Essay 2: Analysis _
Topic: The Strategies of Advertising Required length: 1250 words minimum (4-6 pages).
Rough Draft Due Date: ___________ Final Draft Due Date: ____________
Background: In your midterm essay, you examined the value of advertising, which has become an
almost constant presence in both our public spaces and our private lives. Perhaps because of
advertising’s ubiquity, we often dismiss it as simplistic, and we rarely think critically about the
complex, subtle strategies ads employ. In this unit, we dig into the hidden mechanics of advertising
to examine how it compels its audience to act in the interest of advertisers.
Main Task: Write an essay in which you analyze the strategies used by a single advertisement, or a
series of advertisements associated with a single product. By synthesizing the content of the
advertising, the assigned readings, and your own interpretations, examine how the product or
service successfully appeals to consumers. What strategies described in the assigned readings does
your specific advertisement use, and how does it use them? Finally, explore the significance of your
Analysis, in academic thinking and writing, broadly refers to examining the individual parts of
something in order to figure out what it means or how it works. Often, we use the definition or
principles from other outside sources in order to analyze something.
That is, analysis is often a type of synthesis in which you use the ideas of someone else in order to
examine whatever you’re trying to understand—be it a work of art, a historical event, economic
trends, etc. Here, we’ll refer to the ideas you use as an analytical principle. We’ll refer to the thing
you’re analyzing as an object of analysis.
Object of Analysis: Should you choose to do so, your object of analysis can be advertising that
exists outside the realms of conventional television or print advertising. Print and television ads will
work very well for the essay, but here are some other interesting mediums that contain persuasive
advertising: 1) a product’s packaging, 2) its official website, 3) online advertising for a product on
other websites, 4) advertising in public spaces, 5) covert advertising or product placement.
Analytical Principle: The analytical principle should be a set of ideas about how advertising
appeals to its audience. Your analysis will show how the specific advertisement you are
examining uses those strategies. The principle can be drawn from one or more texts. It should be
stated explicitly early in the essay, in a bridge paragraph. You should reference these ideas with
more specificity throughout the essay using quotes from the text.
• “Advertising’s Fifteen Basic Appeals”: Use this text to show how an advertisement appeals
to its audience’s unconscious fears or desires.
• “The Parable of the Democracy of Goods”: Use this text to show how an advertisement
appeals to class anxiety or its audience’s desire to join the elite by buying a product.
• “Men’s Men and Women’s Women”: Use this text to show how an advertisement appeals to
our desires or anxieties associated with gender identities.
Four Quotations or Paraphrases REQUIRED: The success of your argument hinges on its
successful synthesis and integration of source material. You must quote or paraphrase, and correctly
cite, one or more assigned readings from this unit at least four times in this essay. At least two
direct quotes are required.
Essay 2 Goals _
In each of the major essays you write for English 1A, you will be working to demonstrate
the skills we have practiced throughout the corresponding unit. Below are the writing and
thinking skills you should be aiming to demonstrate in Essay Two. These goals will also be
incorporated into the grading criteria for the essay.
1) Accurately summarize the main ideas of a written text and the main features of a
2) Synthesize the ideas of published authors with visual texts in order to create and
support an arguable thesis.
3) Create a thesis statement that provides a clear, compelling analysis and previews
the support for that analysis.
4) Substantiate your thesis using analysis, supporting evidence, and logical
5) Achieve a unified and focused statement with your essay—everything in the essay
should work together to support your central claim.
6) Incorporate an introduction that engages the reader and prepares the reader for the
7) Incorporate well-developed supporting paragraphs using the PIE strategy.
8) Incorporate a conclusion paragraph that explores the significance of your
9) Write clear and correct sentences while using diction and tone appropriate for the
10) Use MLA-style in-text citations.
11) Integrate quotations and paraphrases with rhetorical effectiveness.
12) Be original, creative, and thoughtful, demonstrating the critical reading and
thinking skills practiced throughout the unit.
