â€œRhetoricâ€ is the art of argument. Therefore, this essay assignment is asking you to analyze argument strategies. (Review your lecture notes on Pathos, Ethos, & Logos!) For this essay, youâ€™ll choose an ad (or ads) from the print ads provided in the slideshow, and youâ€™ll write thoughtfully and intelligently about the rhetorical strategies (pathos, ethos, and logos) that you see being used.
The ads I provided have a variety of goals: To persuade you to buy something, to do something, to stop doing something, and more. As you study an ad, ask yourself: What does this ad want from me? How is it going about attempting to persuade me? How many distinct types of persuasion can I pick out?
A successful rhetorical analysis essay will be thorough! Rather than selecting 3 ads and covering only the most surface-level rhetorical strategies, a successful essay will look at every detail of an ad, perhaps finding elements of all 3 strategies (pathos, ethos, and logos) within a single ad. (In other words: Whichever ads you choose, make sure you discuss them thoroughly!) A successful essay will also be specific. Itâ€™s not good enough to just say, â€œThis ad uses pathos.â€ Which elements of pathos, specifically? How do you know thatâ€™s what youâ€™re looking at? How are these elements being used? Etc.
Introduction: Introduce and briefly describe the ad (or ads) youâ€™ll be discussing. Provide just enough description so that I know which ads youâ€™ve chosen. Conclude your introduction with a thesis statement that outlines which specific elements of pathos, ethos, & logos youâ€™ll be discussing.
Body Paragraphs: You may order your essay according to which ad youâ€™re discussing (one paragraph for each ad), or according to the appeals youâ€™re discussing (a paragraph for pathos, one for logos, etc.)
Conclusion: Restate your thesis and discuss whether or not you think the ads your essay covered were successful.
The specific aspects of rhetoric that we discussed in class include â€¦
- Pathos (appealing to emotion through the use of meaningful language, emotional tone, emotion-evoking examples, emotion-evoking anecdotes, connotative words, repetition, figurative language, etc.)
- Ethos (appealing to credibility and trust through the use of language appropriate to the subject, sounding fair and reasonable, referencing expertise and authority, using correct language, etc.)
- Logos (appealing to logic through the use of facts, data, statistics, studies, analogies, and inductive and deductive reasoning)
- NOTE: Some of these ads contain logical fallacies! If your ad contains a logical fallacy, you may choose to discuss this as well.
Your essay must also meet the following basic requirements:
- Include a formal header (name, date, class, and my name)
- Include the title, â€œRhetorical Analysis Essayâ€
- Double-spaced throughout and at least 3 full pages long.