Category Archives: Multimodal Composition

Multimedia and me

My essay was sturctured to be easy to read. As I was writing it I made sure it was visually appealing and simple to understand. A lot of this was through proper blocking of the essay. In my essay one major point was to make sure that none of the paragraphs were too long. When they were they looked like walls of text.

The paragraphs that were too long also teded to try to cover too many topics. By paying attention to length it also helped my make sure that paragraphs stayed on topic.  Otherwise there wasn't much multimedia in the research essay but there was some in the proposal. That took the form of imagery of data. It showed a chart to justify one of the claims I made. This chart helped to allow people to see and derive the information that I had. It also worked as evidence that didn't need to be explained. It allowed readers to experience the research that I did as well so they could see where I was developing my opinions from.

Imagery has not affected my writing that much but the spacing of paragraphs has. Making sure they don't drone on has been a big consideration for me when writing.

Utilizing Multimodes



Technology plays a major role in human development, especially with my topic of genetic engineering. We are around technology every hour of every day, and the multimodal research project has made me aware of this fact. Most people, including myself, are so used to using technology, that we sort of become blind to the fact that we are using it. It is important to utilize a variety of modes in academic writing. They add diversity and can be more effective in terms of engaging our audience than a paper with all text.

I will be including images in my research essay. I will also be referencing many videos in my essay as well. One such video is called "The Next Species of Human." In this TEDTalk given by Harvard scientist Juan Enriquez, he demonstrates how current technologies, such as hearing aids, have evolved over time and predicts how they will continue to evolve in the future. This source is credible, because TED is well known company, and only the world's most innovative and influential individuals give presentations there. Enriquez uses multimedia such as pictures and video in his speech to illustrate his point, and also utilizes humor to further engage his audience. This source adds diversity to my list of sources used, because it is someone giving a speech on the subject.

Having multimodes puts your abstract ideas into concrete examples and statistics that you can see and hear for yourself, which in turn leads to a better understanding of your topic by your audience. As for the layout and font design, I will keep it simple by using the standard MLA format. The photos, charts, and videos already add to the multimodality of my research essay, and having too much going on could be distracting and confusing for the reader. It is important to have a balance of both so your argument does not get lost or overlooked.


Photo credit:

Blog Post 12: Multimodality

In my multimodal research essay, which highlights the controversial issue of whether or not the excessive use of social media and technological communication is good or bad for society, I have added some images that support some of the topics and sources that I incorporated into my multimodal research essay. My research essay will include visual, linguistic, and spacial modes while I make my argument. For example, when I talked about how the social media site Instagram is what people use to depict their beauty and how they want people to characterize them, I posted a picture of the logo which also depicted what it was and what you can do on this social media website. In my multimodal research essay, I have many statistics, so I will be providing a graph that proves the credibility of these stats in my research paper. Furthermore, since I mentioned a TEDtalk by Sherry Turkle, I will be posting a link to her video in my essay as well. These multimodal compositions that I will incorporate into my research essay are all supporting evidence for the sources that I talked about in my research essay. All of these compositions have their own contextual language as well because each of them are sending a message to the audience.

I believe that adding multimodal composition to my research essay really helped increase the credibility of my essay because they were all sources from researchers, academic scholars, and professionals. Furthermore, adding multimodal composition to my research essay really helps the audience understand the different viewpoints about what other sources think about this controversial issue as well as my argument about this issue. It will add more evidence to the argument that I am making on my research paper, which highlights that the excessive use of social media is actually bad for society (pertaining to kids and adolescents.) It makes my research essay more interesting to read as well. There is more detailed information. Not all information has to be linguistic, it can be visual as well.

To present my argument in this research essay, I have decided to divide up my paper into subtopics that portray the benefits of this issue as well as the negative aspects of it. I will have a literature review section in my research essay. I will use the spatial mode to space out the information in my essay. Then I will have another subtopic making my argument about what side I choose and provide evidence about my argument. I will make the subtopics in bold, which will make it more apparent for the audience to see. The font size will also be a little bigger. These are the ways on how I will present my argument in this multimodal research essay.




Connecting the dots by Jcook


As of right now I have multiple quotes inside of my paper because my paper relied heavily on the opinion of traditional journalist, bloggers, and users on social media. I am actually relieved that we are able to add images because I wanted to add some graphs that shows how our digital age is effecting our social platform. Sometimes it is very hard trying to explain my views of something to another person without that person having prior knowledge.

My goal for this paper is to make it as simple but powerful as I can. Although, I am still researching different view points of my question I think I have already figured out the solution. So now I have to backtrack my thoughts and try to connect the dots so my readers understand my position on my topic. I never thought about it before but I would not mind putting in a few video clips of the conference I speak so much about in my paper. I am thinking that if you guys are able to hear what I heard at those conferences then maybe the light bulb will turn on as it did in my mind. It was a aw ah moment I had during those videos were I knew it was a problem between journalist ethics and social media.

A few weeks ago, I attended a meeting were a CNN editor gave some great advice to people who inspire to work at CNN. She said you should find articles that you enjoy and you should practice writing like the author. Eventually, we will develop our own form of writing and we would become someone else's favorite writer. Every since she told us that I have been trying to model my work like other authors.

