Rhetorical Analysis: Visual Advertisements

Purpose:  The purpose of this assignment is to give you the opportunity to think critically about cultural representations of a theme by conducting a rhetorical analysis of an advertisement of your choice that relates to a theme.


1. Select an advertisement: This should be a visual advertisement from the options provided in this link: Visual Rhetoric (opens in new window).      

2. Analyze the advertisement:  Write a paper of at least 600 words in which you analyze the rhetorical techniques the advertiser uses. In your analysis, you may consider any of the following:

  • What is the rhetorical situation?
  • Who is the target audience? What does this audience value? What is their socioeconomic status? What assumptions do the advertisers make about the audience?
  • What is your prior knowledge of the product or issue? Of the advertisement? How does this help you understand the ad’s meaning?
  • What is the ethos of the advertiser? How is this reflected in the ad?
  • How do the advertisers use logos and/or pathos to persuade their audience?
  • How do the advertisers use the elements of visual design? For example, how do they use fonts, spacing, proximity, color, etc?
  • How does the text interact with the images?
  • What does the ad not contain? What’s missing? Why did the advertiser make this choice?

Audience: Your reader may be unfamiliar with the advertisement or the company or organization, so you might consider giving a brief overview before you begin your dissection of the ad.

Citation: This paper must be written in 8 MLA style with MLA formatting of the paper.

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