Visual essay ideas (order an essay inexpensively)

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Writing a visual analysis essay requires you to be careful and pick an artwork carefully. If you are having a hard time in creating an effective piece, you should go ahead and find assistance from a reliable place. This is important because you have to create a winning assignment and impress your audience with it. The topic of your paper is critical because it decides the overall direction and focus of your paper. You should choose an engaging and unique topic to create a strong impression on your audience

Topic ideas for a visual analysis paper

Here are some ideas to consider for the topic of a visual analysis paper

  1. Analyze the text in a famous TV campaign and see how they have used it
  2. Make an effective review of your favorite Hollywood production and discuss the visual arts involved
  3. Analyze the cover of a magazine and see the transparency of it
  4. Evaluate the categories of products displayed in a full page ad on a local magazine
  5. Create an evaluation about the people shown in food product ads considering their gender, race, activity, health etc.
  6. What is the most effective ad you have seen and why do you think it is effective
  7. What is the most ineffective campaign for a beauty product and why is it ineffective
  8. What is the core value system promoted in TV campaigns
  9. Determine the audience of an artwork and see why this audience is ideal for the artwork or why it is not so
  10. Create a report on social class shown through art
  11. Determine the use of color and action in TV ads
  12. Show the use of sound, music and narration in presentations
  13. Display of brand name in digital media campaigns
  14. The strategy for showing product in ads fast action versus zoom in
  15. Analyze and compare the emotional appeal and type of sales in web ads
  16. Analyze a piece of work from the Parks library
  17. What is the special feature about Cleo Award winning ads
  18. Art comparison over decades
  19. Yellow journalism
  20. How does advertising effect our personal lives
  21. The book and movie featured and sponsored by McDonald’s
  22. How does advertising effect third world countries? Is it good impact or bad
  23. Is advertising making people materialistic
  24. Art through history
  25. Culture and arts

Original Ideas

Essay Examples

All difficulties related to essay writing can be solved really fast If you’re using the following tricks.

How To Find Good Visual Essay Topics: Guidelines And Examples

A basic set of guidelines to help in the production and development of visual essays

What are visual essays?

The utilization of images, illustrations and other forms of image representation in addition to textual expressions in the form of words to posit an expression of thought or opinion is called a visual paper writing.

What can be achieved by the use of visual writing papers?

Visual essays can be used to recollect some events, make an argument or a claim, explain a certain issue or topics, illustrate some problematic situation, or even tell a personal anecdote.

Often times visual papers are finally represented in the form of slides or videos, but they can also be in the form of posters.

What purpose is served via visual essays?

Visual papers are usually more interesting and attractive when compared to ordinary textual papers. The addition of music, illustrations, videos, impactful quotes and strong pictures catch the attention of the audience in a more powerful manner than the ordinary papers.

What could be the constituents of visual papers?

A strong visual paper will be attractive as well as informative. This combination can be achieved by a dynamic utilization of some or all of the following elements:

What will the process of creating a visual essay entail?

The entire process will be a series of basic steps that in coalesce produce a compelling work product.

Firstly, brainstorming gets the process going, consequent planning and research follow.

Secondly, amassing images and videos from various sources so as to give the paper an interactive outlook is followed.

Thirdly, a good publishing or editing software should be used to put together the various items that you have collected.

Lastly, a good and interactive presentation of the paper is the most critical step. You may have a killer visual paper, but if you cannot present it well when you upload it on YouTube, or show it in class, then it will almost invariably fail to impress.

What must one do to start the process?

The determination of the topic and the scope of the essay will cut short your work significantly. A topic is any broad issue or theme about just about anything. Within a topic there are multiple scopes or aspects or factors that are in play. You must decide which is the particular aspect about which you want to talk.

