INSTRUCTOR: Dr. Reena Thomas; RThomas@marymountcalifornia.edu
LENGTH: 4 pages, typed, double spaced, 12 Times New Roman (your Works Cited will be the FIFTH page)
DUE: WEDNESDAY, JULY 6th (via Dropbox labeled ESSAY #1)
VIRTUAL OFFICE HOURS: by email
Visual rhetoric is defined as anything that primarily uses images (still or moving) to convey a message or communicate.
These images can work alone, or they can work with oral and/or written text. The following are examples of visual
rhetoric: paintings, photos, still ads, and commercials.
WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO: For your first essay, please choose ONE of the following images LISTED
BELOW and analyze it — in other words, tell me the message or meaning of the image and the most
important/effective strategies used to achieve that message (music, color, camera angle, etc.). In
addition, your essay should include a cultural analysis on race, sexuality, or gender (what does the
image directly or indirectly say about race, sexuality, or gender?).
You must include a reference to Stuart Hall’s “Representation” in your paper. How you incorporate
Hall is up to you—it can be a single quote or a paraphrase—but it should be used as a secondary source,
supplementing your analysis but not dominating the paper.
PURPOSE: I will be assessing your ability to 1) make accurate observations and compelling conclusions/inferences; 2)
assess the meaning of an image; 3) critically analyze an image through a cultural lens; 4) incorporate a secondary source;
and 5) relate your interpretation in an organized manner with minimal grammatical errors. As you analyze your image,
you might ask
What is the primary purpose of the image?
How is the image constructed? (techniques & strategies)
Does the image make assumptions about its audience to communicate its message?
Does the image use gender/race/sexuality, directly or indirectly, to achieve its purpose? In what way?
Does the image challenge and/or confirm roles based on gender, sexuality, or race?
Does the image promote, contradict, and/or redefine a cultural value? How so? What strategies are used?
Is the image successful in some ways but unsuccessful in other ways?
RATIONALE: This assignment will give you practice in analysis, creating a thesis, college-level writing with a focus, revising
drafts, grammar & punctuation, and elements of a standard essay (introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion).
PLEASE CHOOSE ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TO ANALYZE FOR ESSAY #1:
1. CARLS, JR/KATE UPTON AD
2. DOVE AD
3. CHINESE DETERGENT AD
If you choose to do this one, you might want to look at Teens React to Chinese Detergent Ad:
4. VINTAGE FOLGERS COFFEE AD