13) Successfully communicate an analytical principle and apply it to an object of
Essay 2 Guide: Organizing Your Analysis _
This essay requires analysis. Analysis, in academic thinking and writing, broadly refers to closely examining the
individual parts of something in order to figure out what it means or how it works. Often, we use the definition or
principles from other outside sources in order to analyze something. That is, analysis is often a type of synthesis in
which you use the ideas of someone else in order to examine whatever you’re trying to understand—be it a work of
art, a historical event, economic trends, etc.
Here, we’ll refer to the ideas you use as an analytical principle. We’ll refer to the thing you’re analyzing as an object
of analysis. Review Chapter 6 in WRAC to further acquaint yourself with analysis. While the primary goal of the
arguments you have written has been to persuade, the goal of an analysis is to examine and explain. The tone,
organization, and rhetoric of the essay ought to reflect this purpose. Below are the basic pieces of the puzzle. Use this
as a guide for how to craft your own argument synthesis as you develop your blocking plan.
Heading & Page Numbers: In the upper-left corner of the first page, list your name, your instructor’s name, the course,
and the date. Also, you must number your pages. In MLA style, the writer’s name appears before the page number in
the upper-right corner of each page.
Title: Include a title that captures your reader’s attention and previews the subject of your essay. (It should be centered,
and the font size and type should be the same as all the other words on the page.)
I. Introduction (1 paragraph, about 150-200 words): As with your previous essays, the primary purpose of the
introduction is to engage your reader’s interest and prepare the reader for your thesis statement. In this essay, that might
mean accomplishing a couple different things. Convey to your reader that analyzing this ad is a worthwhile project. Why
is understanding the strategies of this or any other ad important or useful for the reader? You should also introduce your
reader to the advertising you’re analyzing. What is the product? What is the content of the ads? Where do they appear
and whom do they target?
II. Bridge (1 paragraph, about 150-200 words): In analysis, it is sometimes useful to add a second paragraph before the
thesis that introduces your analytical principle. Prior to your thesis statement, you can summarize the main ideas from
the text(s) you will be using to analyze the advertisement. Include the author and title of the text you’re drawing ideas
from, and represent those ideas accurately. (You should not summarize aspects of the text irrelevant to your analysis.) A
summary here will allow you to easily refer back to its main points throughout the essay. It will also prepare the reader
more thoroughly for your thesis and supporting paragraphs. Refer to Chapter 1 of WRAC for summary strategies.
III. Thesis Statement (1-2 sentences, at the end of the bridge): The thesis should be specific and arguable, stating your
main point and previewing your evidence in support of that point. It should meet all of the guidelines for successful
thesis statements we established in the previous unit. An excellent thesis for this essay will establish a connection, or
synthesis, between your analytical principle and the advertisement(s) you are analyzing, answering this question: What
strategies described in the texts does the advertising use, and how does it use them?
IV. Proof (3 paragraphs, about 500-750 words): Each paragraph should assert and prove one specific point in support
of your thesis statement, and stay focused on that point. Think of each body paragraph as one reason your thesis is true.
Ideally, each paragraph will synthesize evidence from both the advertisement and the text to demonstrate your point.
P.I.E. paragraphing will be a crucial strategy.
Analysis is about looking very closely at the parts of something in order to make sense of the whole. Especially if you
are examining just one advertisement in depth, consider focusing each paragraph on a detailed interpretation of one
specific aspect of that ad. In support of a thesis about how an ad appeals to its audience’s gender-role anxieties, for
example, one proof paragraph could focus on how the weak male character in the ad contributes to that appeal,
incorporating quotes from “Men’s Men” to support the interpretation. Other proof paragraphs could focus on another
character, the voiceover, the depiction of the product, or perhaps the resolution of the conflict between characters. (If,
however, you are analyzing several ads within a campaign, it might make more sense to focus each proof paragraph on a
broader interpretation of a single ad.)
VI. Conclusion (1 paragraph, about 200-250 words): Your conclusion may briefly review your main points for the
reader. More importantly, it should discuss the significance of your analysis. Consider the following questions as
potential starting points:
o Based on your analysis, what does the ad reveal about our culture’s desires, fears, identities, or values?
o Based on your analysis, what does the ad reveal about the harm or benefits brought about by advertising