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20 Outstanding Topic Ideas For Your Next Visual Essay

Do you need to create a virtual essay? Perhaps you don’t even know what one is, let alone know what subject you should choose. Maybe you’re feeling like the world expects too much of you and you can’t deal with the amount of pressure! Well, chill and know that there’s always help available! Not only that, but a visual essay can be a lot of fun as well! After all, you may be somewhat bored or tired from writing all those other lengthy assignments, so here’s your chance to present an essay in a different format; which therefore requires alternative thinking. So…

What is it?

This type of project, as you might have guessed, is heavily reliant on images. Most visual essays are created as slideshows or videos, though sometimes other formats are required or acceptable. It will often include words as well as pictures. Be sure to check the requirements for the particular project you’ve been set.

What are they about?

These sorts of assignments can focus on a whole range of subjects. They can tell a personal story, make an argument or pinpoint a social problem, for instance.

Illustrate your work with images from personal or known sources and create soundtracks of music and spoken word- there’s a lot you can be creative with here! Choose a theme that is close to your heart and you can’t go wrong.

Have a good think about the sort of title you might choose yourself. Here are my twenty helpful suggestions to help you on your way.

  • Everyday life in Palestine.
  • A photographic essay on the Taj Mahal.
  • Constructing Mount Rushmore.
  • Celebrating Gay Pride in London.
  • The horses on my grandfather’s ranch.
  • A brief history of Kung Fu masters.
  • The main themes of William Blake.
  • Summer camp: the year I stopped bullying others.
  • The global economy needs restructuring.
  • Tea Parties should be abolished.
  • Why do we ignore the destruction of the rainforest?
  • My brother’s band: ‘Dead Meat’- a documentary.
  • John Milton’s Paradise Lost – its main themes explored in paintings and drawings.
  • Don’t forget how revolutionary Cubism was to the art world at the time!
  • My two weeks as a military cadet.
  • My bedroom diary.
  • An animation in favour of equality for the poor.
  • The war on drugs in music, pictures and voices.
  • The threat of ISIS.
  • The world’s not real: a quantum physics perspective on the nature of reality and who we are.

How to Make a Visual Essay

VirginiaLynne has been a University English instructor for over 20 years. She specializes in helping people write essays faster and easier.

A Visual Essay

Uses images along with words in order to:

Tell a personal story

Explain a literary text

Illustrate a social problem

This Article Includes:

1. Types of visual essays

2. Step-by-step instructions

3. Student samples

4. Links for free use images

5. Help in finding quotes, graphs, and clip art

6. Instructions for how to use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie

Example: Depression Slideshow

Why Make a Visual Essay?

More Interesting

Sometimes this kind of essay is an assignment for a class, but it might also be an option your instructor gives you. If you have the choice, you might find making a visual presentation more interesting and more powerful than just writing a regular essay.

Emotional Impact

Why? By using music, video, quotes and powerful images, you can have a more powerful emotional effect on an audience than any written essay.

Bigger Audience

Better yet, these sorts of essays can be shared online to make your argument to a larger audience. For example, not too many people will read your essay on homelessness, but many people might want to see your essay on the lives of homeless people in your town and the people who help the homeless in a soup kitchen (see “Depression Slideshow” or “My Photo Memory: Helping Others” Video).

A Picture Paints a Thousand Words

This old saying is true. A great example is the “Texting and Driving” video. The audience will understand the author’s strong stand against texting when they see this essay that includes pictures of the author’s high school friends who died because someone was texting while driving.

Example: Texting and Driving

Choosing a Topic

Thinking about moving personal experiences can help you choose a topic. The student who created “Texting and Driving” experienced the grief of losing 5 friends because of texting. He used his own emotions to help him craft a moving visual argument and included the story of his friends as part of his essay.

What to Include

Like an argument paper, visual essays can use written words and quotes, but they also can include:

  • Photos
  • Professional video
  • Personally filmed video
  • Artwork
  • Graphic Images
  • Tables, charts and graphs
  • Spoken words
  • Music
  • Sounds

Step One: You need to brainstorm, plan and research for your essay. Follow my steps below to plan your essay. I also give you links on where to find images to put in your essay and quotes to use.

Step Two: Gather your images and video. You can make your own videos and pictures, or use those available from the sites I give below. I also give you a link for software that lets you download YouTube videos that you can splice into your own essays.

Step Three: Put your essay together using iMovie, Windows Movie Maker or other video software. You can include music, your own voice, captions, and quotes.

Step Four: Publish your essay by uploading it to YouTube or showing it to your classmates and instructor.

How to Start

Visual essays are a different format from a written ones, but they require many of the same processes to make. Just like when you write, you will need to decide what you want to explain or argue.

Choose a topic and then decide what kind of essay you are writing. Here is a list of types:

1. Explaining: when you want to describe and paint a picture of something but not argue a point.

2. Analysis and Evaluation: when you want to take something apart and analyze the different parts. Often used for literature, songs or movies. Part of your analysis will be evaluating whether this is effective for the audience.

3. Argument: when you want to prove a point or move your audience to think or do something. There are several types of argument claims.Typically, argument essays make a claim which answers one of the following questions:

  • Fact: Is it true or not? Does it really exist? Did it really happen? (example: Is climate change Real? Does domestic violence happen in my community?)
  • Definition: How should we define it? What is it really? (example: What is love? or What was the great depression really like?)
  • Cause: What is the cause? What are the effects? How are these related? (example: What causes homelessness? What are the effects of teens texting and driving?)
  • Value: How important is this? How should we value it? (example: How important is Family for college students? or What is the value of a college education?)
  • Policy: What should we do about it? How can we solve the problem? (example: How can we help friends with eating disorders? How can we solve the problem of child labor?)

You may need to do some research to find the answer to your argument question. You can Google to find out some information on your topic, or look at YouTube videos. Once you find your claim answer, try to write it in a single sentence. That sentence is the thesis for your essay.

What is your Visual Essay about?

Finding Images

When you are looking for images on the Internet, you need to understand that there is a difference from just viewing those images and using them yourself. Luckily, there are many great sites with images which are offered free for anyone to use. Here are some of the best free use sites:

  1. Wikimedia Commons: All of the images on Wikimedia are available for free use and don’t have copyright. Moreover, they have a lot of interesting historical images and famous pictures and art which can really make your visual essay unique. The link lands you on the “Topic” page, but you can also use the search engine to find photos.
  2. Flickr: includes many categories of photos, including “The Commons” which are photos uploaded from collections, as well as personal photos uploaded by people around the world.
  3. Open Clip Art:a gallery of graphic clip art which is free to use. You can search for many objects here that can help you convey your story. Also includes humorous images and cartoons.
  4. Pixabay: professional photography images which are often quite stunning. These free use images can be explored by topic, by the photographer, or by searching for a term. This site also includes clip art.
  5. Slideshare: contains many PowerPoint presentations on lots of different topics. You can get ideas for your own essay as well as look for graphics and quotes you could use. This site gets many uploads from companies, professors, and businesses, so it is a great resource for charts and graphs.

Wordle Graphic Images

Finding Quotes

Need a great quote to make a point in your essay? Or maybe you remember a quote but don’t know who said it. Use one of these sites to help you out:

  • Brainy Quote: Get quotes on many topics like love, friendship, wisdom, or quotes by author. A good quote can be an excellent way to end your essay.
  • Good Reads Quotes: Another source for quotes from famous people. You type in the topic and many different quotes appear along with a picture of the person who said it.
  • Wordle:Create a beautiful design of words that are important for your topic. This can be a great graphic for an introduction or conclusion. All images you make are your own to use in any way you want.

Visual Essays and Humor

As “America Needs Nerds” demonstrates, you don’t have to be serious. Humor, satire and irony can be a great way to convince your audience about your ideas. In the case of this essay, the humor comes from the pictures and contrasts with the seriousness of the voiceover. The pictures help the audience accept the claim of the essay that “geeks” and “nerds” should be valued rather than shunned.

America Needs Nerds


Before you gather images, video, music and other research, you will need to think about what you want to say and how you want to present it. Start by writing down your main point or your claim question and answer. Then answer the following to help you develop your ideas and think about what sort of materials you need to gather for your project.

  1. What are the reasons for believing your thesis?
  2. What are some examples to back up those reasons?
  3. What are the other views on this topic?
  4. What objections would people have to your ideas?
  5. What are your most convincing arguments to refute those objections?
  6. What images would you like to find to illustrate your thesis?
  7. What quotations or phrases could you use that would be memorable?
  8. Are there any familiar sayings that you can reuse or repurpose to get your meaning across?
  9. What music (if any) could help you convey your message?
  10. Do you want to use long sequences of pictures with music, sounds or silence?
  11. Do you want to write a script that you speak over the visual images?
  12. Will you include video? If so, will you take it yourself or use clips of other videos?

Creating a Plan

Looking at your answers to your pre-writing questions, you can start to plan how you will put together your piece. Just like a written essay, you will need and introduction, body, and conclusion. You may want to think of this as a story with a beginning, middle and end. Before you start to gather images, you might want to make a rough outline of how you want your essay to come together.

Title: Often your claim question can be your title, or you may want a single word or short phrase title that tells your subject and use your question in the opening. The font, animation and color will set the tone of your piece, so spend some time trying out different styles to see what you like best.

Introduction: How will you interest your viewer? Your first few images need to tell the viewer the subject and the question and grab their attention.

Body: How will you present your thesis? Will you tell it in a voice over? Write it on a picture or on a screen by itself? Would it be more effective to tell your main reasons first and then put your main idea at the end in the conclusion?

What types of images could help you to prove your main reasons for your claim? Remember that it is usually important to order your ideas from least to most important, so put your best reasons last. You might want to make a list of the types of images you want. Be sure to indicate any images you already have.

Conclusion: What do you want your audience to think, do, or believe after they have watched your essay? How will you draw the audience with you to believe your claim at the end? Will you use a specific image? A repeated idea? A quote? A challenge? A question?

Using Images to Create an Argument

In “Religion Essay” the images about children are the argument. The arrangement of the pictures, along with the repetition of so many instances of children being exploited is a powerful argument which implies the thesis that we need to do something to stop it.

Sometimes pictures without text can be more powerful. Consider having some part of your essay being images alone.

Literature Response

Some essay assignments ask you to respond or explain some work of literature, or a quote or scene. The student making the video below was responding to an assignment to take a scene from Hamlet and explain the importance of that scene in the play. She chose Act 5, Scene 1, the suicide of Ophelia and her presentation shows how Ophelia’s death leads to much of the actions and violence in the rest of the play.

Hamlet Response

Questions & Answers

How to Write an Analysis Response Essay

by Virginia Kearney 2

How to Write a Philosophy Dialogue

by Davids writing 1

How to Write an Explaining Essay

by Virginia Kearney 7

Good Attention Getters for Essays With Examples

by Dr. Poeta Diablo 24

How to Write a Proposal Essay/Paper

by Laura Writes 43

Easy Words to Use as Sentence Starters to Write Better Essays

by Virginia Kearney 172

100 Argument or Position Essay Topics with Sample Essays

by Virginia Kearney 40

Very useful link

This is great. Thank you for sharing this.

Dianna Mendez 4 years ago

Wow, this is a really interesting post and opens a whole new world to writing an essay for the younger generation. It would keep the interest high and promote excellent writing skills. The videos are so well done. Voting up and sharing!

Eiddwen 4 years ago from Wales

Interesting and so very useful.

Voted up and thanks for sharing.

Levy Tate 4 years ago from California, USA

Awesome tips — and massive thanks for providing great examples! Voted up 😉

Wow, well organized hub. Thank you for sharing this

Prithima Sharma 4 years ago from Delhi, India

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Create a Visual Essay with Ease

What Does Creating a Visual Essay Imply?

