Visual Argument

This project asks you to make an argument primarily by using visuals or images.  You should approach this project by first deciding what issue you’re dealing with and what your claim might be.  If you are using the same issue and claim from your position paper, then you have already done research.  Thus, you will spend most of your time either searching for existing images that help make your claim or constructing your own images via photograph taking, cutting and pasting, or creating from scratch. The images you find can even be “moving” images that you will use as clips or stills.  If you choose an entirely new issue or change your claim from your position paper, you will have to first read articles about your issue to help you decide what you want your claim to be.
The difference between your visual argument and your position paper is that you are arguing not by liner, cause-effect logic, but by juxtaposition and associational logic.  That is to say, you are showing linkages between randomly associated images to argue your position.  Before you put the images together, they might not exhibit logical connections at all, but because you have associated them with your own claim, the way you put them together will create your argument.  This does not mean you cannot use text; you should use text strategically either within the visuals or next to them.  There is no limit to how much text you can use. 

You must complete this project with a partner from our class. This project has three parts: a visual argument, a project assessment essay, and a short presentation:

Visual argument
Your visual argument must:

Be primarily visual rather than linguistic. Your visual argument can take almost any form: a painting, a drawing, a comic strip, a sculpture, a photographic essay, a computer generated image or animation, a collage, an ad campaign, a video documentary, an editorial cartoon, etc. Power Point is probably the best application for use with this project if you have limited technological experience.  Otherwise, you can also create a website if you wish. 

Support your claim through visual choices, such as typography, color, placement, graphics, etc

Appeal to a specific audience

Here are some pointers for constructing your visual argument:

Remember that you are making an argument, so you should be able to articulate your claim and how you are supporting it even though it is not directly stated.  You should also be able to explain the warrants that people will share in order to accept your claim.

This in not an analysis; in other words, you are not explaining what argument you see in particular images; instead, you are making and producing your own argument using those images.  In fact, the original images might even make a completely different argument than the one you are making.

You should include at least some text; otherwise viewers will have to infer everything about your argument.

There is no page requirement for this portion of the assignment, since some of you will not be working with pages.  You are creating an argument indirectly; or, you are arguing for something by “showing” it instead of just “telling” about it.  You will need a “Works Cited” page, so make sure you keep track of where you retrieve your images.  If you find images on the Web, make sure to document where you found them, and include them on your “Works Cited” page.

Colors, brightness, fonts, shapes, and degree of clarity of the images all play a part in your argument.  Pay careful attention to ALL visual aspects of the material you use, and focus especially on your format and layout.

There are literally thousands of possibilities for this assignment; it requires
different thinking than you employed in your position papers.  Make sure that
your images “show rather than just literally represent what you are talking about. 
You can always run your idea by me or come see me if you are having trouble
getting started.

Remember the aspects we’ve already dealt with such as ethos, pathos, logos and paying attention to other positions.  For example, you might find an image or two that show some of the other positions and throw them into the mix strategically.  Please review chapter thirteen and especially Exercise D:  “Create a Visual Argument of Your Own,” for further assistance.  I will ask you to write a reflection about what you did before you turn the project in.

Project assessment essay
You will also compose a short essay (500-600 words) in which you analyze the process used to compose the visual argument.  The essay should be composed of answers to the questions below. Use essay format for this. For your project assessment essay, you must:
Write about about translating linguistic claims into visual claims.
How does your visual support your linguistic claim?

Write about the context.
In what ways does your visual argument appeal specifically to the audience you identified? That is, how do your design choices persuade your audience? Why? 
Write about how you used Ethos, Pathos and Logos.
Remember these? How did you appeal to ethos, logos, and/or pathos in your visual? Which of these appeal is the strongest? Why?
Ethos: What does your choice of medium say about your ethos? How are does your design reflect your character? Do you convey your ethos through typography? Color? Some other way?
Logos: How does your visual rely on logos? Can your readers easily understand your visual? Does your visual convey information efficiently? In what ways do you appeal to logos? Through typography? Color? Placement? Some other way?
Pathos: How does your visual appeal to emotion? Do you convey emotion through typography? Color? Some other way?
Write about the process.
What was the most challenging part of composing your visual argument? Why was it so challenging? Briefly describe and explain one of the significant revisions you made to your visual argument after your initial draft. What is the most effective aspect of your project? Have you deliberately adapted a standard form in an unusual or creative way? If so, why?
Write about the collaboration.
What was one way that peer feedback helped you improve your work? How did responding to the work of others help you improve your own work? What were the challenges of working with a partner? Advantages?
Write about Project Management.
How well did you plan your work on this project? What might you have done differently? (Warning: This is something that can't totally be put off until the last minute).
Font must be 12 pt. and Times New Roman
Margins must be 1 inch all the way around 
All material from outside sources (direct quotations, paraphrases, etc.) MUST be cited properly using MLA guidelines. Remember that if you don’t credit the original source, you have committed plagiarism.
The paper should be no less than 500 words and no more than 600 (Going over the maximum I have set does not impress me!)

Project Presentation
Once you have your visual argument, you and your partner(s) will be presenting it in front of the class in 5-10 minute presentation. First, you will show us your argument without speaking. Then you will explain to us the process involved in making your piece, why you chose what you chose, and what effect you hoped it would have (basically, verbally tell us your argument). This should be an informative speech in which you explain your argument.  Everyone in your group must present a portion of the project to the class.

Project Evaluation
Your final grade for this project will be determined as follows:

Assignment PortionPoint Allocation
project proposal7
audience analysis7
visual presentation32
assessment essay20
Total Assignment Points       80


Important Dates:
Project Proposal due:  Wednesday, 6/29
Audience Analysis due:  Wednesday, 6/29
Storyboard/Sketch due:  Thursday, 6/30
Substantial Draft due:  Tuesday, 7/5
Presentations and Final Draft due:  Friday, 7/8
Please do not email me your electronic projects.  Instead, save your project on a disk or CD (preferably a CD).  If you are constructing a poster board, creating a sculpture, painting, drawing, etc. make sure it is a manageable size for me to carry.