ENGL 2123: Rhetoric of Visuals and Infographics

Course Details

Course Number
Section Number
Spring 2016
Bea Wood Hall
Classroom Number
Days & Times

MWF 10:00-10:50am

Dr. Sally Henschel (view Profile)


The Non-Designers Design Book, 4th ed. by Robin W
Storytelling with Data: a Data Visualization Guide
The Wall Street Journal Guide to Information Graph

Course Objectives

In ENGL 2123, a composing-, analysis-, production-intensive course, students will do the following:

  • learn the principles of visual rhetoric
  • synthesize course readings into an expression of the student’s approach to  visual rhetoric and the display of information
  • critically examine and evaluate visual information and the sources of this information
  • understand many of the ethical, legal, cultural, and economic issues that impact the creation, interpretation, and use of visual messages
  • research and create effective, clear, cogent, and ethical visual arguments
  • analyze, articulate, and justify design decisions
  • participate, communicate, collaborate, and problem solve effectively in teams
  • develop and apply team building, design, and management skills to evaluating, researching, creating, and presenting visual information and arguments

Course Expectations

Individual assignments


Visual design and topographic principles:


Redesign letterhead


Critical analysis and redesign flyer, card




Infographic dos and don’ts (presentation)


Infographic dos and don’ts (presentation)


Infographic critical analysis


Data visualization assignment


individual total


Collaborative/team assignments


Mapping a story:


Lesson: Storytelling with data


Data visualization (proposal)


Data visualization (written)


Data visualization (presentation)


team member evaluations


collaborative total


Course Total



Grading Standards

Grading System

100 - 90% — A 

  89 - 80% — B 

  79 - 70% — C 

  69 - 60% — D 

       < 60% — F 


Final Exam

05/11/2016 10:30-12:30

Submission Format Policy

See course assignment guidelines in D2L

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

All assignments will be due on dates assigned. No late work will be accepted unless specific arrangements have been made prior to the due date. Students falling two assignments behind are subject to administrative withdrawal from the course by the instructor. 

Plagiarism Policy

Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception.

Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters.

We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student.

We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed.

Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, (940) 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement

The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor

All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements


Attendance policy


Negative points


Points are deducted against the final grade for absences or tardies (i.e., arriving late to class or leaving class early):

-0  points for one absentee

-2  points for two absentees

-4  points for three absentees

-6   points for four absentees


Two tardies are counted as one absence. A "tardy" is when one arrives late to class or leaves early (i.e., 1-14 minutes)

Arriving 15 minutes late or leaving 15 minutes before class ends counts as an absence.

After five absences or tardies, a student is subject to being dropped from the course with a grade of "F."



Other Policies

See attached syllabus and assignment schedule.

Writing Proficiency Requirement

All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed the 6 hours of Communication Core and and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at, or call 397-4131.

Campus Carry

Senate Bill 11 passed by the 84th Texas Legislature allows licensed handgun holders to carry concealed handguns on campus, effective August 1, 2016. Areas excluded from concealed carry are appropriately marked, in accordance with state law. For more information regarding campus carry, please refer to the University’s webpage at

If you have questions or concerns, please contact MSU Chief of Police Patrick Coggins at