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  Realism and a General Economy of the Link
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by Adrian Miles 
InterMedia UiB and RMIT 

This essay first appeared in Currents in Electronic Literacy Spring 2001 (4), <http://www.cwrl.utexas.edu/currents/fall01/ 


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When considered as a style humanities academic writing has a history of change and development much like any other form of writing. Within such writing certain assumptions about linearity, clarity of argument, presentation, and coherence have been canonised in the modern critical essay.

As academic writing increasingly moves to hypertext environments, it will be reasonable to expect some change in the 'conduct' of academic writing as a practice. To date, the majority of academic writing in hypertext environments has successfully preserved existing canonical forms of expression, presentation, and content.

In contrast, this essay appropriates a recent trope of link usability as "good" hypertext writing and treats this as a general symptom of a practice that is unable to recognise forms that fall beyond a writing naturalised by the ideological privileges of print literacy.