Basic color theory and design principles



And the basic principles of good design, or CRAP

We can also check out a variety of infographics on this website



Here’s the criteria for the grading rubric, which should also guide your design decisions:

  1. Organization and Cohesion: is the inforgraphic intuitive to follow? does it allow the reader to follow easily (i.e., does it create reader gravity?)
  2. Visual Appeal: Does the document employ principles of document design?
  3. Data Presentation: Are there at least 5 data points? Are they presented well?
  4. Audience: Is there a clear audience? Does the infographic have a clear purpose?

revision stations (courtesy of Christine Cucciarre)

Revision Isolation Exercises



Synthesis Station

  • Assign each of your sources a color and highlight every bit of source material you use from them.
  • Colors should overlap when you are synthesizing.
  • Make sure no color dominates your pages or the paper
  • Make sure you have source material balanced throughout the paper
  • Have you really, I mean REALLY explained the connection between your two synthesized sources, or did you just take the easy way out and say “agrees” or “disagrees”?
  • Are their any of your MAIN sources you only use once? That’s a no-no.


Opposing/Alternative Viewpoints Station

  • Read your paper for opposing or alternate viewpoints to your own.
  • Circle the entire moment where you consider and embody that viewpoint.
  • Is it long enough? Does it have sources (it really should)?
  • Now circle the moment where you argue your way out of that viewpoint.
  • Is that rebuttal moment long and thorough too?


Source/Integration Station

  • Mark each of the first times you use your sources.
  • Number them.
  • There should be at least eight.
  • Now, wherever you placed each of those numbers, there should be a FULL introduction of that source. Name or names of author(s), name of “article,” (in quotation marks) and the name of publication (in italics) where article was published.
  • Now look through the paper and make sure that EVERY time you used a source, you provided some analysis of it and explained how it fit into the moment or into the paper’s greater purpose.
  • Remember, the general rule is 2-3 sentences to explain EACH bit of source material you use.
  • Be sure to follow the above and don’t end paragraphs on citations!


Quotation Station

  • Make sure you use direct quotations and find each of the quotations in your essay.
  • Make sure it is clear who is being quoted.
  • Is it YOUR source or your source’s source? Be certain to clearly explain where the material is coming from and use the citation method of (qtd. in…) if necessary.
  • When using words of attribution such as, “writes” and “says,” be certain that you are quoting at that moment not paraphrasing. If you are paraphrasing from your source, you can use words such as, “believes, contends, argues,” etc.
  • Is it a crouton? In other words, have you led into the quote with your own voice rather than just sticking the quote in without fully explaining how it fits into your paragraph/argument?
  • Consider if it is necessary to include the entire quote. Snippets are usually better. Use only what you need and fold it into your own writing. Is it really something that needs to be quoted, or are you just using it to fulfill my two uses of each source rule?
  • If you can say it better…then PARAPHRASE!


MLA Station

  • Check each of your entries on your Works Cited page against what the Penguin tells you.
  • Watch details! Periods, dates, order of names, etc.
  • Now check your in text citations.
  • Does the first word of the WC page entry appear in the parenthetical?
  • Do you have page numbers in the parentheticals if the source is a print source?
  • Is your Works Cited page in alphabetical order?


Topic Sentence/Transition Station

  • Does each body paragraph of your paper have a sentence that states clearly what the point of that paragraph is.
  • Do the first sentence of each paragraph and the last sentence of each paragraph transition nicely to and from the other paragraphs?
  • When using metadiscourse anywhere in your paper, have you carefully picked out the words or just thrown them in to transition? Remember, transitions can help with meaning!


Format Station

  • Does your header have four lines
  • Does each page (including WC page) have your last name and the page number in a font that’s the same as the rest of your paper
  • Is the Works Cited page double-spaced? Are second, thirds lines indented? Are the entries alphabetized? Are there URLs? There shouldn’t be.
  • Is the paper set up like the sample?


