Survey method

1. Read entire website several times to get a sense of the entire message.
2. Note initial glandular reactions: pictures of people working--serious, not much fun. What does "World of opportunity mean?" Lots of links, is this a content page or pathway page?
3. Lay out concept map: Webpage is set up kind of like strips of paper or parts of a scrapbook. Each section is set apart with rounded edges. There is BSU global navigation across top, followed by bread crumbs. Next is a large picture banner across the top. Left column has picture of the Dean of the college, her contact information, and links to other colleges/schools and to donate money to the college. Center column of the page tells about the college and has a list of programs which are also links, including bulleted lists of all degrees/minors in the programs. Right column has links to departments & programs, integrative programs, and school of graduate studies. Footer includes global navigation for BSU with tagline "Shaping Potential, Shaping Worlds."
4. Look for specific devices used to cause reader to think in particular ways. Text uses phrases like "prepared to enter rewarding 21st century careers," and "offers students a world of opportunities" to convince audience that the college will prepare them to enter the workforce. Uses serious photos of people working to give a feeling of professionalism. Very plain text, only a couple of headings. Use of green font along with green and blue logo representing outdoors. Used layering technique for information about each department instead of putting all the information on the homepage.
5. What is NOT there? Specific faculty information, list of required courses and courses descriptions, definition of degrees (just says B.A.S., etc.), specific career paths, definition of "integrative programs." No pictures of students.

Description of page

The header of the webpage appears to float on its own and is not connected to the rest of the page. It is a white background with gray shading on the edges. The bottom edges are rounded. On the far left is a small circular logo of three green trees above ripples of blue water. This is followed by all caps, green letters, BEMIDJI STATE UNIVERSITY. The header has 6 green global navigation links which are right aligned and separated by a dotted pipe character: Students, Faculty/Staff, myBSU, Search, Directory, and Contact. The links are green with the exception of myBSU which is red and black.

The header is followed by a narrow band of light taupe which is the same color as the space around the content. It contains green breadcrumb links separated by two tiny green right-pointing arrows: Home, Academics, Colleges, Business Technology Communication.

Under the breadcrumbs, there is a large banner image of a man sitting at a business meeting looking at a piece of blue paper consisting of tables of information. The image has rounded corners. There is a long table in the background with several blue chairs and a water pitcher. In the foreground you can see the back of a person to the left and the profile of a woman on the right. The man in the center of the picture is middle-aged with glasses and receding hairline. He is wearing a light-colored collared shirt and has a large ring on the hand holding the paper and a watch.

Under the banner image, there is a separate section with white background, and rounded corners. The page title, "College of Business, Technology, and Communication in large green serif text. It extends from the left column through the middle column.

The body of the page is made up of three fixed columns. The left column is 1/4 of the total width. It contains a small image of a middle-aged woman with short hair wearing glasses, and a dark suit jacket, sitting at a desk working. Under the picture is the caption, Carol L. Nielson in green font. The name is followed by the text, Interim Dean, College of Business, Technology, and Communication. Under this there is the Dean's address and phone number in smaller black font. Next, there is a gray horizontal rule followed by two red links. The first is "Colleges & Schools," the second is phrased as a question, "Would you like to "Give to the College of..."

The middle column takes up 1/2 of the total width and is broken into 3 sections using headings. Each section includes paragraphs of text, each section having less text than the previous. The first, "A World of Opportunity Awaits" has 2 paragraphs of 8 lines of text which informs the reader that this college prepares graduated to enter rewarding 21st century careers in business, technology, info management and communications." It explains the degrees offered and tells of services and programming available through other departments. The second section, "Faculty Blend Theory and Real-World Experiences," is 1 paragraph with 5 lines of text which states that the faculty are well educated and have experience in the field and that they stay involved in current practice. The third section, "Programs Prepare the 21st Century Professional," has a 3 line paragraph followed by a listing of all programs and degrees within the programs. The program names are internally linked headings in red font. The degrees follow as bulleted lists in black font. At the end of the listing, there is a black heading for "Minors" followed by bulleted list of red links to each minor.

The right column is 1/4 of the total page. It is divided into three sections by green heading with white letters. Each heading is also a link when you hove over it. The first, "Departments & Programs" lists the five departments included in the college. Each is in black text, but when you hover over the text it changes to red and becomes a link. The second section lists 10 "Integrative Programs" such as Honors Program, Indian Studies, Religious Studies, Women's Studies. The final section is just a heading for "School of Graduate Studies."

At the bottom of the page there is a large banner for global navigation within BSU. There are 6 columns of links under the headings of ADMISSIONS, ACADEMICS, CAMPUS LIFE, OFFICES, ALUMNI & FOUNDATION, NEWS & INFO. Under the links, on the left side, there is a small gray circular starburst image next to black words, "Bemidji State University is a member of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system. To the right, is a green script tagline which says, "Shaping Potential, Shaping Worlds."

In the footer there is a copyright symbol, 2009, followed by red links for Privacy, Accessibility and Terms of Use. Under that there is the disclaimer about BSU being an equal opportunity educator and employer. On the right side of the footer there is a 10-digit local and toll free phone number and 11-digit TTY number. Under that there is the address for BSU. The footer is a light taupe color with text of a darker shade, except for the red links.

