This homework assignment requires you to be familiar with the content of Chapters 5 and 6, and ideally Chapter 7, of your textbook. The goal of the assignment is to give students the opportunity to demonstrate that they can distinguish fallacies and non-argumentative rhetorical appeals from good reasoning.
The analysis of the original ad should be in essay form.
Your essay should be a minimum of 1000 words, not including your “Works Cited” section at the end of your essay.
Submit your responses in the text box provided when you click on “submit assignment.”
To include a picture of your advertizement, use the “Image” tool available in the text submission box (signified by a “tree” in a box), or upload your picture to a website and include the URL in your essay. Any file uploads must be submitted as ATTACHMENTS in the “Comments” box next to the assignment submission, not in the assignment itself.
Your essay will be automatically checked through the “Turn It In” system, so make sure that you are responsibly citing your sources, including quotation marks around quoted material, and using your own words for any summarizing or paraphrasing.
Choose an advertisement that contains at least three or four rhetorical devices or fallacies (but more would be better!), from a newspaper or a magazine (in which case you should scan the ad, save it as a PDF, and submit it AS AN ATTACHMENT in the “Comments” section of your assignment) or an online source (in which case you should include the EXACT URL with your assignment, pasted as a link with the assignment). You CANNOT use video ads for this assignment if you plan to complete the extra credit opportunity associated with this assignment (explained below). So, if you plan to do the extra credit, you must choose an ad that is an image, not a video. The advertizement must be from 1990 or later (no ads produced before 1990).
Analyze the ad for uses of rhetorical devices or fallacies. Explain which devices you see in the ad, making sure to be specific in your analysis. You must clearly identify the specific parts of the advertisement that you find rhetorical or fallacious.
In addition to identifying any rhetorical devices and fallacies, analyze the ad in terms of the following:
Who is targeted in the ad (who is the target audience?)?
What psychological effect does the ad have on the audience?
What subconscious needs or desires among the audience does the ad seem to be playing upon?
WANT SOME EXTRA CREDIT POINTS?!? Then, create a new ad (actually make the new ad) for the product advertized in the original ad. Your new ad should be targeted toward a critical thinker. Therefore, your new ad should not use any rhetorical devices or fallacies to persuade the audience. Instead, your new ad should present a well-reasoned, well-supported argument for why a critical thinker should buy the product. You will probably have to do research to create the argument. You may also need to change the visual images or pictures from the original add (feel free to use pictures from whatever source you like….just be sure that the images you choose do not have any manipulative rhetorical effect on the audience.). The goal of the new ad should be to present an argument, not to persuade! Scan your new ad, save it as a PDF and send it as an attachment, or create your new ad on your computer, save it as a PDF, and attach it to your assignment. You can earn anywhere up to 25 points, depending on the quality of the argument in the new ad, and the quality of the ad itself.
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