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A webtext is most generally defined as a text "authored specifically for publication on the World Wide Web." [1] Jennifer L. Bowie makes distinct different types of World Wide Web publications, distinguishing between hypertext and webtext.[2] Bowie conceives of hypertext as possessing characteristics of multilinearity, possibly multimedia, and reader control.

For Bowie, webtexts are characterized as being "on the Web or can be read in a browser," "May be linear or multilinear," and are associated with "Some Reader Control." Austin writes of Bowie's distinctions: "In short, hypertext could be defined to include Webtext, but not all Webtext are hypertexts."

Bowie writes of webtexts as "information (words, visuals, and more) organized in interconnected/interlinked ways on the web. Webtexts can be a whole website, or part of a website, or a combination of websites." [3]

Cheryl Ball describes the webtexts published by Kairos as "screen-based scholarly articles that use digital media to enact the authors’ argument."[4] In discussing editing Kairos webtexts, Ball calls attention to the importance of design for webtexts.

Kairos awards the Kairos Best Webtext annually.[5]

The Digital Rhetoric Collaborative has featured webtexts of the month.


  1. http://www.technorhetoric.net/about.html
  2. Wendy Warren Austin and Jennifer L. Bowie. "Definition of Hypertext and Webtext Used in the Survey" Kairos 6.2 (2001). http://www.technorhetoric.net/6.2/coverweb/hypertext/jonesbowieaustin/definitions.html
  3. Bowie, Jennifer Lynn. Exploring User/Webtext Interactions: An Examination of Gender and Sex Differences in Web Use. Diss. Texas Tech University, 2004. http://www.english.gsu.edu/~jbowie/diss.pdf
  4. Ball, Cheryl E. "Multimodal Revision Techniques in Webtexts." http://ceball.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/ClassroomDiscource-Ball-mmRevision-draft2.pdf
  5. http://kairos.technorhetoric.net/awards/pastwinners.html#webtext
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