visual digital rethorical analysis


For this assignment you will be applying some of the concepts you learned in this module about visual and digital rhetoric by analyzing a piece of visual rhetoric in 750-1000 words. Hopefully, you will be able to think seriously about how persuasion works within the visual world.

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Later in the course, you will be writing a rhetorical analysis of a text that is either written or spoken. In both cases, you will analyze the rhetorical situation (visual claim), the context surrounding it, and the rhetorical appeals and rhetorical strategies being employed.

In addition, you will examine and explain the intended effects of the visual rhetoric within these texts. This includes the use of color, camera angles/lenses, texture, use of space, etc. Many of these strategies are explained in this module.

Assignment Details

Locate a piece of visual or digital rhetoric. This could be an advertisement (print or video), a famous photo or painting, a poster, or even a graphic novel. Your choice must use rhetoric (visual, possibly with some text) in an interesting and persuasive manner. 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.


1. Choose a piece to analyze on your own from a simple Google search. I suggest using a simple, direct search phrase, such as “Great print ads to analyze.”

2. Now, you need to start analyzing the visual/digital claim that you have chosen. One good place to start is answering the questions in the Tips For Analysis section of this module. You do not turn in these answers; answering the questions will help you draft your essay.

3. Come up with a thesis or claim about the piece you will be analyzing.


1. Think deep. Go beyond the obvious. Have fun!

2. Present the context for the piece of digital rhetoric

Visual included into essay
Visual has high readability
Visual is cited in MLA
3. Make a strong claim about the piece as your thesis (highlight or underline your thesis)

4. Use the correct rhetorical terminology when analyzing the visual (e.g., contrast, bold, foreground, etc).

5. Utilize effective support from the primary source (this is not a research paper!).

6. Expand/challenge/transform the audience’s understanding of the image through your analysis.

7. Use correct paragraphing techniques so ideas read smoothly and effectively

No less then five paragraphs.
You initially might want to ask:

How does the piece’s creators target an audience, respond to an audience, and/or construct an audience?
How does the visual’s style and delivery make meaning?
Why is the visual arranged as it is?
How are logic and emotion deployed to persuade?
How does ethos function in the visual?
How do social, historical, and/or metaphysical contexts inform the text’s 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?
Stylistic/Grammatical Focus

For this essay, our focus will be on the following :

Focused and analytical thesis statements and topic sentences
Strong analytical verbs and description
Strong and effective diction/vocabulary
Effective, smooth transitions
Proper paragraph and essay structure.
Thoroughly revised and edited final draft resulting in college-level work.
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MLA 8th edition format

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