A Multimodal Research Essay:
Crafting a Narrative Argument
UTEP 11th International
Curate: “from the Latin root Curare, or 'to cure.' To
curate, historically, has meant to take charge of or
organize, to pull together, sift through, select for
presentation, to heal and to preserve”
(Mihailidis & Cohen, 2013)
Integration of Sources (Mostly or All Scholarly)
A Multimodal Research Essay
Any Sources (as long as credible)
● including student’s lifeworld
● Auditory (podcasts, songs, broadcasts, sounds, etc.)
● Visual (photos, graphs, videos, illustrations, models, etc.)
● Text (articles, reports, tweets, etc.)
Assimilated and curated by student’s own words
Social media website founded 2010
● Collect “stories” from social media including
Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google itself
● Built-in search engine
● Emphasizes contextualising outside material
What do studies on Storify show?
● Students felt empowered/agency/authorship
● Students found easy to use (after tutorial)
● Awareness of subjectivity of news
● Difficulty selecting useful sources
● Digital native myth: students needed guide
● As supplemental writing project
(Delphine Laire et al., 2012; Haley-Mize, 2013)
Which source? How credible?
Which genre or mode is best for my purpose?
Which identity will i cultivate online?
How will i navigate this space?
Storify as Curation
“Curation is an act of problem solving. Curating information to tell a
story creates a sense of responsibility for the curator. Storytelling
advances the core media literacy principle of creation. By curating,
students can compose a story using content acquired on their search
with heightened awareness of purpose and audience”
(Cohen & Mihailidis, 2012)
Making Storify Work in the Classroom
“Curation, as a critical media literacy skill in a digital and
participatory context, can work on a micro-level to teach about
bias, manipulation, frames, and agendas through student-driven
storytelling; and also on a macro-level to teach about how
information creation, distribution and reception help empower
healthy civic engagement in participatory democracy”
(Mihailidis & Cohen, 2013)
Other affordances of Storify
Storify teaches “discovery of vast amounts of information
online, how to filter it, & to tell a story with a point of view”
Student role “read, write and react, to create, curate, & contemplate”
On genre: “a tool to teach both about the benefits and limitations
of certain media delivery formats and platforms”
Storify “allows students to build 'credibility markers' via a
meta-narrative between sources, where they can discuss choice
of a source, rationale for the inclusion of that source”
(Cohen & Mihailidis, 2012; Mihailidis & Cohen, 2013)
When is a story complete online?
What does authority mean in storytelling?
How many different voices are needed to deem a story complete?
How do social media enhance a story? What do they take away?
What agendas are at play in this issue?
What values are being portrayed?
How do different parties frame the issue?
What biases are inherent in all storytelling?
What choices did you have to make in creating your own frame?
Cohen, J. N.& Mihailidis, P. (2012). Storify and News Curation: Teaching and Learning
about Digital Storytelling. Social Media Technology Conference 2012 Proceedings.
Delphine Laire et al. (2012). Social Media’s Learning Outcomes within Writing instruction
in the EFL Classroom: Exploring, Implementing and Analyzing Storify. Procedia Social and Behavioral Sciences 69: 442 – 448.
Haley-Mize, S. (2013). Digital Curation and Mobile Technology in Teacher Education.
International Conference: The Future of Education. 3rd Edition.
Mihailidis, P. & Cohen, J. N. (Spring 2013). Exploring Curation as a Core Competency in
Digital and Media Literacy Education. Journal of Interactive Media in Education.