Evaluating Visual Medical Writing

Evaluating Visual Medical Writing

In this discussion you will evaluate samples of visual medical writing. Critically examining samples can help you understand how visual medical writing works, and can help prepare you for creating it yourself.
Initial Post

Review the samples of visual medical writing below. Keeping the ideas and concepts from our course readings on data visualization and design principles, choose two of the samples below and write an evaluation of how the two samples function as visual medical writing.
Samples of Visual Medical Writing:
Sample #1: Graphical Abstract
From: Speich B, Logullo P, Deuster S, et al. A meta-research study revealed several challenges in obtaining placebos for investigator-initiated drug trials. Journal of Clinical Epidemiology. 2021;131:70-78. doi:10.1016/j.jclinepi.2020.11.007
Sample #2: Graphical Abstract 2
From: Chu G, Price E, Paech GM, Choi P, McDonald VM. Sleep Apnea in Maintenance Hemodialysis: A Mixed-Methods Study. Kidney Medicine. 2020;2(4):388-397. doi:10.1016/j.xkme.2020.02.006
Sample #3: Infographic on Electronic Cigarettes
From: CDC WebsiteLinks to an external site.
Samples #4 & 5: CDC Visual Abstracts on Cardiovascular Disease – For Healthcare Providers
, For General Public
From: CDC WebsiteLinks to an external site.
As you evaluate each sample, consider:
What is the purpose of the document?
Who created it?
Who is the target audience?
How are visuals being used?
How is text being used?
Do you see how Williams’ 4 principles of visual design are put into practice?
Are there ways you think the examples of visual medical writing could be more effective?
You do not need to answer all of these questions. But, try to be thorough in evaluating the two samples you choose.
In your post, make sure you clearly identify which samples you are evaluating.
Your post should be 300 words or longer.


After posting your response to the prompt, read what your classmates have written in their posts. Respond thoroughly to at least 2 classmates. When you respond consider:

What did your classmate address that you did not?
What did you address that you think your classmate might consider?
Do you disagree with your classmate’s evaluation of the samples? (Be professional and polite when disagreeing).
How does your classmate’s post help you learn more about visual medical writing in practice?

Each response should be 75 words or more.

This discussion activity is worth up to 15 points. You can earn up to 10 points for your post that responds thoroughly to the prompt, and up to 5 points for thorough responses to at least 2 classmates. To view the attached grading rubric, click on the 3 dots in the upper right hand corner and select “Show Rubric.”

materials to use

Module 4 Lesson Materials: Design Principles
To-do date: 8 Nov at 23:59
Principles of Visual Design

You’ve seen from our other module readings how visuals are important in medical writing. In order to create effective visuals, however, it is important to understand some basic design principles. Robin Williams (not the actor) discusses what are called the CRAP principles of visual design: Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity. Learning about these principles and how to apply them will help you design documents and visuals more effectively in all types of writing, including medical writing.

You’ll have two options for learning about Williams’ design principles. You can read the text option, which an e-book; or you can watch the video option, in which Williams addresses the content of her book in video form, essentially being a video version of the book. Whichever option you choose, pay close attention to what the principles of visual design really mean and how they can be applied. Both the text option and the video option include the same visual examples.


Read (or watch) the following and take notes on key concepts:

Text Option: Robin Williams’ The Non-Designer’s Design BookLinks to an external site.. Make sure you are logged into your Miami account to access e-Books. If you are not, you can sign into Safari Books with your Miami email. If you are having trouble accessing the book, you can go directly to the University Library HomepageLinks to an external site. and search for the author and title provided. You can then click on the “Connect to electronic book” link to access the book for the 3rd edition version. At a minimum, please review Chapters 1-5.
Video Option: You might find it helpful to watch Robin Williams’ video series about design: The Four Principles of Great Design: Learn by VideoLinks to an external site.. These videos can help you better understand what Williams discusses in her book.
Questions to Consider
What do Contrast, Repetition, Alignment, and Proximity mean for effective visual design? Try to explain each of them in your own words.
Although Williams does not discuss medical writing, consider how the principles she discusses are applicable when designing visual medical writing.

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