During the third and final unit, I learned a lot about websites, their designs, and the arguments they make. As a 19-year-old in today’s world, I use the internet/websites pretty often, but never has it occurred to me that these websites are attempting to make arguments. To my surprise, spatial arguments are everywhere. I have learned that websites use their designs to make arguments. When making designs for their websites, website creators’ entire designs are based off arguments. They take everything into account from color scheme to advertisements. For example, when a website uses colors that are appealing to the eye, it makes it more likely that the user will use the website again. During our group peer day, I presented my Netflix infographic. One of my peers mentioned that my title was too bright and unappealing, so I changed it that it would be easier to look at. This shows that the way a website looks can make a difference in the user’s opinion. Website design and special arguments go hand in hand.
The internet also makes arguments about us through the things we search and the websites we use. In class, we looked at the interests that websites assume that we are into. Sometimes, these arguments are spot on, but many times are not accurate. According to the tool we used, I am into yoga and baby supplies, which is completely false. However, it did mention I am interested in American football and rock music which is true. Websites also try to make arguments about us by the advertisements they show us. By adding extensions to my browser, I was able to see many things such as the rights we give away to the websites we use. For example, the most common thing that we allow websites to do is give our information to third parties. A lot of times this is for advertisement purposes.
Some of the browsing extensions that I personally use now include Ghostery and Terms of Service; Didn’t Read. Ghostery provides details of the kind and the number of trackers that access our information on a website. Terms of Service; Didn’t Read provides a grade for the terms of service in which we agree to when using major websites. It tells the user what is wrong and/or what is good about what we agree to. I have learned that there are so many rights we give away to trackers. Many websites sell our information to third-party trackers without us truly even knowing.
I also learned a lot about the composing process. I learned that “while most people who refer to multimodal compositions are talking about digital compositions such as videos, Web pages, and podcasts, it’s important to keep in mind that, ‘multimodal’ means attending to all the different sensory means by which information is being conveyed” (356). This is important to keep in mind when composing a multimodal argument. I learned that there is a lot that goes into the composing process, more than just making a video or podcast right off the bat. There is necessary background work to do. This may include doing research, writing scripts, editing videos, and much more.
I now realize that I am a diverse writer/composer. I learned that I can make implicit arguments through the use of a multitude of genres, whether it is a photo essay, advertisement, or an infographic. I began this class as a basic writer that did not know much about arguments. Now, I can make arguments in many ways and see arguments that are being made by others. These skills will be extremely helpful in my future.
The main connection I have made between this unit and past units is finding a specific audience. No matter which genre one uses, there is always an audience that the creator is targeting in order to make an argument. This is something that has stayed consistent throughout the three units.