Assignment – Look at the essay choices below and pick one to answer in an academic essay
A. Look at several recent (i.e., last few years) advertisements selling different products to
the same, specific audience (e.g., working mothers, teenage boys, etc.). Analyze how
each ad makes its argument. What kinds of claims are made? Do the ads use similar
appeals? Discuss how these advertisements are designed to work on this same
audience. Make sure to also discuss the assumptions upon which the arguments are
based. Develop a thesis that makes a claim about how advertisers target this specific
group. Support your claim with the evidence you have gathered. Evaluate the
effectiveness of these advertisements.
B. Choose several different recent advertisements that use the same type of appeal: an
appeal to ethics (e.g., shared values like Patriotism, health, etc.) or an appeal to
emotions (e.g., fear, excitement, pleasure, etc.). How do each of the ads appeal to the
value and connect it to the product? Is this connection valid? Do any of the ads rely too
much on values or emotions and not enough on other (more reasonable) appeals? What
claims doe each ad make? Make sure to also discuss the assumptions upon which the
arguments are based. Develop a thesis that makes a claim about how advertisers
persuade using appeals other than facts or reason. Support your claim with the evidence
you have gathered.
C. Select a written argument on an opinion or editorial page of a recent newspaper (i.e.,
last 6 months) and analyze how this argument works rhetorically. Discuss what claims
are made and what assumptions the argument relies on. Analyze the persuasive
strategies used, discuss how they are designed to work upon the audience (which
means figuring out who the audience is as where that audience is coming from), and
whether or not it succeeds or fails. For example, does the article rely too much on
emotional appeals and not enough on logic?
D. Choose 2-3 brief letters to the editor on the same subject to discuss and compare how
they work rhetorically, using the same considerations as in option C.