Multimodal Essay Example

What is an Infographic?

An infographic is a quickly understood and clear visual representation of information, such as through diagrams, timelines, flowcharts, maps, word clouds, graphs, tables, and so on.

Examples

Other infographics examples:

  • coolinfographics.com - a blog about infographics, loaded with great content
  • pinterest.com - countless examples resulting from search for "infographic"

Tools and Guidance

The most popular, and proven effective, organizational model is called L.A.T.C.H. (see  vimeo.com/17430125):

  • Location; organizing information based on space or place, such as a map
  • Alphabetical; if there’s no other prevailing strong organizational structure
  • Time; as in timelines, directions, or other sequential information
  • Category; types of information, like gender, music genre or product type
  • Hierarchy; as in tallest to shortest, most expensive to least, youngest to oldest

Sites to assist in creating infographics:

  • easel.ly - a few templates, fairly customizable, requires login, free
  • piktochart.com - a few templates, requires login, basic features free
  • infogr.am - a few templates, requires login, basic features free
  • creately.com - free diagram creator, many templates
  • gliffy.com - free diagram creator/editor, very customizable
  • dipity.com - free timeline creator, with many cool features
  • canva.com - many shared templates, customizable, requires login, free
  • prezi.com - pan and zoom canvas, requires login, basic features free
  • wordle.net - word cloud generator

Rhetoric is the language and means of persuasion; it exists in any text that is designed to persuade.  Multimodal texts, no matter what form they come in, can convey persuasive ideas and messages as well.  To better understand the rhetorical power of texts, including Multimodal texts, we need to learn how to dissect each type of text using various strategies.  Rhetorical Analysis is the method by which we strategically break down an argument into smaller parts, so to learn how the parts work together to make the argument persuasive. An analogy would be breaking down a robot into parts, examining how each part (arms, legs, head, body, etc) of the robot functions, and then figure out how various parts, when connected, work together to make the robot "tick."  As a writer of rhetorical analysis, think of yourself as a scientist who dissects texts, and labels and describes the rhetorical function of each part of a dissected text, so that others can follow your example to assemble their own text for different rhetorical purposes.  

To understand the rhetoric of a given text, there are four major elements of the text that we need to critically examine:  1)  Situation; 2) Writer's Purpose; 3) Writer's Claim; and 4) Writer's Audience.  Naturally, there are four major steps involved in Rhetorical Analysis:

Step 1 - Analyze to Recognize the Situation - Motivation/Reason the writer writes a text

Step 2 - Analyze to Recognize the Writer's Purpose - Thoughts and Actions the writers want the readers to take

Step 3 - Analyze to Recognize the Writer's Claim - Main Claim/Thesis Statement and Minor Claims the writer makes to persuade the readers

Step 4 - Analyze to Recognize the Writer's Audience - Type of readers who would better understand and be more persuaded by the writer's language, references, and writing style/organization

After going through the four steps, we also need to recognize how the writer appeals to the readers to make his/her argument appear more persuasive, or in other words, how the writer tailors writing to appeal to the appropriate (target) audience to agree with a specific argument.  An effective writer of arguments uses the 3 Rhetorical Appeals for persuasion:

Logos - Appeal to logic and reason

Ethos - Appeal to ethics and authority (of the writer or of others)

Pathos - Appeal to emotion

For more explanation of Rhetoric and Rhetorical Analysis, visit the websites below

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