In the past, I received my lowest grades on my essay organization. So this time I was  focusing more on that so I can get better. My ultimate goal as a writer is to be the best I can be. I want to look back over my older articles and cringe because I was horrible then I got better and better. So I think I got a large amount of practice this semester. I do not think I wrote this many rough drafts in my life. LOL

Blog 12

In this class I have been introduced to the idea of multimodal texts which means using two or more modes of communication to make meaning. I found out that all texts are multimodal even a research paper. One might not use an image or sound to tell the story but written language (linguistic mode) and physical arrangement (spatial mode) will be present. The way the text is organized (page margins, page layout/spacing, font type and size, etc.) is how the audience will be able to tell the difference between let’s say a blog and a research paper. The way we use language is also very different. In a blog we might use a more casual language; we might not even be very interested checking for misspelling while in an academic work we need to pay particular attention to word choice and the organization of sentences and paragraphs.  The book says “knowing what kind of text it is, it will influence the way the audience reads it” (Writer Designer pg. 3)  Even though the development of multimodal text is often  correlated with the growth of digital communication technologies, multimodal texts don’t have to be digital.

For my research essay besides the linguistic mode and spatial mode, I will also use the visual mode.  I will include two images to compare the pre-digital age and the modern family. Sometimes a picture is worth a thousand words…so they say. Images attract and persuade the audience. In my opinion if the images are strong they can support an argument just as a scholarly article would. Speaking of font and font sizes, good choices are Arial 10, Times New Roman 12, and Calibri 12. Always double space the document. I will stick to basic black as my color of choice when it comes to writing a college paper :) Ornate and pseudo (false) handwriting fonts are usually not used for professional purposes.

Effect of Social Media on News

As authors move from print to screen, multimodal works are becoming a norm. The topic of my research revolves around the effect of social media on news and news interpretation. In order to incorporate data into my research paper, I plan to include graphs such as pie charts and bar graphs to outline the impact that social media has had on the news. By doing so, the reader will have a visual to help understand the severity of the issue. I also plan to incorporate clips from TED Talks panels guided by experts in the field. Rather than simply quoting the author, providing a audio/visual clip aids in the emphasis of the issue. Incorporating multimodal sources as a part of my bibliography is an overall aid in my argument and represents a shift in the way traditional essays are being written today.

Blog Post 12: Constructing A Good Multimodal Research Essay (My Perspective)

Throughout this semester, I've learned many important aspects of how to construct a strong multimodal research essay. In addition, I've also learned that a multimodal research essay requires the right balance of textual, visual, and auditory appeals in order to carry a strong, persuasive argument to the readers.

The first step in constructing a good research essay is having a strong question or point you, as a author, would like to discuss. This questional thesis should be overarching and be present in idea throughout the essay. In addition, there should be other subpoints that correlate to the main research question, but provide insight to the topic/controversy at hand.

There should also be other information that also links the subpoints and the research question together. Expert opinions, factual information, and progress on the controversy should also be mentioned in the essay. The essay must also discuss both aspects of the controversy, both pro and con.

When it comes to the visual and auditory aspects of the essay, subtle additions to the essay can really persuade readers to your points/aspects of the arguments. Too much however, and the essay loses its presence in what its trying to evoke. Adding too many pictures confuses the reader in what he/her is supposed to focus on, and can actually weaken your argument. Focusing on passage breaks and transitions and adding multimedia there can really help visually summarize what the point was about, or show a certain perspective on the point you're trying to get across.


Blog #12: Multimodal Composition

In Writer Designer, the authors maintain that, "To produce a successful text, writers must be able to consciously use different modes both alone and in combination with each other to communicate their ideas to others" (3). Drawing upon work by the New London Group, they describe five modes of communication: linguistic ("The linguistic mode refers to the use of language, which usually means written or spoken words." (5)), visual ("The visual mode refers to the use of images and other characteristics that readers see." (6)), aural ("The aural mode focuses on sound." (8)), spatial ("The spatial mode is about physical arrangement." (10), and gestural ("The gestural mode refers to the way movement, such as body language, can make meaning." (12)).

Arguably, as academic writing shifts from the page to the screen, it is becoming more multimodal. Although at present the linguistic mode--in the form of alphabetic text on the printed page--still remains dominant in academic articles and books, artifacts such as Bound by Law, the excellent text Understanding Comics, and the born digital journal Kairos--to name just a few examples--demonstrate that multimodal scholarship is gaining an audience within and beyond the academy. In this class, in addition to reading examples of multimodal scholarship, you have been producing multimodal forms of academic genres such as the annotated bibliography and the research essay.

Once again this week, the blog provides a forum in which you can explore ideas for the research essay. How will you use or integrate multimodal composition in your research essay? Will you be including images, graphs, diagrams, or perhaps even video or audio files as supporting evidence, in a manner similar to the way you might include a direct quote from a book or article? What do you expect such multimodal evidence will add to your argument? Are you relying on images, charts, graphs, diagrams, or video/audio files as sources of information? How has the inclusion of multimodal sources influenced your research? How will you be using layout and type/font design in order to help organize and present your argument in the research essay?

Posting: Everyone

Commenting: Anyone who needs the extra credit towards the Blog Project.

Taking a break: No one

This week, use your work in progress as the foundation for your blog post. Consider carefully how your research essay will integrate multimodal composition and design. Then discuss how you will combine the linguistic mode with the aural, spatial, visual, or gestural mode to enhance the rhetorical appeal of your argument. As always, before you post, please carefully read and follow the guidelines and posting information for this blog.

Featured Image Credit: "Vallingby 269.jpg" by Design for Health on Flickr.