Week 10 – Visual Arguments, Media and Advertising

This week, we will be exploring the use of visuals (images, charts, graphs, etc.) in the presentation of arguments. Like any other piece of support, images and other visuals are compelling when used correctly. They also can be used in ways that contribute to all of the flaws, fallacies and faulty reasoning we have been exploring all term. Images can support written or spoken arguments or become the arguments themselves. They hold great power, in advertising, journalism and many other aspects of our media-managed perceptions of the world around us. As such they deserve our attention here as we finish our discussion of the analysis and construction of arguments.

earth lungs

In the modern era, not all arguments come to us in the form of words: written or spoken. Increasingly, images play an important role in the development and understanding of arguments. This unit explores how visual arguments are constructed and employed to sustain and bolster other forms of argument. This week, we will be exploring the use of visuals (images, charts, graphs, etc.) in the presentation of arguments. Like any other piece of support, images and other visuals are compelling when used correctly. They also can be used in ways that contribute to all of the flaws, fallacies and faulty reasoning we have been exploring all term.

image

The Venn diagram above is a great example of how an image can be used effectively to communicate a complicated idea rather quickly and efficiently. Here, we can see that “sustainability” is defined as the intersection of environmental, economic and social concerns, for instance. Proper use of visuals can help us connect with an audience’s emotions and values, build credibility and share data and logical information in memorable and engaging ways.

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Critical Thinking by Andrew Gurevich is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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