To begin with, a visual assay appears to stand out of the crowd. Actually, it is a totally different assignment from a classic essay. The point is that while covering this written task, you shouldn’t write anything at all except for some short informative statements!

In fact, this academic assignment requires to express your thoughts on this or that topic using:

Moreover, to present your point of view on the required topic you may combine all above-mentioned means with some short informative statements related to the theme.

Some Fresh Ideas on Handling Visual Assignments

Clearly, the most difficult and challenging step while fulfilling this task is finding really suitable and gripping visuals, pictures and images to use. Obviously, it presumes using creative approach and skills. In other words, ability to generate fresh ideas seems to be a determinant factor on your road to success.

In search of inspiration and great ideas we recommend you analyze the ready-made visual assignments composed by other students. Besides, you are welcome to upload free essay templates at our site.

Visual Essay Tools You May Use

Of course, introducing your ideas to the audience is one of the crucial points of getting a positive grade for this task. To make a presentation of your visual paper more eye-catching, pleasant and what is more important, – efficient, you may use the following helpful tools:

We expect these tools to be fruitful for you. Make the most out of them and you’ll be impressed by results.

Wholesome Recommendations on Composing a Visual Essay

Are there any clear effective hints, which can help you to create your visual paper with ease? Of course, there are! And you shouldn’t seek for them, because they are posted below:

  • Surf the web and use camera to collect the data for your essay.
  • Incorporate thought provoking visuals, images and pictures in your paper.
  • To make your presentation more griping feel free to use graphs, various charts and bars.
  • All the data you want to use should be up-to-date and relevant.
  • Don’t forget about numerous visuals aids while defending your paper.
  • Show your paper to your relatives of friends before submitting it. They may give you favorable advice as well.

Competent Help with Visual Essays

Still feel a little bit frustrated because of these visual assignments? Don’t fall into despair! There is always a way out from any tough situation! Visual papers are not an exception.

How to Write a Visual Essay

A visual essay can be a group of pictures depicting or exploring a topic without any text or it can be a combination of visuals or images plus text. Your essay can be a commentary on ideas ranging from gardening to social uprisings and can focus on political or environmental issues. Pictures used in your essay can be current pictures or ones collected over a period of time and the essay can be presented either as a word document or as a .jpeg image file format with some accompanying text.

Create your visual essay by deciding which format you will be using for your essay. Remember that the purpose of your essay is to inform, persuade or enlighten your reader. Create an essay that is factual but not boring, lots of images or pictures but not enough to overwhelm, thought provoking but not thoughtless.

Use charts, bars or graphs to tell your story. Select a subject such as statistical processing control (SPC), a process used in the manufacturing industry to monitor product quality, and create graphic charts, bars and graphs. Use vivid colors in your presentation so your audience can observe and compare the variations in manufacturing the product over certain times of the year. Create comparative charts and graphs to show the current year’s product quality compared to previous years. Using the appropriate visuals for your subject matter is paramount in keeping your audience interested and informed.

Write your essay on a topic such as “uprisings” and use current pictures or images of an uprising in a country. Collect dozens of pictures pertinent to your subject matter and save them in a .jpeg format. Select pictures that can tell your story such as individuals looting and hauling store merchandise across their backs, people of all ages being unceremoniously dragged across roads, tanks lumbering through city streets while people run for cover and cars and buildings ablaze. Accompany the pictures with suitable background music and your visual essay would not need much text since the pictures by themselves will speak to your audience.

Use visual aids or props. Purchase various fast foods such as hamburgers, fries, nachos, coke, etc for your essay on “The obesity epidemic”. Research the fat content, the amount of sugar, salt and other ingredients contained in each food item. Prepare a power point presentation with text to accompany your visual essay and include information on the normal amount of fat, salt, sugar etc. each body requires per day compared to the amount that these items provide. Include some pictures of people in various body sizes. Your presentation should be informative but not preachy. Let your audience make their own decision.

