Since you have been engaged in investigating a particular issue, you have become familiar with multiple perspectives that inform your knowledge. You are, indeed, a stakeholder who is invested in the outcome of the issue you have been researching, and in this assignment, your objective is to convince an audience who is uninvolved, unconcerned, uninterested, or not invested to find value in your argument and to agree to your call to action. Such a task requires you to invite your audience into the conversation about your topic by anticipating the kinds of questions they might have and providing them with the kind of information that they would need to decide to take the action you recommend. You’ll want to make good use of your written and visual evidence as you give your audience reasons they will value as you educate, engage, and empower this non-engaged audience through the writing of your multimodal argument.
More specifically, prior to this assignment, you have selected a non-engaged stakeholder, drawn on the credible sources of the research you have conducted in the past two projects, recognized the rhetorical choices stakeholders made in designing images that best represented their goals, and created substantial content by answering guiding questions. You are now ready, in Part 2, to construct the intermediate draft of your multimodal argument.
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Part 2 asks you to create a multimodal argument that aims (1) to educate an audience of non-engaged stakeholders about the topic you have been exploring, (2) to engage this audience by convincing them that they should care about this issue, and (3) to empower the audience to agree to your call to action.
You’ll construct this multimodal argument by combining two or more channels or systems of communication that include (1) writing text as argument (2) incorporating static images, and (3) connecting a dynamic visual or auditory component via a hyperlink.
Together, in one unified multimodal argument, all three communication modes will (1) educate an audience of non-engaged stakeholders about the topic you have been exploring, (2) engage this audience by convincing them that they should care about this issue, and (3) empower the audience to advance your cause by taking action in some defined way.
More specifically, your multimodal argument requires
- a textual construction that includes linguistic and spatial constructions in the writing of a 1,000 – 1,200-word essay that incorporates compelling and persuasive evidence that supports your thesis;
- a visual component, which strategically integrates a total of two static images (photograph, diagram, infographic, graph, map, and/or drawing) that support your argument in important ways. Vary the type of static visuals to avoid including two of the same type;
- one dynamic media component via a hyperlink of an appropriate word or phrase that intentionally merges a single video or podcast of two minutes or less into your multimodal argument in meaningful ways.
Your Multimedia Argument
You should think of your multimodal argument as more than the static words on a printed page. Rather, embrace your multimodal argument as a balance of thoughtful static and dynamic images and words, as a balance of text and visualization. Your purposeful incorporation of media compels you to make rhetorical choices as to the type of media to use, the ways in which the media will educate, engage, and/or empower your audience, and the location of where the media will work best in the multimodal argument to enhance, unify, supplement, and/or complement your text. As you recall, in Project 2, you analyzed how a stakeholder’s visual arguments reflected the stakeholder’s goals. In your Project 3 multimodal argument, you now actively assume the stakeholder role as you use effective visual and/or auditory arguments along with written arguments to communicate your message to your non-engaged stakeholder. Keep in mind that visuals help us to develop ideas in immediate ways, to transcend ideas that blur language barriers, and to understand experiences that language may not be able to convey. Your static and dynamic multimedia will help to guide your audience, convey your message and goals, provide clear emphasis, set a particular tone, build credibility, and help persuade your audience to consider the value of your argument. Points to remember when using visual images (note: you’re making rhetorical choices for everything you do in your multimodal argument, and guiding your audience is one of those conscious choices):
- Placement of the static images and your one hyperlink are critical to the effectiveness of the multimodal argument. Images should be large enough (but not overpower the text) to be seen clearly, be of good quality/resolution, and be positioned near the text that the images or hyperlink reference. Be aware the relationship between the text and the image should be clear. In other words, you should reference the image in the text in a way that advances why the image matters to the argument being conveyed. Wrap the text squarely or tightly around the image. Label all visuals with a relevant title and caption that explains the argument of the visual.
- Give credit to the original source when using images, including bibliographic information in your Works Cited page. Refer to the required formatting guidelines for citing visuals.
- Introduce your dynamic visual with a hyperlink, which will allow your audience to connect to the video or podcast. Hyperlink an appropriate word or phrase in a sentence of your text that links directly to the dynamic visual. As you referenced your static images in the text, you will also connect the dynamic image or podcast (introduced by your hyperlink) to the larger multimodal argument being conveyed. Reference this source in your Works Cited Page.
At least five credible sources are required for this Intermediate Draft of your Multimodal Argument. You can draw on the relevant research conducted in the last two projects; however, you must include at least 3 new sources that you have not previously used. In addition to these 5 sources, you will document the 3 sources associated with your 2 static visuals and your hyperlink connection.
The following processes will help you to further develop your Part 2 Intermediate Multimodal Argument:
- Begin with a creative and transparent title that reflects the critical nature of your research topic and your objective to persuade your audience to agree with your call to action.
- Contextualize your chosen topic in your introduction. Identify the problem related to your topic, let your audience know why your topic is important and why they should care, and include a call to action thesis that concludes what you determine is a reasonable solution to the problem you have conveyed.
- Provide a progression of ideas/evidence/appeals in a logical and cohesive pattern in the body of your essay, introducing each paragraph with a topic sentence that positions an important point. Follow each topic sentence with supporting evidence from your research to support your claim. Be sure to anticipate your audience’s objections with a meaningful refutation and logically lead your audience to the call to action. Integrate appropriate evidence from your 5 sources, anchoring your ideas with support by the source’s arguments.
- Integrate a total of two static images, photographs, diagrams, infographics, graphs, maps, and/or drawings, that support your argument in important ways. Vary the type of static visuals to avoid including two of the same types.
- Include a hyperlink that intentionally connects an appropriate word or phrase to one dynamic media component, which may be a single video or podcast of two minutes or less into your multimodal argument in meaningful ways.
- Be sure to use clear transitions as you move from point to point.
- Provide source citations according to the required guidelines.
- Write a conclusion that highlights your major points and provides realistic forward-thinking ideas for future research/action.
- Include a Works Cited page
- Proofread your Part 2 intermediate Multimodal Argument.
- While you want to convince your non-engaged audience that your argument has merit and your call to action is worth pursuing, you don’t want to offend your audience by ignoring or not anticipating their questions and/or possible objections. Rather, invite your audience into the conversation about your topic by anticipating the kinds of questions they might have and providing them with the kind of information that they would need to decide to take the action you recommend.
- Make sure that the static and dynamic visuals you select add value to your written argument, are consistent with the text’s purpose, create a positive reaction from your audience, and effectively unify, supplement, and/or complement your text
- Envision the components of your multimodal argument as parts to a whole. All components are necessary to effectively persuade your audience.