Department of Writing and Rhetoric

Write Here, Write Now.

Multimodal Guide

All Writing and Rhetoric courses have at least one multimodal component. This page will help you learn more about multimodality, and will include links to videos and how-to guides for using the various digital tools you might want to pursue for your multimodal project.

What is Multimodality?

Literally, “multimodal” means more than one mode. For your purposes, that means the process of changing the form of an idea you’ve written in an essay.

  • Multimodal composition asks you to think “outside the box”—in other words, you must make rhetorical considerations beyond static words on a printed page.
  • Multimodal composition helps you develop a better sense of a real audience—it’s easier for you to conceptualize the audience for a video or a podcast than an audience for a typographic essay.
  • Multimodal composition gives you more a versatile and real-world skill set that is applicable outside of college.
  • Multimodal composition forces you to “remediate” content. Remediation is everywhere—think about online newspapers, or e-books. We now see remediated content remediated further—think about “video podcasts.”

Why Multimodality?

George Lucas explains the value of visual literacy and communications, and talks about why multimodality is important in the real world.