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need to read the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death Neil Postman ISBN-10: 0140094385”. http://
ektr.uni-eger.hu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11…
Hw important:
use quotes, and then explain the
quite, give examples, then analyzing.
like writing. assay. you need Explain
very clear. There’s have evidence,
examples, finally, you need a
summary. Write in your own words
except for quotes.
Syllabus:
Cite MLA in-text–see OWL link:
Recommended WRITING RESOURCE: Purdue University ONLINE WRITING LAB
(OWL) https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
The first assignment(Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death (AOTD) CH 1)The
first assignment(Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death (AOTD) CH 1)
First assignment question
First assignment Answer:
The first assignment Professor comments and grade:
The second assignment(Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death (AOTD) Questions for AOTD
CHs 2-4.)
The second assignment Answers:
The second assignment Professor comments and grade:
Assignments AOTD Ch 5
Questions:
Answers:
AOTD Ch 5
1. Explain the Info-action ratio and give examples of high vs low ratios.
Neil Postman developed the information action ratio in one of his works. Postman meant to indicate
the link existing between information and the action. A consumer of certain information needs to take
action depending on their interpretation after learning it. A high ratio mainly means that most
information can be used, while a low ratio means that little information is relevant. A high informationaction ratio can define the helplessness that people confront when encountered with certain
information. “The communications media of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, with
telegraphy and photography at their center, called the peek-a-boo world into existence, but we did
not come to live there until television” (58). In this, Postman was explaining the impact of telegraphy
and how these changes can influence changes. The invention of the telegraph is a better example of
the high information action ratio (Postman, 2006). In this, Postman argues that people were receiving
information that they perceived as relevant to them. On the other hand, an entertainment commodity
is an example of a low info action ratio since people selected wanted to hear and listen to it. The
occurrence of a contagious disease in the neighborhood is an example of the high info-action ratio.
In this, the local news will broadcast the occurrence and teach the community what they need to do
to avoid contracting the contagious disease. The above is a high information-action ratio because
everyone in the region will avoid the effects of the contagious disease. Despite their age and financial
stability, everyone will follow all the teachings offered by the health specialists to protect themselves
and prevent further infection. On the other hand, the local news channel may broadcast news that
the President will be having his lunch early today because he wants to enjoy his afternoon with his
friends. The actions of the President do not put any life in danger and concern the listeners, but it
might get a reaction from the audience. Further, it may be applied by the audience as they may learn
how to spend their afternoons.
2. Explain “decontextualized” info–how does it fit into the main points Postman is making in
Ch5?
Decontextualized refers to a situation in which something is part of something that gives it a specific
meaning. Additionally, decontextualized means a logical connection between objects or conclusions
made concerning an effect. In the main points made by Postman, decontextualized means that there
is a notable connection between the tools used in passing information. Additionally, Postman talks
about some of the events that happened in the past and connects them with the events that will
occur in the future about the use of television. ‘This idea–that there is a content called “the news of
the day”–was entirely created by the telegraph (and since amplified by newer media), which made it
possible to move decontextualized information over vast spaces at incredible speed” (8). Finally, he
explains the working of a telegraph and the new media tools that helped pass information over a vast
space and at a notable speed. Postman concludes the chapter by arguing that the cultural image
and the issues influencing irrelevancy in day-to-day life are usually unnoticed by many people.
However, according to Postman, it is worth noting that there is a natural flow of data about the
information about the practices used in communication.
3. Explain command center. Is TV still our culture’s command center?
A command center is one of the most influential concepts that help understand facilities that use
audio-visual setups of various sizes and require unified control over the various audio-visual setups.
Postman argues that as another generation of people who don’t understand the meaning and use of
television is born, it leads to the indelibility of the dominance of television culture. he further
addresses the technology that has not gotten to the advanced stages, specifically the computer.
Postman states, ” We are told that we cannot run our businesses, or compile our shopping lists, or
keep our checkbooks tidy unless we own a computer. Perhaps some of this is true. But the most
important fact about computers and what they mean to our lives is that we learn about all of this
from television. Television has achieved the status of “meta-medium”–an instrument” (58). Here,
Postman did not know what actions would be taken when the community did not understand the
best approaches to be taken when the unpredicted change occurs. According to Postman, many
businesses were afraid that their operations were limited if they failed to implement a computer. He
further believes that television will remain dominant since it is one of the ways people get
information. The information further makes us understand that computers will get more important,
but television will still be ranked as the most influential source of information.
