Visual/Digital Rhetorical Analysis
For this assignment, you will apply some of the concepts you’ve learned in this module about visual and digital rhetoric to examine a digital ad or image. You will explain the intended goal and effects of that ad or image in an essay. To complete this assignment, locate a piece of visual or digital rhetoric. This could be an advertisement (print or video, commercial), a famous photo or painting, a poster, an image (possibly with some text), or even a graphic novel–that is intended to persuade. The piece that you chose should be fairly sophisticated. You don’t want to analyze the obvious. Your analysis needs to help the reader understand how the text/image works to persuade its intended audience. I recommend doing a simple Google search with a phrase like “Great print or digital ads to analyze.” Or you might consider analyzing an intriguing commercial or infomercial. Now, you need to start analyzing the visual/digital ad that you have chosen. Please see the requirements and structure below, as well as some critical thinking questions to help you get started.
2 pages (5 paragraph essay)
Three-point thesis statement
2 sources (1 for the ad or image itself and 1 that helps you analyze it)
Include Works Cited page (cite the ad or image and your other source)
How to Format a Works Cited page (Links to an external site.)
How to Cite Online Sources
For more guidance, please review this Sample Visual Digital Analysis Essay.docx
1. Introduction: First, include the visual image or a link to the ad under your title. Please Center it. Then address the following questions in your introduction. When was the ad, photo, etc., originally aired/created? What visual and verbal cues does the visual text provide to convey its meaning? Next, create a three-point thesis statement, which describes the tools, elements, or features that the ad/text uses to present its underlying message. I use the word “underlying,” because the goal is to not state the obvious but to draw out deeper, embedded meaning in your analysis. Most visual texts have layers of meaning, so the goal is to really expand the reader’s understanding of the visual text. Please see the Sample Thesis Statements at the bottom of this page.
2. Important: You need at least 3 quotes to support your points in this essay (one in each body paragraph). Quotes should never exceed two (2) typed lines. In addition, make sure that each paragraph is at least 6-7 typed lines.
3. Body: In the Rhetorical Analysis, the focus was mostly on the rhetorical situation (purpose, audience, context, etc.) For the Visual Rhetoric Analysis, the goal is to zoom in on the text’s overall argument or message.
Body Paragraph 1 – Discuss the first point in your thesis while analyzing the range of elements used to sustain the argument. Include at least one quote from a source
Body Paragraph 2 – Discuss the second point in your thesis while analyzing the range of elements used to sustain the argument. Include at least one quote from a source.
Body Paragraph 3 – Discuss the third point in your thesis while analyzing the range of elements used to sustain the argument. Include at least one quote from a source.
3. Conclusion: Restate your thesis and discuss the significance of the topics in your essay.
How to Quote from a Source
When quoting a passage from any source, you will need to use an In-text citation. A quotation includes two parts: a signal phrase (The author suggests, The critic makes the case, As the writer points out, etc.) and an explanation. A citation also must quotation marks ” ” and parenthesis ( ).
Heres an example quote taken from a story: In the story, Kate Chopin writes that, He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram (14). Another common approach is: One line from the story states, He had only taken the time to assure himself of its truth by a second telegram (Chopin 14). Both are correct. From there, you would explain what the quote means and why it is relevant to your argument. The reader will be able to find other information about the source on your Works Cited page.
Note: You may begin a quote at any point in a sentence. But if you do not complete the sentence, you must indicate that words were left out with a three-dot ellipsis. Also, never begin a paragraph with a quote. After you use the author’s full name once in the paper, it’s common to use their last name from then on. Quotes should never exceed two typed lines.
Critical Thinking Questions to Ask about the Ad or Image
How does the pieces creators target an audience, respond to an audience, and/or construct an audience?
How does the visuals style and delivery make meaning?
Why is the visual arranged as it is?
How are emotion and logic deployed to persuade?
How do social, historical, and/or metaphysical contexts inform the texts meaning?
Where (and when) did the visual appear, and how is this significant?
Does the visual make interesting references, suggestions, or connotations?
What is the key purpose of the visual?
What sort of world does the visual desire?
Analyzing Visual/Digital Rhetoric Resources
Visual_Rhetoric/Examples_And_Analysis_Of_Visual_Literature (Links to an external site.)
Basic Strategies in Reading Photographs (Links to an external site.)
Sample Thesis Statements
In the article, the author argues that working remotely is a practical option by discussing workplace goals, online training, and unemployment.
The issue of general education classes filling too quickly should be addressed in three ways: more access to online classes, independent study options, and preferred placement in designated class sections.
In order to prevent arts-based non-profit organizations from shuttering their doors over funding issues, organizations should prioritize grant writing, solicit small-dollar donations from all income brackets, and showcase their impact more consistently in local communities.