<%@ Language=VBScript EnableSessionState=False %> <% on error resume next %> Writing Across the Curriculum

Writing Across the Curriculum


Holloway Hall

Analysis of an Advertisement
Developed by Kelli Randall

Assignment: From a print medium choose an advertisement that you find rhetorically interesting. The ad can be one for which you consider yourself part of the target audience or not. This in-class writing assignment will give you an opportunity to demonstrate your ability to “think rhetorically.” Be prepared to write a brief analysis of your ad that will demonstrate how the ad works to influence its audience, both through its images and its text.

Invention: Consider the rhetorical situation of the ad. What is being advertised? Who is making the claim? Who is the target audience? Where and when does the ad appear? Think of the ad as an argument. What claim is it making?

Consider the reasons which support that claim: reasons about the nature of the ad’s product or service, reasons about those responsible for that product or service, and reasons which appeal to the audience’s values and beliefs—and their desires. How do you think the ad affects its audience and why? What effects do you think it has been designed to produce?

Besides the ad’s images and its language, consider the underlying assumptions which support the claim and reasons. What assumptions have the ad designers made about the audience, about their knowledge, their values and beliefs, their needs? What are the ad makers’ intentions? Do you think this is an effective ad for its audience and purpose?

Informal Writing Task: In two well-developed paragraphs, introduce the ad and your analysis, making a claim about the ad and its effectiveness. Arrange the paragraphs of your analysis so that your audience moves through the parts of the ad with you in an orderly way. Help your audience see the ad and its rhetoric as you did. Quote particulars to support your argument. Be prepared to present your ad to the class.