4. What is the peek-a-boo factor? Give an example of Peek-a-boo from Postman, AS WELL as
an example how the peek-a-boo factor affects your world.
A peek-a-boo factor is an event in the world where one event is experienced now, and another event
pops into the view and then vanishes. A peek-a-boo factor affects the modern-day world, makes it
without much coherence, and makes it hard for the community to do anything we want. As a result,
many people in modern-day society dwell on the stories that seem irrelevant in our daily lives.
Postman gives an example of the peek-a-boo by explaining how the implementation of the telegraph
brought about additional changes to the American culture. “The telegraph made a three-pronged
attack on typography’s definition of discourse, introducing on a large-scale irrelevance, impotence,
and incoherence.” Here, the author mentions that the change that the community appreciated when
telegraphy was introduced made them focus on things that later affected the impotence and
relevancy of the shared information. Additionally, it made the non-contextualized information
acceptable by a large number in society. Further, telegraphy made information sharing relatively easy
since it arranged the information into an easily digestible and pre-packaged resource for everyone.
The information given by Postman is directly linked with the impact of the internet that the
community experiences. In this, the community has privy and overall control over the incessant
information flow. In the current world, the peek-a-boo factor mentioned above affects everything by
creating information available for the community and giving a new meaning to the offered
information. The internet has enabled people to focus on what they want to hear. Further, the factor
has contributed to the attitude toward context-free news everywhere since people want to focus on
the news they believe will please them.
“It is a world without much coherence or sense; a world that does not ask us, indeed, does not
permit us to do anything; a world that is, as the child’s game of peek-a-boo, entirely self-contained”
(57). Here, Postman associates the unpredictable change with a child’s games that we can not
understand the effects. Television and the internet have embraced a unique way of sharing
information and encouraging the community to enjoy the news. The other impact of the peek-a-boo
is that the language used in newscasts rooms has embraced the ways that make them more
discontinuous and decontextualized. Additionally, and as an example, the internet has taken over the
sharing of information and sharing critical data to people from all over the globe. Although television
is devoted to teaching the community the information they need to gain, it supplies entertainment.
Television and the internet have embraced a unique way of sharing information and encouraging the
community to enjoy the news. The other impact of the peek-a-boo is that the language used in
newscasts rooms has embraced the ways that make them more discontinuous and
decontextualized. The primary technologies with the highest effect are the graphical user interface,
World Wide Web, the internet, and workflow software solutions / Globalization has brought diverse
benefits like the ability to find labor globally, expanded markets, and 24-hour economies.
In conclusion, television has enabled the community to tolerate the visual entertainment materials
and understand all the public and private affairs. However, the detriment of rational disclosure of
public affairs can affect the different communities differently depending on the current situation.
Therefore, this book by Neil Postman teaches the audience about the possible dangers presented by
the situation caused by this state. Furthermore, since these challenges are more complex, the author
suggests some of the approaches follow when withstanding the community’s challenges.
Work Cited
Postman, Neil. Amusing ourselves to death: Public discourse in the age of show business. Penguin
Books, 2006.
The AOTD Ch 5 assignment Professor comments and grade:
use MLA in-text citation (see OWL link in Syllabus for help)
Syllabus:
Professor comments:
Amusing Ourselves to Death Neil Postman ISBN-10: 0140094385 AOTD-Part 1 DISCUSSION
AOTD Pt1 Discussion 3

Question: ROUND ONE:
need to read the book “Amusing Ourselves to Death Neil Postman ISBN-10: 0140094385″. http://
ektr.uni-eger.hu/wp-content/uploads/2015/11…
ROUND ONE:
Two parts [300 words total, quotes not included]:
Articulate TWO differences between typographic versus televisual society/culture (as articulated by
Postman), by comparing quotes from Ch3 to CH5 PLUS a second set of quotes from Ch4 and Ch5.
[Cite MLA in-text–see OWL link in Syllabus]
THEN: Tell your group WHY you think TV showbiz took over typography as the dominant medium?
