Visual Rhetoric 13.1: Making Charts and Graphs

Today’s Plan:

  • Calendar
  • Review Readings
  • Basic Elements of Visual Rhetoric
  • Playing with .csv files and Piktochart


Here is our remaining class sessions for the rest of the year:

  • Thursday, April 7th: No Class
  • Tuesday, April 12th: Generate Rubric, Infographic Peer Review
  • Thursday, April 14th: Share Infographics
  • Tuesday, April 19th: Bring/share redesign candidates
  • Thursday, April 21st: Work Day in the Lab
  • Tuesday, April 26th: Work Day in the Lab
  • Thursday, April 28th: Redesign Presentations

There is no formal presentation on April 19th for the infographics. We’ll just take a look at everyone’s final project, and I might ask you to speak about what you changed after the revision workshop on the 12th.

The redesign presentations should be similar to the book presentations. You should show us the visual you chose to redesign, identify 3-5 issues in the original (using terminology from readings in WSINYE and other course readings), and present your revision.

Review a Few Readings

Last week, I asked you to read The Wire’s “A Few Rules for Making Homemade Infographics.

I want to follow that up today by reading Google’s “Tell a Meaningful Story with Data.” Essentially, like a good paper an infographic should have a path that takes a reader from someplace (likely an assumption or a pressing question) to someplace else (a different way of thinking or approaching a question).

Fundamentals of Visual Rhetoric

I highly recommend taking another look at WSINYE as you design and execute your infographic.

In Class Task #1: Making Graphs in Piktochart

Last week I asked you to play around with Piktochart and learn its basic features. Today I want to focus a bit more energy on the graphs feature: specifically, I want to look at how to use a .csv file to make and customize a graph.

I’ve emailed out an excel file for us to play with. It has some very simple data in it (Yankees salaries from 2003).

We need to:

  • Download the attachment
  • Upload it into Google Drive
  • Publish it to the Web
  • Link it in Piktochart
  • Notice it doesn’t work well
  • Edit it in Google Drive
  • Update it in Piktochart
  • Play with Piktochart options a bit

In Class Task #2: Making a Map in Piktochart

We should have some time to play with the maps feature a bit.


A complete draft of your infographic is due on Tuesday. We will generate the rubric and peer review those drafts. The final infographics are due on Thursday the 14th.

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