Affiliate Program

Digital Rhetoric

Mary Anne Donovan

Course ID: LC027

Current Openings: Yes

Writing is not writing is not writing. Writing for websites is a whole different beast than writing copy for your typical marketing materials. For example – you have just 7 seconds to catch your reader’s attention before he clicks off to ride the next Internet wave. Another consideration is that writing for the search engines is an art and a science that has its own set of guidelines. In this course you’ll learn the techniques and nuances for writing compelling, search engine savvy website copy.

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Course Type:

Practical, hands-on learning experience to help you establish your business goals using a combination of text (handouts) and worksheets so you can write in information you gather in developing your business plan…a logical progression from a commonsense starting point to a commonsense ending point.


When you have completed this course, you will be able to do the following:

  • Discuss the differences and similarities between classical rhetoric and digital rhetoric and their significance to business writing
  • Select samples of effective and ineffective digital writing
  • Demonstrate your own ability to apply the concepts of digital rhetoric when writing for websites, blogs, ezines, email newsletters, and more

Learner Prerequisites


Start Date Ongoing, open enrollment.
Duration 8 lessons in 8 weeks
Limit N/A
Class Materials Provided by instructor with suggested readings.
Cost $395 if taken individually, $1260 if taken as part of the Business Writing Certification program, a cost of $315 per course.
Tutorial Option Additional mentoring and critiquing is available from the instructor. The fee is $45 per hour. Please contact [email protected] to register.

Course Outline

Module 1: Introduction and Overview

Module 2: What is this Beast Called Rhetoric?
Here you'll look at rhetoric in both the traditional and digital sense.

Module 3: Rhetoric in Communication
In this module you'll examine the subtle, yet profound effects of carefully crafted rhetoric in business communication.

Module 4: Website Rhetoric
To have an effective website means to understand and apply the strategies of search engine optimization (SEO) to your website. In this module you'll learn what that means.

Module 5: Blog Rhetoric
This module looks at the rhetorical techniques for creating rich, robust, and widely read blogs.

Module 6: Ezine Rhetoric
This module examines the techniques for writing effective ezines

Module 7: Email Newsletter Rhetoric
How do you get people to read your email newsletter? By using the rhetorical techniques you will learn in this module.

Module 8: Summing it All Up
Each student will design his or her own project based upon interest or need.

Instructor Bio

Mary Anne has been teaching at St. John Fisher College in both graduate and undergraduate programs for the past ten years, with a specialty in business, technical and professional communications. In addition, she is the Chief Editor of Writer Online, a professional ezine for writers and lovers of writing.