Visual Rhetoric Paper

Visual Rhetoric Paper

In this paper, you will look at how visual elements recur in mediated contexts and how they add meaning and/or argumentative power to these contexts. To this end you will choose a visual “topic” or “icon” which has been recurring in the media, producing a variety of representations.

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The first step will be for you to create an archive of visuals representing the person/ persona/ object of your choice, or variations thereof (e.g. parodied versions or graphic images). When researching, pay close attention to the contexts into which they have been placed (both inside the visual and outside of the visual itself. Also, look out for contexts in which the visual is used to make or support an argument of some sort. Make sure you have at least 5 representations that you feel would be interesting to write about.

1. Give some context on the history of your “icon”. Why do you think these images it have been circulating?

2. Characterize the contexts in which the images occur in the examples you have picked. What do they have in common? How do they differ?

3. Pick one or two visuals that were used to make an argument of some sort. Analyze the visuals (using some of the categories from the Visual literacy handout in the Modules) and explain how the visual contributes to the argument? Who do you think is the target audience for the argument and why?

Your paper will be 1000 words minimum and use MLA formatting. You can find a sample of an MLA-formatted paper at: http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/747/01/.

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