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Things Needed

  • Pictures
  • Camera
  • Computer


About the Author

Marlene Inglis started writing in 1993. Her papers on creative writing and effective written communication were published in the school magazine "Portico" and her work also appeared in the "Belgian Nursery" magazine. Inglis holds a Bachelor of Science and Ontario Diploma in Horticulture from the University of Guelph.

Visual essay ideas

The Visual Essay

The goal of this assignment is to construct a sequence of ten images as a visual essay that explores a media/technology theme of the student’s choice.


The goal of this assignment is to construct a sequence of ten images as a visual essay that visualizes a media/technology theme of your choice.

Ten images, drawn from your original pool of 25 images, arranged in a sequence, with possible captions or comments. On flickr, arrange your images as a set called “visual essay.”

1,000-word project statement explaining your theme and conceptualization of your visual essay (if applicable, include a bibliography).

The project statement provides an insight into your thought processes and decisions during the construction of your visual essay. In 1,000 words, address the following questions in a cohesive statement (i.e. do not answer each question individually):

What is your theme?

How do your images visualize your theme?

Why did you arrange these images in this particular sequence?

If you chose to add quotes to your images, why did you choose these particular quotes? If you cite from a text, please provide a bibliography with your statement.

What is your strongest image? Where in the sequence did you place it, and why?

Remember that you are trying to “write” with these images—your visual essay should have a beginning, middle, and end. The first few images should set up your theme in the clearest way possible, the middle images provide details, and the final images offer a conclusion.

You may add up to 100 words of text per image. You can add the text as a description (comment underneath the image) or as a note on the image itself (to highlight a particular detail). The text can be written by you, or it can be a quote from readings we have done in class or from any other text. Text and image must be in tension with one another. This means that the text cannot simply be a description of the image, or the image an illustration of the text. Rather, the interaction between image and text should encourage the viewer to think about how image and text relate to one another (consider Rene Magritte’s painting This Is Not a Pipe as an example of how image and text exist in tension with one another: ).

You may edit your images with Photoshop/other image editing software or with picnik, flickr’s built-in image editor (you can access it by clicking “edit photo” in the menu above each image). If you completely distort an image, you need to explain why you chose to do so in your project statement.

You may change the size of your images (in fact, you are encouraged to re-size them to less than 1000×1000 pixels). You can re-size your images or crop them to highlight details.

Grading Rubrics

Overall Conceptualization (max. 50 points):

Focuses on the relationship between theme and images. Is the theme well-defined? Do the images visualize it, rather than simply illustrating it?

Project statement (max. 25 points):

Focuses both on form (grammar, organization, style) and content (explanation of your theme).

Visual sequence (max. 25 points):

Are the images arranged in a cohesive way—is there a beginning, middle, and end? If applicable, do quotes or captions add another, thought-provoking dimension to the images?

Sample Student Project: Information Overload

by Hayden Monfette | Fall 2009

Excerpt from Hayden’s project statement:

The idea of “Information Overload” came up when I looked at some of my pictures and saw that some of the students, when they were studying, had multiple books and notebooks out and opened at one time . . . .The ten particular photos that I chose to make up my visual essay actually tell a story. From the browsing of a bookstore to the failure of a student’s technology, this story follows one students study time from start to finish.

I chose to put the images in a sequential order so that they would tell a story because we started this project briefly after our class watched a French film in class titled La Jet�e .

La Jet�e is a film that tells the story of a man whose mind travelled time during post-World War III. But I didn’t get my inspiration from the plot of the film, but from its composition. Then entire 28-minute long film was comprised of almost all black and white still photos. The photos, along with some narration, successfully told the story with only one very brief scene of actual cinema film, but it wasn’t used to advance the story, only add another artistic element. Dialogue was another unnecessary element that wasn’t used in La Jet�e , as well as my visual essay. I composed my essay in a way that tells a story similar to how La Jet�e tells its.

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