113A–Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact Assignment

Rhetorical Analysis of a Media Artifact Assignment (200 Points)

This assignment asks you to compose a 4-5 page of rhetorical analysis of a media artifact (a music video, video advertisement, movie or animation clip 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, Media Analysis Techniques, Everyone’s An Author and the documentary, Miss Representation, 2011.,“Semiotic Analysis,” and “Discourse Analysis” chapters from Media Analysis Techniques, and  “Writing Analytically/A Roadmap” (pp. 229-251); and “Analyzing and Constructing Arguments” (pp. 411-437) from Everyone’s An Author could be very useful for your own analysis of the chosen artifact.

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 Canvas).

While analyzing the chosen media artifact, you have to use at least 4 shared sources (from the class) 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.

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