provides historical information plot details H u m a n i t i e s
(I will put the outline at the bottom)
Find a promotional poster for a film that was released before the year 2000.Consider what is being conveyed in the imagery and how.
What did the poster’s designers do to affect the audience? (Consider pathos, ethos, and logos) Try to find descriptive language to explain what is at work in the design and what the effects of those rhetorical choices are.
Think of every visual element choice as a deliberate attempt by the poster’s designer to achieve a particular effect in the audience.
You may find that there are surprising differences between how a movie is portrayed in its posters and how the movie is described (historically) in other sources. Discuss this in your analysis too.
Goals and Getting It All Done
The aim of your argument is to support a claim about how an image works—using the tools of persuasion— concerning how your chosen visual text itself offers a persuasive argument (“You’ve got to see this movie!”).
The form of this assignment is an essay that analyzes the visual image and the rhetorical elements of composition, presentation, intended audience, and effect by looking at the image’s appeals to pathos, ethos, and logos.
You will most likely reference an outside source for your argument — a source that provides historical information plot details for the movie whose poster you are analyzing. Be sure to include a Works Cited page and in-text citations in the paper when you make reference to the outside sources.
Otherwise, formatting the paper should be simple. Remember to follow MLA standards (standard heading, double spacing, 12 point font, and Times New Roman). You may want to consult the OWL Purdue website for additional guidance here.
Please paste the image(s) you intend to analyze at the beginning of the essay, before the title. The paper should be a minimum of 800 words.
Outline: Visual Analysis (A Potential Outline)
A. Identify the artifact(general statement about function of movie posters)
B. Brief situating context(a quick statement about the importance of the film and/or poster
C. The designer’s purpose and the intended audience
D. Thesis Statement— Identify the major rhetorical appeals and how they work to establish an overall effect. (Keep this brief but specifically identify the major persuasive strategies — pathos, ethos, logos — that you will analyze)
II. Brief Background
A. Film Notes— This might include telling us a bit about where this movie falls, compared to other movies, especially of that year.
- ● Was it a summer blockbuster? An early spring release?
- ● Is this film a part of a larger franchise?
- ● Was it a release from a larger (mainstream) production company
- ● Or was it an indie film with a much smaller release?B. Poster’s Historical Context— You can tell the reader just a little bit about the history of the poster.
- ● How important was the poster in promoting this film?
- ● Did this poster have a particularly strong impact on film sales?
- ● Did the poster become a cultural icon in its own right?(Aside from the film’s success)III. Physical DescriptionHere you can briefly describe the artifact’s physical dimensions, coloring, clarity, visual prominence when appearing (and competing) amongst other ads, whether in cyberspace or along physical spaces.
Note: When considering the question of “visual prominence” consider the context of the times. A poster from the 1930s would have competed for notice in much different spaces than a poster from the 1990s, which might have also appeared online.IV. Appeal One (Pathos, Ethos, or Logos)Using specific elements of the poster, discuss how these individual choices within the poster or photograph’s space works to establish one of the rhetorical appeals for the intended audience. Discuss these visual elements as deliberate choices by the “author.”
V. Appeal Two (Pathos, Ethos, or Logos)
Make a smooth transition, linking your first appeal to the second. Then, using specific elements of the poster, discuss how these individual choices within the poster or photograph’s space works to establish another one of the rhetorical appeals for the intended audience. Discuss these visual elements as deliberate choices by the “author.”
(You might consider addressing all three of the major rhetorical appeals — that’s fine)
- ● What is the overall balance in the use of appeals?
- ● Was one far more important than the others?
- ● Was one appeal largely neglected? Why?
- ● How effective (overall) was the general rhetorical strategy?
- ● How could the rhetorical strategy have been improved? (be imaginative)
- ● What can you say, broadly speaking, about the type of rhetorical strategies we might expect in this given genre?
- ● How typical or atypical is your artifact?
- ● Why does your artifact matter to your understanding of rhetorical analysis?