Rhetorical and visual Analysis

The goal of a rhetorical and visual analysis is not to analyze what a writer is arguing about concerning an issue, but to analyze how the writer and creator is presenting the argument. You’ll do this by analyzing the ad’s use of rhetorical strategies.


Select one commercial like the ones we’ve looked at in class. Write an essay in which you analyze the way the commercial uses rhetorical strategies to persuade its audience. In answering this question, you will identify the rhetorical situation, discuss the ad’s use of the three appeals (ethos, pathos, and logos), and analyze the ad’s use of visual and auditory rhetoric.


Begin by discussing the rhetorical situation of the advertisement, including: who is the speaker? Who is their target audience (be as specific as possible; a clue can be the show/s that the commercial typically airs during)? What is the commercial’s purpose? What time period and location did the ad air in?


Then, explain how the author tries to reach the audience with ethos, pathos, and/or logos, while also identifying the use and effectiveness of visual/auditory rhetoric in the ad.


This is an analytical, academic assignment, and your writing should reflect that. This means that your paper should be written in a formal, sophisticated style that makes use of correct grammar and usage. Make sure to have a clear and precise analysis of the rhetorical strategies employed in the text that you are examining.


Specific guidelines for this assignment are: Double-spaced Times New Roman Font, 12 pt. 1-inch margins. Use MLA formatting. Length: ~4 pages.




Your rhetorical analysis of the text will consist of your analysis of the three rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos and of the ad’s visual and auditory rhetoric.


Ethos deals primarily with credibility. You will want to examine the author’s/speaker’s reputation, authority, and/or expertise. These factors as well as the argument being made will either improve or detract from the writer’s/speaker’s credibility.


Logos is concerned with the logic of the writer’s argument. In considering the writer’s use of logos, you will analyze issues such as the quality and quantity of supporting evidence. You may also want to consider any bias that the writer might have toward the subject and the effect of that bias upon the argument being presented. Is the writer’s reasoning sound? Do you identify any logical fallacies? In short, you will want to address any weaknesses and/or strengths in the logic of the argument.


Pathos deals with emotion. You should identify any attempts on the part of the writer to evoke a particular emotion from the audience. Additionally, you will want to consider whether or not appealing to emotion is an effective strategy for the argument being discussed.


Remember: Audience is an extremely important consideration for advertising; therefore, you also need to determine the intended audience and show how the ad is geared toward that audience.





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