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A graphic essay is a visual that uses words, color, and other visual representations (like symbolism) to make a unified statement. Graphic essays allow more creativity, but assess the same skill sets when it comes to assessing an essay for a claim, facts, and commentary. I suggest assigning the graphic essay further into the year after you have assessed your students' abilities in the aforementioned areas. It should probably come at a time when students have been exhibiting proficiency in these areas, so they can focus more on the creative side of the assignment. I took the information about graphic essay from Living in the Layers and made it my own. This product features directions for a graphic essay on Night and an outline to help students work their way through the graphic essay before starting the actual project. Please see my blog for more information and pictures of graphic essays: spiritusmundi-teaching blog