The Internet and the World Wide Web have supplanted many paper-based information systems. People turn to the web to locate local services in the same way they find ecommerce sites such as Amazon. Churches of all sizes must develop effective and attractive websites to attract new members and inform existing members. These two groups form distinct audiences that must be correctly targeted by the website content. Other churches may visit to gather ideas for their programs; they are a third group of site visitors. Organization of hypertext on the web requires skills that are different than writing for print. Technical communicators possess those skills and can help others write better hypertext. This research examines eight churches that cross three categories: denomination, size, and location. The websites of the churches are analyzed from the standpoint of the reader and the technical communicator to determine their effectiveness in content, organization, and underlying structure of the webpages, and then consider if geography, size, or denomination account for the observed differences. Audience and message are lesser issues than organization of information and navigational guidance for the reader. No remarkable differences were observed based on size, geography, or denomination. The technical communicator can assist non-technical content producers in developing skills in organization and classification.
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Applen, J. D.
Master of Arts (M.A.)
College of Arts and Humanities
English; Technical Communications
Length of Campus-only Access
Masters Thesis (Open Access)
Palmer, Edward, "The Modern Church Communicates: Rhetoric and Hypertext in Church Website Design" (2017). Electronic Theses and Dissertations, 2004-2019. 5397.