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USD Information Literacy Lessons: Page 29

The broad focus of these lessons is understanding sources of information, including examples that can help you learn how to access information sources at USD. Each lesson is dedicated to a specific element of information competency.

Criteria for Evaluation: Visual Literacy

  • What additional information does the layout convey?
  • What is the emotional or cultural content of the visual argument?
  • What is emphasized by the layout? With what effect?
  • Is there information missing from the visual argument? For what purpose?  

To demonstrate the need for visual literacy, consider two web sites that represent the two sides of the gun control debate.  Consider the homepages of Gun Owners of America and the Brady Campaign below:

gun owners

This web site contains information that supports the argument of its organization, Gun Owners of America, against gun control legislation.  What are the contributions of the visual layout, color scheme (red, white, and blue) and especially the image in the upper lefthand corner (the Minuteman) to the web site's message?   Clearly, the layout gives the subliminal message: "Real Americans are against gun control."


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