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I haven't really used images in my writing classes so far, but that's about to change. I'm piloting Writing in a Visual Age this fall semester.

I think I'm interested in getting students to think about how to use images rather than simply analyze them--though analysis can be good too. I'm going to be placing a greater emphasis on design in writing, on getting students to produce more visually sophisticated texts. I'm still in the process of figuring out in detail how this new objective will play out in detail in class.

If anyone has sage advice about teaching visual rhetoric in the writing classroom, I would welcome it.


I don't use images per se, at least not individual images, but have students analyze both videos (generally political ads but some other stuff) and websites (also, generally political in some way or another). I use information from a PBS Savvy Voter website to give them some guidance.


When I taught FYC using Picturing Texts by Faigley et al, I quoted Gunther Kress as my rationale: "The world of communication is not standing still. The communication world of children now in school is both utterly unremarkable to them and yet it looks entirely different to that which the school still imagines and for which it still, hesitantly and ever more insecurely, attempts to prepare them. All of us already inhabit that new world" (Literacy in the New Media Age). If still interested in this question of integrating Visual Rhetorics, I recommend looking at Adam Renchen's review of four such textbooks in the September 2007 issue of TETYC.

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