Thesis and Structure Station

  • Write your complete thesis as big as you can on an index card
  • Is the thesis within the first 1-3 paragraphs of your paper so that your reader knows what’s ahead?
  • In the margin of your paper and in four words or less, next to each paragraph write what that one paragraph is about. Is it about ONE thing?
  • Read your thesis statement repeatedly. Does each paragraph contribute to the thesis and purpose of the paper.
  • In each of your paragraphs have you made sure to nod to, echo, or use key words from your thesis statement.





©Created by Christine Cucciarre,


Showing v. telling

Rate the following items on the following 1-5 trustworthiness scale (1 being least trustworthy, 5 being the most).

1. I truly believe I am the best candidate for this position.

2. My passion is for working with underprivileged children.

3. My combination of work experience and professional interests make me well suited to the position you describe.

4. The proposed budget cuts will obviously affect everyone negatively.

5. That’s how strong my love is; so deep and wide.

6. I am a dedicated, hardworking, punctual employee.

For the following, do three things. 1) Discuss the problem with the resume entry. Then, 2) offer a revision that fixes the problem, and 3) abstract out a “rule” based on the problem and its solution.

1. Clown Waiter. Chuck-E-Cheese. October 2010 – 2012.

2. Recipient of the Donald M. Arthur award.

3. Responsible for nightly clean up duties.

4. Seeking a challenging position with the opportunity for professional growth.

5. Graduated in the top 40% of my class.

Peer review instructions

For this assignment, you’ll need to make comments with Word’s track changes feature. Here’s a video on making track changes and comments, if you need a refresher:

Attach the comments from you partners’ papers here, as ONE DOCUMENT. UNO DOCUMENTO, POR FAVOR. EIN DOKUMENT, BITTE.

To do that, you might copy and paste each paper into one document BEFORE you make comments/track changes. If you make track changes BEFORE copy/pasta, then Word will assue the pasted document are ALL changes. As a result, you’ll have an ugly blue/red/green mess.

Here are the instructions:

  1. Read the introduction. Does the author use the “funnel” technique? If so, suggest how the author can jump directly into the subject matter.
  2. Thesis Statement – does the writer have a clear thesis statement / statement of purpose? Does this sentence (or sentences) tell the reader EXACTLY what is being argued?
    1. Underline the thesis statement.
    2. Give advice on how to improve the thesis. (Be CONCRETE here.)
  3. Using Track Changes, for each paragraph except the first, do the following:
  4. Rewrite each topic sentence to better forecast the paragraphs contents. I don’t care if you think it’s the best topic sentence in topic-sentence-town.
  5. Make sure the paper uses passive voice whenever possible instead of the active voice/first person pronouns. Offer suggestions if you can.
  6. Mark any areas where sources are integrated incorrectly. Remember author tags, paraphrasing, etc. There should be no block quotes. Punctuation inside of quotes.
  7. In a summary PARAGRAPH, summarize your comments:
    1. What are several errors that were repeated throughout? How can the author correct those recurring errors?


So you’ve got your data–now you need to represent it graphically. Let’s take a look at this site, which breaks down what each graph style is good for. The three common types of graphs are:

  • Line graphs. Line graphs are useful for emphasizing the movement or trend of numerical data over time, since they allow a viewer to trace the evolution of a particular point by working backwards or interpolating. Highs and lows, rapid or slow movement, or a tendency towards stability are all types of trends that are well suited to a line graph.Line graphs can also be plotted with two or more scales to suggest a comparison of the same value, or set of values, in different time periods. The number of scales your graph has depends on the type of graph you select. There is a description of each available graph type on the Graph types tab of the Graph Assistant.
  • Bar graphs. Bar graphs plot numerical data by displaying rectangular blocks against a scale. The length of a bar corresponds to a value or amount. Viewers can develop a clear mental image of comparisons among data series by distinguishing the relative heights of the bars. Use a bar graph to display numerical data when you want to present distributions of data. You can create horizontal as well as vertical bar graphs.
  • Pie graphs. Pie graphs emphasize where your data fits in relation to a larger whole. Keep in mind that pie graphs work best when your data consists of several large sets. Too many variables divide the pie into small segments that are difficult to see. Use color or texture on individual segments to create visual contrast,

A good overview on making line graphs in Excel:

And if you want to make graphs with primary and secondary axes: