Essay #2: Visual Essay

Assignment Description

For this assignment, you will create a visually engaging essay informed by research from your opinion editorial that addresses a specific audience about the same issue. A visual essay communicates ideas using images and text. Accordingly, the form of your essay should not only illustrate an original argument but also evoke a particular response from your intended audience. That said, the genre of your visual essay is up ultimately to you to decide based on your assessment of the rhetorical situation you intend to address.

Your visual essay must be an original creation. You may use images that are either taken or created by you or online source material that you have meaningfully altered (i.e. using Photoshop, Illustrator, iMovie, etc.)

To fulfill this assignment, you will need to submit a 1-2 page Audience Strategy to help you select a genre best suited to convey your message to your audience. Your response should address several questions including (but not limited to):

  • Who is your intended audience? What are the primary characteristics of that audience?
  • What do you want your audience to understand, feel, and/or do in response to your essay?
  • What genre(s) would make your ideas more accessible and attractive to your audience?

Along with your final draft, you will submit a 2-3 page Reflection that explains the visual piece and the process that went into producing the visual essay. Your response should address several questions including (but not limited to):

  • Why did you choose your genre and how did your intended audience affect your choice?
  • What rhetorical strategies did you use to engage your audience? Did you draw on pathos (appealing to emotions), logos (appealing to logic or reason) and/or ethos (your own ethics/credibility)? How so?  
  • How did composing a visual essay differ from writing a traditional essay?


Upload a digital copy of your Final Draft and 2-3 page Reflection via Blackboard before 8:00 a.m. on Tuesday, Mar. 19th


Mar 5Review Essay #2: Visual Essay
Mar 8Post Audience Strategy to Bb
Mar 12Post First Draft to Bb
Mar 12 – 15Peer Review
Mar 19Post Final Draft + Reflection to Bb

Evaluation Rubric

  • Content – 30%
    • Does your visual essay illustrate an original argument informed by research from your opinion editorial?
  • Creativity – 25%
    • Is your composition thoughtful and uniquely presented?
  • Presentation – 20%
    • Is your visual essay attractive and neat in design and layout?
  • Effectiveness – 20%
    • Is your visual essay engagingly organized and present material that is captivating for your intended audience?
  • Genre – 5%
    • Does your visual follow the conventions of your chosen genre? Does it take on the general shape and contours of that genre?

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