Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact Assignment

Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact Assignment (150 Points)—Due Monday, Nov 6, 2017

 This assignment asks you to compose a 3-4 page of rhetorical analysis of a media artifact (a music video, digital or video advertisement, movie or animation clip/s etc.) of your choosing. The text for analysis should be carefully chosen, and should not be necessarily related to the inquiry for progression 2. The artifact should be rich in textual, audio, visual, graphic or spatial resources, and good enough for rhetorical analysis.

I encourage you to borrow critical and rhetorical tools and terms from our textbooks, Everyone’s An Author and the documentary, Miss Representation, 2011. These chapters from Everyone’s An Author could be very useful for the analysis: “Writing Analytically/A Roadmap” (pp. 160-169); and “Analyzing Arguments: Those You Read and Those You Write” (pp. 275-304).

Similarly, the following articles have a lot of good discussions on popular culture (the inquiry for this progression), and they can be equally useful for analysis, particularly if your artifact is from popular culture:

Sika A. Dagbovie-Mullins’ “Pigtails, Ponytails, and Getting Tail: The Infantilization and Hyper-Sexualization of African American Females in Popular Culture” (PDf in Moodle).

Keith Hayward’s “Life stage dissolution’ in Anglo-American advertising and popular culture: Kidults, Lil’ Britneys and Middle Youths” (PDf in Moodle)

Sue Jackson and Tiina Vare’s “‘Perfect skin’, ‘pretty skinny’: girls’ embodied identities and post-feminist popular culture” (PDF in Moodle)


While analyzing the chosen media artifact, you can use one or all of those sources and/or other productive insights from rhetoric, such as rhetorical appeals (ethos, logos, pathos), and elements of rhetorical situation: 1. A text (i.e., an actual instance or piece of communication); 2. An author (i.e., someone who uses communication); 3. An audience (i.e., a recipient of communication); 4. Purposes (i.e., the varied reasons both authors and audiences communicate); and 5. A setting (i.e., the time, place, and environment surrounding a moment of communication).

Similarly, the idea of stereotypes, status quo, gender or racial discrimination and/or normalcy can come handy while critically examining your artifact. We will do some sample rhetorical analyses in the class too, so I want you to keep note of critical and rhetorical terms and concepts discussed in the class and use them in your analysis.

Structurally, your analysis should have at least two parts. The first part should describe the text/artifact in specific detail. The description should be vivid and minute to the point of replicating the artifact in words. The second part is the key to the assignment: analysis of the artifact. You might want to pick on symbol, sound, shape, color, images or any other properties of the text and begin the analysis from there. Once you are done with the analysis part, you also should make an overall claim about the artifact.