Comics Literature to the Rescue: Multimodal Theory within Composition Literature Classrooms
Southern New Hampshire University
A top priority for community colleges is ensuring student retention and overall academic success, and core class requirements bear the responsibility of ensuring this. Degree demographics from Three Rivers Community college in Norwich, Ct were analyzed to show that the majority of students on this campus will be required to enroll within the ENG 102- Composition and Literature course in order to graduate, making this course a key area to ensure that student engagement and retention is at its peak efficiency. However, students are often not connecting with literature in the classroom, leading to low student engagement and contrasting the objectives of this course. After reviewing numerous academic texts and pairing them with respective comics literature, this study confirms that comics literature is an exemplary tool to mitigate growing ambivalence in students while still ensuring that course objectives can be met. This is due to comics literature’s ability to maximize multimodal elements. Multimodal theory is meeting the needs of students who are acclimated to digital technology while also providing an environment that allows for a new academic structure found within on-campus classrooms and online to adapt. This study looks at various elements found unique to comics literature structure. It also looks at literary genres and how they appear in the text and applies traditional literary theories taught in current classrooms. Finally, sample discussion questions, assignments, and essay prompts are provided to show the practicality of implementing multimodal theory and comics literature into a Composition and Literature course.