Along divergent paths: a two-part thesis in creative and technical writing

Date
2008-01-01
Authors
Furtado-Rasmussen, Angela
Major Professor
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Steve Pett
Charles Kostelnick
Volker Hegelheimer
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English
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English
Abstract

Due to the difference topics representing each co-major--Creative Writing and Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communications--this thesis is divided into two parts. Part I focuses on the creative writing portion of my thesis--the first half of my young adult fantasy novel. Part II focuses on my interests in visual communication and secondary education as fulfillment for the rhetoric portion of my master's degree in English.;Abstract Part I: Creative Writing Two magical books--one good, one evil--each concealed and protected until now.;It began 300 years ago in the secluded mountain town of Cennfhain. There, the battle between The Senchen and The Shadows raged until virtue triumphed and bound evil into the Book of Umbra. A family of scribes--the MacBaharins--were chosen to preserve The Book of Illumination that recorded testimonies of the battle and the incantations used to defeat The Shadows. Now, The Shadows have returned, seeping from their parchment prison and seeking the one person who according to the prophecies possesses the power to release them on the world. Fourteen-year-old Fallon has dreamed about this moment for years. In two weeks, The Passing Ceremony will officially decree her adulthood in the eyes of The Council and the laws of Cennfhain. She will be free to make her own choices and make her opinion heard--without having to shout them. She may even be free enough to practice her magic. But when Fallon learns the true purpose of The Passing Ceremony, making choices and being an adult isn't as simple as she thought--especially when she is accused of murder and fleeing for her life. Caught between The Council's plan to steal magic and a malevolent shadowy force determined to kill her newborn sister, Fallon must find the strength, courage, and magic to defeat the ancient evil threatening to destroy everyone and everything she loves.;Abstract Part II: Rhetoric, Composition, and Professional Communication Literacy concerns have existed for decades--bound by the ability to read, write, and speak within a cultural and societal framework. With the advent of the Information Age, however, literacy has evolved to include visual communication--the ability to 'read,' interpret, understand, use and create information presented in pictorial or graphic images. Because secondary (and elementary) educators are the main resource for improving the quality of students' visual literacy skills, it is necessary to raise important questions concerning how visual communication is positioned within teacher preparation programs. This study investigates the evolution of literacy, the impact of visual communication on learning, and critical visual design principles educators need to create usable instructional materials and equip secondary students with visual literacy skills. Applying these findings to an analysis of three teacher preparation programs in Iowa reveals that although research proves the importance of visual communication in today's technological society, limited opportunities exist for future secondary educators to acquire these skills.

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