Capstone Project; textual and visual rhetoric.



In 1101, you learned about textual and visual rhetoric. In 1102, you will put into practice what you learned in 1101 and the research you have been conducting this semester, integrating visual rhetoric (if applicable) into your textual rhetoric to create a final project of your choice. Your project will not be for dissemination to or a presentation for me or your classmates.


Thus far, you have likely been writing to your teacher or your classmates. This project requires that you apply real world applications to your writing, forcing you to consider your rhetorical situation, adapting to it and creating a message that logically targets your intended audience. Therefore, the aim of this project is not to teach you how to create a presentation, or an online article, or a literature review, etc., but to put you into a writing context that forces you

 to identify an audience that will be receptive to or logically fit your writing purpose;
 to determine what genre, medium, and publication platform/publisher would best fit your objective and message (and audience you want to reach); and
 to identify what tone you need to adopt to meet the needs of your audience and the demands of your genre, medium and publication platform.


You will identify your project’s genre, medium, publisher/publication platform, objective, tone, and audience. To clarify, your project will have a message to an identified audience in a specific genre you choose; your message must logically fit the publication medium you choose and that publication medium must be something that would fit your genre and that your target audience would view. In other words, you will give serious thought to your rhetorical situation; your message, audience, genre, medium and publication platform will logically fit and your tone will also be appropriate for all of the above. Below are the rhetorical situations from students’ past students to give you an idea how the rhetorical triangle works together:

Genre Argument Informative Informative Informative
Medium Literature Review Popular print article Online popular article Presentation
Publisher MDC School Board Seventeen Magazine Car & Driver (online) MADD
Objective To explore the use of technology in high schools (at the request of the school board) To inform about the age of majority: what it is and how it varies depending upon the issue/topic and state. To explain to readers how technological designs in street cars originated in the racing industry. To explain the inherent dangers of distracted driving to teens in high school.
Audience MDC School Board Teens (readers of 17 magazine) Men (mostly ages 20-55) Teens in high school
Tone (textual & visual) Formal; use terms in the educational field. Proper grammar. Likely no visuals unless data tables/charts Colloquial writing; can use some slang. Proper grammar. Visuals that appeal to teens are necessary. Can use slang terms in the auto industry (defining unneeded). Proper grammar. Visuals needed, especially of parts. Colloquial, can use slang terminology but must integrate statistical data more formally. Visuals are crucial.
Criteria for Success

When reviewing your project, I will be looking at the following:
 Do the four Cs apply: Is the project, clear, coherent, complete, and concise?
 Did you adhere to the basic conventions of the genre of your text?
 Did you achieve your purpose and was it clear?
 Did you successfully appeal to your audience?
 Do the visual rhetoric and design choices enhance your message while also fitting into your rhetorical situation: your purpose, audience, genre, medium, and publication platform?

Integrated into your grade will also be the team evaluations you fill out and your teammates’ assessment of your collaborative efforts. See your grading rubric for details on grading criteria.


Sample capstone projects are available in our Facebook group (I include them there because Canvas doesn’t allow for a continuation of group discussions and assignments from semester to semester). We will review previous capstones, determining what worked and what didn’t work so that you understand the importance of your rhetorical situation when writing a document. In addition to your assigned readings, the following chapters and articles should also prove beneficial for this project:
 Chapter 21 “Synthesizing Ideas”
 Chapter 25 “What’s Your Style?”
 Chapter 28 “Designing What You Write”
 Chapter 29 “Writing in Multiple Modes”
 Article for web page design: “Web Page Layout: Website Anatomy Every Designer Needs to Learn”:

Learning Outcomes

In addition to learning effective and successful collaborative writing techniques, this assignment meets the following learning outcomes/assessment measures, helping you to become more familiar with the following, which will, in turn, help you both in the field of writing and in your professional life beyond college:

Content Knowledge:
 Understand core concepts of a rhetorical situation and its subsequent effect on stylistic techniques (text, images, organization) to meet demands of audience and genre
 Understand research as a recursive, inquiry-based process

Critical Thinking:
 Evaluate how information is produced and consumed in specific contexts
 Exhibit reflective and metacognitive thinking strategies

Writing Skills:
 Choose appropriate media/genre/audience to communicate research findings
 Compose rhetorically effective media in a specified genre for an identified audience
 Understand how to use intellectual property responsibly (evaluating source
reliability and validity for rhetorical context, citation)
 Demonstrate use of strategic rhetorical/stylistic techniques within diverse linguistic contexts
 Develop and use effective invention, composing, and revision processes






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