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18.8: Portfolio- Multimodalism

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    Learning Objectives

    By the end of this section, you will be able to:

    • Write about the development of multimodal composition.
    • Compose a reflection on how the processes affect your work.

    After creating your multimodal advocacy project, think critically about the development process, including how you chose genres, modes, and specific media to include; your process for creating transitions; and ways in which you incorporated usability and accessibility into your finished project.

    Reflective Writing: Letter to Your Instructor

    As you reflect on your multimodal composition and the process you used to create it, answer these questions, supporting your answers with evidence from your project. Then compose a letter to your instructor that incorporates your answers and addresses any other parts of the composition process that come to mind.

    • How would you articulate your role as a composer? (Hint: Who are you as the author—what is your identity in this role? To whom are you speaking, and for what purpose?)
    • Why did you choose the advocacy topic that you did? Do you have a personal connection?
    • On which parts of the composition process (planning, research, drafting, revising) did you spend the most time? Why did these parts occupy you the longest? What, if anything, would you change if you could do it again?
    • How did considering your audience change your development process? What opportunities did you have to think critically about social and cultural issues?
    • Why did you choose the rhetorical devices that you did? What factors helped you decide on them? How did the situation influence your rhetorical appeals?
    • What factors helped you determine the primary genre, mode(s), and media you chose? Did you change those elements at any point in the composition process? If so, why?
    • How did peer review and revision help clarify your ideas, organization, or composition?
    • How did you show relationships between the ideas and media? What changes did you make to improve your transitions?
    • What did you learn about your topic and the composition process through the revision process?
    • How did you address considerations for usability and accessibility, using technology or otherwise?
    • Which parts of the composition came more easily than others
    • How did thinking about publishing affect your final product?

    Further Reading

    These titles are examples of multimodal compositions that will help you view and analyze the variety of possibilities present in the multimodal genres.

    The following is an example of the podcast genre, which uses the aural mode. However, the accompanying website incorporates multiple supporting modes, with images, hyperlinks, and other information that bring in other genres to increase understanding.

    Ridgen, David, host. “The Family.” Someone Knows Something, season 1, episode 1, CBC, 26 Feb. 2016.

    The following is an example of the photo essay genre, though the author has turned his photo essay into a video, incorporating a different supporting mode.

    Kalina, Noah. Noah Takes a Photo of Himself Every Day for 20 Years. YouTube, uploaded by Noah Kalina, 13 Jan. 2020.

    The following is an example of a public service announcement, delivered as a video. Note the use of multiple modes and the rhetorical devices present in convincing viewers to pursue careers in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math).

    Wishes. CA Technologies, 6 Jan. 2017.

    The following is an example similar to the photo essay genre, although it incorporates elements of a blog with a text introduction.

    The Picture Show: Photo Stories from NPR. NPR, 2021.

    The following is an example of the documentary genre, a primarily visual genre that uses various rhetorical devices to persuade the audience.

    Food, Inc. Directed by Robert Kenner, Magnolia Pictures / Participant / River Road Entertainment, 2008.

    Works Cited

    Arola, Kristin L., Jennifer Sheppard, and Cheryl E. Ball. Writer/Designer: A Guide to Making Multimodal Projects. Bedford/St Martin’s, 2014.

    Dunn, Alexandra Dapolito. “Celebrating a Win-Win: 30 Years of Progress under the Pollution Prevention Act.” The EPA Blog, EPA, 5 Nov. 2020,

    Ferdig, Richard E., and Kristine E. Pytash, editors. Exploring Multimodal Composition and Digital Writing. Information Science Reference, 2014.

    “How to Meet WCAG (Quick Reference).” W3C, 4 Oct. 2019,

    Serafini, Frank. Reading the Visual: An Introduction to Teaching Multimodal Literacy. Teachers College P, 2014.

    2019 Broadband Deployment Report. Report no. FCC-19-44, Federal Communications Commission, 29 May 2019,

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