Test Your Knowledge of Rhetoric

History & Rhetoric

Get into groups of 5. Each group will be assigned a poster. As a group, figure out:

  • What is argument the image is making? What is it asking us to do, think, believe, or feel?
  • What is the historical context of the image (why was it produced? What was going on?) Draw on your prior knowledge, then use whatever resources you are familiar with to find out more (Credo Reference Database? Your text book???).
  • What sort of appeal does the image make: emotional? logical? Does the image use a spokesperson or a famous figure?
  • Is the image effective? Why or why not?

Each group will present their findings to the class.

What did we just do?

You just conducted a rhetorical analysis (what we'll be doing for Writing Project 1)!!!


  • READ Chapters 2 AND 3 in EAA (Everything's an Argument).
  • Complete a Reading Response in which you respond to the following prompts:
    • Find an advertisement in an online magazine or web site that you think primarily uses pathos to appeal to its readers/viewers. Copy and paste an image from the ad, or the ad itself into your word document. Then, justify how and why you think the ad is making a pathetic appeal. In doing so, be descriptive and identify specific emotions you think the ad is trying to illicit from the reader. Finally, discuss why you think the ad is or isn't effective.
    • Locate a song that you think makes an argument, in other words, a song that tries to get its listeners to think, feel, believe or do something. Choose a song that primarily uses emotional appeals. Copy and paste the lyrics to the song into your Reading Response. Next, choose quotes from the lyrics that you think best illustrate how the song makes pathetic appeals. Discuss how effective you think the song is or isn't. Here's an oldie but goodie to get you thinking about this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1R2F9f2Cl6Y
    • Create a meme, based on the instructions for Response #2 on page 54 of your text book, EAA. You can't use the captions provided in the text (such as, "would you buy a used car from this man?"). Create your own!
  • Please bring a printed copy of this Reading Response to class on Monday. Remember, this is due at the beginning of class and won't be accepted late per the Triad C late work policy.