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Visual Argument
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ENG122 English Composition II
Visual Argument
We live in a world flooded with images. They pull at us and compete for our attention and push us to do things. But how often do we think about how they work? Can there be argument without words? Yes – yes there can, and there are numerous. Think of the Vietnam Memorial Wall, the Korean Memorial, various t-shirts people wear with symbols of peace on them – all present a visual argument.
Visual arguments require viewer participation and differing interpretations of the visual arguments. Thousands of multimedia arguments have been posted on YouTube. We are a mediated culture.
Thus, Analyze visual evidence — photographs, videos, images of every kind you can think of, plus all the visual images viewed in magazines, journals, newspapers, television, and the Internet. These images are advertisements most times.
Then, build your visual analysis: analyze visual arguments made by someone else and choose one. Analyzing arguments made up of images and graphics is largely a matter of following the same strategies for rhetorical analysis. Now, you must analyze images instead of (or in addition to) words. When you analyze a visual image, think about the image itself as well as its relationship to other images (and discourse). The arguments implied by visual images, like the arguments made through text alone, are carried both by the context and by the image.
Analyze context – (message portrayed)
Analyze visual and textual elements – (color v. black and white, actual words used)
Writing a Visual Analysis: take into account the context of the image as well as its visual elements and any surrounding text. Look carefully at its details and thoroughly consider its context. What visual elements grab your attention first, and how do other details reinforce that impression – what is most important and less important? How do color and style influence impressions? How does the image direct the viewer’s eyes and reinforce what is important? What is the relationship between the image and any text that might accompany it? Consider the shapes, colors, and details of the image, as well as how the elements of the image connect with different arguments and audiences. So, strive to determine the target audience in the analysis.
Review pages 56-58 and pages 45-88 in Faigley regarding ethos, pathos, and logos and writing a visual analysis. These are very important pages and the rhetorical appeals help ground your argument.
Review Hacker page 77 Guidelines for analyzing visual texts
You are developing a rhetorical analysis specifically analyzing a visual design and incorporating emotional appeals found in rhetorical situations are important features in an argumentative visual analysis. Hacker provides an examination of ethos, logos, and pathos on pages 80-81 and 92-100.
Thus, select a visual argument from any source such as the Internet, a magazine, newspaper, etc.
(ie. a commercial for Got Milk?).
Next, evaluate the rhetorical appeal related to the context, visual elements, and the text, specifically identifying ethos (credibility), logos (logical reasoning and evidence), and pathos (emotional appeal).
Finally, write the visual argument. evaluating the ethos, pathos, and logos of the visual you selected.
Format – Introduction: identify the visual argument and your overall claim/thesis regarding its
rhetorical appeal
– Body: discuss the context, visual elements, and the text (if any), and elaborate on each rhetorical appeal; use headings Ethos, Logos, Pathos in order to organize your argument if you’d like.
– Conclusion: -restate your visual image analyzed and your thesis/claim
– Use at least one in-text citation citing a comment from the visual argument or a comment from another source (you would need to cite this source then as well in your works cited) regarding the visual argument. You might interview another person and ask his/her opinion and cite this in your argument. Then, you might react – whether you agree or disagree with the comment.
Keep this argument brief – 2 pages and a works cited page listing the source of the visual argument and any other sources referenced. Include the image you chose as well.
MLA documentation style format required ——–
SUBMITTING ESSAYS
All essays must be typed and double-spaced. Deadlines/due dates of all assignments are found in the Syllabus.
Submit essays within D2L Dropbox. Submit as .doc files, saved in MSWord, version 6.0 or higher. Please do not use Works to submit any assignment. Late submissions will receive late evaluations (as well as a lower score). Late is late no matter the excuse. Essays take time, so please be patient.
ESSAY FORMAT
The essay format is as follows and is required for each essay: left justification, double spaced; size 12 font / Times New Roman; margins are standard Word margins – approximately one inch top, bottom, left, and right. Title is centered – no underlining or bold. Indent each new paragraph one tab from the left margin. Number the pages in the upper right corner, MLA format. Ie. Bamber 3

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