing course to take maximum advantage of hypertext, while fulfilling the goals of a college composition course. How would this course be an improvement over conventional composition courses? What might its pitfalls be? Be careful to illustrate or support your claims with specific examples.
    3. Minor Area, Communications Technologies (Zappen & Deery)

      Describe and characterize the principal intellectual positions on electronic discourse (including specific bodies of theory and methods of analysis), as represented by (and with reference to) the works of the major figures on your reading list. Briefly explain where you situate yourself conceptually within this literature.

    4. Minor Area, Rhetorical Invention & Audience (LeFevre)


      For this area (for which Mick has written one prior Q/A), he will have with him:

      1. this question sheet
      2. his bibliographic reading lists for his exams; and
      3. Attached [are] 3 different sample documents for analysis to which he may refer in writing his answer.


      Rapid growth in teh use of electronic media in the humanities and arts has raised questions about whether and/or how such work is to be valued in academia. Professors, their decision-making bodies, professional organizations, and administrators are being pressed to articulate the significant questions, to develop evaluation standards, and to formulate policy statements and guidelines to assist in resolving these matters.

      Please reflect on and critique the preliminary efforts toward resolving the above dilemma. Why does it matter that this issue be addressed -- what is its significance, for whom, and for what purposes? Do you suggest any possible modifications or alternative approaches that might help people to analyze and resolve these issues? (Feel free to refer briefly to the 3 sample documents/cases you've brought to the exam.)

      Your answers should in some way address the following sub-topics:

      1. Define "rhetorical invention" and explain whether the dilemma introduced above does or does not qualify as an "inventional" challenge or problem.

      2. In Audience and Rhetoric, James E. Porter has defined a method he calls a "forum analysis" (drawn in part from Foucalt) taht may be employed as "a type of audience analysis, but different from the conventional real-reader heuristics" (1992, p. 137). How does Porter define "forum analysis"? How does it resemble and yet differentiate itself from more traditional ways of analyzing audience -- expecially if it is to be used in reference to the computer technology contribution issue sketched above?

      3. To explore the issue of computer-related work in the humanities, do you think it is or is not appropriate to incorporate classical and/or traditional rhetorical concepts concerning rhetorical invention within a contemporary methodological framework such as a forum analysis? For instance, Porter refers to ethos, topoi, imitation, and sophistic rhetoric -- as well as to intertextuality and Foucalt's "archaelogical" methof of analysis. Is this an incompatible mixing of apples and oranges, or do you find some helpful coherence in such an approach? (Explain your rationale.)

      Reading Lists
      Answer Deery/Zappen | Answer LeFevre | Answer Porush