Ramus, Visual Rhetoric, and the Emergence of Page Design in Medical Writing of the English Renaissance Academic Article uri icon


  • The evolution of page design to improve the readability of technical writing can be traced to improvements in typography and also to the influence of Peter Ramus. Ramus's logic used bracketed outlines to show the relationships among ideas within larger concepts. Used by legal writers and Puritan theologians to analyze concepts, Ramist method was also used by English physicians who sought to create medical texts that could be easily read and remembered by students and practitioners. Texts that used Ramist method illustrate their writers' awareness of the importance of making information visually accessible by use of white space, headings that reveal hierarchies of ideas, and bracketed dichotomies and partitions to reveal content for selective reading.

published proceedings

  • Written Communication

author list (cited authors)


citation count

  • 13

complete list of authors


publication date

  • October 1991