Video Argument

You will compose a short video slideshow made of 4 to 6-ish images and a few text slides that make a very specific visual argument about animal rhetorics that is set to background music using Windows MovieMaker or apple iMovie (or some other you are already familiar with, like Kizoa), and you will offer an explication of your argument’s main claim and appeals in an accompanying 2 page analysis. Here are some examples of the sort of video slideshow you’ll be producing—but you’ll need to meet specific criteria:


Part I: Preparation. Begin by writing a sentence or two that articulates the single claim your video will make; this claim should relate to the themes of this course. The video itself should then visually unpack an argument supporting that claim. Remember, a claim isn’t simply a topic but a position that you want to advocate, the evidence for which your visual argument will demonstrate. Once you know the claim you want to make, contemplate the most compelling way to argue that claim visually.

Part II: The Video.

  1. Invention. Once you have a handle on the specific claim you want to make and the way you want to make it (the appeals that will best motivate a response), gather/create and carefully organize 4 to 6-ish images and a few text slides (or simply caption the images) that will work together to make that claim visually in an powerful way. You may take your own photos or find images from a public images site, like this one or this one but either way, you must give photo credits at the end of your video.
  2. Arrangement. Add the images to Windows MovieMaker, Apple iMovie, or some other video editing software, and arrange them so that they compose a compelling slideshow video.
  3. Style. You should edit the timing and style of each image and add ambient or background music for the effect you want. You could add Youtube compliant music inside your editing software by uploading your own music or by downloading music through a public domain site like this one, or (if you don’t mind fewer choices) you may wait and do it in YouTube’s video editor. If you add your own music, be sure it’s Youtube compliant (open access).
  4. Delivery and Memory. Once you’re happy with your composition, publish it on YouTube, make sure it’s made public, and copy the URL it generates. Paste that URL at the top of your self-evaluation.

Photo Credits. If you use a photo from your private collection, your photo credit will include this information: Image 1: Your name. Private collection. If you use photos from public domain sites, your photo credits will include this information: Image 1: name of photographer, if available. htttp://  So, if you use five images, your credit roll would look something like this:

  • Image 1: Jane Schmo.
  • Image 2: Joe Happy. htttp://
  • Image 3: Luke Skywalker.
  • Image 4: Simone Biles.
  • Image 5: Diane Davis. Private collection

Part III: The self-analysis. In bulleted format following the order below, create a 2 page double-spaced analysis of your visual argument in which you:

  • Paste the complete URL of your youtube video at the top of the page
  • State your claim
  • State your purpose: what do you want your argument to persuade your audience to do, feel, or believe?
  • For each image, explain how it functions both as evidence to support the claim and as a compelling visual motivator (by provoking certain emotions and/or appealing to the audience’s sense of reason)
  • Compile a list of References at the end of the analysis in which you list the course materials related to this argument: what readings and/or videos prompted this argument, and which could be resources for your audience’s further inquiry?

Again, an example that’s a bit more elaborate than yours needs to be.


Upload your self-analysis (with URL at top) to the Video Argument assignment on Canvas for peer review.

**If (and only if) you turn in a complete, peer reviewed version of this assignment on the date and time it’s due, you may revise it with my feedback.**

Video Argument Rubric
Criteria Ratings Pts

Initial Impressions: Describe your initial impression when watching the video. Did you feel moved? If so, what specifically were you moved to do, believe, or feel? Did you find the look, feel, and music appropriate for the claim and the affective mood of the claim? Do you have any immediate suggestions for how to make the video more effective? Please offer constructive, concrete feedback.

This area will be used by the assessor to leave comments related to this criterion.
0.0 pts

Photo Credits and References: Are the photos used in the video appropriately credited? Are the sources in the References section appropriate and correctly documented according to APA, MLA, or some other consistent format?

This area will be used by the assessor to leave comments related to this criterion.
2.0 pts

Claim: What does the author say his or her main claim is in the self-analysis? Do you think the video as a whole makes that claim effectively? If not, what’s off? Please offer substantive, concrete feedback.

This area will be used by the assessor to leave comments related to this criterion.
4.0 pts

Purpose: What does the author say the purpose of the argument is in the self-analysis? Do you think the video achieves that purpose? Did it work for you?

This area will be used by the assessor to leave comments related to this criterion.
4.0 pts

Images: The images constitute the “evidence” or “proof” of the claim: they are what makes (or breaks) the visual argument. Do each of the images in the video do the persuasive work they are meant to, according to the self-analysis? Does the author’s description of what each image is doing match up with what you’re experiencing? If not, please explain issues explicitly and as concretely as possible. What might work better?

This area will be used by the assessor to leave comments related to this criterion.
5.0 pts

Writing: Is the video composed effectively in terms of arrangement and style? Arrangement: are the images and text slides arranged in a compelling way, leading the audience in progressive steps toward a conclusion? Style: do the timing, transitions, and music produce the desired effect? If so, what aspects of the arrangement and style do you think work especially well? If not, what needs most work?

This area will be used by the assessor to leave comments related to this criterion.
5.0 pts
Total Points: 20.0

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