Creating Multi-Modal Texts

Multi-modal texts refers to texts which discuss different modes, like a film adaptation of a book. Such a text, for example, discusses both the book and the film, with the main focus on the success (or otherwise) of the adaptation. These texts are essentially reviews but the adaptation element is important.

So you might have these kinds of adaptations:

  • book to film
  • book to play
  • book to musical
  • book to radio play/drama
  • book to audio book
  • film to play
  • play to book
  • book to comic/graphic novel
  • and so on

The key to thinking about such adaptations is thinking about who is involved in the adaptation, what role they can play in the success or failure of the adaptation, and what criteria are important in evaluating the success or failure of the adaptation.

For a radio play or drama adaptation from a book, these people are important:

PersonRole and Impact
DirectorThe director has to craft the story, orchestrating the voice actors, music and sound effects into an effective whole.
Script writerThe script writer has to transform the story from words on a page seen inside the reader’s head to words spoken aloud and imagined in one’s head.
Voice actorsThe voice actors have to speak the script in a believable and emotional true way.
ComposerIf off-the-shelf music is not used, then the composer has to craft music which will support the story and its emotional impact.
Sound effect techniciansThese technicians help crate an aural picture of the world of the story so that the listener knows what is happening and where it is happening. The acoustic picture has to be clear enough to be understood only from the aural clues.
Radio Drama Adapters

Here is a model text and lesson material.

Read this review of an adaptation of The Lord of the Rings and answer the questions below.


  1. What kind of adaptation is the review about?
  2. When was the adaptation performed?
  3. Who wrote the adaptation?
  4. Which performers are mentioned?
  5. What is said about them?
  6. Is the review positive or negative? How?
  7. Does the review make you want to see/listen to the adaptation? Why? Why not?


  1. What is the structure of the review?
  2. What language could you use from this review in your own similar texts?

This link takes you to a version with the text and different kinds of questions combined.