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Visual Rhetorical Analysis

ENGL 1301 with Professor Gutierrez

The Assignment

Write an 850-1000-word Rhetorical Analysis essay in which you analyze the message/ argument of a visual text (such as an advertisement). For the essay, develop a debatable thesis statement to frame your critique of the use of visual rhetoric in the text to influence viewers’ beliefs and/or actions (e.g., actions taken to help solve a social issue). Reflect on the following questions when analyzing the text:

  • What is the rhetorical situation of the text?
  • How does the use of medium and genre influence the visual design of the text? Does the text closely follow the conventions of one or more genres?
  • How does the composition of still images or moving images in the text help shape the message/ argument? See Diana George and John Trimbur’s discussion of the “visual composition” of a still image.
  • Are there any representations of race, class, gender, and/or sexuality? If so, what is the significant and/or problematic about the representations?

Use MLA style to format your essay.


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