Multimodality All Around Me

Over the past few days, I’ve been attentive to the many multimodal texts around me. Before reading the chapter What Are Multimodal Projects?, I never realized how many multimodal texts surround me on a daily basis. I made note of some of the texts around me in order to analyze and compare the modes used in each text.

The first multimodal text I noticed was in the Diag at the end of last week. I walked by a dance group performance in which all five modes of communication were used: linguistic, aural, visual, spatial and gestural. The dance routine, costumes, and performers are a few examples of the visual, spatial and gestural modes, while the music and lyrics are examples of the linguistic and aural modes. I never thought to analyze a dance performance is such a way, let alone consider it a text, until reading this chapter of Writer/Designer.




While watching the Republican Primary Debate on CNN last Wednesday, I reflected on the prominent use of the linguistic and gestural modes. The linguistic mode, namely word choice and delivery, was heavily used as the candidates spoke about their opinions on key issues. Nonetheless, the audience was able to get a better sense of what each candidate was trying to communicate, persuade and/or instruct by observing their facial expressions, hand gestures, body language and interaction with other candidates (as described in Chapter 1).

As I scroll through my Pinterest feed, I notice that the website makes effective use of the visual, spatial and linguistic modes. The layout and size of the photos displayed across the homepage exemplify the visual mode, the arrangement and organization of the pictures exemplify the spatial mode, and finally, the captions attached to each photo use the linguistic mode to inform and entertain the viewer. All three modes greatly contribute to the overall presentation and attractiveness of the webpage.




Lastly, I noticed many texts around me while shopping at Whole Foods this weekend. As noted in Chapter 1, grocery store shelves and aisles use visual information to grab our attention. Moreover, the words overhead, indicating what is to be found in each aisle, make use of the linguistic mode, while the arrangement and organization of consumer packaged goods showcase how the spatial mode is used. To my surprise, I left the grocery store with more than just the food on my “to buy” list; I left with a greater appreciation for the multimodality around me! This assignment also taught me to be more observant of my surroundings, which is a great life lesson in general.

One thought to “Multimodality All Around Me”

  1. I enjoyed reading about the things you noticed in the multi-modality around you, because my observations were very different! To be honest, I never really thought about a dance performance as multi-modality, so that was cool for me to read! I too learned from this assignment to be more aware of my surroundings, from observing things at the grocery store to my TV, to right in the Diag. Awesome post!

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