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Electronic Term Paper

Multi-Modality & The Electronic Writing Space

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Presenting the New Reader

Changing the ease with which one can orient oneself and pursue individual references within such a context radically changes both the experience of reading and ultimately the nature of what which is read,”8 according to Bolter. With the creation of hypertext fiction, the reader is invited to participate in the shaping of the text.


There is no doubt that the author is still in control, but the reader is put in the scenario where he seem to make random choices while reading texts that seem borderless. It is this freedom that the reader has been waiting for, and now it is readily available with the shift towards multi-modality in the electronic writing space. As Bolter further points out that

the electronic reader takes an active role in the making of the text: that indeed the text becomes a contested ground between author and reader. In fact there is a third player in this game, the electronic space itself. The computer is always doubling the author for the reader, just as it doubles the reader for the author, interpreting and misinterpreting each to the other.”9


It is with the understanding of the elements of visual literary that a viewer can come to understand visual syntax. Visual literacy allows the reader to make sense the meaning and components of the image, with basic visual elements like shape, texture and dimension. Just as the author has made a significant choice in his selection of visual elements to accompany his text so as to help the reader to visualise the text better, the onus is on the reader to identify these elements and to interpret the underlying meaning which the visual elements are portraying for the author.


Given also that the new author has the added task of selecting the right combinations of multi-modality elements to better ‘tell his tale’ to the reader, it would be wise for the reader to judge the author dependent on the content rather than the modalities used. The modalities only add to the experience of reading. Hence, at the end of the day, it should be the case the reader enjoys reading the content and not purely enjoying the aesthetics which hypertext offers.

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