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Larry Little

ENGL 326.001
Counterargument #4
October 6, 2016
Examining and Producing the Visual
In From Analysis to Design: Visual Communication in the Teaching of Writing, author
Diana George sets out to show how the production of visuals in the classroom can exist
alongside the analysis of visuals in an effort to create a more creative and effective classroom
experience when teaching composition. At the same time, she makes it clear that she is not out to
eliminate the tension that currently exist in the scholarly world between written communication
and visual communication. She uses multiple, solid examples that help prove the fact students
are capable of applying critical thinking to the visuals they produce and make them an effective
means of communicating a larger point.
The main thing that stuck out about this article, different from some of the others that
have been read so far this semester, was the use of students work. The article opens strongly with
the examples of student visuals that communicate an effective argument against the book King
Leopolds Ghost. The main one that stuck out was the redesign of the Congo Free State Flag by
Deirdre Johns. This was a perfect example of how a visual can be crafted using written
communication as a catalyst. There is a certain understanding needed for Deirdre to craft the flag
that she did, showcasing pre-colonial African art around a star encapsulating the slavery and ill
brought consequences of colonization by Europe. Combining her own research with the reading

of King Leopolds Ghost to produce a visual critique is the perfect example of how visual
production in the compositional classroom is possible.
The main thing I could not agree with in this article was the concept, stated by Dean
Johnson, that by somehow making a textbook easier to comprehend from a design aspect, you
aid in the dumbing down of the books audience. The idea of proper book design being focused
around blocks and blocks of text is incredibly dated and only serve to hurt the reader in the
longer term. The weakest part about this understanding is the assumption that incorporation of
images in textbooks is the result of ineffective writing or serves to coddle students with easier
comprehension. T
Bergers Ways of Seeing, a book that has been used as required text in multiple class
rooms across the country at this point, is nothing but various pictures and visuals and has proven
that the visual alone is capable of creating discourse and provoking deep critical thinking, which
is supposed to be the goal of a textbook to begin with. When pictures are incorporated with a
clear purpose in terms of how they assist in encouraging that critically thinking mindset, they
serve to be potentially more powerful than the written word. When things are left open to
interpretation, you make it so that multiple mindsets and ways of thinking have a chance to show
up and add more to whatever standard dialog you are trying to encourage. The same attitude that
excluded the type writer in the classroom during its peak usage is the same attitude that
undermines the true potential of the visual in terms of provoking deeper thought as it related to