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Examples of Inventio


Here are some examples of inventio. Suppose you were writing an argument or an essay about the internet:

NAME OF TECHNIQUE and EXAMPLES using the internet as a focus

Narration:
"I once found myself on-line playing World of Warcraft until 4:30 in the morning. As my stale pizza fossilized in its cardboard coffin, I realized how addictive the internet experience could be to someone who. . . ."


Description:
"The internet is an endless sea of flashing lights. It is an endless stream of bright colors and iridescent advertisements that pop up or disappear with the push of a button, all upon a flat monitor no larger than a pizza box; one finds that . . ."


Process:
"The internet works through the wondrous flexibility of its programming language, hypertext mark-up language. If the right equipment is available, any person can upload data via a technique known as "File Transfer Protocol" (FTP) to a server, which in turn . . ."


Cause:
"The explosive growth of the internet came about through three factors--its ease of use, the expansion of personal computers into the home, and . . . "


Effect:
"The internet encourages nearly everyone, regardless of writing ability, to publish. In the long run, there are two possible effects. The first effect is that there will be a lot of substandard drivel churned out in such huge amounts that nobody will bother to read online writing, thus stifling successful artistic endeavor. The second effect is that large publishing houses will lose their stranglehold on literature. Why should go the Bantam books and pay seven bucks for a Stephen King novel when it is available from King's own website for $1.50? In the long run, a lot of publishers are going to wind up dead broke unless they compete by offering on-line services as well."


Compare:
"The internet is a community picnic. Everyone who shows up at this online picnic is free to take a piece of this tasty pie here, or sample the neighbor's wonderful split-pea casserole, but good manners require the newcomers to bring something worthwhile to share with everyone else. Likewise..."

OR, "The internet is like a spiderweb. While normal arachnids make their web from fibers they excrete, the builders of the internet create their virtual web out of photons and electrons and miles and miles of cable. On the surface of the web, strings of zeros and ones representing data scurry endlessly back and forth, either as short bursts of electricity over copper atoms or as quick flashes of light over optic cable.Programs such as netspiders, 'bots, worms, and viruses are free to move from strand to strand at any point two threads connect, just like spiders in the physical world."


Contrast:
"Surfing the internet is quite different from library research. There is no musty smell of old paper, no tangible weight of a book within one's hands, and no gray-haired librarian clearly visible to ask questions to."


Classification:
"The internet is a form of mass media, and as a whole it shares certain traits in common with other types of mass media such as television, radio, and print. What uniquely separates the internet from other forms of mass media is its ability to . . ." [Click here for a chart of division/classification.]


Division:
"If we were to divide the internet into its component parts (if it is possible to break down a 'virtual' object into parts besides ones and zeros), we might divide it into communities. One part of the internet is the business community, which seeks to use the computer as the ultimate marketing and selling tool. Another part is the research community, which. . . ." [Click here for a chart of division/classification.]


Formal Definition:
According to Albion's netdictionary, the internet is "A worldwide network of networks that all use the TCP/IP communications protocol and share a common address space. . . ."


Etymology:
"We can understand the importance of community in the internet by the etymology of the word itself. The prefix inter comes from a Latin preposition and adverb meaning "among" or "between." The suffix -net comes from the word net itself, something that is woven or braided together. Thus, the internet is something that is woven or braided together between or among points."


Example:
"The internet is everywhere. If you have ever gone to weather.com rather than waiting for the 6:00 news report to find out if snow is headed your way, you have used the internet. Joining a MUD, playing World of Warcraft online, typing greetings in a chat-room, or engaging in cybersex with a faceless stranger in Alaska, these disparate actions are all examples of the same phenomenon."


Exposition:
"The internet is a big collection of images, texts, and programs that people have put on computers linked together so that people elsewhere can access them."


Negative Definition:
"The experience of the internet is not athletic; one can surf the web sitting in a chair or lying down. The experience is not linnear; the users do not have to follow any particular order as they surf; the destination is not predictable; the surfers might be reading the Washingon Post one second, and the next second find themselves in the 'XXX Hot Grrlz' chatroom by clicking on the advertising banner."


Possible/impossible:
"The internet could possibly become the primary form of publication because online publication is arguably cheaper than cutting down a tree and pulping the wood to make old-fashioned paper. . . ."

OR, "The internet will never be capable of replacing face-to-face interaction because humans are biologically wired to. . . ."


History:
"The internet began in 1969 as a military project called Arpanet. . . ."


Diagram:
"Amazingly, one can even maintain an internet connection while driving in a car, without being plugged into an ethernet connection. The trick is to use the same technology cell phones use. Information is sent wirelessly to a cell-phone tower, and response is sent wirelessly as well. As long as the car is within range, the two-way transmission is carried in a straight line back and forth from the nearest cell-tower."

Anecdote:
There's a story about a child who asked a librarian 'Why do you need all the books?' when the child's parents took her to the local library. The surprised librarian didn't know what to say initially. The story raises another interesting question for anyone using the internet as a . . . ."


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