The Assignment:

In your research paper, you used visual rhetoric to augment your written argument, privileging the written word over images. For this assignment, you will invert this power structure and construct an argument based on your research topic in which the visual is the dominant mode of discourse. The images you use in your visual argument may be identical to the ones you use in your paper, may be a subset of the ones you use in your paper, or may be completely different from those that you use in your paper -- as long as the topic is the same. Relatedly, your argument may mirror that in your research paper, or you may focus on a smaller portion of your overall argument.

There are many forms that this final assignment might take: it might be a poster, organized in various ways; an electronic or print photoessay; it might be an op-ad; it might be a web-page or series of linked webpages; it might be self-timed powerpoint slideshow or an i-movie. In addition to thinking about the general format, you should consider how words will be used in your visual argument: as a frame (so you would offer one introductory caption/paragraph that the photos themselves build from); as a running side bar (so that the photos and the words work in parallel); as captions (so that each photo is tied in to the overall argument). What is key is that your form and your visual-verbal relationship be appropriate for your topic and argument.

You should have a draft of your visual argument ready to peer review on Monday, Dec. 1; the revision is due Wednesday the 3rd, at which point we will have a class exhibit of your arguments. Please note that I used the term exhibit rather than "presentation." That's because you will give no formal presentation of your piece; as a visual argument, it should be able to stand -- and argue -- on its own.

After completing your visual argument, you should write me a one-page letter in which you reflect on your decisions in creating your text and on the assignment in general. At the end your reflection letter, you should append a list of sources for the images that you use in your project.

When you have completed this assignment, post it and the letter under PERSONAL WORK on Panfora or bring a print copy to class, as appropriate.

Due Dates

Draft: Monday, Dec 1

Revision & Reflection: Wednesday, Dec. 3

Preliminary Reading

*Envision, ch. 8

* Samples


Post under Personal Work or bring in a text copy as appropriate.

For this assignment, you will create a visual argument incorporating no fewer than 5 images accompanied by a text supplement in some form (an exception to the number of images would be an op-ad, which may rely on a single image). The formal structure of your argument should be one that is appropriate to your topic.

The reflection letter should be approximately one page in length and should contain, at the end, a list of image sources.

This installment in the Research Project is worth 5% of your grade for the class.