Project 2 | Analyzing Visual Rhetoric
Terms You Should Know
- Stakeholder: an organization or individual with a vested interest or concern; often financial, but can be influenced by various factors
- Visual Rhetoric: argumentative strategies conveyed through images or design; includes aesthetics, color, media, typography, and space
- Rhetorical Appeals: strategies used in the art of persuasion
- Ethos: appeal to credibility or morality
- Pathos: appeal to the emotions
- Logos: appeal to logic and reason
- Kairos: appeal to timeliness
- Rhetorical Fallacies: logical errors or inconsistencies in an argument
In Project 2, you will learn how to identify the argument of one of your stakeholders as projected through their visual images and think critically about the visual and rhetorical strategies this particular group implements in their campaigns. You will choose two specific images created by the organization (i.e. advertisements, PSAs, or static images used on a website, flyer, billboard, etc.), and analyze how these visual arguments reflect the organization’s goals.
You will write an essay of 1200-1400 words based on the following requirements:
- select a single stakeholder (commercial or non-profit organization) and present its goals, mission, or message regarding your chosen topic or issue
- include a thesis that presents the relationship between the two images and the stakeholder’s main argument, including how the two images represent the interests of the stakeholder and its goals, message, or mission
- provide background on the stakeholder (context)
- analyze the rhetorical strategies used in both images, taking into consideration audience, message, purpose, rhetorical appeals, and/or rhetorical fallacies, and pointing to specific details from the image to support your claim
- use at least three sources; one must be a source from the stakeholder, and the others may come from secondary sources about the stakeholder or about the images discussed
This assignment will be evaluated using the Project 2: Analyzing Visual Rhetoric Rubric.
October 2: Early Draft (Canvas)
The early draft should be used as a brainstorming space where you can begin thinking about the visual arguments used by stakeholders and how they achieve their desired goals through the use of visual and rhetorical strategies. You may use this draft to outline, freewrite, map, etc. as long as the exercise leads to more formulated claims in the subsequent draft.
October 9: Intermediate Draft (Canvas and MyReviewers*)
The intermediate draft should be a working draft (1200-1400 words) that analyzes how these visual arguments reflect the concerns of the stakeholder and discusses visual rhetorical strategies that establish relationships between the two images. This draft should include a thesis, all major points, evidence to support these points (including in-text citations from appropriate sources), and a Works Cited page. The draft must also include the two images analyzed by the student which should be embedded into the document.
October 16: Peer Review (MyReviewers)
October 19: Revision Plan (MyReviewers)
October 23: Final Draft (Canvas and MyReviewers*)
The final draft will be a polished essay (1200-1400 words) that analyzes how these visual arguments reflect the concerns of the stakeholder and discusses visual rhetorical strategies that establish relationships between the two images. This draft should include a thesis, all major points, evidence to support these points (including in-text citations from appropriate sources), and a Works Cited page. The draft must alsoinclude the two images analyzed by the student which should be embedded into the document.
Note: Final drafts that have not been significantly revised will be lowered one letter grade.
*It is your responsibility to upload your project drafts to both Canvas and MyReviewers. Assignments will be counted as late until they have been turned into both places.
Role of Research
You should support the claims you make about the stakeholder’s perspective and position using primary and secondary research. You may use primary resources from the stakeholder or the textbook, along with secondary resources that reference the stakeholder and/or the images used.
Role of Peer Review
Using MyReviewers, you will provide feedback via peer review. The peer review process allows you to respond to your peers’ drafts as fellow writers working toward the common goal of producing insightful visual rhetorical analyses. Both you and your peers will be using each other’s comments and recommendations to improve your work. Thus, your individual commitment to peer review has a real impact on the success of the entire class.
In this project, peer review will be particularly valuable because it will provide an outside perspective regarding visual and rhetorical strategies that you may not have considered.
In the next project, you will build on the various skills developed in Project 1, demonstrating empathy when describing various stakeholder perspectives and finding common ground between those two perspectives, as well as those developed in Project 2, understanding rhetorical strategies and using them in visual analysis. In Project 3, you will apply what you have learned about visual design and layout, rhetorical devices, and audience awareness to compose your own multimedia project that persuades your chosen audience to take action in some way.