As we discussed our drafts in class, Professor deWinter suggested that we significantly narrow the scope of our information graphic. As I mentioned in a previous post, the purpose of an information graphic is extremely important. Our original purpose was to persuade non-majors at WPI to pursue computer science, specifically programming, and apply those skills to their specialty. However, our narrowed purpose is to persuade biology majors to learn programming and bioinformatics to apply those skills to biology.

We started out with our computer monitor idea shown below.

Our methods to accomplish the purpose, “the means of our rhetoric” remain unchanged, essentially showing specific examples of how computer science is applicable in biology and bioinformatics.

Immediately, we went to the idea of using a DNA molecule to represent the idea of biology, a common trope, which we continued to elaborate on. However, we realized that the idea of framing our infographic in a computer monitor might add some interest and serve as a tonal element conveying the idea of computer science. Consequently, we thought it would be good to continue incorporating it into our design.

I have included a gallery of our research and inspiration for the DNA molecule and how to best include it as the central focus of our infographic.

As an aside, Professor deWinter mentioned this in class. I was fascinated by this thought because it never occurred to me that I could be so easily pulled in by rhetoric. But this is exactly why we strive to better understand rhetoric, so that, according to Aristotle, we may endeavor to discover in any particular case all of the available means of persuasion. As such, the professor mentioned that there is no such thing as a “general audience.” Instead, a general audience is when you are part of the audience, thus causing a feeling of shared generality, that everyone shares your viewpoint.