Essay about Crtical Thinking

725 Words Sep 1st, 2014 3 Pages
Essay #2: Critical Response of an Image
15% of final grade
3-4 pages, double-spaced

Far from being a passive mirror of society, advertising is an effective and pervasive medium of influence and persuasion, and its influence is cumulative, often subtle, and primarily unconscious [….] It is both creator and perpetuator of the dominant attitudes, values, and ideology of the culture, the social norms and myths by which most people govern their behavior. At the very least, advertising helps to create a climate in which certain attitudes and values flourish and others are not reflected at all. (Kilbourne 120-21)

As Jean Kilbourne notes in her article “’In Your Face . . . All Over the Place’: Advertising Is Our Environment,”
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Is it selling the American Dream, a carefree lifestyle, popularity, social status, sex appeal, etc.?

3. To support your argument, tell your audience how the ad is sending these messages. What tactics are the creators of the ad using to send these messages? How do the visual images, the text, the arrangement, etc. help send a particular message?
You may wish to analyze these tactics using the rhetorical appeals ethos, logos, and pathos. Is the artifact appealing to its audience’s emotions (pathos), through a logical argument (logos), and/or by establishing credibility or tearing down the credibility of another product or person (ethos)?

4. Discuss the implications of the messages the ad sends. How might the messages affect the audience’s beliefs or actions? What do such messages tell us about Americans’ attitudes, values, desires, fears? For example, what might be the result of college students encountering an advertisement for a university that makes it look like one big party and fails to mention the academic side of college? What might be the result of an ad that sends the message that women cannot be successful in both their careers and their personal relationships?

Grading Criteria:
A strong essay will… * Contain a brief introductory description of the ad. * Contain a clear, well-supported argument

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