Visual Text Analysis and Review

I’m stuck on a English question and need an explanation.

Write a review of the visual text you select for this assignment. Your review will need to follow the characteristics of a successful review. Your analysis will need to incorporate, reflect, and apply elements of visual analysis as well.

Select a visual text to analyze and review that has a visual component to it: you can choose a graphic novel, music video, television show, documentary, video game, or film for this assignment.

Details and Information:


  • Structure your essay as an expansion of the five-paragraph theme.


  • Your target audience is composed of your classmates and people online who are in college and who have not decided yet what they think about the visual text you are reviewing.


  • Your stance can be serious, funny, skeptical, etc., but it must be written correctly in Standard written (American) English. If you are not sure, please ask!

Medium and Design:

  • Multimedia material: minimum of four (“C” grade standard) integrated graphics and/or video links (url addresses) are required. Panels of a graphic novel, or links to important scenes in a television episode or film, etc., as occasional illustrations of a crucial point in your essay will satisfy this requirement. If you do not understand how to integrate or link multimedia content into your essay, there are links and videos for you in the resources folder which explain how.
  • After writing and submitting an outline, rough draft, and final essay draft, you can also make a video essay. If it is effective, I will add 10 points, a letter grade, to your final grade for Essay Two.


  • You will need to use research: You need at least two relevant secondary sources (i.e., other reviews, or articles that describe what a “good” film, television show, graphic novel, or documentary consists of) to complete this assignment with a “C” or better. Both print and/or electronic sources are fine to use. You can also use reviews people have written about other graphic novels, films, documentaries, and television episodes that discuss the most effective elements of a graphic novel, film, etc, to support your choice of evaluation criteria. Because you will be graded on your ability to select the right kind of sources to support and develop your own ideas, you’ll want to make the source selections carefully.
  • Achieve balance and fairness if at all possible in your review.
  • Your essay will not earn a passing grade (will earn a “D” or an “F,” depending on other the other essay parts) if it is submitted without:
    • In-text citations, direct quotations, min. of four multimedia elements, and a Works Cited page.
    • These quotations/paraphrases must come from the visual item you analyze and your two research sources. Each source must be quoted from directly at least once.
    • These omissions will override the rest of the grade rubric assessment.
    • Ask me if you do not understand any part of this assignment.
  • Your essay must be at least 3 full pages. This page count does not include the Works Cited page, or the room taken up from the inclusion of multimedia elements and/ or links. Anything less will result in a substantial loss of points (below a “C” grade) that will override the rubric. Development of ideas, with the balance of comprehensiveness and conciseness, is a key element of writing at the collegiate level.
  • Follow MLA format as perfectly as possible, from paper formatting to in-text citations (“parenthetical documentation”) to the proper configuration of the Works Cited page. Errors will result in a significant deduction of points.
  • Errors in grammar and mechanics can and will lower your essay grade significantly. You may not pass the essay based on these errors alone.
  • At the end of your essay, include the following statement if it is true: “I have abided by CCBC’s academic honor code on this assignment, and I attest that I have neither cheated in any way nor have I failed to give proper credit to all other sources of ideas and materials.”



  • Start with a “hook” (introduction device) to get the reader’s attention and interest. You could ask a question, tell a quick story, define a primary concept, quote something memorable, etc., to engage your reader.
  • Give a brief and general summary of your subject matter and topic. Introduce the visual text you will review by title and author or producer (or both).
  • State what an excellent story, excellent graphic novel, exciting television show episode, etc., consists of, in order for your essay to have a context.
  • Explain the criteria you will use for your analysis. It is absolutely crucial that you explain your criteria for evaluation. You are evaluating not only the story in your visual text, but also you are analyzing the visual elements.
  • List your points for the body paragraphs briefly.
  • End the introduction with the thesis statement. Please do not include the points of your body paragraphs in your thesis statement (no “three-pronged” thesis statements).

Body Paragraphs:

For each point, follow the same kind of pattern. A point can be several paragraphs in length: as long as all of this is covered by the end of the final paragraph for each point, everything is fine:

  • Use a transition, and state the point in a topic sentence. (example: First, Batman has exciting visual and special effects, which is one of the ingredients for a great action film.)
  • Explain further what you mean by what you said in the topic sentence.
  • “Prove”/support your point by giving examples and explaining. Include specific examples and direct quotations from texts and sources.
  • Show you are fair and balanced by acknowledging other points of view, when appropriate.
  • Return your reader to the conclusion that your interpretation is valuable, because even though you acknowledge other points of view, your reason is valid and supportable by the evidence (support, “proof”) provided in this point.
  • Summarize point: restate it in different words.
  • Transition and introduce the new point/reason.
  • Follow the same pattern for the next point, until you have covered all points.


  • Summarize thesis and points/reasons. Don’t forget this step!
  • Put the ideas in your paper in a larger perspective. This is similar to your textbook’s suggestion to think about the larger context of your ideas, this debate, this perspective, these methods for evaluation, etc., which is extremely relevant to this particular essay assignment. A conclusion device will work well here.
  • Write a final sentence which actually closes the essay and signals the end, without using the phrase “in conclusion.”