A Focus on Visual Rhetoric
Odell and Katz have offered a more comprehensive visual rhetoric text in comparison to texts currently on the market such as Picturing Texts (also reviewed in previously reviewed in Computers and Composition Online. While these texts are useful as teaching tools in a first-year composition course, a case could be made for using Writing in a Visual Age in an upper-level course such as technical communication or even an upper-level research course. Unlike the shorter texts currently available that focus on how visual texts can be used as material for writing (particularly argument papers), Odell and Katz offer a blended text that could also be used in a technical communication course with chapters focusing on how to write instructions, do business-oriented presentations, and proposals. Furthermore, the text has a developed section on how to conduct research and how to design survey questions that focus on visual material. While the text definitely emphasizes writing about visual material and includes instructional material on how to write standard first-year composition assignments such as argument papers and profiles, composition instructors may find that the text could serve several courses.