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Creating Persuasive and Effective Visuals

This modelling the tools is incorporated into critical challenges at grades 4, 5, 7, 8, 11 and 12, however, it can be adapted for use at all grade levels.


Session Two

Develop criteria for effective visuals.

  • Remind students that persuasion is only one of the purposes of advertising. Point out that ads also need to create a powerful impression in a short time and to inform people about the topic. Visuals are an effective way to do this because our brain remembers images better than it does text. Suggest the following qualities/criteria of effective visuals:
    • catchy: grabs the audience's attention
    • concise: brief; requires as little reading as possible
    • comprehensive: presents all the key information; e.g., stakeholders, interests, issue, relevant data
    • convincing: makes viewers believe that the information on the visual is important and reliable.

Discuss visual techniques.

  • List on the board the four qualities/criteria for an effective visual and record additional techniques that students identify.

Creating an Effective Visual



  • catchy
  • bold headings
  • snappy captions
  • provocative images
  • colour
  • concise
  • point form, not full sentences
  • uses images to communicate
  • comprehensive
  • titles and headings
  • short passages of text
  • uses captions to explain
  • convincing
  • provocative images
  • powerful phrases
  • supported with facts
  • famous people

Analyzing visuals

Distribute visuals such as flyers, posters, and magazine advertisements. Ask students to work with a partner to examine a variety of visuals to find evidence for each of the four criteria of effective visuals (catchy, concise, comprehensive, convincing). See Analyzing Visuals Example. You may wish to have students use copies of Analyzing Visuals for Effectiveness to structure the activity.

Analyzing Visuals for Effectiveness

Criteria for
Effective Visuals


(why it works)

(grabs the audience's attention)






(presents all the key information)



(makes the viewers believe the information on the visual is important and believable)



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Last updated: July 1, 2014 | (Revision History)
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