For the Second part of this Discussion, let’s return, as a class, to the question: Is TV still our culture’s
command center? Why or why not? Be sure to include a Postman quote to contextualize this
concept, and explain your answer adequately.[150 words, quotes not included]
Cite MLA in-text–see OWL link:
Recommended WRITING RESOURCE: Purdue University ONLINE WRITING LAB (OWL) https://
owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/
Answer AOTD-Part 1 DISCUSSION
– AOTD Pt1 Discussion 3
AOTD-Part 1 DISCUSSION – AOTD Pt1 Discussion 3
Question 1 Part 1
Quotes: 54
Reply: 161
Total: 215
Articulate TWO differences between typographic versus televisual society/culture (as articulated by
Postman), by comparing quotes from Ch3 to CH5 PLUS a second set of quotes from Ch4 and Ch5.
[Cite MLA in-text–see OWL link in Syllabus]
Postman relates the relationships between typographic and televisual attributes witnessed based on
the developments made historically in today’s community. The first difference is witnessed in the
perceptions of society through feelings. Postman claims that creating a platform for enhancing
understanding rather than feelings encourages knowledge sharing. Through the speech, Postman, in
the statement …”All national institutions of churches,” “whether Jewish, Christian or Turkish, appear
to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize
power …” emphasizes the need for using understanding rather than evoking enthusiasm which aligns
with the typographic society (Postman, 49). The second difference is in the adoption trends.
Postman says that “…towards the eighteenth century, the movement of ideas via printed word was
relatively rapid, and something approximating a national conversation emerged, analytic
management of knowledge” (38). This statement implies that while the traditional community
adopted new trends like television, literature was widely recognized across various communities.
Postman shows that literature has formed a foundation for the American typographic community.
These differences in perceptions are witnessed across the communities. It then follows that the
typographic society is the most dominant in the community because it is rooted in its culture.
Secondly, it offers more appeal to generate and present ideas depending on the underlying issues.
Question 1 Part 2
Reply: 150
Total: 150
THEN: Tell your group WHY you think TV showbiz took over typography as the dominant medium?
On the other hand, the modern community has embraced television and the associated
developments while foregoing typographic solutions. Television showbiz has taken over the
community and its perceptions about various aspects like communication, collaboration and
entertainment. The probable reason for this trend is the change in preferences by the community.
People today consider the TV as the ultimate information source. While computers were initially
perceived as support systems, many people use them to perform almost everything ranging from
daily chores to entertainment. It is, therefore, worth mentioning that the continued growth and
adoption of television at the societal levels influences the decisions made concerning the learning,
reasoning and understanding processes. Therefore, the rise of the television era has been supported
by the changing trends in the community concerning communication and learning. The TV era is
aligned with the preferences defining the modern community based on enhanced communication
and information collection.
Question 2
Quotes: 3
Reply: 147
Total: 150
For the Second part of this Discussion, let’s return, as a class, to the question: Is TV still our culture’s
command center? Why or why not? Be sure to include a Postman quote to contextualize this
concept, and explain your answer adequately.[150 words, quotes not included]
Television is an essential tool in modern business and social settings. The transition across various
technologies has enabled the community to adopt diverse aspects that have improved the capacity
to communicate and interact with each other. Postman argues that television remains the culture’s
and community’s command center due to the control and influence that it has brought to the various
areas. While technologies like the telegraph offered a framework for enhanced communication, the
television has enjoyed the “meta-medium –an instrument” (58) status where the community has been
built around a dependence on the computer. While the initial perceptions showed that the computer
was a business or improvement tool, the television has revolutionized people’s relationships showing
that it offers more than the ordinary processing capacities. Television is a dominant development in
the modern community because it is the primary information source. Most operations today are
largely influenced by the computer.
Works Cited
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Penguin
Books, 2006.
AOTD-Part 1 DISCUSSION
– AOTD Pt1 Discussion 3 Question: ROUND ONE:
ROUND TWO: DUE Oct 5
1. React to TWO classmates’ posts (150 response for each) on the topics addressed in #1 of the first
round, by commenting on AND connecting to NEW text evidence from Postman.
[quotes DO NOT count towards Wordcount] NOTE: Quotes already used in Study
Questions Chs 3-5 WILL NOT RECEIVE CREDIT—you must get into something new.
Agree or disagree on whether TV is still our culture’s command center by introducing A NEW IDEA to
this Discussion topic (NO CREDIT for simply rearticulating what you have already presented in your
original post) 200 words.
Just answer ROUND TWO
First one classmates’ posts
Second classmates’ posts
My answer:
AOTD-Part 1 DISCUSSION – AOTD Pt1 Discussion 3
ROUND TWO:
Quote: 32 words
Discussion: 201 words
Total: 233 words
2. Agree or disagree on whether TV is still our culture’s command center by introducing A NEW IDEA
to this Discussion topic (NO CREDIT for simply rearticulating what you have already presented in
your original post) 200 words.
I do not agree with the claim that TV is still our culture’s command center. Technological
advancement and the introduction of new avenues of accessing, sharing, and exchanging
information are changing the influence of televisions on the public. In chapter eleven, Postman hints
that culture play’s central role in paradigm shifts, “There are two ways by which the spirit of a culture
may be shriveled. In the first—the Orwellian—culture becomes a prison. In the second—the
Huxleyan—culture becomes a burlesque” (Postman, 155). Therefore, in an era where millennials’
lifestyles, experiences, and reality are considered information, television is overrun by the internet
and social media. Mediapreneur and news agencies struggle to get the public’s attention; however,
most individuals spend a little time at home where television is present. On the contrary, they are
always with their phones, iPads, iPods, and laptops, among many other gadgets, which can be
accessed at any time of day or night.
As a result, easy access and availability of all-around content (educative, entertaining, analytical. etc.)
lead to a global migration to the internet and social media. From entertainment to commercial
purposes, the internet seems to be the only avenue that does not discriminate regardless of age,
gender, status, and education level. Therefore, I will argue that the internet is king in contemporary
and modern society and is edging out typographic and televisual mediums with unparalleled celerity.
replay first student’s (625 words)
Hi Eduardo Galib,
Quotes: 35 words
Reply: 157 words
Total: 192 words
I agree with you that one of the major differences between typographic and televisual societies is the
‘seriousness’ and the ‘sense’ provided in their content. In chapter three, the last paragraph of page
thirty-three, Postman states, “It is to be understood that the Bible was the central reading matter in
all households, for these people were Protestants who shared Luther’s belief that printing was
“God’s highest and extremist act of grace, whereby the business of the Gospel is driven
forward” (Postman, 32). Therefore, since typography was linked to important texts and publications,
it was viewed with seriousness and regarded to be sensible. However, the same cannot be inferred
from televisual societies.
I agree with you with the second argument that states that the difference between typography and
televisual societies is context. In the third paragraph of page sixty-five, Postman argues that “The
telegraph made a three-pronged attack on typography’s definition of discourse, introducing on a
large-scale irrelevance, impotence, and incoherence” (Postman, 65). He does this to show that
televisual societies such as the telegraph introduced the concept of ‘context,’ which was relatively
new. As a result, the typographic information was partly obliterated.
Works Cited
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Penguin
Books, 2006.
replay second student’s (377 words)
Hi Colbin Trew,
Quotes: 55
Reply: 153
Total: 188 words
I agree with you that one of the main differences between typographic and television society/culture
is the extent to which candor and honesty are inculcated. In the third chapter, paragraph one of page
thirty-seven, Postman provides a contextual example of how Dunkers were under severe monitoring
for the typographic information that they printed, “The Dunkers came close here to formulating a
commandment about religious discourse: Thou shalt not write down thy principles; still less print
them, lest thou shall be entrapped by them for all time” (Postman, 31). From the quote, it can be
deduced that writing typographic information presented in writing had to be meticulously analyzed
before being released to the public due to the strict disciplinary measures that were put in place.
Therefore, comparing typography and television as mediums for communication and information, it is
clear that typography had stringent measures while television was, in large, free from regulations. I
also agree that typography and television’s output are distinctively different and ambivalent based on
the input of the information relayed. Postman records this difference in chapter five, page sixty-eight
of his book, by stating; “Of course, in any communication environment, input (what one is informed
about) always exceeds output (the possibilities of action based on information)” (68).
