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ENGL 378: Visual Rhetoric

Sources for Visual and Rhetorical Analysis

Visuals are a form of communication that can be read, much like the way we read language. Your research assignment for ENGL 378 asks you to analyze the ways that visual texts communicate meaning. In this sense, your primary source(s) is/are the visual text(s) on which you choose to anchor your analysis. 

The examples and collections listed below are just a sampling; ask Prof. Duthely or Katy for help in identifying additional primary sources.

These sources offer information about interpreting visual texts.

For information about formal analysis of art, see The Art of Writing about Art and A Short Guide to Writing about Art (also ebook version available).

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Graphic Literature

Use Primo to search for works of graphic literature at Collins Library and beyond. [Look for the subheading "Comic books, strips, etc."]

Exhibition Catalogs

If you have selected a work of art as your primary visual text, exhibition catalogues can be valuable resources for learning more about a particular artist and their work. These collections often include a mixture of primary and secondary sources such as: Artists' statements; Essays about the artists' work; Artists' biographies including exhibition and award history; Images of the artists' work. 

For less well known artists, these catalogues may be one of the few sources of information available about their work.

Resources for Locating Images

Zines at Collins Library

The Collins Library Zine Collection contains over 500 zines which are housed in Archives & Special Collections on the 2nd Floor of the library. View the finding aid on Archives West (link below) or visit the A&SC during open hours for more information.

Explore these digital collection to see additional examples.

Film & Television

A collection of documentaries, feature films, and television shows on DVD are available on the lower level of the library. They are arranged by call number.

To search for DVDs, use Primo. Search the title of the film to see if a DVD is available in Collins Library or is available through another SUMMIT library. TIP: If you do an advanced search in Primo, you can limit material type to audio and video to retrieve streaming video and DVDs.

Viewing DVDs:

If you do not have personal access to a DVD player, computers #28 and #29 in the Learning Commons are equipped with disk drives for viewing DVDs.

Media Services also provides loaner equipment (including Blu-Ray players and DVD players) for checkout to students, faculty, and staff. To reserve equipment, contact Media Services at 253.879.3963,, or by visiting the Tech Center in Collins Library 066.

Streaming Media:

Consult an online video aggregator such as to see which titles are available on major commercial streaming providers like Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon.