Composition #1, due February 7th
Our culture is saturated with visual images that we are subject to on a daily basis. Advertisements, newspapers, television, invitations, basically the entire Internet–all of these rely to some degree on visual rhetoric to communicate. Because of this, our ability to decode the messages aimed at us is extremely important.
For your first composition, you’ll develop critical thinking skills by analyzing an image. Remember that analysis means breaking something down into its parts in order to better understand the whole.
You’ll select a panel, series of panels, or page from a comic book, either one we’ve read together or one you’ve read on your own. You are not limited to Marvel comics for this assignment. Keep in mind that you’ll need to choose an image that is complex enough to invite detailed analysis.
It might be helpful to think of an issue or concept you’re interested in. For example, if you are interested in representations of gender or race, you might look for a panel/page that seems to represent gender or race in an interesting way. Your objective will be to determine what the image communicates about the issue or concept and how it communicates. Remember that sometimes what is not there is as important as what is there.
This composition will take the form of an an academic paper approximately 4 pages (around 1200 words) in length. Your audience for this paper will be your academic peers, and you will follow MLA formatting to demonstrate your understanding of academic writing conventions (you will need to cite your image). You should plan to include the image in your paper, and I encourage you to use find creative ways to incorporate the image to support and enhance your argument.
This assignment requires you to think critically about how images communicate. You will build and deploy rhetorical knowledge, both in analyzing the image and in crafting your composition. You will learn to develop your ideas thoroughly and create a focused, consistent argument. You will improve writing and revising skills.
[Here’s a pdf of this page if you want to download it: Comics Visual Analysis]