Works Cited
Postman, Neil. Amusing Ourselves to Death: Public Discourse in the Age of Show Business. Penguin
Books, 2006.
professor’s Comments on AOTD Part 1 Discussion
Generally speaking, our classwide discussion fo AOTD Pt1 was insightful. Many excellent analyses of
the typography/televisual nexus as dissected by Postman, as well as great connections to our world
today and meditations on not just what the commend center is, but also how it might be delineated
in our Digital Era. Decontextualized, fragmented, Peek-a-Booey information and communication, as
many of you noted, holds sway contemporaneously (if not, even, to a greater degree than when
Postman was writing/researching). Be sure you are familiar with the aforementioned concepts, as
well as the way in which Postman uses photography to elucidate ‘decontextualization’. If we see a
photo of someone crying, that medium surely conveys to us deep emotion… but have they lost a
loved one, or won the lottery? We need more Context–the visual medium can capture powerful
imagery, but words are needed to explain. It is additionally interesting to consider, in the context of
the overall brevity (and fragmentation) of written messaging in our Digital Age, what kind of
typographic contextualization is actually effective? It seems fair to say that those seven (at least)
characteristics of typographical communication that Post man analyzed (and lauded), “the powers of
expository prose” as I like to call them, are not necessarily always in effect, just because written/
texted words are being implemented.
NOTE: It is expected that you look up and attempt to retain any/all unfamiliar/new words presented
in the instructions/analyses of this class–these are my gifts to you: scholarly, effective words that
you can use going forward in your education and life–I like to think of them as ammunition for your
intellect! A Vocab Journal is an excellent strategy (required in my ENG1 classes)–just write down the
new words, then, once a week or so, return to review AND add the definitions; THEN, when you
return for the third time, use the word in a sentence of your own creation, preferably without having
to review the definition… and, presto! that word is now yours. Cognitive research has shown that
multiple exposures and interaction with new info of any kind (including WORDZ) is the best way to
retain said info.
Next, in Part 2, we, with Postman as our guide, will turn more explicitly to an examination of “The
Age of Show Business” (Ch6 title), which, despite the fact that it seems the class reached as a
consensus that the internet represents a new Command Center for our culture and times, begs the
question as to whether we have a new CULTURAL (as opposed to technological/media) command
center…(think about the difference btw tech and cultural Command Center, what does that mean?)
Have we moved on from Showbiz domination, as well? Are we still in the Entertainment Age? …And
what might that mean, beyond pure, ubiquitous Entertainment, for the other sectors of society that
Postman was so worried TV had compromised (politics, education, etc.)?
Stay tuned (hah)… stay reading.
Most folks have now dialed in the expository ad formal requirements for writing submissions in this
class (WCT, incl. questions, etc etc), however, as stated, deductions for NOT efficiently fulfilling
these requirements will continue to be more severe–REMEMBER to review ALL the previous
comments on your work, so you know what is expected.
Before we move on with AOTD, we will take another detour (a la the Linguistic Anthro activity) into
Critical Thinking Skill building and work with Fallacious Reasoning… then return to complete the
book. However, if you have the time and inclination, feel free to begin reading onwards, as the
assignment to finish reading the book will be the most intensive reading of the semester (ie. it will
have FAST). Finally, if you are digging AOTD, I would recommend Postman’s last book, before he
died, call TECHNOPOLY, written IN the Digital Age, when he was able to actually observe computers
at work all throughout society, as opposed to 1985 (AOTD).
For AOTD-Part 1 DISCUSSION
– AOTD Pt1 Discussion 3
Question:
Fallacies
This activity represents our next engagement with formal Critical Thinking strategies and techniques.
Fallacious reasoning or the use of fallacies is when the logic of argument breaks down. We often get
the feeling that ‘something is wrong’ when we are faced with such faulty logic. However, it takes
critical focus and study of the various kinds of Fallacy to be able to effectively identify and articulate
HOW the reasoning at hand is fallacious. The advantage of such skill and knowledge becomes
particularly evident in counter-argument, as well as effective presentation of your own point of view/
thesis statements. Public discourse in our society today, both online and on the ‘airwaves’, as well as
in our everyday lives, is riddled with fallacious argumentation. Our attention to Fallacious Reasoning,
here in ENG5, is meant to cultivate logical critical thinking that is relevant outside the classroom in
myriad settings.
