Visual Arguments Essay

Visual Argument:

Purpose and audience:
In today’s society, images play a large role in defining who we are, in communicating ideas, and in shaping what we think. For instance, controversy surrounded the President using images of the World Trade Center tragedy for purported political gain. The advertisement for drinking more milk (“Got Milk?”) is a popular image, while MTV moved young people toward small visual sound bites. Think about what type of images “speak” to you. Think about what certain images say.

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Think about how they are designed to elicit a response or draw attention to them (design features).

Then think about what you would like to say with your visual images. What point are you trying to make? What position are you trying to articulate? What is your argument? What image best represents you, your company, your school, your kid’s soccer team, etc?

Remember that argument doesn’t necessarily mean controversy or negative confrontation. Arguments can be positive.

Stating a position and advocating that position is something many of us often do. With that in mind, think about what type of visual you would like to represent your company. The only difference is that your argument will come in the form of pictures/images and will be directed to the general public.

Gather Information:
As a pre-writing activity, you should take a tour of the school and gather some data about what the school “says.” If you visited a school (any school), what images would stick with you, what images would “speak” to you, and what would those images say?

Find 5 images that “talk” about ISU and then:
1. Describe the images
2. Tell what the images say
3. Explain what values are reflected by the images
4. Tell what appeal is present in the images and to whom the appeal is being made – who is the intended audience Example: imagine a picture of a crowded parking lot. What might the picture say? 1. It might say that lots of students attend this school

2. It might say that the school is overcrowded
3. It might say that there is limited parking
Using that one image of a crowded parking lot, you could make several arguments and easily write a paper, letter to the editor, or memo to the president of the school.

You will need to do 2 things.
1. Form a group which consists of 2-3 people
2. Assignment consists of 4 parts:
Written –
Each group member will write a one-page analysis of the artifacts selected by the group. Each group will develop a brochure or fact sheet explaining the artifacts selected for display. You must use some of the pictures in your brochure or fact sheet. Oral – each group will make an oral presentation to the class (and any others who visit your display), which explains your artifacts, the focus and intent of your display, and how and why your group selected the pictures.

Visual – each group will produce 8-12 images to be used on the display. Use 4×6 or larger pictures. Use a standard sized display board. Electronic – in addition to using digital images for display, each group will provide an electronic version of your material – burn a CD – include a picture of your display, a copy of your brochure, a copy of your analysis, and a copy of your (optional) PowerPoint presentation.

Grading the Assignment:
1. Display:
Pictures are effective in conveying message/topic and there is little or no ambiguity. Display captures audience attention
Display conveys clear focus
2. Brochure:
Brochure explains artifacts
Brochure aids understanding of the display and “takes” your place when you are not available to discuss/answer questions 3. Analysis:
Your analysis provides insight into the group process including leadership, task, and maintenance roles Your analysis provides insight into what you gained through the WOVE Project 4. Presentation (optional):

PowerPoint no more than 5 min. long
Prepared “speech” about your display, the project, and your areas of interest Ease and adaptability in fielding questions about the project I will also use the COME rubric for evaluation: Correctness, Organization, Material, and Expression

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