Creative Methods Q & A #4

Categories: Creative Methods, Focus Series, MethodSpace Live!, Multimodal, Other, Qualitative

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Creative and Arts-Based Methods are a focus for June and July. Find the whole series here, and follow the link to view the recorded webinar, Get Creative! Research with Pictures & Stories.

We received a record number of questions during the Get Creative! Research with Pictures & Stories webinar. Find responses and related resources in this series of posts. 

Q. I am really interested in creating a comic to disseminate the findings of my PhD … I have no experience of making comics what is the best way of going about doing this?

As with any visual representation, you’ll want to think about key messages in your content that you want to present in comic form, the audience you want to reach, and then decide on the way you want to create it. For example, given that your topic is about children, gender, and toys, the style and level of detail would be different depending on whether you want to reach parents or other educational researchers. Do you want a graphic abstract or summary to highlight major points, or a graphic book that shows more detail?

In terms of creation of the actual comic(s), there are a number of simple or sophisticated software programs that allow you to design and generate comics. I used, a free tool developed by the American Library Association, to create this comic for a post about visuals in academic writing. As with any free piece of software, you are limited to customizing stock figures and illustrations. Other software allows you to create your own figures and designs.

Helen Kara worked with graphic design students to create Conversation With A Purpose. If you can draw, or work with animators or designers, then you have the chance to create your own signature style.

Take a look at these resources, including MethodSpace posts by Helen Kara, for more about graphics, comics, and animations in academic writing. Also note that this forthcoming book I co-authored with Helen includes a chapter on comics and graphic books: Publishing from your Doctoral Research: Create and Use a Publication Strategy.

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