FALLACIES or Fallacious Reasoning
For each fallacy listed, there is a definition or explanation, an example, and a tip on how to avoid
committing the fallacy in your own arguments. Read these very carefully, i.e. STUDY them and the
examples provided. Subsequently, your HW assignment (at the bottom of this post) will be to
examine Fallacies 1-21 and identify and explain the fallacy you think is at work. Remember fallacies
are the dysfunction of logic in an argument, make sure you identify the fallacy that is associated with
the statements illogic and explain why it is flawed. At the beginning of each answer, state the Fallacy
you have chosen in BOLDS, then explain your choice with a few sentences. [Incorrectly numbered
questions/un-bolded answers will receive point deductions]
[Descriptions from UNC Chapel Hill Writing Center]
Hasty generalization
Definition: Making assumptions about a whole group or range of cases based on a sample that is
inadequate (usually because it is atypical or too small). Stereotypes about people (“librarians are shy
and smart,” “wealthy people are snobs,” etc.) are a common example of the principle underlying
hasty generalization.
Example: “My roommate said her philosophy class was hard, and the one I’m in is hard, too. All
philosophy classes must be hard!” Two people’s experiences are, in this case, not enough on which
to base a conclusion.
Tip: Ask yourself what kind of “sample” you’re using: Are you relying on the opinions or experiences
of just a few people, or your own experience in just a few situations? If so, consider whether you
need more evidence, or perhaps a less sweeping conclusion. (Notice that in the example, the more
modest conclusion “Some philosophy classes are hard for some students” would not be a hasty
generalization.)
Post hoc (also called false cause)
This fallacy gets its name from the Latin phrase “post hoc, ergo propter hoc,” which translates as
“after this, therefore because of this.”
Definition: Assuming that because B comes after A, A caused B. Of course, sometimes one event
really does cause another one that comes later—for example, if I register for a class, and my name
later appears on the roll, it’s true that the first event caused the one that came later. But sometimes
two events that seem related in time aren’t really related as cause and event. That is, correlation isn’t
the same thing as causation.
Examples: “President Jones raised taxes, and then the rate of violent crime went up. Jones is
responsible for the rise in crime.” The increase in taxes might or might not be one factor in the rising
crime rates, but the argument hasn’t shown us that one caused the other.
Tip: To avoid the post hoc fallacy, the arguer would need to give us some explanation of the process
by which the tax increase is supposed to have produced higher crime rates. And that’s what you
should do to avoid committing this fallacy: If you say that A causes B, you should have something
more to say about how A caused B than just that A came first and B came later.
Ad hominem
Definitions: the ad hominem (“against the person”) is a focus our attention on people rather than on
arguments or evidence. The conclusion is usually “You shouldn’t believe So-and-So’s argument.”
The reason for not believing So-and-So is that So-and-So is either a bad person (ad hominem). In an
ad hominem argument, the arguer attacks his or her opponent instead of the opponent’s argument.
Examples: “Andrea Dworkin has written several books arguing that pornography harms women. But
Dworkin is just ugly and bitter, so why should we listen to her?” Dworkin’s appearance and
character, which the arguer has characterized so ungenerously, have nothing to do with the strength
of her argument, so using them as evidence is fallacious.
Tip: Be sure to stay focused on your opponents’ reasoning, rather than on their personal character.
(The exception to this is, of course, if you are making an argument about someone’s character—if
your conclusion is “President Jones is an untrustworthy person,” premises about her untrustworthy
acts are relevant, not fallacious.)
False Dilemma
Definition: In false dichotomy, the arguer sets up the situation so it looks like there are only two
choices. The arguer then eliminates one of the choices, so it seems that we are left with only one
option: the one the arguer wanted us to pick in the first place. But often there are really many
different options, not just two—and if we thought about them all, we might not be so quick to pick
the one the arguer recommends.
Example: “Caldwell Hall is in bad shape. Either we tear it down and put up a new building, or we
continue to risk students’ safety. Obviously we shouldn’t risk anyone’s safety, so we must tear the
building down.” The argument neglects to mention the possibility that we might repair the building or
find some way to protect students from the risks in question—for example, if only a few rooms are in
bad shape, perhaps we shouldn’t hold classes in those rooms.
