Multi-Media Writing: to use or avoid?

By January 12, 2015New Media

Tutors at the UCWbL understand the importance of having an appealing portfolio. The art of crafting a portfolio is reader based. We must question “How do we make our reflections and thoughts appealing to the writer browsing our Digication Portfolio”? We find that adding media is one of the simplest and most effective ways for us as tutors to serve our fellow writers.

What??? Pictures in place of words? Isn’t adding color, pictures, and videos lazy? Aren’t we failing to access our full potential when we captivate readers using these mediums rather than our pure wit? I would say, no.  Those who say yes may not understand the creative assessment required to attain media that is interesting and relevant. In fact, using media in our writing often requires more work. We are challenged with finding a photo, video, or link that provides substance that is relative to what we are writing, and  it must have visual appeal. When we think about our purpose when writing, we are writing to serve the reader. Videos, pictures, and even link directories can advance a writer’s understanding of what we’re discussing.

Hopefully pointing out this contributing factor to the use of multimedia does not turn you away from utilizing it, but makes you intrigued. As writers, we are often trying to think of a way to SAY something with our writing. Should we instead ask ourselves to think of a way to SHOW something? The answer we must face is that sometimes we can’t present our ideas through words alone. We occasionally have to use media to ASSIST in the development of an idea.

While I could list multiple benefits to using multimedia, you would quite frankly would lose interest. So, I will display the benefits to better help your understanding.


Now, wasn’t that much more fun to look at? If you are still reading, then it worked.

In the new era of technology advancement and use of online portfolio platforms, the use of videos and pictures is becoming professional, rather than lazy. Now that we have this advantage of technology at our disposal, shouldn’t we use it? This software was designed for a purpose. We should use this access we have to help serve our readers.

Join the discussion 3 Comments

  • Andrew D. says:

    I really like the example of digital media that you use. Say you just listed the advantages of using multi-media as opposed to pasting that picture, it would have been more more boring, and readers’ eyes would likely drone over it. I also agree that finding a picture/video requires some work, mainly because we as writers tend to be meticulous about how we convey our ideas. While making my Digication Eportfolio, I probably experimented with 5 different backgrounds/themes before I genuinely enjoyed what was on there.

    On a last note, there’s a really cool book called”the Silent History” by Matthew Derby. It’s an interactive novel that can be downloaded as an app on an iPad or iPhone. I recommend people check it out.

    • Maggie C. says:

      The way you compared saying and showing really resonated with me. I used to not understand the importance of multimedia. I still am a bit apprehensive toward not using words, but that’s only because we have been taught to use our words since the beginning of our educations. Despite my apprehension, it seems like a good idea to use multimodal texts in a digital age. By using multimedia, we’ll be at the forefront of communication (which doesn’t look too shabby on a resume).

      I also think it’s effective to use multimedia because your audience will most likely be able to understand your ideas more quickly. However, this made me question where we should draw the line, and I’m not entirely sure where that would be.

  • Ryan says:

    I particularly enjoyed your objection to the idea that multimedia use is “lazy.” I feel that this sentiment is something that really comes out from more traditional/old school writers. You are totally right, however, when you say that multimedia use often requires more work. For example, I had a class assignment that required me to define a specific word. I wrote about it using my own words, but at some point I wanted an example of my word in action. Finding a YouTube video that I could link to to show this idea took more time and work than simply writing.