Project 3 | Composing Multimodal Arguments
Terms You Should Know
- Multimodality: Using different means of communication (e.g. language, images, hypertext, etc.) to construct cohesive arguments in various media (i.e., advertisements, posters, news report, websites, films)
- Non-engaged stakeholder: A person (or group of people) who is uninvolved in or unconcerned with the discussion about an issue and who is not interested or invested in taking action on that issue
Now that you have researched your topic, as well as some of the stakeholders who are actively and publicly invested in that topic, you have become an engaged stakeholder yourself. In Project 3, you will persuade non-engaged stakeholders to care about the issue and engage with it by making a call to action.
You will draw on research about your issue or topic and use your knowledge of rhetorical appeals to educate, engage and empower audiences using written, visual, and verbal strategies. You will stake your claim and make your call to action in two media: a) a website or video (as your instructor specifies); and b) a formal essay. You will present your work in a public space either in class or at Rhetoric in Action Day (RIAD).
Project 3 brings all you have done full circle. You will use the understanding of the rhetorical situation that you’ve developed throughout the semester to craft an effective argument that persuades the audience to take the action you recommend. Based on the understanding of multiple stakeholder perspectives developed in Project 1, you will use evidence to educate the audience as a means of securing their engagement with your issue. Finally, you will use the understanding of visual rhetoric that you developed in Project 2 to create a multimodal argument that advocates your call to action.
Project 3 is comprised of three parts. Note that while the goals of the while the goals of the multimodal and written arguments are the same, each argument achieves its goals by employing the different strengths of that media.
1. Multimodal Argument: You will produce a multimodal argument (either a website or video, as specified by your instructors). This multimodal argument (a) educates an audience of non-engaged stakeholders about the issue or topic; (b) engages the audience by convincing them that they should care about this issue or topic; and (c) empowers the audience to take action in some way. By the conclusion of the essay, the audience should feel both engaged with the topic and empowered to act. The multimodal part of the assignment will be evaluated using either a website or video rubric developed in class.
2. Formal Essay: You will compose an argumentative essay of 1200-1400 words that (a) educates an audience of non-engaged stakeholders about the issue or topic; (b) engages the audience by convincing them that they should care about this issue or topic; and (c) empowers the audience to take action in some way. By the conclusion of the essay, the audience should feel both engaged with the topic and empowered to act. The written part of the assignment will be evaluated using theProject 3: Composing Multimodal Arguments Rubric (see sidebar).
3. Presentation: In a public space, students will present their multimodal remediation (or a portion of it) for an audience of their peers. Individual instructors will dictate the specific requirements of these presentations. The presentation portion will be evaluated during the final week of class—either in class or at Rhetoric in Action Day (RIAD).
This written part of the assignment will be evaluated using the rubric for, which assesses your ability to display an awareness of audience, to tailor your communication for maximum impact on that audience, and to leverage the strengths of the two media with which you are working (digital and textual) to motivate that audience to act. The multimodal part of the assignment will be evaluated using either a website or video rubric developed in class.
November 13: Early Draft–Multimedia Argument (Canvas)
The early draft takes the form of a draft of your multimodal argument (website or video). The work you do in this early draft accomplishes two goals: preliminary design and content work for the final multimodal argument, and content and idea building for the written argument (both intermediate and final drafts). See the Project 3 Multimedia Argument Early Draft assignment for more details.
November 20: Intermediate Draft–Written Argument (Canvas and MyReviewers*)
The intermediate draft takes the form of a draft of the written (text only) argument. This draft should be a polished essay (1200-1400 words) that (a) educates an audience of non-engaged stakeholders about the issue or topic; (b) engages the audience by convincing them that they should care about this issue or topic; and (c) empowers the audience to take action in some way. This draft should include a thesis, all major points, evidence to support these points (including in-text citations from appropriate sources), and a Works Cited page.
November 27: Peer Review (MyReviewers) and Rhetorical Reflection (Canvas)
November 30: Revision Plan (MyReviewers)
December 4: Final Draft
Two final drafts are submitted for Project 3:
1. Multimedia Argument Final Draft (Canvas)
The multimedia argument final draft should be a polished and thoughtfully designed website or video. The multimodal argument will have the minimum requirements:
- A website will include a home page that introduces the audience to the site; a minimum of three other pages that educate, engage, and empower the audience to act; and a Works Cited page. The sources used in the written argument also can be used in the multimedia argument.
- A video will be two to five minutes long and will integrate audio (music and spoken word) and visual components (images and dialogue) with minimal “talking head” narration. Sources used in the video must be credited.
2. Written Argument Final Draft (Canvas and MyReviewers*)
The written argument final draft should be a polished essay (1200-1400 words) and should include a thesis, all major points, evidence to support these points (including in-text citations from appropriate sources), and a Works Cited page.
Both final drafts (a) educate an audience of non-engaged stakeholders about the issue or topic; (b) engage the audience by convincing them that they should care about this issue or topic; and (c) empower the audience to take action in some way. Both compositions (digital and text-only) should be free of organizational, grammar, and style errors and should follow proper MLA structure when formatting and citing sources.
Note: Final drafts that have not been significantly revised will be lowered one letter grade.
*It is your responsibility to upload your project drafts to both Canvas and MyReviewers. Assignments will be counted as late until they have been turned into both places.
Role of Research
You will draw on the research conducted in the past two projects. Project 3 requires a minimum of five credible sources. You may use research referenced in Projects 1 and 2; however, you must include at least three new sources that you have not previously used.
As you think about research for this assignment, remember what you have learned about the role of research: yes, it gives you credibility with your audience, but it primarily serves to invite the audience into the conversation about your topic. As you are researching, think about the kinds of questions your audience might have, and think about the types of evidence you might provide that would help them understand the issue and your position. Ultimately, you will call the audience to action, but they must trust that you have fairly represented the issue, and they must have the necessary context to understand why and how the issue is important. Make good use of your evidence as you give your audience these perspectives.
Role of Peer Review
Using MyReviewers, you will provide feedback via peer review. The peer review process allows you to respond to your peers’ drafts as fellow writers working toward the common goal of producing properly formatted, useful and insightful annotated bibliographies based on the Project 1 Rubric. Both you and your peers will be using each other’s comments and recommendations to improve your work. Thus, your individual commitment to peer review has a real impact on the success of the entire class.
Students will use the peer review skills gained throughout their time in FYC to provide comprehensive, higher-level peer reviews. These peer reviews should provide highly relevant, thoughtful, and engaged feedback for peers.
Through completion of Projects 1, 2, and 3, students have learned to investigate a topic or issue through formal research and media-based arguments created by stakeholders; to analyze the rhetorical strategies used in both written and visual arguments; to enter into an existing discussion; and to contribute to arguments made by various stakeholders in a real world setting.