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Visual Essay Example
Visual essays can address any aspect of visual communication that is political or social. They can also be responses to other visual works and comments on visual processes and ideas. The essay’s visual component should be an integral part of the argument and the ideas, not just as an illustration or additional documentation.
Visual essays combine images and words to create:
- Share a personal story
- Argue a claim
- Explain a literary text
- Illustration of a social problem
Images in visual essays can come from many sources.
- A collection of images that is already accessible, e.g., A curated collection of images or an image archive
- Images created for the essay
- Images were taken as research data
- Images are chosen or created to reflect on a specific aspect of visual communication
An integrated essay may include visual essays. You can also submit separate documents with images and accompanying text. Sometimes, it is possible to hire a designer to create a visual essay.
Visual Essay Example 1
Kyle’s visual essay on “A Worn Path” includes a paragraph that summarizes the main points he would make regarding fantasy and reality. To illustrate the contrast between them, he used two images: one showing path lit by light and another darkened by shadow. The visual essay is more focused on the written summary. However, the images support his main points.
Visual Essay Example 2
Genna provides a summary of “Araby” along with two sets of contrast images that represent both the physical and symbolic journeys of the main character to the bazaar. These images represent the actual character’s journey. However, the images show Genna’s understanding of her character’s motivations.
Visual Essay Example 3
Paul presents his visual essay as a flowchart and uses arrows to illustrate his thoughts. The visual essay shows Paul’s thinking about the symbol of the bazaar. This ultimately led him to a theme. Each of his points is emphasized by the images he uses.
Visual Essay Example 4
Isaiah uses a series of images in addition to the title of his story. These images more accurately represent the main plot points, such as how the grandmother walks through the forest to reach a doctor’s clinic to receive medicine for her grandson, who has swallowed the lye. Although the images show his literal understanding of the story, they lack evidence of closer reading or deeper comprehension.
Reasons for Visual Essay
Using a Visual Essay Example makes a story more Interesting
A teacher might require this type of essay, but you may also have the option to write it yourself. You might find a visual presentation far more engaging and powerful than writing an essay.
A Visual Essay Example creates Emotional Impact
A Visual Essay Example creates a Bigger Audience
These essays can also be shared online, which makes it easier to communicate your arguments to a wider audience. Although not many people will be interested in reading your essay about homelessness, many people may want to see it. For example, your essay about the lives of homeless people in your community and those who help them in soup kitchens (see “Depression Slideshow” and “My Photo Memory: Helping Others Video”). Visual essays can be easily shared via social media and uploaded to YouTube.
Searching for Images to Use in Visual Essay Examples
You need to know that images can be viewed online but not used. Many sites offer images for free. These are the top free sites to use:
- Wikimedia commons: images can be used for free and do not have copyright. They also have many historical images, famous photos, and art that can help make your visual essay stand out. You can click the link to go to the “Topic” page. However, you can also use their search engine to locate photos.
- Flickr Includes many types of photos, such as “The Commons”, which are photos uploaded from collections and personal photographs uploaded by users around the globe.
- Free Clip Art:a collection of free graphics clip art. Here you can find many objects that will help you tell your story. You can also find humorous images and cartoons.
- Pixabay: high-quality professional photography images. These images are free to use and can be searched by keyword, photographer, or term. The clip art is also available on this site.
- Slideshare has many PowerPoint presentations covering many different topics. Many resources can help you find ideas and graphics for your essay. It is filled with many uploaded graphs and charts from businesses, universities, and other professionals.
- Pikwizardoffers a wide range of high-quality photos you can use both for personal and business use. You can also use the Design Wizard to add text, shapes, and other elements. Some add-ons and features are free, while others cost a fee.
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