Effectively Incorporating Visuals into Your Documents

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Writing Center Locations. 2. Morrill Hall 104Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. 5:30 p.m744-6671 The Outpost @ Edmon Low Library Room 102MSunday-Thursday, 7:00 p.m. 10:00 p.m.Drop-in location The Writing Studio @ the Cunningham Architecture Library Room 160CTuesday Thursday, 10:00 a.m. 2:00 p.

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Effectively Incorporating Visuals into Your Documents

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1. VISIT US ONLINE AT WWW.ENGLISH/OKSTATE.EDU/WRITING Effectively Incorporating Visuals into Your Documents 1 Note: There are SEVERAL handouts to accompany this presentation (all have file names starting with the word “Visual”). Use whichever ones you wish.Note: There are SEVERAL handouts to accompany this presentation (all have file names starting with the word “Visual”). Use whichever ones you wish.

2. Writing Center Locations 2 Morrill Hall 104 Monday-Friday, 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m 744-6671 The Outpost @ Edmon Low Library Room 102M Sunday-Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Drop-in location The Writing Studio @ the Cunningham Architecture Library Room 160C Tuesday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday, 7:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. Drop-in location

3. How do we make sure our visuals are effective? To add effective visuals, we must consider many alternatives, from the type of visual we use, to the font and size of its label, to its position on our page. Strategies: Think about your purpose and goals. Evaluate your choices. Pick an appropriate visual. Establish a consistent format. 3

4. 1. Think About Your Purpose and Goals… …For both your document and for your visuals Your purpose will give you clues for picking an appropriate visual. 4 NOTE: Several of these slides refer to examples on the handouts.NOTE: Several of these slides refer to examples on the handouts.

5. Still Thinking About Your Purpose and Goals 5

6. 2. Evaluate Your Choices Tables, charts, graphs, pictures, illustrations, boxed quotes, callouts, bulleted lists, and many others Demonstration of MS Word visuals Try looking at similar documents for ideas. See what works and what doesn’t. 6 After this slide, go to MS Word 2007 and demonstrate where the insert tab and available visuals are. Insert a couple and demonstrate how to play with the format.After this slide, go to MS Word 2007 and demonstrate where the insert tab and available visuals are. Insert a couple and demonstrate how to play with the format.

7. Still Evaluating Choices: Back to the Purpose 7

8. 3. Pick an Appropriate Visual An appropriate visual is one that will best achieve your purposes and goals for the visual and for the document. Does the visual provide information that helps my document achieve its purpose? Does the visual help my reader understand what I’m talking about? Is the visual easy to interpret and understand? If it takes more than a minute to comprehend the visual, it is probably inappropriate in some way. 8

9. 4. Establish a Format Text styles, colors, shapes, shadows, borders, shading, and organization in relation to the text all affect the appropriateness and effectiveness of your visual. Check for rules about formatting visuals, either from your teacher or from your field. Again, look at similar documents for ideas on formatting. 9

10. Some Rules for Formatting Formal documents, like academic and business documents, follow a standard format that aids your reader in using the visuals effectively. Label your visuals consistently. Always refer to your visual in your text. Make sure your visuals fit well into the organization of your page (for any document). 10

11. Labeling: Tables vs. Figures What’s the difference between a table and a figure? Label Tables above Label Figures below Number them if you have more than one or two MOST IMPORTANTLY, make sure that your labels are consistently formatted. 11

12. Referring to Visuals in Text Note the visual and explain its significance within your text. “Figure 5 illustrates the process of lead turning into gold. Note that Step 3 involves... This step is significant because….” “The coordinates of the treasure point to a spot North of Hawaii (see Figure 4). This point looks easy to reach from the map, but in actuality…” 12

13. Achieving Organization Look at your page from far away. Does it seem well-balanced? Does it look intentionally organized? Is the visual as close as possible to the text that refers to it? Consider these questions, and organize your document so that it is clear, attractive, and easy to read. Simpler is often better. 13

14. Example of Poor Organization NOTE: Microsoft Word has a variety of visuals you can insert into documents. Click the Insert tab in Word 2007 and check out the Tables, Illustrations, and Text boxes. To format a visual you have already inserted, click the Format tab or right click on the visual. 14 Reiterate that this is a BAD example. This visual is very tough to read!Reiterate that this is a BAD example. This visual is very tough to read!

