What is it about?

In the introduction to the volume "Multimodal Argumentation and Rhetoric in Media Genres," the editors (Tseronis & Forceville) sketch the young history of studying visual and multimodal manifestations of persuasive and argumentative discourse, drawing on multimodal discourse theory. Almost all discourses analysed in the volume consist of images (static or moving) accompanied by written and/or spoken language. Among other issues we discuss the difference between rhetoric and argumentation; the thorny question of how to evaluate multimodal arguments; and we introduce the ten chapters. These chapters focus on such diverse genres as printed advertisements, news photographs, scientific illustrations, political cartoons, documentaries, film trailers, political TV advertisements, public debates, and political speeches.

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Why is it important?

Visual and multimodal persuasion nowadays far exceeds the genre of advertising. Rhetoric and argumentation increasingly take on visual and multimodal forms. It is vital that we understand better what forms non-verbal rhetorical discourse can assume; and that scholars in this field extend their expertise to how visuals and sound combine with language to convince an audience of something.


This volume is the first to combine expertise in argumentation and multimodality research, both of which are necessary to address multimodal rhetoric and argumentation.

Dr Charles Forceville
Universiteit van Amsterdam

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Introduction. Argumentation and rhetoric in visual and multimodal communication, December 2017, John Benjamins, DOI: 10.1075/aic.14.01tse.
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