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Document Design

image of Document Design
ISSN 1388-8951
E-ISSN 1569-9722

As of 2004 this journal has been merged with <a href="/catalog/idj"><em>Information Design Journal</em></a>.

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  • The impact of connectives and anaphoric expressions on expository discourse comprehension
    • Authors: Liesbeth Degand, Nathalie Lefèvre, and Yves Bestgen
    • Source: Document Design, Volume 1, Issue 1, 1999, pages: 39 –51
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    • This study focuses on the impact of linguistic markers of coherence on the comprehension of expository discourse. The impact of such markers on comprehension (i.e., off-line) is a highly controversial topic in current studies, especially for connectives for which a facilitating as well as an interfering role has been demonstrated. As a matter of fact, it seems that connectives facilitate the comprehension process in that they improve the reading process, but that they do not increase comprehension of the text. It might even be possible that they ease the reading task in such a way that they provide the reader with the 'impression' of having understood the text instead of a real understanding.The objective of the experiment was to test this far-reaching hypothesis for the use of connectives in expository texts. We wanted to determine the impact of causal connectives such as because ('parce que') and so ('donc') on comprehension and on the feeling of understanding, contrasting it with the impact of anaphoric expressions. Contrary to previous results, our experiment shows that the presence of connectives actually improved comprehension while it did not have an impact on the perception of understanding.
  • Populist discourses: The rhetoric of exclusion in written genres
  • Analyzing rhetorical devices in print advertisements
  • Communication barriers in public discourse: The patient package insert
  • Research-based principles for the design of instructional messages: The case of multimedia explanations
    • Author: Richard E. Mayer
    • Source: Document Design, Volume 1, Issue 1, 1999, pages: 7 –19
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    • Multimedia explanations are communications using words and pictures to explain how something works, including animation and narration in computer-based environments or text and illustrations in book-based environments. A cognitive theory of multimedia learning reveals a concurrence requirement for meaningful learning, in which corresponding verbal and pictorial representations must be held in working memory at the same time. Based on a theory-based research program, I propose five design principles: multimedia principle, to use words and pictures rather than words alone; contiguity principle, to place words close to corresponding pictures on a page or to present narration concurrently with corresponding animation; coherence principle, to minimize extraneous words, pictures, and sounds; modality principle, to present words as speech rather than as on-screen text; and individual differences principle, to use these design principles particularly for low-experience rather than high-experience learners and for high-spatial rather than low-spatial learners. Multimedia messages offer great potential for improving the effectiveness of communication, but only to the extent that their design is based on theory and research.
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