Being a good writer means more than choosing the right words for the page. It involves choices in genre, formatting, color, arrangement, typography, and other visual factors. One of the most divisive of these visual factors is motion. In what cases can motion add to an argument? In what cases is it unnecessary, distracting, or (pun intended) “flashy”? To this end, this class will explore genres that literally make arguments through motion, including animated gifs, animated infographics, video explainers, and other active graphics.
During the first half of the semester we will focus on general tenants of rhetoric and visual argument, exploring the intersections between visual, written, and aural communication. In the second half of the semester we will turn to specific projects in which students will use motion to enhance particular messages for particular audiences.
Students learn both theory and practice of multimodal writing through readings, blog posts, quizzes, software tutorials, design exercises, and a series of creative projects. This course requires no prior knowledge of graphic design, animation, or any specialized software.