In the Mirror of Genre:  Students Write this World
 
Interviews on Web Pages

Three students volunteered to be interviewed at intervals throughout this process as they read and then wrote hypertexts.  Some of these interviews included read-aloud protocols as the students surfed their way through the web reading assignments.  Others were retrospective accounts of how and why they composed their texts the way they did.

For this report, I'll cut a hundred or so pages of not-well-analyzed transcript down to one paragraph.

I asked one of the students who worked on the "Virtual Life" text what she liked and did not like about her own contribution, the "Cyberstalking" page.  This is what she had to say:

In other words, she would attenuate her own text to "a little bit of information from myself" and concentrate on smooth connections to other people's material.  This in fact is more like what other sites such as the Hypertext Fiction site do: the author's own text performs bridging and summarizing tasks rather than making its own argument in any detail.  Students who do produce large amounts of their own argument seemed faintly embarrassed about the fact that in doing so, they reproduced the linear hard-copy essay: the only available model for extended argument.
 
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