Rhetoric: means “expressed in a way that is designed to be impressive” Oxford American Dictionary.
Analysis: to take a topic/subject/object and break it down into smaller pieces to interpret, examine, critique,
reflect, and respond to all parts based on the whole.
Rhetorical Analysis: You will look at a particular visual text and analyze it for (rhetorical strategies) purpose,
audience, meaning, symbols, layout, graphics, direct and indirect messages, argument, supporting and
opposing arguments. You will look at the visual text to see what strategies were used to create it.
Rhetorical Analysis for English 112: You will look at texts to see “how various elements work together to
form a convincing and persuasive argument” (Kriszner and Mandell 68).
Please follow the steps below in order to create your paper:
Find one controversial visual text by which you can analyze the image rhetorical strategies. The image
can be a cartoon, graph, chart, photograph, painting, advertisement, web site, or political cartoon].
Compose an argumentative essay, which presents your interpretative stance on the visual text.
At all times, keep in mind your audience, tone, and purpose.
The essay must contain:
o A typed outline, documented essay, and works cited in one MS Word document. o The topic outline
should be correctly formatted and have sufficient details that
will be addressed in your essay.
o The image must be placed in the text of the document and not on the last page or
the top of the first page. Wrap the text around the image; please do not have any
dead white space. Cite and refer to image in your to Length of paper – 1,000 – 1,250 words (only, please)
o Third person point of view only.
o INTRODUCTION: hook the reader with a strong opening, general sentences,
and transition to the debatable thesis statement. Hook : third person personal example, quotation, fact or
statistic, rhetorical question, current events, or contrast to the thesis
o In the introduction, give an overview of the visual text. Goal: establish the writer as credible and
© 2020 Ronette Jacobs RHETORICAL ANALYSIS – ENGLISH 112 – College Composition II
“Rhetorical Analysis Essay Directions” by Ronette Jacobs is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0
o In the last sentence of your introduction, state a strong, argumentative, focused, and clear thesis
statement/claim, which is valid and logical.
o BODY PARAGRAPHS: provide paragraphs which analyze and show the following:
main idea of the visual text
purpose and audience of visual text
layout (words, color, graphics, content, etc.)
images (direct and indirect)
the argument that the text confronts – How can you tell? Do you agree?
your view on the argument
Explain who would support and oppose this image and why.
Is the image effective? How so?
Evaluate the image for logos, pathos, or ethos appeals – Are these appeals
effective? Why or why not?
o CONCLUSION: Provide an overall assessment of the argument in this visual
Note the following as your proofread and revise your paper several times: o Each paragraph must have a
topic sentence, supporting sentences, and a
o Include specific examples to support your work. At least four additional scholarly
sources must be used to help you write this paper. Be certain to reference the
paragraph number in parenthesis behind directly quoted material.
o Use present tense verbs unless discussing historical events.
o Read your paper aloud to catch errors, especially fragments, run-ons, and comma
splices. Students will not receive a grade higher than a “B” if any common
sentence errors are present.
o Use appropriate transitional words and phrases.
o Proofread and revise essay thoroughly.
o Note: For this first essay, all students will be using BrainFuse to gather feedback
on their writing. For future essays – (Students will exchange their rough drafts with TWO members in their
writing group. Student will use the peer evaluation form to help evaluate a peer’s paper. Week due dates
are the syllabus. Peer evaluations are not optional. )
o If a student needs help with a paper, please schedule an appointment with the professor. Also, there are
writing tutors available for courses as well.
o Final drafts will be submitted through a TurnItIn link in Canvas. Percentage from TurnItIn should not
exceed 30%. See syllabus for final due date. Students will submit their final outline, draft and works cited
through the link in one document. Automatic zeroes will be given for any plagiarize essays, no