Crafting Multimedia Text

Crafting Multimedia Text : Websites and Presentations (NetEffect)

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An excellent supplemental text for traditional Journalism, Business Communications, and Language Arts courses, as well as Multimedia and Web design courses. This unique, exciting text introduces students to effective "new media writing" strategies and techniques, enabling them to understand how to write and how to display content for websites, slide shows, and other visual presentations. It differentiates between viewers (who see words projected on a computer or projector screen) and readers (who read words on paper). Geared to students and professionals in business, design, education, journalism, language arts and communications, this is a cross-curricular book that can stand alone or serve as a supplemental text.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 256 pages
  • 175.3 x 231.1 x 15.2mm | 385.56g
  • Pearson
  • Upper Saddle River, NJ, United States
  • English
  • 0130990027
  • 9780130990020
  • 2,146,678

Review quote

"Many books discuss the larger issues of design, proposals, script writing, and interactive narrative elements. What has been missing is (this, 1 a book that discusses the place, power, and purpose of words in multimedia applications and that discusses the nuts and bolts of word choice, style, tone, editing, ' visual hierarchy, and font selection, size, style, and color. The book's many references to films, television shows, scientists, filmmakers, television writers, actors, information architects, and human factors experts makes it interesting, relevant, and fun." - Diane Chute
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Back cover copy

Here is an excellent resource for those in Journalism, Business, Education, Multimedia writing, Communications, and Web design. This unique, exciting book introduces "new media writing" strategies and techniques. Understand how to write and how to display content for websites, slide shows, and other visual presentations. Differentiate between viewers (who see words projected on a computer or projector screen) and readers (who read words on paper). Introduction Within the last ten years, the practice of presenting written information on a screen rather than on paper has grown dramatically. The essence of multimedia communications is its interactivity and the fact that you write in "layers" rather than a linear, traditional way. For those who may be "Trekkies," I compare it to Mr. Spock's three-dimensional chess game, which he liked to play on Star Trek. Unlike traditional chess, which is played on a flat, linear, one-dimensional surface, his Tri-D Chess is a three dimensional form of chess that requires its users to consider plays on a multi-dimensional platform. Not only must they consider the linear move in front of them, but they must also ponder the impact of those moves on separate, clear boards located above and below the main board. Each piece impacts a number of levels. Players have to remain aware of how every piece on every level interrelates. This reminds me of the challenge of multimedia writing. Not only must you ponder the linear story you must write on the main level, but also you must consider upper levels and lower levels accessible by hyperlinks or mouse clicks. You have to think about how each word connects to words on screens not yet visible. It is a form of three-dimensional writing that we are only beginning to comprehend, much less master. Each piece of information impacts a number of levels. Writers have to remain aware of how every level interrelates. The computer screen -- through the development of websites and presentation software such as MS PowerPoint -- is now used interchangeably with paper as an output device for information. "- What types of information are more suited for output to the computer screen vs. paper? - How does reading information on paper compare with viewing written information on a computer screen (or projector screen)? - Should information be presented in the same way for paper as for the computer screen? - Are currently accepted multimedia emphasis techniques (such as moving text) enhancements or distractions? " Research into these areas is new, but certain conventions have emerged. This book will examine the current state-of-the-art implementation of multimedia writing. It will show differences between viewers (those who see information projected on a screen) and readers (those who read information on paper). - Barbara Moran
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About Barbara Moran

Barbara Moran spent 20 years in "mainstream news" (as editor of a city magazine and a weekly newspaper, on-air radio news reporter, and staff writer for San Diego Union and Atlanta Constitution). In 1989, she left traditional media to become part of the new Web-based media. She worked for two search engines as an online editor, and she has freelanced extensively online. She wrote The Internet Directory for Kids & Parents (IDG Books) and contributed a chapter on multimedia writing to English for Careers: Business, Professional, and Technical by Leila Smith (Prentice Hall). Founder/ editor of her own K-12 educational Website (, Ms. Moran serves as a communications consultant and teaches Internet-, computer-, and communications-related subjects at the college level (at San Francisco State University and San Mateo Community College District). She has her B.A. in telecommunications from Kent State University and her master's in instructional technology from the School of Education at San Francisco State University. To contact her consulting service, email
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Table of contents

1. What is Multimedia Writing? 2. Why Are Words Important? 3. Traditional Writing vs. Multimedia Writing. 4. Creating Your Content. 5. Make Your Words Work. 6. Writing With Style. 7. Words As Graphic Elements. 8. Formatting Text in a Multimedia Environment. 9. Special Considerations for Websites. 10. Special Considerations for Visual Presentations. Appendix. Great (Writer-Friendly) Software for Websites and Presentations. Finding Help Along the Way. Glossary. Chapter Answers.
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