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Conclusion: The Demands of a Multi-Modal Electronic Discourse

So far, it has been established that the demands of a multi-modal text upon reader and writer go beyond requiring a competence in the system of rules and conventions of each mode of expression. A hypertext writer cannot hope to grasp the semiotic potential of his/her work without understanding the synergistic interplay between the modes of expression which he/she chose to use. Likewise for the reader, for whom a firm grasp of this will yield a more fruitful reading experience. As vocalized by Kress (1998), 

“multi-modal texts need a theory which deals adequately with the integration/composition of the various modes in these texts: both in production/making, and in consumption/reading.”  (p.73)

The development of this theory requires adequate understanding of the semiotic characteristics of the various modes involved in multimodal compositions. With regards to the electronic media, an understanding of the workings and nature of the medium is also imperative, if a writer or reader is to successfully apply his/her understandings of the interplay between modes to an electronic text.

There can be little doubt that  future generations who will grow up being familiar with the workings of hypertext may even take for granted the demands placed on this generation in transition. At the moment it is a challenge which must be surmounted if the semiotic potential of the electronic writing space is to be met.