Does this hypertext have an argument?
The essay attempts to develop an argument for the multilinear hypertext
essay as perhaps the most significant emerging mode of hypertext research
writing by enacting a version of a multilinear hypertext essay. The project
here might simply go too far in its effort to disrupt linearity from the
start, making it difficult to be certain that most users would recognize
this point as a part of the core of the hypertext.
The use of Dynamic HTML for the navigation is a conscious effort to complicate
the user's experience of the project. There are almost no visual or verbal
cues helping the user locate a privileged or "true" entry point
for the essay, and there is no meta-level linear discussion that might
help the user approach the hypertext.
The hypertext identifies important problems with a nonlinear approach
to a research essay, and points out the interesting (but still limited)
developments around producing academic essays as hypertext.
There are discrete (linear?) points made throughout the individual pages.
The essay draws on examples of linear, new
media, extralinear, and multilinear
hypertexts to illustrate these individual points. At a minimum, then,
the essay categorizes approaches to the hypertext academic essay.
The hypertext attempts to address David Kolb's concerns that independent
lexias pose a significant problem for argument in hypertext. The solution
here is to embed the relations between lexias in this hypertext within
an articulated context that provides a transition across links.
In addition, the hypertext begins to suggest why compositionists might
be interested in moving toward teaching hypertext research writing. The
shift from reader to user in hypertext may help students more easily become
critically engaged readers. It may help them become more aware of the
problem of audience in writing. It also opens the door for more multifaceted
tools of persuasion and exposition through the new
What remains unclear is whether any of these issues come across to the
user of the hypertext. Does this essay go further than Miles's "Hypertext
Syntagmas" in building an accessible argument that works across individual
nodes and layers, while still being discernible with a less than complete