After completing the previous steps, it will be time to begin drafting your essay. The following outline might help you to structure your initial draft.
- Introduction: Identify and describe the image. It is so very important that you identify the image very clearly. Use the name of the photographer and the image: for example, you might say, “In Gordon Parks’s photograph titled “American Gothic,” a woman stands in front of a flag with a broom in her hand and a mop in the background.” In the introduction, you might show why the image is important or relevant or provide some background information about it. Please embed the image into the body of your essay somewhere so that the readers can see it. One way to embed the image is to put your mouse on the image and right-click, and then select “copy.” Next, go to your document and right-click on your document, and then select “paste.”
- Thesis: Tell your readers what idea or story the image communicates. Be sure the thesis shows the result of your analysis. (See the above discussion in #4 under Process for Completion.)
- Supporting paragraphs: Explain how the visual elements come together to create meaning. In multiple body paragraphs, discuss the effect of content, framing, composition, color, focus, angle, lighting and/or context. You should not discuss every one of these elements, but you should discuss enough of them so that your reader understands how the visual elements work together to create a story and to create meaning. You may have three or more body paragraphs dedicated to this task. It would be a good idea to discuss just one or two elements in each paragraph.
- Conclusion: At a minimum, your conclusion should remind your reader how the visual elements convey meaning.