I was interested in knowing how the Adult Literacy League uses their website to communicate different messages to their various audiences (potential volunteers, potential donors, and potential students). I figured that it must be difficult for the rhetor to communicate with all of these types of people at once, since they have different necessities. Potential students might not be able to read with the same capabilities that potential volunteers or donors can and they don’t need to be persuaded to be apart of the organization as much as the potential volunteers and donors.
http://www.adultliteracyleague.org is the link to the official website of the Adult Literacy League
Some of the elements that I analyzed were the simplicity of the website and the language that they used and the techniques used by the rhetor to appeal to the various types of people that might visit their website.
When I first entered the home page, the first thing that stood out to me was a slide show with 5 rotating graphics and links. The first of a man, named Chris, who earned his GED with the organization’s help, although it offers a link where you can get more information about their “Summer Literacy Campaign” and how you can help, the enthusiasm with which the image is presented and the smile on the Chris’s face creates a positive connection for people who want to be students, donors, or volunteers. The image says “Chris earned his GED, after studying with us!” in big letters, however the “studying with us” half of the sentence is in red font and underlined to make it stand out from the rest of the sentence, which gives the message to the audience that “they are that good”. The second image very simply says “Need Help?” in big bold font, followed by “click here to get started” with an open book in the background which is clearly a link to for potential students, I think that it’s great because it’s simple and to the point with basic word choices. The third image is also a very simple image giving statistics of the accomplishments of the organization within the last year, it’s using numbers as opposed to wording to get a message across, that again, can reach multiple audiences, this is also an example of the Ethos appeal because it show’s everything that has been and can be accomplished within the organization. The fourth image says “Become a Tutor Today” in bold letters which says “change someone’s life… one page at a time” which is using the Pathos appeal to make potential tutors feel that they have the potential to truly influence the life of others. The fifth image has a large, bold title that says “How Your Donation Can Help” which is clearly for potential donors and gives many examples of how certain amounts of money can help students, I believe that this uses a mixture of the Ethos, Logos, and Pathos appeals because it is telling potential donors, how they would be helping and benefiting other’s lives, where their money is going, and everything that organization does with it.
The next thing that stood out to me was that at the right hand corner of the homepage, it gives you the option to view the entire website in Spanish, which is great because they offer ESOL programs because some student’s may be interested in learning English as their second language and Spanish is one of the most common second languages in the area. In my opinion, that is a great tool for a literacy organization’s website to have.
Through out the website, there are five tabs, “What We Do”, “Need Help”, “Why Literacy Matters”, “Get Involved”, “Tutors”, “Who we are”, and “Contact”.
Under the “Why Literacy Matters” tab (http://www.adultliteracyleague.org/why-literacy-matters/), it says “One in every five Central Florida adults reads at or below the 5th grade level. For them, simple everyday tasks present real problems. Reading product labels, following street signs or filling out job applications can be difficult and frustrating.” It made me wonder if someone at that reading level can read and understand the information on that page, so I had my sister who is in her first month of 5th grade read the website and she was able to comprehend everything easily.
Through out the website after pressing the tabs, there are various links specifically for classes (http://www.adultliteracyleague.org/classes/), volunteers (, tutors, or donations, which makes it a lot more simple for the rhetor to direct their messages and accommodate to the necessities of their audiences.
I found this research useful because it shows that there are simple ways to reach multiple types of people, without being cluttered like many other websites. Also, that less is more. They are direct and straight to the point but still give people all of the information that they want and the facility to take the next step whether it’s donating, volunteering, tutoring, attending classes, contacting them, etc. It’s a great format/template for any non-profit organization’s website to follow.