Quick Write

Think about how you engage with media in an average day. Write for three minutes listing where you encounter the various visual forms.

1. We live in a Visual Culture

We live in a visual culture. We are saturated in images at nearly every moment of our waking lives. For this reason, it is important to develop critical thinking skills that allow us to read images. I challenge you to engage with images actively instead of passively. Take the images apart in order to understand their messages. Accept, reject, or qualify those claims.

This week, you can find an image you find interesting or provocative in some way to use for your weekly journal response.

2. Visual Media as Texts

Learning to read images, deconstruct, and engage with them will make use better readers of texts, and vice versa.

Visual materials that accompany written arguments serve several purposes. First, they appeal to the reader’s emotions. While images can be logical, they first appeal to the senses of the reader before they are analyzed more logically. In other words, their immediate impact is more on the viewer’s heart than the mind.

Pictures can also serve as visual evidence, establishing proof that something occurred or appeared in a certain way. Pictures can help clarify data with graphs and tables and can also be used to confuse or trick an audience with graphs and tables.

Pictures can add humor or satire to an argument.

Visual images can be read as text, as such we need to think critically about them. Looking closely we can discern not only what they show but also how and why.

4 Ways to Persuade with Emotion (Pathos)

Four Strategies

  1. Concrete Examples
  2. Connotative Diction
  3. Metaphors and Similes
  4. Tone

Appeals to pathos target the link between audience members and their values.

When we act on our values, we experience emotions like happiness, pride, satisfaction, etc. When we do not, we often feel shame, fear, or anger. The same goes for the actions of people around us: we are often pleased when the actions of people around us align with our values and angry when they don’t.

Appeals to Emotion

Images can be used to instill an emotional response in the audience. Even implied images in text can be very emotionally powerful. A description of blood stained clothes draws certain emotions in a reader.

Lawyers know how important visuals can be. They dress their defendants in suits and ties to make them seem more credible.

Types of emotional appeals:

  • appeal to pity
  • appeal to fear
  • appeal to self-interest
  • Sexual
  • bandwagon
  • humor
  • celebrity
  • testimonials
  • identity prejudice
  • lifestyle
  • stereotypes
  • patriotic

Would you persuade, speak of Interest, not Reason. – Benjamin Franklin

Misleading Visuals

http://callingbullshit.org/tools.html

Seeing vs Looking

“Seeing is a physiological process involving light, the eye, and the brain” (144).

“Looking is a social process involving the mind” (144).

Seeing is denotative, literal.

Looking is connotative, figurative.

The example of book gives is of an apple. The difference is the definition of an apple versus what that apple represents or symbolizes in our society.

What do apples signify in our society?

Page 147 in our textbook has a checklist for analyzing images.

Images as Arguments

Images can be used to help us see the argument that the author is intending. They can be used to lower our skepticism, visual proof of something that happened. This is problematic nowadays with the popularity of programs such as Photoshop, where images can be changed or manipulated. Now more than ever, we have to be weary of taking images at face value. We have to critically think about images and their intended effect.

Three basic questions we can ask.

  1. Who produced the image?
  2. Who distributed the image?
  3. Who consumed the image?

Our textbook suggests a rule for writers. If you think that pictures will help you make the point you are arguing, include them with captions explaining their sources and relevance.

I Have a Dream Speech

The now famous speech “I have a Dream” by Dr. Martin Luther King was aided by visuals when it was delivered.

He is at the Washington Monument, speaking to hundreds of thousands, smiling and waving. Behind him is the Lincoln Memorial.

In this Aug. 28, 1963, black-and-white file photo Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, addresses marchers during his “I Have a Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington. The 45th anniversary of the iconic leader’s most memorable speech coincides with the day when another African-American leader, Barack Obama, is scheduled to makes a historic speech of his own, accepting the Democratic Party’s nomination for president of the United States Aug. 28, 2008, in Denver, Colo. (AP Photo/File)

This image shows him speaking with people and some police behind him. The image you choose to use will add meaning to your text. Be careful which images you choose.

What does it say if we use his mug shot from one of the many protests he was arrested at?

Or this one.

Have you ever seen this image of Dr. King?

Or this one?

Time’s Man of the Year 1964

The image your choose can help your audience understand your argument.

intermission

Image Analysis

Take a couple minutes and analyze this image.

Essay 2: Rhetorical Analysis

You will argue for your interpretation of the text.

