Multimodal Writing Analysis

1186 Words 5 Pages
We Are Not All Walking Textbooks
When it comes to academic writing, and just writing in general, the thing most people think of is writing essays and paragraphs. This is definitely the style of writing that would have came into my mind first. Well, atleast until I came to RIT and took First Year Writing with Professor Perry. That class challenged and then changed my definition of writing all together.
So, why was my view of writing changed? It was changed because I was introduced to the term multimodal writing. What is multimodal writing? Multimodal writing is writing that isn’t just limited to texts and essays. It includes writing in the form of podcasts, film, music, etc. To me, it is the more creative side of writing that not a lot of people
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But does this mean that teachers should teach their students about multimodal writing, or should they stick to teaching the way they are now. Having their students limited to the page, writing only paragraphs or essays. When I was doing my research about multimodality, I read the first chapter, called “Why Multimodal Composition”, in the the book “Multimodal Composition: Resources for Teachers” edited by Cynthia L. Selfe. It questions why students are being limited to the page, and aren’t using “moving visual imagery” to express and communicate their ideas. In this article, Selfe quotes Anne Wysocki, who says “To be responsible teachers, we need to help our students (as well as ourselves) learn how different choices in visual arrangement in all texts (on and off screen) encourage different kinds of meaning making and encourage us to take up (overtly or not) various values.” She is saying that she believes that good teachers are teaching students to write for not just the page, but for all forms of writing. Education is not just about learning as much as possible. Students shouldn’t just become walking textbooks. Instead they need to be able to take what they’ve learned in the classroom, and apply it to their daily lives. This is something that multimodal writing does. It allows students to explore all forms of …show more content…
My writing professor is one example. Another example would be Professor Bronwyn T. Williams. He believes that, not only is multimodality an effective teaching tool, but that students are also influenced by popular culture when working on these assignments. Williams uses multimodal writing in his classroom so much, he decided to do his own study on it. Williams teaches English at the University of Louisville. Bronwyn uses different sections of the class he teaches to see how each group turn to popular culture as inspiration when they are given a multimodal composition assignment. At the end of the semester, Bronwyn interviews his students to illustrate that students will turn to popular culture to help them with their project. “The emphasis on plot and resolution of narrative conflicts on much of film and television- and this includes reality and news programs- are more familiar and easier to interpret for students, compared with the less familiar texts that might emphasize argument.” Basically what Williams is saying is that multimodal writing is easier for students to interpret and understand compared to articles and novels. Williams goes on to talk about how this makes it hard to deny that popular culture in entering the classroom and is influencing students, even if professors aren’t covering it in their lessons. If teachers are going to incorporate multimodal writing into their

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