ENG 1024 Ad Analysis
Your assignment is to select an ad of your choosing and to analyze its compositional elements in an effort to identify the central message communicated by the work and to explain how the author makes use of each small piece of the ad to communicate their overall message.
This will require you to think about and identify an intended audience and to argue how the author makes use of the rhetorical appeals in an attempt to persuade.
The purpose of your essay is to analyze/interpret and to argue. You are to identify an overall message communicated by the ad and explain how the author makes use of the rhetorical appeals to persuade and to move the audience to take an action. Specifically, you should focus on how the author makes use of classical rhetorical appeals (logos, pathos, and ethos) to shape a message that calls the audience to action (i.e., to buy the product), but uses underlying cultural messages about gender to do so. In other words, you cannot simply describe the ad. You must argue how the author the text (the ad) has shaped their argument in an attempt to persuade a specific target audience (the specific group you think the ad is intent on persuading).
You are writing for an academic and scholarly audience (Those with a graduate degree, the highly-educated, experts in the field of advertising and visual communication). This means you cannot use first person or personal pronouns and should make use of highly-elevated, formal language.
NOTE: THE IDEAS PRESENTED IN YOUR PAPER MUST BE YOUR OWN. DO NOT USE OUTSIDE SOURCES. YOU ARE TO FORM YOUR OWN ARGUMENT USING YOUR OWN INTERPRETATIONS, NOT RELY OWN SOMEONE ELSE'S.
At some point in your essay you must explain who you think the intended audience for the ad was and how you know (use evidence from the text). Think of this in terms of demographics (age, gender, race, ethnicity, social class, educational level, etc.).
While their may be no “right” or “wrong” interpretation of what you see as the argument of the ad you write about, there is quite a difference between a weak and strong interpretation. Your analysis will be strong, and thus convincing to readers, if you draw logical conclusions from the details based on the evidence that is present in the text. You also must make clear connections between your interpretation and the specific details of the ad and need to organize and explain your ideas clearly and logically.
To analyze something is to break it down into its parts to make sense of it more easily. But analysis doesn’t just stop at the breakdown. The breakdown is the beginning of understanding. Analysis provides a method for putting the whole back together again in a more meaningful way.
While the actual paper itself is not that lengthy, the analytical process for understanding what you see requires time, deep critical thought, and patience.
The analytical act tends to separate a whole into its constituent parts, an object into its elements. During analysis we take things apart so we can examine them, come to some understanding about the parts and their relationships, and finally, develop awareness of the chemistry or the logic that holds the parts together. Eventually, the analyst wants to put these individual components back together with a deeper understanding of the whole—the object itself and the idea it inspires. This idea is what you see as the ad's central message and what action it is encouraging on the audience's part.
In some cases, it may also be necessary to provide an historical context for your argument as well in regard to American attitudes toward gender. This should be a part of the background and context of you essay's introduction.
Important Tips to Keep in Mind
Avoid describing the ad in second person (you can see, you can hear…). It sounds as if you’re telling the reader what he or she perceives (Maybe they don’t see it).
This is a FORMAL ESSAY with a formal structure, NOT a freewrite. You must have an intro that previews the content of your body paragraphs, states a clear claim (what you see as the overall theme), and establishes a solid CONTEXT for your argument. To do this, present answers to each of the following questions in your intro:
****Identify the focal point and explain how the author draws your eye to that particular area
of the image. Next, argue why you think the author might wish to emphasis this section of
the ad. Look at your cast of characters: What does their facial expression
communicate about what they are thinking for feeling? What does their posture
communicate about these things? Next, what do you think the story is here? What is
going on and why? What has happened? This is your character's story/situation. Lastly,'
what is the central message of the ad and how is it connected to the focal point,
character(s), and story? What is the ad attempting to convince the audience to do? How is all of this connected to cultural attitudes toward gender?
NOTE: IF YOU DO NOT ESTABLISH THIS CONTEXT IN THE INTRO, THERE IS NO CLEAR UNDERSTANDING FOR YOUR READER FOR WHY YOU ARE SHOWING THEM EVIDENCE IN YOUR BODY.
Use present tense throughout and be consistent in your use of verb tense. Proofread carefully so that you don’t mix past and present-tense verbs in the same account. Use active verbs!!! Do not overuse the verb "to be." Too many sentences using "It was. . ." not only kill your prose; they can kill your reader.
Make certain that you have clear sub-claims (topic sentences) that are directly connected to your overall claim (theme).
Make use of transitional words and phrases
Help others understand the ad and its compositional elements as you do; Provide clear, direct explanations, and make strong connections between each of your ideas and your overall claim.
Your essay should be a minimum of 3 FULL pages - 4 FULL pages, and you must give it a title that adequately reflects the entire content of the paper. It should also be typed, double spaced, with one-inch margins all around, Times New Roman Font, & 12 pt. (See MLA format).
Your grade for this essay will be determined as follows:
Total Possible Points: 40/
Focus (11 points): Does essay have a clear purpose? Provide the reader with a deeper understanding of the image/ad? Present s clear meaning/interpretation (including historical context if needed)? Does the essay clearly demonstrate what the author of the ad is asking the audience to do and how they used classical rhetorical appeals to shape that argument?Does the writer identify what they see as THREE OR FOUR important symbols in the ad and argue how the author uses them to attempt to convince through their underlying meanings and associations using logos, pathos, and/or ethos?
Development (11 points): Are there detailed descriptions of the ad that are only used to prove a point about why the author of the ad has made specific choices? Does the writer avoid giving detail without illustrating importance? Does the writer break the work down into individual components and discuss their importance to the work as a whole? Does the writer make use of the strategies for understanding visual representations? Does the writer use this knowledge to create a basis for breakdown with the purpose and audience squarely in mind? Help others understand the image and the author's argument as they do? Does the writer make a clear case for the author of the ad's choices and their reason's for doing so?
Organization (11 points): Do ideas and paragraphs proceed in logical and apparent sequence or pattern? Does writer use sufficient audience cues to let the reader know what has been discussed, what is being discussed, or what will be discussed? Does writer use attention-getting title and lead-in, paragraph hooks, transitional words and phrases? Does writer guide the reader from beginning to end?
Style (4 points): Is language clear direct and readable? Are sentences clear, concise, and easily read by intended audience? Is word choice appropriate for audience? Do sentences reveal and sustain appropriate voice and tone?
Mechanics (3 points): Are there obvious errors in spelling, punctuation, and grammar? Are there patterns of error?
NO INVENTION WORK (-3 POINTS)
NO 1ST DRAFT ON DUE DATE (-3 POINTS)
NO PEER CRITIQUE (-3 POINTS)
NO REFLECTION (-3 POINTS)
NO PROCESS=NO GRADE