Resources for Making Visual Arguments

Below is a short—not at all comprehensive—list of free online software that you can use for your Visual Argument Pieces. You are not limited to using these tools, but they might be of help to you. You are also, of course, free to use any software you feel most comfortable with and have regular access to.

Most of the resources below require that you create a free account that has some restrictions, ex. limited template choices, watermarks or branding on finished products, limited publishing options. Make sure to check what limitations a free account has before you create your entire piece in it. Watermarks are fine for the final project and you can submit the final version either via D2L or posted to the course website (if, for example, you can only embed the completed product and cannot download it as a .jpeg or .pdf)

Remember, you will not be evaluated on the visual presentation of your argument, but on the rhetorical choices you made in creating your Visual Argument Piece.


PhotoJoiner: Provides a range of collage templates; free account has limited template choices

Fotor: Provides a range of collage templates; free account has limited template choices

Also, consider using any of the other design tools that are useful for making posters, fliers, infographics, or slideshows. The most important features of these are the ability to upload images and to use design guides to help organize the placement of objects.


Make Beliefs Comix*: Color comic book creator with backgrounds, characters, objects, and text-boxes; includes some preloaded story templates; final versions can be printed as PDFs

Strip Generator*: Creates black and white comics from a set characters, objects, and text-boxes; no backgrounds; must be published to the Strip Generator community and then linked to or embedded on a webpage

*As far as I can tell, neither of these platforms allow you to save in-progress comic strips and return to edit them. Therefore, if you use these platforms, think strategically about how you will navigate the drafting and revising process.


Piktochart: Easy-to-use inforgraphic maker with a range of templates and a host of icons and fonts; can also be used for making posters; free account has access to all templates and methods of downloading/sharing, but is limited to 5 infographics

Venngage: Also a great resources for making infographics; can also be sued for making posters; free account has limited access to templates and sharing options

Photo Essays/Essays with Photos

This WordPress Site: Use the gallery tool to create an image gallery with captions

Google Docs: Standard online word processing software free with a Google account

Microsoft Word (see below for more information about TCU student access to Word)


Canva: Great for poster and flier designs as well as social media posts; also has slideshow, comic, infographic templates; some templates and images include watermarks


Google Slides: Standard online slideshow software free with a Google account; can be downloaded in a range of formats or embedded into a webpage with automatic slide advancing to create a video; for information on how to embed, see AppsCare’s how-to; for additional slide designs/templates, see Slide Carnival

Adobe Spark: Free online resource from Adobe for making “social graphics,” webpages, collages, and slideshow videos; limited design capability, but can work if your design plan fits with its capabilities

Additional Resources

Adobe Color Wheel

The Adobe Color Wheel provides color templates as well as a free color picker, which you can use to match colors in photos.

Copyright Free Images

Google Image Advanced Search: Choose a large “image size” from the dropdown menu and “free to use share and modify” for the “usage rights”



Microsoft Office Suite

All TCU students have access to Office 365 Online. For more information, visit this site from TCU’s IT department. Word and PowerPoint can be used to create photo essays, essays with photos, slideshows, posters, etc. You can use templates for Word or for PowerPoint slideshows or PowerPoint posters to make a variety of visual compositions.

TCU’s Center for Digital Expression

Visit the CDEx’s website for overviews on a range of visual/digital media and for open hours, where you can get help with any digital project you are currently working on.