Project 1 | Analyzing Visual Rhetoric

Terms You Should Know:

Stakeholder, Rhetoric, Visual Rhetoric (aesthetics, color, media, typography, space), Rhetorical Appeals (Ethos, Pathos, Logos, Kairos), Rhetorical Fallacies

Project Description:

Students will identify an issue or topic that interests them and research the multiple stakeholders connected to the issue. From these stakeholders, students will select a single organization (company, non-profit, or activist) and think critically about the visual and rhetorical strategies this particular group implements in their campaigns. Finally, students will choose two specific images created by the organization (such as advertisements, PSAs, static images used on a website, flyer, billboard, etc.), and analyze how these visual arguments reflect the organization’s goals.

Project Outcomes and Objectives:

Students will…

  • understand how images convey messages to audiences by analyzing visual strategies develop a thesis statement that makes a claim about the relationship between the two images, including how these images reflect a stakeholder’s goals (Focus)

  • support their analysis using primary resources from the stakeholder, the textbook, and outside resources (Evidence)

  • write an effective introduction, body, and conclusion; logically organize supporting points (Organization)

  • employ a process of revision using peer and instructor feedback to produce a paper that is clearly worded and free of grammar/punctuation errors specifically as they relate to proofreading, punctuation, run-on sentences, comma splices, and sentence fragments (Style)

  • maintain a third-person point of view (Style)

  • follow proper MLA structure both in formatting the paper and citing sources (Format)


Students will write a 1,000 – 1,200 word essay that analyzes how the two images represent the interests of the stakeholder (the stakeholder’s goal or message), taking into consideration audience, message, purpose, rhetorical appeals, and / or rhetorical fallacies. In doing so, students should point to specific details from the image to support their claims. In order to effectively analyze the images, students will need to have an accurate understanding of each stakeholder’s goals. Students are required to use a minimum of two sources: one must be the course textbook or an assigned article; the second must be a source from the stakeholder.