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For this assignment, you will analyze an advertisement using the rhetorical anal

by | Apr 28, 2022 | English


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For this assignment, you will analyze an advertisement using the rhetorical analysis model (author-text-reader) we will explore in class prior to the first draft. As you carefully study the ad, you will formulate questions that you will address in your ad analysis.
Step 1 Review and Chose an Ad
Choose a single static advertisement from the selections posted on Webcampus or –with my advance approval—an ad of your choice. You are to analyze the “visual rhetoric” of the ad and consider how the ad is composed, how it highlights its service or product, what presumed effect it is designed to have, and who its intended audience is. Your thesis should comprise a general evaluative statement regarding the effectiveness of the ad as you see it; the body paragraphs will offer support for this thesis based upon your close reading of the ad.
Step 2: Study the text (ad)
Once you have chosen a text to analyze, it’s time to study it: read it carefully, annotate it, write down your reactions to it, re-read it again, paying attention to how your reaction might have changed the second time over. As you read the text again, pay attention to the following questions:
Author: who is/are the author(s) of the text? What do you know about them based on the information provided, and what can you infer? Perhaps do some research on the author(s) as well; what are some details about their backgrounds that might be important for understanding the text?
Audience: who are the intended primary audiences for the text? Does the text target any other audiences, and how can you tell?
Purpose: what are the authors’ purposes? What are they trying to achieve with this text? How might the text’s audience affect its purpose?
Rhetorical strategies: what kind of argumentative strategies does the text use? Which rhetorical appeals does it rely on the most? Does it primarily appeal to the audience’s emotions (pathos), logical thinking (logos) or the authors’ own authority (ethos)? How effective are these appeals? Note that usually, you will find a combination of two or three kinds of appeal in any given text or argument.
Language: What kind of language does the text use? Look closely at the tone, register (level of formality), and any elements that stand out, such as emotionally loaded words, repetitions, metaphors or descriptive words, words or phrases that signify specific political or social viewpoints, etc. How do you think the author(s) tailored their language for their intended audiences?
Organization and structure: How is the text organized? Does it follow the genre conventions in its organization or not, and why? Where is the central claim located? What do the introduction and conclusion look like? How effective is the organization overall?
Visuals: What kind of visual elements does the text use? Are there any pictures or images? How do they work together with the text?
Genre: What genre does the text fall under? How closely does it follow the conventions of that genre? Does the text ever break the expectations for the genre, and to what effect?
Origin: where was the text originally published, if known? Do some research on the publication: is it affiliated with any political, private, or government agencies? Is it sponsored by any groups or companies? How trustworthy is it, and does it carry an agenda?
Step 3: Annotate, take notes, outline and start drafting your analysis
Based on your answers to the questions above, start drafting your analysis. You do not need to spend the same amount of time on each question. Decide which questions are most important for your text and address then in more depth than the others.
Ultimately, your analysis should answer these main questions: what were the purposes of the ad, and was the author(s) successful in achieving them, and why or why not?
Once you have created the first draft of your analysis, you will share it with your classmates for peer review as well as get your instructor’s feedback on it. After that, you will have time to revise it before submitting it for grading.
Your analysis should have an informative title.
The introduction paragraph should introduce the text you are analyzing, briefly describe its topic, and give a preview of the main results of your analysis.
The body paragraphs should go into more detail analyzing different aspects of the text.
Your conclusion should summarize the main points of your analysis and offer a final judgement on the text’s rhetorical effectiveness.
(For the research part of this assignment, you may include at least one scholarly source and at least one popular source. This is optional.)
Unlike some of the essays in ENG101, you are to be relatively objective. You should not merely summarize or describe your ad, nor should you respond to its content with unsupported value judgments. Avoid using “I” or “you.”


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