Key to Exercise on Illustration in Scientific Writing

This exercise required that the students design an illustration for the situations given below. the students were to assume that they had an artist and that all that they needed to do was to sketch the kind of illustration they wanted.

  1. One such illustration would be a cutaway of the Texas School Book depository featuring the sixth floor, the second floor, and the first floor. Oswald's possible path is shown in a broken line (beginning with the sixth floor window at 12:30 p.m. and ending with Oswald leaving MacNeil at 12:33 p.m.). Oswald's witnessed paths are then represented by solid lines. Inset clocks show the times at which established events occurred: the shots firing; Baker spotting Oswald; Reid seeing Oswald; and MacNeil stopping Oswald. For an actual depiction of this illustration, see Gerald Posner's book Case Closed: Lee Harvey Oswald and the Asssassination of JFK (New York: Random House, 1993), pages 480-481.

  2. One such illustration would be a staged drawing showing the Titanic at different times that night: the ship sideswiping the iceberg; the ship's bow filling with water and the stern rising out of the water; the ship breaking apart; the stern holding a vertical position, while the bow begins sinking; and the stern sinking while the bow has already come to rest on the ocean floor. See Robert Gannon's article in the February 1995 issue of Popular Science.

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