Analyzing Print Ads : Essay Fountain


This week, we start Unit 3: Visual Rhetoric. It is just like the last unit, except now we will be studying visual argument rather than written argument. You will be studying public service announcements (PSAs). These are print ads or commercials that are aimed to change the audience’s behavior somehow in the interest of the greater public.

The three PSA ads on the previous page are all very different and make different arguments, but they all use unique visual strategies to get their message across. In order to start warming up to visual rhetoric, I would like you to PICK THE AD you thought was most persuasive (#1, #2 or #3) and answer the questions below. Base your response on what you reviewed in this module and also what you know about appeals to ethos, pathos and logos from our last unit.

Questions to answer about your ad:

  • What is the argument of the ad you found most persuasive?
  • How do the creators get that message across in the image?
  • What do you notice in the details, such as color choice, setting, composition, text, etc.?
  • What appeals to ethos, pathos and logos do you notice?

BE SPECIFIC! Give examples and point out specific elements of the image as evidence in your response.

  • Your initial post must be a minimum of 150 words and be up by Wednesday at midnight. Then, respond to the posts of two other classmates in a minimum of 50 words by Sunday at midnight. What about their response is intriguing? Helped clarify the concept of visual rhetoric for you? Raises questions? etc. Please respond to people whose posts haven’t been replied to yet when possible.
  • Each weekly online assignment will be worth 10 points. Students will earn partial points if the 3 required posts are incomplete or if the word count minimum is not met. The initial post is worth 6 points and each peer response is worth 2 points. I will accept late initial posts, but they will be marked down 1 point per day and only accepted up until Friday.
  • Last but not least, please proofread and use a professional, respectful tone. Otherwise, you will lose points. Remember, this is a writing class! It shouldn’t look like a text message.
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