Writing New Media: Theory and Applications for Expanding the Teaching of Composition

By Anne Frances Wysocki; Johndan Johnson-Eilola et al. | Go to book overview

ACTIVITY 2
VISUAL ARGUMENT
ASSIGNMENT*

TEACHERS’ NOTES

GOALS
Involve students in identifying effective strategies composers/designers have used in their arguments to establish visual impact, coherence, salience, and organization.
Introduce some new vocabulary for discussing the concepts of visual impact, coherence, salience, and organization.
Below, we list some of the possible strategies that students may identify for establishing visual impact, coherence, salience, and organization. However, such strategies work differently in combination and within the context of specific arguments. Encourage students to identify unusual strategies that generate innovative and surprising effects—especially if those effects succeed.
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS
After students have completed the assignment on the following pages, look together at all the arguments they’ve made. Get the class talking by asking the following questions. The questions are set up around the vocabulary from the previous assignment.

questions aboutVISUAL IMPACT

VISUAL IMPACT is the overall effect and appeal that a visual composition has
on an audience.

Which arguments that you looked at exhibited the highest overall impact/effect? Why?

Ask the team members to identify the strategies they think the particular author/designer employed to establish visual coherence. Ask students on other teams to identify additional arguments that succeed in establishing overall coherence. Encourage students to identify strategies that are unusual, unexpected; that generate surprising (and yet successful) effects; that are innovative. Students might mention these strategies for creating visual impact:

author/designer employed an overall concept

* I am indebted to Dr. Diana George for the concept of visual arguments. She describes several such arguments created by students at Michigan Technological University in her article “From Analysis to Visual Design.”

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