The Analysis of Debra Brandt’s Article "Sponsors of Literacy" & Dale Jacobs' Article "Marveling at the Man Called Nova"

Essay details

Please note! This essay has been submitted by a student.

Debra Brandt’s article on “Sponsors of Literacy” explains how literacy is not simply taught but rather sponsored. According to Brandt sponsors of literacy include anything or anyone that influence a person’s growth and understanding. Throughout her article Brandt dives deeper into her proposed sponsors, which range from influential people to politics, touching into gender, culture and technology as well. She supported her claims with historical references along with interviewing people to use as examples in her writing. Brandt also focused on the availability of sponsors within society. So, while a sponsor could be anyone, their availability depends on factors outside of an individual’s control. Hence it could be difficult to find a particularly influential sponsor if you come from a lower income family as compared to if you come from somewhere where resources are more readily available. Brandt closes her article by asking the audience to assist those in pursuit of literacy but also acknowledge that each person has unique needs

Essay due? We'll write it for you!

Any subject

Min. 3-hour delivery

Pay if satisfied

Get your price

Dale Jacobs article “Marveling at the Man Called Nova” uses personal experience to detail how comics have served as a sponsor of literacy for younger children for the last few decades. Jacobs uses his article to make the distinction between traditional literacy and multimodal literacy found in comic books, as well as in many other forms of media that a person may encounter later in life. He uses Brandt’s explanation of sponsors to argue that comics themselves are a sponsor of literacy. Much of “Marveling at the Man Called Nova” relates to Jacobs own experience with comics and how a great deal of his sponsorship came from comics when he was younger. The main focus of Jacobs article circulates around the fact that comics are becoming popular again and should be seen as sponsors of literacy, specifically multimodal literacy.After Brant introduced her ideas on literary sponsorship she went on to express how individual literacy leads to economic development. What intrigues me about this statement is how logical it is.

As the number of literate individuals increases as does the economic state of society. The more people who can gain literary sponsorship leads to an increase in the number of individuals who are more adept to handle situations that require literacy. Thus, as more become literate, the more possible literary sponsors that become available to others. (Brandt 2)The more literate an individual is the more powerful they can become. The more individuals who become literate leads to a stronger voice within society, forcing the powerful to hear. Brandt touches on the idea that powerful people to “ration the powers of literacy”, so that they are better able to keep a hold on those they deem to be below them. Which raises the thought: why shouldn’t those who aren’t part of that one percent strive to hinder them, why not help to spread literacy and hold those at the top accountable. If only the powerful have the opportunity to become literate, then the rest of society would be left in the dark. No one should be left in the dark, especially given that so many individuals are becoming literate. (Brant 5)In one of her examples Brandt compares two individuals who are the same age and live in the same area but have two totally different experiences growing up. One is richer than the other, one has more resources then the other and both have totally different needs when it comes to literary sponsorship. Raymond Branch, both of his parents were successful, and he had an entire university of potential literary sponsors growing up.

Dora Lopez, lived in a working-class family and had very few resources at her disposal. Just from that short description it’s easy to guess that Branch had a bit of an easier time whereas Lopez had to work a great deal harder. What I found interesting was the fact that even if they both had the same resources one may still be at a disadvantage due to the fact that their goals are completely different. So, not only must resources be taken into account but also what the individuals aspirations are. (Brandt 6-8)One of the more curious things that Jacobs brought to light was that many do not see comics are valid forms of literacy. Which they are but a subcategory of literacy, multimodal literacy, infusing visuals with written dialogue to produce a whole new experience. Comics not only expose young readers to engaging forms of literacy, making them excited to read, but they also engrain a new level of comprehension that has become a necessary skill in today’s social media. To see comics as something to look down upon is appalling, comics offer an entirely new form of literacy sponsorship that children can benefit from. (Jacobs 3)

At one point in the article Jacobs quotes Gorgias who makes the comparison between words and drugs, both of which could either have a positive or negative effect on a person. This in particular caught my attention as I’d never thought of literacy in such a way but as I thought back I can recall so many novels, poems and even comic books that have impacted me in some way or another. (Jacobs 8)Everyone has their own agenda. Even those that do things out of the goodness of their hearts, do it because it makes them feel good. Jacobs cites Brandts work for this point bringing up literary sponsorship and how an individual gains an advantage. For the majority of the population is driven by personal gain- greed makes the world go round- even the most selfless things can be considered to have personal gain if seen in the right light. If literary sponsorship didn’t have mutual advantages, then very few would have the opportunity to become literate. (Jacobs 9)Both articles have very strong arguments and leave their audiences with something to think about. Brandt left her audience wondering who they were sponsored by and if they are a sponsor themselves. Whereas Jacobs built off Brandts ideas to push his own work forward showing his audience that literary sponsors can be anywhere and introduced the topic of multimodal literacy. From books to teachers to comic books literary sponsorship is everywhere.


  1. Brandt, D. (1998). Sponsors of literacy. College Composition and Communication, 49(2), 165-185. doi:10.2307/358929
  2. Jacobs, D. (2007). Marveling at "the man called nova": Comics as sponsors of multimodal literacy. College Composition and Communication, 59(2), 180-205. Retrieved from

Get quality help now

Sir. Ken

Verified writer

Proficient in: Literature

4.8 (192 reviews)
“This is an exceptional writer. Listened to instructions very well and produced paper before the deadline. ”

+75 relevant experts are online

More Related Essays

banner clock
Clock is ticking and inspiration doesn't come?
We`ll do boring work for you. No plagiarism guarantee. Deadline from 3 hours.

We use cookies to offer you the best experience. By continuing, we’ll assume you agree with our Cookies policy.