Guidelines for Visual Analysis Essay
Your next major essay in this course will be a visual analysis essay. In this essay, you will be expected to apply the concepts covered in Units 1-4 as you analyze an image to show some of its larger meanings. This includes knowledge of the writing process, rhetorical situation, formal register, essay structure, and visual analysis. This essay also requires you to cite at least one credible source.
Refer to the assignment calendar for due dates. Remember, peer reviews are graded separately and have their own due dates in the assignment calendar.
Purpose and Learning Objectives
In this assignment, you should practice analyzing visual texts, using the writing process, and developing a well-constructed essay in formal register. The essay should show how an analysis of the visual components of an image leads to a better understanding of the image.
Process for Completion
If you do not meet the minimum requirements for the essay, you should not expect to earn more than a 60% on the assignment.
Plagiarism is using someone else’s words or ideas without giving credit and is a serious academic offense. It can range from:
Refer to the syllabus for consequences of plagiarism in this class. For more information, see http://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/resource/589/01/
Your assignment must be submitted as a .doc, .docx, or .rtf attachment. Microsoft Word is available to students for free. Let me know if you need help gaining access to it.
This link will take you to an archive of photographs by Gordon Parks. Choose one image from the archive to be the subject of your visual analysis.
To earn credit for peer review, you must submit a draft to the peer review discussion board by the due date and comment on one of your classmates’ drafts by the second due date (the schedule lists two due dates: the first is when you must submit your draft; the second is when you must submit your responses to others). You must submit a draft AND comment on someone else’s draft to earn any credit for peer review. Just submitting a draft OR just commenting on someone’s draft will not earn credit.
Posting Your Draft
Responding to Classmates
Questions for Peer Review
1. Read your peer’s essay from beginning to end just to let its ideas wash over you. What are your initial thoughts? Did your peer satisfy the requirements of assignment? Please explain in detail.
2. Review the essay’s title as well as its introduction and conclusion. Think about the relationships among these three components. Do they match or do they disagree? Make note of strengths or weaknesses in these crucial areas. Please explain in detail.
3. Like other essays, a visual analysis essay should have a thesis. Find the essay’s thesis. Is it clear? Does it make some claim or statement about the image? Paraphrase (put in your own words) the thesis of the essay to check your understanding. Review the assignment guidelines to ensure that your peer’s thesis is on target. Make note of strengths or weaknesses in this area. Please explain in detail.
4. Evaluate the quality of the visual analysis. Does the writer use some of the vocabulary introduced in Unit 3? Focus, Color, Framing, Context, etc.
5. Focus on the individual paragraphs of the essay. Does each paragraph have a topic sentence that previews the ideas of the paragraph? Observe the essay’s development of paragraphs. Does each paragraph have a single main idea that relates to the thesis? Are there any paragraphs that seem disconnected or out of place?
6. Consider the essay’s use of the English language. Are sentence structures, grammar, spelling, punctuation and mechanics employed effectively, or do errors distract the reader from understanding and enjoying the writer’s analysis? Make note of strengths and weaknesses in this area. Please explain in detail.
Remember: When in doubt about how to do the peer review, be honest, helpful, and constructive. Saying “Great job! Don’t change a word!” never helped anyone to be a better writer.
Now, go to the discussion board and find the forum for the visual analysis peer review and complete the peer review process.
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