After deciding that I agree with the statement “Dartmouth is a diverse place,” my first difficulty was finding a way to argue my position while limiting my number of slides and usage of text as much as possible. My original idea was actually to disagree with the statement- not because I actually disagreed with it, just as sort of a challenge. Well, it turned out to be a little too challenging; I could not think of a way to disagree without bending the meaning of the statement too much. So, I decided to stick with my gut and agree.
I started by thinking about what I could do with each key word: Dartmouth, diverse, and place. I looked up the definition of “diverse” and tried to see how I could play with it. I decided to employ the relatively broader definition of the word, so it didn’t have to refer only to diversity of people and their ethnicities. I then decided to apply it to the great diversity of interests and activities at Dartmouth.
My next challenge came with the question of how to most effectively show this diversity of activities at Dartmouth. I first thought I would simply find a few pictures of people doing different things around campus, but then I thought I could do better. Next, I had the idea of finding a few different photos with the same person partaking in a different activity in each (Therefore, the focus would be placed on the activities, because they are what is changing between the photos). Although I think this would have been the best way to go about my argument, I soon discovered it to be very a daunting, if not impossible task, to find the same person in four or five different photos. I became somewhat stuck.
So I moved on and then thought about the words “place” and “Dartmouth” (because “place” is the appositive of “Dartmouth,” they can and should be linked together for my purposes). Perusing the Dartmouth Flickr account, I found that a great number of the photos were taken on the Green. Because I was looking for a theme to unite my photos and make my argument as cogent as possible, I decided to limit my choice of photos to the ones taken on the Green, with Baker Tower in the background. This was effective in a similar way that my “same person” idea would have been: there is a repeating theme in the pictures (activities taking place in front of Baker Tower on The Green), and so it directs the viewer to the differences between them, namely, what people are doing. As a bonus, the appearance of these two iconic symbols of Dartmouth gives the viewer a good context and setting, bringing in both the words “Dartmouth” and “place” to my visual argument.
One significant pro of Powerpoint is its simplicity and ease of use. It is well designed, intuitive, and great for its purposes. When used effectively, it is a wonderful tool for presentations of any kind. A con of using Powerpoint may be a result of just how often it is used. Because it is so often used, it is easy for one to repeat the mistakes made by others in their own presentations, making for a great deal of ineffective presentations and strategies.
Powerpoint effected the composition of my essay greatly; it made me think in almost purely visual terms: what can I show to my audience that will be most effective, and how can I show it? It was quite a challenge, and although I did my best, I’m not sure I was not using Powerpoint to its full potential.