Unit 4: Using Visuals to Convey Information
Words are not the only way to present and share information with an audience. Technical writing often utilizes visuals to accompany written information and further deliver information to the audience. This unit leads you through the types of visuals available as well as the best practices for using them.
Visuals take many forms; they can be as simple as a photograph of a plant specimen or pie chart breaking down enrollment data or as complex as an embedded video or multi-page, hyperlinked, organizational chart. Visuals must be carefully selected to support the audience’s understanding of the topic.
Visuals, however strong they are on their own, must be integrated into the text of the document. The written word supports the visuals, and the visuals further exemplify the meaning of the text. The two work in tandem to support the main idea of the document.
This unit will also cover the important tools needed to properly label, title, and document visuals used in a given communications context.
Completing this unit should take you approximately 14 hours.
Each academic and professional discipline aligns itself with a specific type of documentation style for research. APA from the American Psychological Association tends be used in business and science. MLA from the Modern Languages Association tends to be used in the humanities. Which documentation style you follow often depends on the style requirements of your organization. Knowledge of both styles will prepare you to be versatile should the need arise.