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Dissertation Information for Emily E. Marsh

- Emily E. Marsh

- Ph.D.

- Library and Information Science

- University of Maryland (USA) (2002)

- Dagobert Soergel

- Anne Scott Macleod
- Marilyn Domas White
- Mariam Jean Dreher
- Eileen G. Abels

MPACT Status: Fully Complete

Title: Rhetorical relationships between images and text in Web pages

Abstract: This study examined the ways images relate to text and fulfill rhetorical functions in Web pages. Secondary topics were the physical nature of image-text pairs and their relevance relationships, and a demonstration of Reader-Response Theory for analyzing illustrated text. Its findings should interest both the users and designers of electronic documents. Retrieval and display systems using illustration functions could 1. Reveal the presence and position of image-text relationships in documents, 2. Describe their nature, and 3. Provide an overall sense of a document's conceptual structure to facilitate informed decisions about its quality and usefulness.

Dissection of forty-five of the most popular home pages from three genres (educational pages for children, newspapers, and retailers) resulted in 954 discrete image-text pairs. An original three-faceted typology of over 40 illustration functions was then applied. The three facets were: (A) Functions expressing little relation to text, (B) Those expressing a close relation, and (C) Those going beyond the text. Three-quarters of all pairs displayed one or more A functions and B functions; only one quarter of the pairs used one or more of the C functions.

Web authors use images to carry out relatively complex rhetorical programs. Distinct patterns of illustration functions were seen for each of the three genres and were analyzed in light of the specific goals and audiences of each document type. Pairs in the educational pages worked to attract and motivate their young readers while also illustrating the meaning of text (A and B functions). Newspapers and the retail sites used the same strategy, but relied much more heavily on the B functions alone. The quantitative analysis showed the educational pages to contain the most and the largest images of all the genres. Newspapers used the smallest and fewest number of images, with the largest image-to-text ratio. Retail pages used images more often than newspapers, linked to fewer text segments, and placed closest to text.

Other findings on relevance relationships between images and text, images as rhetorical figures, and ways to apply literary analysis to image-text relationships were analyzed on the basis of their conceptual significance and potential for application.

MPACT Scores for Emily E. Marsh

A = 0
C = 0
A+C = 0
T = 0
G = 0
W = 0
TD = 0
TA = 0
calculated 2008-01-31 06:18:20

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Students under Emily E. Marsh

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