Advertisement Analysis Paper: Step 3 (Choose Devices and Write your Thesis Statement)
by Claire Doyle
| 8 Questions
Note from the author:
This Formative guides the students through writing a clear, arguable three-prong thesis.
In this Formative, you will accomplish 3 important tasks:

1. Choose one rhetorical strategy to focus on in your paper
2. Choose three literary devices to focus on in your paper
3. Draft your thesis statement

I have a question first.
Paste a link to your ad here. Open your ad in a separate tab so that you have it handy as you work.

Here's the ad that Mrs. Doyle is using for her paper.
Choose a Rhetorical Strategy

Look at the following padlet to review appeals to ethos, pathos, and logos. You'll see examples of ads that use each appeal.
Choose everything you see in your ad.

My ad....
is trying to make the audience feel a certain way (appeal to pathos)
features a celebrity or someone well known (appeal to ethos)
includes facts about the product (appeal to logos)
is funny (appeal to pathos)
compares the product to another product (appeal to logos)
explains why I should buy the product (appeal to logos)
plays with a common situation or stereotype (appeal to ethos)
suggests the kind of person who might buy this product (appeal to ethos)
uses music to set the mood (appeal to pathos)
explains the features or benefits of the product (appeal to logos)
suggests that the product will help me succeed or live a better life (appeal to pathos and ethos)
suggests that using the product will make the world a better place (appeal to pathos and ethos)
Which strategy do you see most clearly in your ad? This will be the strategy you focus on analyzing in your paper.

Based on my earlier answers, my paper will focus on:
appeal to logos (logic, reason, facts)
appeal to ethos (shared values, authority figures, and celebrities)
appeal to pathos (emotion)
I am not sure. (Don't get stuck. Ask for help!)
Choose 3 Literary Devices

Your paper will analyze how three literary devices work together to create your ad's rhetorical strategy. If you need to quickly review some definitions, check out the list below. (Yes, this is the list we have been compiling in class.)
Choose everything that is true for your ad.
As I watch my ad, I can imagine how things feel, smell, look, sound, or taste (imagery).
My ad makes references to movies, books, music, history, or something else (allusion).
My ad is surprising because it sets up a situation and then does something unexpected (situational irony).
As I watch my ad, I know something the characters don't (dramatic irony).
In my ad, someone is sarcastic (verbal irony).
My ad uses music in a really noticeable way (tone and mood).
My ad plays with lighting and color (tone and mood).
When I close my eyes, I can clearly picture a scene from my ad (imagery).
In my ad, an object or an animal talks (personification).
As I watch my ad, I notice that an object reappears again and again (possibly symbolism).
My ad suggests that an object or product connects to big ideas like love, independence, or happiness (symbolism).
Based on your answers in #5, choose the three literary devices you want to write about in your paper. You will write about one literary device in each body paragraph.

Ask for help if you need it.

I will write about...
imagery (this is a good choice for most ads)
tone and mood (another good choice for most ads)
irony (situational, verbal, and dramatic) (present in many ads)
Write your Thesis Statement

Now that you have chosen your rhetorical strategy and your 3 literary devices, you are ready to write the thesis of your paper. This will end up being the last sentence in your introduction.

Remember that a thesis is a one sentence statement of your paper’s argument. It tells the reader where the paper is going and what you (the author) will persuade them (the reader) to do or think.

Write one complete sentence linking your ad’s rhetorical strategy to the three literary devices you chose.

Follow this format to make sure your thesis has all the right parts.

__(Name of ad)___________ succeeds because it uses___ (literary devices 1, 2, and 3)_____to create a strong rhetorical appeal to ____(ethos, pathos, or logos).

Feel free to play with the wording once you have a draft.

Example: The iPhone 7 ad called “The City” reaches its audience by combining memorable imagery, a romantic mood, and subtle situational irony into an effective rhetorical appeal to pathos.
Congratulations, you have a thesis! That’s an essential step towards your paper.
I mastered that.
What's next?
Go on to the next Formative: Ad Paper Step 4.
Add to my formatives list

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