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7.2: What is Multimodality?

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    In college writing classes, you often write “traditional” essays. These traditional essays often look the same: paragraphs made up of black, Times New Roman font spaced evenly on a page of white paper. However, in addition to writing, or composing, traditional essays, you might also be asked to compose a multimodal text. A multimodal text is one that “exceed[s] the alphabetic and may include still and moving images, animations, color, words, music and sound” (Takayoshi and Selfe 1). This type of composing practice has been integrated in many First-Year Writing classrooms across the US since the 1990s. Examples of digital multimodal texts (sometimes described as “new media”) include websites, infographics, podcasts, videos while non-digital multimodal texts might take the form of posters, collages, zines, comic books, or graphs. While this is not an exhaustive list, it does demonstrate how common multimodal texts are both inside and outside of the classroom.

    For more information about multimodality, please watch the six minute video created by Sean Tingle, a college writing instructor, by clicking the link below:

    One or more interactive elements has been excluded from this version of the text. You can view them online here: https://pressbooks.pub/csneng102/?p=119#oembed-1

    “What is Multimodality?” by Sean Tingle

    “7.2 What Is Multimodality?” is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 / A derivative from the original work by Melanie Gagitch


    This page titled 7.2: What is Multimodality? is shared under a CC BY-NC-SA 4.0 license and was authored, remixed, and/or curated by Angela Spires, Brendan Shapiro, Geoffrey Kenmuir, Kimberly Kohl, and Linda Gannon via source content that was edited to the style and standards of the LibreTexts platform; a detailed edit history is available upon request.