Rhetorical Analysis

A rhetorical analysis of a text examines a text rhetorically. The meaning of the word text depends on how creative you want to get. A text can be a book, article, consumer product, movie, advertisement, or commercial, to name a few. For this assignment you will pick a text, define, describe, and analyze the rhetorical context and/or argument the text is making. All texts have an author or authors and are created with a purpose. A rhetorical analysis helps us to understand the purpose it was created for and what it is saying or arguing.

Consider the ethos, pathos, and logos of the text. What appeals are being used in the text you are analyzing? Ethos – appeals to character. Pathos – emotional appeals. Logos – appeals to reason and evidence.

What to look at for a Rhetorical Analysis

  • Consider the topic.
  • Consider the audiences of the text.
  • Consider the author.
  • Consider the medium and design.
  • Examine the language.
  • Consider the occasion.

Be specific when referring to your text. Have the text in front of you if you can. Then you can reference specifics and avoid generalizations.

Requirements

  • 1500 to 2000 words in length
  • 3 to 5 credible sources
  • Works Cited
  • Image of text or the advertisement itself as featured image
  • Clear thesis and introduction
  • Use of ethos, pathos, and logos
  • Well-supported claims
  • Specific references and details from the text
  • A conclusion tying together your analysis

Remember, this is a formal assignment, make sure you are using appropriate tone and diction! Talk about the text, not what you think about the text!

“The Danger of a Single Story” by Chimamanda Adichie.

What to look at for a Rhetorical Analysis

  • Consider the topic.
  • Consider the audiences of the text.
  • Consider the author.
  • Consider the medium and design.
  • Examine the language.
  • Consider the occasion.

Be specific when referring to your text. Have the text in front of you if you can. Then you can reference specifics and avoid generalizations.

Checklist for Analyzing Images (Especially Advertisements) on page 145 of our textbook is very thorough and helpful for analyzing visual images.

Pages 181-182 have checklists that are helpful for doing the work of analyzing arguments. Use these as guidelines to begin your analysis.

Page 191-192 has a checklist for writing your analysis of an argument. Very helpful for the early stages of drafting.

Rhetorical Analysis Notes

  • What is the primary purpose of the text? To entertain, inform, persuade, demonstrate knowledge, something else?
  • Consider the topic. What point does it make?
  • Who is the primary audience? How well is it adapted to the audience?
  • Consider the author. What is her aim?
  • Consider the medium and design. What is the genre of the text?
  • Consider the occasion. Why was it created?
  • Media/Design. How does the medium affect the tone and organization?

Rhetorical Appeals

Ethos: Appeals to Ethics, Credibility or Character. Ethics, ethical, trustworthiness or reputation, style/tone. The credibility of the speaker persuades.

Pathos: Appeals to Emotion. Emotional or imaginative impact, stories, values. Uses emotional response to persuade an audience.

Logos: Appeals to logic. Persuade by reason and evidence.

To quote a CNN article on the Danger of a Single Story:

Nigerian author Chimamanda Adichie believes in the power of stories, and warns that hearing only one about a people or nation leads to ignorance. She says the truth is revealed by many tales.

She illustrates this with a story about coming to the United States, as a middle-class daughter of a professor and an administrator, and meeting her college roommate. Adichie says that her roommate’s “default position toward me, as an African, was a kind of patronizing, well-meaning, pity. My roommate had a single story of Africa. A single story of catastrophe.”

Adichie also tells how growing up in Nigeria reading only American and English children’s books made her deaf to her authentic voice. As a child, she wrote about such things as blue-eyed white children eating apples, thinking brown skin and mangos had no place in literature. That changed as she discovered African writers, particularly the Nigerian Chinua Achebe.

This is a great quote that highlights some of the moves we need to do in our article. It summarizes her topic, problem she is addressing, and solution; including examples she uses.

Topic: Many people do not realize that they are getting only one story. A single story is incomplete and she says dangerous.

Problem: Having a single story about an issue or group of people leads to stereotypes and incomplete information.

Solution: To look for multiple stories of whatever issue or topic you are hearing. She recommends we get our news and stories from multiple perspectives.

Reasons and evidence: She gives examples from her personal life to highlight that she has a personal connection.

Background: She gives background information, citing quotes and examples that place her issue in a historical context. She also uses current examples to place the issue in a contemporary context.

Homework

  • Read Chapter 5, Writing an Analysis of an Argument
  • Reading Journal 3