Belonging: Analysing Visual Texts
Need to know more techniques for visual texts?
Having problems linking visual texts to Belonging?
In preparation for the Area of Study: Belonging Section 1 Reading Task, students often ask me to teach them how to analyse visual texts.
So, I have decided to put together a ‘how to’ guide, complete with examples of visual texts that I have analysed and HSC style questions.
How to Analyse Visual Texts
1. Consider what the image is suggesting about Belonging. What claims/arguments can you make?
- The image shows the desire to belong to a group.
- The cartoon suggests that conformity, whilst leading to feelings of belonging, denies individuality.
- The magazine cover conveys the high level of importance we, as a society, now attribute to social networking as a means of creating and maintaining a sense of belonging to community.

2. Identify appropriate visual techniques that support the claim you are making. The following sentence structure will help you to be concise in your expression:

- The image shows the desire to belong to a group [topic sentence]. This is conveyed through the duckling’s body language [technique] in which the outstretched wings and tip-toes stance illustrate his aspiration for inclusion [effect].

3. You should aim to identify 4-6 visual techniques that you can relate to aspects of Belonging in the text. The following is a list of useful visual techniques with the correct terminology:
- Subject: people/characters/animals in the image
- Salience: the object or subject that stands out relative to the other objects or subjects in the image.
- Techniques which create salience are:
■ Size
■ Angles
- Facial expression
- Gazes: offer/demand
- Angles: low/high/eye-level
- Shot: full/long/mid/close-up/extreme close-up
- Size: how large or small
- Proximity:...