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Choosing Whether to Use Software or Technology to Enhance Ideas

Choosing Whether to Use Software or Technology to Enhance Ideas

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Author: Nancy Heilman

Learners will focus on the following:

  • How visuals and various graphics can be utilized to more clearly convey complex ideas
  • When to use technology instead of or in addition to written text in order to more clearly communicate ideas
  • What kinds of specialized software can be used to enhance papers by adding these graphic elements to the existing text
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A Simple Example to Illustrate Why Visuals are Necessary

The example above shows how a bar chart is a perfect visual for mapping the number of wallets sold each month, while the text to the right of the chart shows the same information, yet is more difficult to process. Our brain needs visuals in many cases. This is one case. The column chart above was easily created in Excel, using already-typed-in information, shown below.

Visuals, then, help to more easily explain complicated written material. This is probably the most important reason to use them.

Source: Nancy Heilman

What ARE Visuals?

In 19 seconds, this video gives a simple list of seven key types of visuals

Source: Nancy Heilman

When to Use Technology to Clearly Communicate Ideas

Briefly, nine different visuals (created by simple technology) are highlighted, as well as their purposes within a piece of writing

Source: Nancy Heilman

Common Software and Technology Used to Create Visuals

This is an overview of how to create and use typical visual pieces in one's papers an documents... in order to clarify meaning and communicate CLEARLY and CONCISELY.

Source: Nancy Heilman


While visuals and graphics are certainly not the focal point or end result of a written work or presentation, they often play a key role in clear, concise communication. They can make the difference between ordinary communication... and EXTRAORDINARY. Some questions to ask yourself when considering whether or not to add visuals or graphics:

? ? ? ?? ? ? ? ?

1. Is adding visuals to my written work or presentation acceptable (to the teacher, to the audience)?

2. What will be gained by adding a visual? What will be lost?

3. What is the best visual to add? Why?

4. How am I going to go about creating or obtaining the graphic?

5. Does it work, now that I've added it (question to ask post-creation of it, obviously)?

Source: Nancy Heilman

Questions and Answers

  • Answers 0
    wavo'a hassan about 2 years ago

    what does this tutorial have to do with creative writing?

  • Answer 1
    Wendy Hays over 2 years ago

    1. What does this tutorial have to do with creative writing? 2. Why does this tutorial have some kind of Spanish drama playing in the background? I could not finish this tutorial because of the background noise.

      Kyle Scott
      Kyle Scott answered over 2 years ago

      As for when I watch this video clip it had no spanish drama in the backround, mabye you should try to reload it and have nothing else up in the backround.

  • Answers 2
    Ryan Howard over 3 years ago

    Nancy, I really love your presentation. I think it would be great if you could give the learners some activities so they can practice using this technology.

      wavo'a hassan answered about 2 years ago

      yea she did an amazing job

      Nancy Heilman answered over 3 years ago

      That's a good idea... let me think about how I would do that. Thanks for the feedback.

Academic Reviews
SOPHIA has reviewed the tutorial and found it academically sound.
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