Interpreting Visual Text

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Advanced Composition

Essay Assignment: Interpreting Visual Text

Overview and Instructions

WD due date: ________________________ FD due date: ______________________

This assignment requires you to analyze visual texts, interpreting them and comparing them to one another. It involves description, interpretation, analysis, and evaluation. Most student essays average 4 to 6 pages in length. No Works Cited page is required unless you quote from outside sources (and this is not mandatory for this assignment).

Directions:

1) Closely examine the packet of visual texts. Select one (1) set as the basis for your essay.

Note: The set based on McDonald’s ads appears here for purposes of example and cannot be used for this essay (we will discuss this set during class to clarify how students should proceed with their selected set of visuals). Each set consists of an original image and is followed by four re-workings or parodies.

  1. A) Set A – The Statue of Liberty
  2. B) Set B – Nike ad campaign: “Just Do It”
  3. C) Set C – Iconic Photo: The Battle of Iwa Jima
  4. D) Set D – Iconic Photo: “American Gothic”

2) In small groups, with fellow students who have selected the same set of visuals as you, analyze and interpret each image, collaborating to determine meaning. Take copious notes that will prepare you for the WD. You may need to do some research to enhance your understanding of these images.

Structure of Essay: Interpreting Visual Text

1) Begin with a thorough discussion of the original image. Provide orientation: historical context, occasion, and any other relevant information. Describe the image in detail: its visuals (colors, sizes, shapes, etc.), captions, or other text. Characterize the artist’s attitude(s) and interpret the meaning of this visual. What is the artist’s intent and purpose? What appeals does it make to viewers? Of what is it attempting to persuade viewers? What does the image symbolize? Why is this iconic original image so widely known and celebrated?

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2) Next, consider the first re-mediation or parody image (you may discuss the four imitative pieces in any order that you wish – but be deliberate in the order you arrange them).

Describe the image in detail: its visuals (colors, sizes, shapes, etc.), captions, or other text. How does this image differ from the original? Characterize the artist’s attitude(s) and interpret the meaning of this visual. What is the artist’s intent and purpose? What appeals does it make to viewers? Of what is it attempting to persuade viewers? What does the image symbolize? Evaluate: How effective is this re-mediation or parody?

Explain.

3) Now consider the second re-mediation or parody image. Describe the image in detail: its visuals (colors, sizes, shapes, etc.), captions, or other text. How does this image differ from the original? Characterize the artist’s attitude(s) and interpret the meaning of this visual. What is this artist’s intent and purpose? What appeals does it make to viewers? Of what is it attempting to persuade viewers? What does this image symbolize? Evaluate: How effective is this re-mediation or parody? Explain.

4) After this, transition to an examination of the third re-mediation or parody image.

Describe the image in detail: its visuals (colors, sizes, shapes, etc.), captions, or other text. How does this image differ from the original? Characterize the artist’s attitude(s) and interpret the meaning of this visual. What is the artist’s intent and purpose? What appeals does it make to viewers? Of what is it attempting to persuade viewers? What does the image symbolize? Evaluate: How effective is this re-mediation or parody?

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Explain.

5) Conclude by analyzing the fourth re-mediation or parody in the set. Describe the image in detail: its visuals (colors, sizes, shapes, etc.), captions, or other text. How does this image differ from the original? Characterize the artist’s attitude(s) and interpret the meaning of this visual. What is this artist’s intent and purpose? What appeals does it make to viewers? Of what is it attempting to persuade viewers? What does this image symbolize?

Evaluate: How effective is this re-mediation or parody? Explain.

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Last Updated on November 16, 2020 by EssayPro