Characterization of page

The main purpose of the page seems to be to identify what the college can do for potential students (prepare them to enter a professional career), and to outline the programs and degrees available through the college. There are links to the programs on the right side and in the main body of the page. Each program is also a link which suggests there is more information available.

Another message is that this college will prepare you to be a professional. This is reflected by the professional photos and organization of information and headings. It is setup like a report. There is a clear identification of the college administrator, with the picture and contact information on the left side.

There is a strong sense of identity to Bemidji State on this page. Even though it is a page for the College of Business, Technology, and Communication, the page content is framed by a header and footer that are clearly pointing back to the University as the umbrella under which this program falls.

The text is written primarily "matter of fact." There is not a lot of "flowery" text (such as, "this is the best college"). Because of this, the page does not read like an advertisement. Instead, it states the facts and lets the content speak for itself. There may be a couple of small exceptions to this, such as the phrase "A world of opportunity." What does that really mean? And, "giving students a rich blend of theory and..."

Description of context

Specific circumstances

This page is a landing page that has been created from a template from the Bemidji State University website. Bemidji State University is part of the Minnesota State Colleges and Universities system (MnSCU). It is the page for one college out of three colleges within Bemidji State University. The university recently restructured its colleges. So, one purpose of the page is to clarify who the head administrator of the college is, and another is to identify which departments fall into each newly restructured college. This college is made up of 5 departments offering 18 degrees and 8 minors.

In the present state of our world, technology is rapidly changing. It is important for this college to stay up to date with new technologies. The rhetor is careful to use the right language to state they meet this need. Examples: graduates are "prepared to enter rewarding 21st century careers," "faculty members bring both scholarship and practical experience," and "the faculty constantly update their teaching assets through research, advanced study and outreach to the broader community." Potential students are assured that they will receive an education that will make them marketable in a technological world.

Similar circumstances or similar messages

The circumstances among the 3 college pages would be pretty much the same. All pages are written to inform potential students of the degree options available in the college, to recruit potential students and to solicit donations to the college from alumni and others. All pages inform the audience of what degrees they offer and who to contact. Each page uses similar wording regarding preparing students for a changing technological world.

It appears that some of the pictures were taken at the same meeting. Similar theme to pictures...faculty at work. All 3 sites have more than one large banner image. Most pictures are of faculty working or in meetings. There are a couple of pictures with students working with faculty and one of the Beaver football team running on the field with Bucky the Beaver mascot. The images give the impression that the university is more about faculty development rather than being student centered.

This page has many similar elements as the pages for the other two college pages. The entire top header, banner style, breadcrumbs, dean contact info on left, list of programs on right and entire bottom banner and footer are identical. There is a strong sense of unity among the pages. They used a template to accomplish this. The page is designed to give potential visitors access to all the links they may need. If they are interested in applying to the school, there is a link to Admissions; if they want to see what the recent news is they can go to BSU Today.

Rhetor and Audience

The rhetor assumes visitors to the site know how to use the internet. There are many links in the body of the message, with no explanation as to why they are underlined, or how to follow the links. It assumes that visitors know something about universities, such as what programs, departments, and degrees are. There is no explanation of what the degree letters stand for.

The text is written from the perspective of third person; as if someone from outside of the college is looking in. We can assume it is written by someone employed by the university and that the web layout or template was created by a university employee.

There are links available for potential audiences: students, and faculty/staff at the top of the page. There is a link to myBSU which would be used by current faculty and students. Student audience may be high school, undergraduate or graduate level. There is a link to the Graduate Studies webpage and a reference in the text that the courses "serve as prerequisites for students pursuing graduate and advanced professional programs."

Characterization of context

The content is laid out in a way to make all pages of the BSU website consistent. There is a large bottom banner with global navigation that appears on all pages of the BSU website. Each page is a one-stop shop in a way. Even if you follow a link, you can get back to where you were using the breadcrumb links at the top of the page. The use of color gives the site a unified appearance. There are limited colors of text, which gives the site a professional look.

Images are used sparingly. There is one large image at the top and one small image on the left. This makes the text in the body the main focus. When images are used, they are depicting faculty and some students, allowing site visitors to see there are real people at the college. However, the use of primarily older people/faculty does not fit in with the traditional 18-21 year-old student body. These are purely academic photos.

Much of the body of the page is links. Once the reader has found what he is looking for, he can jump to that information instead of following a string of links to get to what you are looking for. Though there is some paragraph text, the main point of the page is a pathway page to other information. As is typical in pathway pages, the reader will likely only ready the first few sentences of each paragraph and then jump to the department pages. The site is laid out with headings which allow readers to grab and go without muddling through a lot of text.


Break your analysis into two parts

Rhetorical Properties

Patterns of Rhetorical Properties



Why are Accounting B.S. and Physics B.S. listed twice? What are integrative programs?
Use this heading for stuff that doesn't fit description or analysis but that you want to have record of.
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