created it? Where was it published? What audience is it addressing? What is it trying to get this audience to think and feel about the subject? How does it attempt to achieve this aim?

Let’s look, for example, at the following visual text: a public service announcement (PSA) from the World Wildlife Fund (WWF).

The central image in this PSA is a photo of an attractive, smiling young couple. Most of us will immediately recognize the dress, posture, and facial expressions of the young man and woman as those of a newly married couple; the photo-mounting corners make the image seem like a real wedding album photo, as opposed to an ad agency’s creation (which would be easier to ignore). After noting these things, however, we are immediately struck by what is wrong with the picture: a hurricane rages in the background, blowing hair, clothing, and the bride’s veil forcefully to one side, showering the bride’s pure white dress with spots (of rain? mud?), and threaten- ing to rip the bridal bouquet from her hand.

So what do we make of the disruption of the con- vention (the traditional wedding photo) on which the PSA image is based? In trying to decide, most of us will look next to the text below the image: “Ignoring global warming won’t make it go away.” The disjunc- tion between the couple’s blissful expression and the storm raging around them turns out to be the point of the PSA: like the young couple in the picture, the PSA implies, we are all blithely ignoring the impend-

ing disaster that global warming represents. The reputable, nonprofit WWF’s logo and

Figure 20.2 “Wedding,” from the WWF’s 2007 “Beautiful Day U.S.” Series


Cristina Dinh

Professor Cooper

English 100

15 May 2009

Educating Kids at Home

Every morning, Mary Jane, who is nine, doesn’t have to worry about

gulping down her cereal so she can be on time for school. School for

Mary Jane is literally right at her doorstep.

In this era of serious concern about the quality of public education,

increasing numbers of parents across the United States are choosing

to educate their children at home. These parents believe they can do a

better job teaching their children than their local schools can. Home

schooling, as this practice is known, has become a national trend over

the past thirty years, and, according to education specialist Brian D.

Ray, the home-schooled population is growing at a rate between 5%

and 12% per year. A 2008 report by the U.S. Department of Education’s

Institute of Education Sciences estimated that, nationwide, the number

of home-schooled children rose from 850,000 in 1999 to approximately

1.5 million in 2007 (1.5 million 1). Some home-schooling advocates be-

lieve that even these numbers may be low because not all states require

formal notification when parents decide to teach their children at home.

What is home schooling, and who are the parents choosing to be

home schoolers? David Guterson, a pioneer in the home-schooling move-

ment, defines home schooling as “the attempt to gain an education

outside of institutions” (5). Home-schooled children spend the majority

of the conventional school day learning in or near their homes rather

than in traditional schools; parents or guardians are the prime educa-

tors. Former teacher and home schooler Rebecca Rupp notes that home-

schooling parents vary considerably in what they teach and how they

teach, ranging from those who follow a highly traditional curriculum

within a structure that parallels the typical classroom to those who


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Title centered; no underlining, quotes, or italics

Paragraphs indented one-half inch

Author named in text; no parenthetical page reference because source not paginated

Author named in text; parenthetical page reference falls at end of sentence

Abbreviated title used in parenthetical citation because works cited lists two sources by government author (named in text); no punctuation between title and page number


Key features of Chapter 24, “Using Sources,” are color coded for easy reference. The pages tinted beige contain a sample research paper using MLA format and documentation style.


To make them easy to find, the pages explaining how to use MLA documentation have a teal stripe down the side. The pages covering APA documentation have a reddish-orange stripe down the side.


The MLA System of Documentation

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