Unit 3 Visual Analysis Essay Assignment
1. Choose an advertisement from a newspaper or magazine that contains graphics and a written text. You may also choose a video advertisement.
2. Analyze the ad according to the criteria below, rhetorical appeals, and the ways this ad might work to shape values, ideas, and beliefs in our culture.
• Graphics: Describe the features of the ad’s composition, layout, color, style, scale, and focus that pertain to and help support your thesis. What overall effect do these features convey?
• Language: Describe the text in the ad. Is it humorous, sad, hip? Is it telling you to do something (imperative) or asking a question (interrogative)? Does the language length have any link to the rhetorical appeal? Again, select your observations carefully so that they clearly and effectively support your thesis. What overall effect does this language convey?
• Audience: Specify in what publication the ad appeared, when, and in what context (did a dessert ad appear in a dieting magazine?). Determine the ad’s target audience. Again, relate your observations to your thesis. To what does the ad appeal: the audience’s financial status, social class, intellect, sexual interests? Which of the audience’s values does the ad seek to exploit in order to sell the product?
• Argument: Identify and evaluate the ad’s overall message(s) by drawing upon your observations about the graphics, language, audience and use of rhetorical appeals. What explicit claims does the ad make about the product? Are these claims plausible and logical? What implicit assumptions does the ad make about the product, audience, and culture as a whole? Are these assumptions beneficial or harmful? What might the connection or discrepancies between the explicit messages and implicit message tell us about the ad’s overall meaning? What events, attitudes, or stereotypes would explain why this ad appeared when it did? What insight into our culture might the ad provide?
The specific requirements are that this essay:
• includes 6-7 (or more) paragraphs and be at least 2 pages long
• include a copy of your ad. If you are using a video ad, include a link to the video.
• adhere to the standards of academic writing, with an introduction that includes the company’s name and product, a clear and specific thesis statement that others might not agree with, well-developed body paragraphs that support that thesis, and a conclusion that ties together your ideas
• be typed in MLA format:12 point font, double spaced, with a one-inch (not a two or three-inch) margin on all sides and a proper heading and title
• use a standard font: Times New Roman, Ariel, Microsoft Sans Serif, Courier, or Century Gothic
• include in-text citations (at least 1 quote of the ad’s language) and Works Cited page following MLA style