Visual Reflection Essay

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Purpose: To write a personal response to a photograph of your own choosing. Take your time in selecting a photograph that resonates with you. It may make you laugh, feel troubled, or even angry. It should not be something you have little feeling for or reaction to or something cliche we’ve all seen a million times.

Task: You will find a photograph, either of your own or from somewhere online and write a personal response to it.

Audience: Your audience for this essay is your classmates, your teacher, and other faculty and students.

Important Features:

  • Have well-supported reasons for your claims about the picture – provide evidence (details from the photograph).
  • Include a thesis statement that clearly communicates what you believe the photograph is arguing/the feeling it perpetuates.
  • Make sure to consider differing opinions your readers may hold—is there an obvious interpretation of the photograph that you think your audience may see but that you feel doesn’t go deep enough or is actually not the true “meaning” you see based on evidence from the picture?
  • Include a properly formatted reference for the photograph on a references page at the end of your paper, along with any other sources you might use. You should never use the dictionary in papers like these, and of course, Wikipedia and all other forms of user-contributed content sites or blogs.

Format Requirements:

  • 1500 words. Essays should be typed, double spaced, 1” default margins, Times New Roman font size 12
  • Follow APA format for title page, running head, and references page
  • Final drafts will be submitted online in the turn-it-in dropbox by the due date.

Before you begin to write, take some time to think about the following:

  1. What is the “big idea”/theme of this visual? Does the picture make an argument and/or communicate a feeling? If you answer “no” to these two questions, find a new picture.
  2. Which details in the visual support and create the theme and feelings generated? Be specific.

Your response to the picture should have an engaging introduction, a clear thesis, and a body that makes claims relating to that thesis and backs them up with proof from the picture or thoughts from your own life that relate, etc.

This is a personal response; no research is required, though you may research the photographer or circumstance of the photograph if you feel it will help strengthen your claim about the visual’s argument/purpose or the feelings it evokes. But ask yourself, “Does the backstory contribute to my response or am I just “tacking it on” to get to my word count?

Please use the Sample Essay as guide or an example and to not plagiarized…

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