Images are everywhere in our lives. They appear on magazines, billboards, posters, television, in galleries and books, and even on our own clothing. Even though we don’t think about it, these images make arguments. We are regularly persuaded by images. In this essay, we will choose one particular text that uses an image or series of images to make an argument. The more we look carefully at the meanings hidden in visual texts, the more we can enhance our skills of critical thinking and evaluation.
I want you to choose an advertisement and evaluate it for its effectiveness as an argument. How does your chosen text use the rhetorical appeals (ethos, pathos, logos, and/or possibly kairos) to persuade its audience? Is this text effective in its attempt to persuade the viewer? In 4-5 pages, describe and analyze the text you have chosen, identifying its use of any rhetorical appeals, explain the argument the ad is trying to make, and identify your reasons why you think this is either effective as an argument, or ineffective.
Things to Remember:
This isn’t merely a description of your text—the goal of this assignment is to think critically about how the ad is using a visual or several visual images to communicate its message, and (if relevant) to evaluate its effectiveness. You will write about how the ad uses any of the rhetorical appeals as a way to get its message across. Your thesis statement will summarize the main idea of your essay, which might be one of the following options:
your thesis explains whether or not this ad is effective in making its argument, and why you think so
your thesis explains what the hidden argument is in this ad, and why you think so
your thesis explains what rhetorical appeal or appeals this ad uses to convey its argument, and how you know