The documentary you choose can appear in any media (e.g., television, Internet, magazine, newspaper, radio, virtual world). In your rhetorical analysis, explore why this documentary is effective or persuasive with its target audience (or perhaps why it fails). For example, you might explore why the movie Super Size Me (2004) by Morgan Spurlock was effective at raising awareness of the effects of fast food on American culture (and waistlines). Or, you could write about why the documentary Earth (2007) was such a powerful story about global climate change.
Your rhetorical analysis should describe and summarize the documentary and offer relevant background information about the director who made it, the company that released it, and the times and places where it appeared. Then use the rhetorical concepts of ethos, pathos, and logos to analyze the documentary and explain why the movie or video was effective or not. (Briefly define and explain ethos, pathos, and logos for readers who may have never heard of them before.) Later in your rhetorical analysis, offer a broader discussion of why documentaries like the one you studied are effective or ineffective. What conclusions can we draw about these kinds of documentaries?
You may select an advertising or political campaign, consisting of a series of ads or messages. Follow the same outline of key points as described above.
Objectives of the assignment
Style: Similar to articles in a magazine like Slate.com, Newsweek, Time, or Forbes. Adjust your writing style to fit the audience for these magazines.
1. Demonstrate that you can write rhetorical analysis, define a subject, use a thesis statement
2. Use a clear introduction, body, and conclusion to organize your writing
3. Interpret the rhetorical elements of a text and explain why a text is persuasive or effective (or not).
Your rhetorical analysis should run 900 to 1000 words, and it should include VISUAL images and have an interesting title.