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  • ENGL 1311 Visual Analysis assignment
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Visual Analysis assignment

The goal of a visual analysis is not merely to analyze what argument a visual makes, but to also analyze how the creator of that visual goes about presenting the argument. You'll do this by analyzing the use of rhetorical strategies.  Using a printed visual related to your community issue, you will provide an objective analysis of the strengths and weaknesses in the visual's use of ethos, logos, and pathos.
Purpose:  This assignment is designed to prompt you to identify the strategies that a particular visual argument employs.  One of the reasons that this is useful is that it requires you to examine visuals which we often do not question or analyze and identify the purposes and motivations behind their argument(s).  This assignment closely resembles the Rhetorical Analysis assignment with the obvious difference that you will be applying the same skills to a visual instead of a text.
Content/Subject: Your rhetorical analysis will consist mainly of your analysis of the three rhetorical appeals of ethos, pathos, and logos.  In terms of ethos, which deals primarily with credibility, you will want to examine the creators' reputations or authority, particularly if they represent an agency or corporation.  These factors as well as the visual itself will either improve or detract from the visual's credibility and effectiveness.  Logos is concerned with the logic of the argument.  In considering a visual's use of logos, you will want to focus on issues such as how the visual is constructed.  For this you will need to address the organization and composition of the visual.  You might also discuss scale and perspective as well.  The third appeal, pathos, deals with emotion.   Here, you should identify any attempts to evoke a particular emotion.  The content of the visual, the use of color, as well as scale and perspective can be useful in addressing the visual's appeal to emotions.  Finally, you will want to evaluate whether these strategies are effective in conveying the argument that the visual is advocating.
Audience: Your audience will consist of your academic peers whom you may assume have only a casual familiarity with the issue and the visual that you are analyzing.
Constraints:  This is an analytical, academic assignment and, as a result, your writing should reflect that.  This means that your paper should be written in an elevated and sophisticated style that makes use of correct grammar and usage.  You should be sure to make a clear and precise argument as you analyze the rhetorical strategies employed in the visual that you are examining.
 Specific guidelines for this assignment are:
-          Clear introduction and conclusion
-          Address all three rhetorical appeals: ethos, pathos, and logos
-          Strict adherence to APA format
-          3-5 pages in length
-          Attach a copy of your visual to your analysis as an appendix

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