Multimodal Argument

English 2/Bauknight

Multimodal Argument


For this project, which you may work on with a partner if you wish, you will compose two related products:

  1. You will compose a visually oriented public-service text that proposes a course of action for addressing the problem of fake news. The possibilities include (but are not limited to) a web page, a poster, or a video—something that appeals to a public rather than an academic audience.
  2. You will write a reflective essay of about 600 words in which you discuss the rhetorical choices you made in composing your multimodal text.

Possible Media

As we will discuss in class, you have many options here—among the possibilities are a poster, a photo essay, an ad for a campus publication, a video, a web page, or a social media campaign (as long as it includes a strong visual element). Your choice should be driven primarily by rhetorical considerations: In other words, what is the best way to get your message to your audience?

Of course, practical considerations—especially involving software and hardware—will come into play, too. And Lehigh’s Library and Technology Services are an excellent resource if you need some help and/or equipment. Here’s a link about what they offer:


Your purpose is to move you audience to action—intellectual action (you ask them to think about something), emotional action (you ask them to feel something), and/or physical action (you ask them to do something).

Obviously, you won’t have a thesis statement for your visual argument, nor will you be able to develop a full justification of your position. But you should compose your argument with a clear persuasive message in mind, and this message should be easy for your audience to understand.


The target audience for your multimodal project is yours to decide. Some possibilities: middle or high school students; college students; retirees—any group that you feel would have access to and would benefit from the argument you will compose and present.

The Reflective Essay

I am the audience for your reflective essay.


This project is worth 25% of your final grade. Here’s the breakdown:

  • Multimodal argument: 20% of the final grade. I’ll evaluative your project based on three things: the clarity and persuasiveness of your message; your efforts to connect with your audience; and the overall composition of your project.
  • Reflective essay: 5% of the final grade.

Due Dates

  • Thursday, 3/23: MM Argument Topic Questions are due on CS by class time (see below).
  • Friday, 4/7: Your project should be uploaded to CS by 11:59 pm.

English 2/Bauknight

Multimodal Argument Topic Questions


Instructions: Respond to the following and post your responses to CS by class time on 3/23.


  1. Are you working with a partner? If you are, list your names here and respond to these prompts together.


  1. What specific audience are you trying to reach with your multimodal argument?


  1. What message are you trying to convey to that audience? (What do you want them to think or feel and/or do?)


  1. What kind of multimodal argument are you going to compose? (What media, genres, platforms and/or technologies are you going to use?)


  1. Why is this medium/genre/technology an appropriate choice, given your target audience and purpose?


  1. What are you going to do to capture and hold your audience’s attention?


  1. What are you going to use as your dominant visual element? (You may post this, as well, if you have it.)


  1. What is the primary function of this visual element? (Is it to draw attention? To illustrate an idea? To explain? Something else?)


  1. Are you going to include text (words) in your multimodal argument?
    1. If yes, what are you going to say?
    2. If no, why do you think text is not necessary?
  1. What questions or concerns do you have about this project?



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