15. Example of Better Organization NOTE: Microsoft Word has a variety of visuals you can insert into documents. Click the Insert tab in Word 2007 and check out the Tables, Illustrations, and Text boxes. To format a visual you have already inserted, click the Format tab or right click on the visual. 15 NOTE: Switch back to the “bad” example one more time by right clicking on this slide. After this slide, look at the “Presentation Handout Example,” and discuss with the class the purpose, effectiveness, formatting, and page design. Ask for suggestions for improvement. You don’t have to actually make the changes in Word; it will likely cause you problems you won’t have time to fix while teaching. Problems with the Presentation Handout Example: Placement of the first visual and label, Inconsistent figure labels on second page, Headings and fonts could also be improved.NOTE: Switch back to the “bad” example one more time by right clicking on this slide. After this slide, look at the “Presentation Handout Example,” and discuss with the class the purpose, effectiveness, formatting, and page design. Ask for suggestions for improvement. You don’t have to actually make the changes in Word; it will likely cause you problems you won’t have time to fix while teaching. Problems with the Presentation Handout Example: Placement of the first visual and label, Inconsistent figure labels on second page, Headings and fonts could also be improved.

16. Group Activity Get in groups of four. Each group member choose a document and discuss with your group the questions on the handout. Write down your group’s answers for your document and be prepared to share them as we go through the examples with the class. Refer to your handout for help. 16 Hand out the Activity questions and the example documents, one to each person so that each person has one of the document examples and one Activity sheet. 2. Point out that the type of document is noted at the top of each example (gives clues to purpose). 3. Emphasize that students should discuss their examples with the group while answering the questions. 4. Afterward, go through each example on the screen and discuss each question with the entire class. (Note: I found it helpful to ask first who had each example, so they have to identify themselves and, hopefully, feel more compelled to talk about it.) 5. As you go through the examples, try to apply their changes as you go so that the students can see the difference, but it won’t always been feasible or possible as Word often doesn’t behave the way we would like. Examples build on each other, so start with 1. Students may come up with good improvements that I don’t list here. Example 1 – Inlet: Placement of visual, no label, no whitespace around the visual, a border might be nice, doesn’t print well in black and white Example 2 – Report Summary: Size and placement of visual, design of visual (hard to read), no reference in text, no explanation, legend is in a weird spot Example 3 – Project Management Plan: Size of visual and width of text, Figure 2 is a Table so should be labeled as Table 1 on top of the visual, Figure 2 is also placed way below where it’s mentioned in the text Example 4 – Academic Paper: Visuals are spaced weird in relation to text, Second figure’s label is on the next page, Inconsistent figure labels (one is bold and the other italicized)Hand out the Activity questions and the example documents, one to each person so that each person has one of the document examples and one Activity sheet. 2. Point out that the type of document is noted at the top of each example (gives clues to purpose). 3. Emphasize that students should discuss their examples with the group while answering the questions. 4. Afterward, go through each example on the screen and discuss each question with the entire class. (Note: I found it helpful to ask first who had each example, so they have to identify themselves and, hopefully, feel more compelled to talk about it.) 5. As you go through the examples, try to apply their changes as you go so that the students can see the difference, but it won’t always been feasible or possible as Word often doesn’t behave the way we would like. Examples build on each other, so start with 1. Students may come up with good improvements that I don’t list here. Example 1 – Inlet: Placement of visual, no label, no whitespace around the visual, a border might be nice, doesn’t print well in black and white Example 2 – Report Summary: Size and placement of visual, design of visual (hard to read), no reference in text, no explanation, legend is in a weird spot Example 3 – Project Management Plan: Size of visual and width of text, Figure 2 is a Table so should be labeled as Table 1 on top of the visual, Figure 2 is also placed way below where it’s mentioned in the text Example 4 – Academic Paper: Visuals are spaced weird in relation to text, Second figure’s label is on the next page, Inconsistent figure labels (one is bold and the other italicized)

17. Conclusion Think about your purpose and goals for both your document and for your visuals Evaluate your choices Pick an appropriate visual Establish a Format Label consistently Refer to visuals in the text Make sure your organization is effective and easy to use 17

18. Remember, you can always visit us at the Writing Center! 18 104 MORRILL HALL PHONE: 405-744-6671 EMAIL: [email protected] ONLINE APPOINTMENTS: WWW.RICH15.COM/OSU/SCHEDULE/

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