Rhetoric & Composition I: Autumn Quarter 2013 Rotating Header Image

Just in time for our Technology & Literacy Projects …

The November issue of Scientific American includes this article: “Why the Brain Prefers Paper.” (If you are logging in from campus, you should be able to access the PDF online by logging in; if not, let me know.)

The entire article is interesting and timely for us. Here are the concluding paragraphs:

Some digital innovators are not confining themselves to imitations of paper books. Instead they are evolving screen-based reading into something else entirely. Scrolling may not be the ideal way to navigate a text as long and dense as Herman Melville’s Moby Dick, but the New York Times, the Washington Post, ESPN and other media outlets have created beautiful, highly visual articles that could not appear in print because they blend text with movies and embedded sound clips and depend entirely on scrolling to create a cinematic experience. Robin Sloan has pioneered the tap essay, which relies on physical interaction to set the pace and tone, unveiling new words, sentences and images only when someone taps a phone or a tablet’s touch screen. And some writers are pairing up with computer programmers to produce ever more sophisticated interactive fiction and nonfiction in which one’s choices determine what one reads, hears and sees next.

When it comes to intensively reading long pieces of unembellished text, paper and ink may still have the advantage. But plain text is not the only way to read.