Write an exploratory essay

Write an exploratory essay in which you compare and contrast two different graphical concepts. The purpose is to reveal how different visualizations of data utilize rhetoric to influence viewers.

Consider the primary linear and networking concepts we have been discussing. These include:

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Chronological depictions of data (timelines) and spatial depictions (maps)
Distributed networking (the internet) and centralized networking (mainframes)
Hierarchies (trees) and rhizomes (bamboo)
Taxonomies (categories) and folksonomies (hashtags)

Choose one of these concepts and find a specific example. Compare your example with a different version of the same data, with similar data presented in a different format, or with a contrasting concept. For example, you could compare two different timelines OR you could compare a timeline to a map. What are the similarities and differences, and why are these important? Is either example “more” appropriate or “more” effective?” “More” is in quotes, because the answer to the question is contingent on your definition of appropriate or effective: appropriate or effective for who, and at whose expense?

For this assignment, you are writing for your SVSU friends who are not enrolled in this class: they are smart and inquisitive, but they have not had the introduction into the complexity of mapping space and time that you have. Be sure to provide your readers with an introduction or overview of the relevant concepts you have selected. Also, provide some context, background, and history about your specific example. In other words, do some research.

For more details about the exploratory essay genre, visit the OWL’s page here, https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/common_writing_assignments/exploratory_papers/index.html

Be sure to:

Go beyond the obvious. Help your readers understand how the graphic is using rhetoric to persuade them to believe something. How is this particular type of visualization effective or ineffective?
Refer to Rosenberg/Grafton, Lima, and Yau (at least two of these three sources) to help support your points. Although I want you to introduce us to something new and present your own ideas, the paper should be grounded in the course material. The paper should make clear that you are fluent with the primary sources we have been using.
Exhibit strong critical thinking skills. How innovative and insightful is your discussion of the underlying rhetoric?

Technical Specifications:

Final paper should be approximately 1200 words.
Embed images of the networks, timelines, or diagram/infographics that you reference. If the example is interactive, then include a link as well.
Include references to at least two of our primary sources: Lima, Rosenberg & Grafton, or Yau. Make sure you rely heavily on this/these sources and that you go beyond simple “quote mining.”
Include references to three additional, strong sources with experts as authors. These should NOT be encyclopedias, sites like ask.com or Yahoo Answers.
Be sure to cite your minimum of five required sources within the paper and include a Works Cited or References page. You may use MLA or APA, whichever you are more comfortable with (but do not mix up the two formats). You do not need an abstract or cover page.

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