Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies

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Clip-art or design: Exploring the challenges of multimodal texts for writing centres in higher education

Arlene Archer


In higher education, genre theorists and academic literacy practitioners have examined evolving genres, but they have not specifically focused on the multimodal nature of texts that students need to produce for assessment purposes. This paper explores the increasing influence and incorporation of the visual into academic texts, and ways of enabling student access to academic discourse in a multimodal environment. Taking a multimodal perspective on ‘academic literacies’, it looks at examples from different disciplines and provides  guidelines on how writing centres can assist students with the designs of their multimodal texts in a changing representational landscape. In particular, it focuses on helping students with predominantly visual texts, integrating visuals into written assignments, and ways of writing about images.

Southern African Linguistics and Applied Language Studies 2011, 29(4): 387–399
AJOL African Journals Online