Chapter 9 “How Do We Use Sources Responsibly” in So What? written by Schick and Schubert (2014) speaks of the importance of citation, and the responsibilities that we have as scholars to properly and appropriately cite the resources that we use to help shape the arguments we form.
“We create arguments from sources by responsibly borrowing and building on the words and thoughts of other scholars…to support your arguments; dont let them dominate your writing” (Schick and Schubert 209.)
Taking this knowledge, and now applying it to another text Writer/Designer by Kristin L. Arola, Jennifer Sheppard, and Cheryl E. Ball, which is essentially a guide to interpreting and creating multimodal arguments.
Anything that is “multimodal” is exactly how it sounds, something that occurs in “multiple modes” or medias, for example using visuals and music within a speech (three modes.) We can use multiple kinds of resources to help strengthen our arguments by displaying that their importance and influence extends beyond the lecture hall.
To effectively do this, we must be able to “articulate a text’s rhetorical situation” (Arola et. al. 4), which is defined by its audience (primary, secondary, and tertiary), purpose, context, author, and genre. These components will drive design choices that an author makes in order to most effectively reach out to, and ultimately pursued, the audience(s) in question.
Design elements to be considered include emphasis, contrast, organization, alignment, and proximity. When used correctly, this elements can be a powerful tool. They can allow you to make certain points stand out, or to help the audience draw connections between points of evidence to easily reach the desired conclusion. Colors, sounds, pictures, and words with known connotations with your audience can be targeted and emphasized or contrasted.
Contrast being used to support an argument
These elements are also used to strengthen your argument, so it will withstand the criticism it is inevitably going to face.
This knowledge is significant because people are tapping into our values and thoughts everyday, trying to pursued us to buy, vote, attend, or stop using things. By recognizing how and why this occurs we are able to become an active member of this multimodal battle, rather than passively buying and doing things that we do not understand the repercussions of. We can even use this understanding to become a voice for our own opinions, to maybe even change the world!