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Documented Visual Rhetoric Essay

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Information posted intentionally or unintentionally by use of social media is not a new concept. Aside from a journalistic perspective, citizens of the Internet can freely post personal stories, pics, selfies, fiction, something “caught on smartphone,” and so forth. Many stories are posted with a specific intent, and sometimes there are legal and/or social ramifications with these stories. However, some stories that are posted make the news and are critiqued by both fans, nonfans, the general public, and the media. Because of the ability to post various types of information, people can have an ongoing conversation about the subject matter. But, questions arise as to the appropriateness of the information and whether or not ethics matter. Are people at risk who are in relationships because what is private can be made public? Should individuals go to a public place armed with a smartphone as a form of protection to record questionable behaviors, if necessary? Can an interpretation of a message (personal or otherwise) be perceived as a lesson by the public even if that wasn’t the intention of the message? Should posted information be given attention because of the harm the messenger has caused? Is recording certain behaviors and actions an invasion of privacy and can it cause defamation of character?

Read/view the stories:






Choose one of these stories to write an argument that expresses your point of view of “displays of information.” Explain the purpose of the information, how you think the information is perceived, and any ethical dilemmas.

When developing your ideas, think about why the information was posted. What are the reactions to the information? Is displaying the information a responsible act? Does the messenger need to take responsibility for what is posted? Does the information explain, educate, shame, protest an action, empower, or entertain? Should any of those factors matter? You can discuss social media as the medium for the information and a person’s right to post, but your focus should be about the rhetorical impact of the information.

You are required to choose one of the articles or videos and build your argument based on the article or video within your essay. Use evidence from the article and credible sources to further support or refute your ideas.

In your introduction, decide how to introduce your topic. Set up the background, history, and/or problem of your topic; lead readers to your thesis/claim which will state your perspective.
In your body paragraph, give a brief description or a brief summary of the story as it relates to your thesis.
Your remaining paragraphs will be devoted to an analysis of your topic; in other words, you will discuss ways your topic makes its points and supports your thesis. You are also required to include at least two sources within your essay. You can use the sources that accompany this assignment, or you can use your own research. Evidence within your essay must be cited appropriately using MLA format. This includes properly formatted quoted and/or paraphrased information, and you must have proper citations in parenthesis following the quoted and/or paraphrased information.

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