Tip: Examine your own arguments: if you’re saying that we have to choose between just two options,
is that really so? Or are there other alternatives you haven’t mentioned? If there are other
alternatives, don’t just ignore them—explain why they, too, should be ruled out. Although there’s no
formal name for it, assuming that there are only three options, four options, etc. when really there are
more is similar to false dichotomy and should also be avoided.
Slippery slope
Definition: The arguer claims that a sort of chain reaction, usually ending in some dire consequence,
will take place, but there’s really not enough evidence for that assumption. The arguer asserts that if
we take even one step onto the “slippery slope,” we will end up sliding all the way to the bottom; he
or she assumes we can’t stop partway down the hill.
Example: “Animal experimentation reduces our respect for life. If we don’t respect life, we are likely
to be more and more tolerant of violent acts like war and murder. Soon our society will become a
battlefield in which everyone constantly fears for their lives. It will be the end of civilization. To
prevent this terrible consequence, we should make animal experimentation illegal right now.” Since
animal experimentation has been legal for some time and civilization has not yet ended, it seems
particularly clear that this chain of events won’t necessarily take place. Even if we believe that
experimenting on animals reduces respect for life, and loss of respect for life makes us more tolerant
of violence, that may be the spot on the hillside at which things stop—we may not slide all the way
down to the end of civilization. And so we have not yet been given sufficient reason to accept the
arguer’s conclusion that we must make animal experimentation illegal right now.
Like post hoc, slippery slope can be a tricky fallacy to identify, since sometimes a chain of events
really can be predicted to follow from a certain action. Here’s an example that doesn’t seem
fallacious: “If I fail English 101, I won’t be able to graduate. If I don’t graduate, I probably won’t be
able to get a good job, and I may very well end up doing temp work or flipping burgers for the next
year.”
Tip: Check your argument for chains of consequences, where you say “if A, then B, and if B, then C,”
and so forth. Make sure these chains are reasonable.
False Analogy
Definition: Many arguments rely on an analogy between two or more objects, ideas, or situations. If
the two things that are being compared aren’t really alike in the relevant respects, the analogy is a
weak one, and the argument that relies on it commits the fallacy of weak analogy.
Example: “Guns are like hammers—they’re both tools with metal parts that could be used to kill
someone. And yet it would be ridiculous to restrict the purchase of hammers—so restrictions on
purchasing guns are equally ridiculous.” While guns and hammers do share certain features, these
features (having metal parts, being tools, and being potentially useful for violence) are not the ones at
stake in deciding whether to restrict guns. Rather, we restrict guns because they can easily be used
to kill large numbers of people at a distance. This is a feature hammers do not share—it would be
hard to kill a crowd with a hammer. Thus, the analogy is weak, and so is the argument based on it.
Tip: Identify what properties are important to the claim you’re making, and see whether the two
things you’re comparing both share those properties.
Appeal to authority
Definition: Often we add strength to our arguments by referring to respected sources or authorities
and explaining their positions on the issues we’re discussing. If, however, we try to get readers to
agree with us simply by impressing them with a famous name or by appealing to a supposed
authority who really isn’t much of an expert, we commit the fallacy of appeal to authority.
Example: “We should abolish the death penalty. Many respected people, such as actor Guy
Handsome, have publicly stated their opposition to it.” While Guy Handsome may be an authority on
matters having to do with acting, there’s no particular reason why anyone should be moved by his
political opinions—he is probably no more of an authority on the death penalty than the person
writing the paper.
Tip: There are two easy ways to avoid committing appeal to authority: First, make sure that the
authorities you cite are experts on the subject you’re discussing. Second, rather than just saying “Dr.
Authority believes X, so we should believe it, too,” try to explain the reasoning or evidence that the
authority used to arrive at his or her opinion. That way, your readers have more to go on than a
person’s reputation. It also helps to choose authorities who are perceived as fairly neutral or
reasonable, rather than people who will be perceived as biased.
Straw man
Definition: One way of making our own arguments stronger is to anticipate and respond in advance
to the arguments that an opponent might make. In the straw man fallacy, the arguer sets up a weak
version of the opponent’s position and tries to score points by knocking it down. But just as being
able to knock down a straw man (like a scarecrow) isn’t very impressive, defeating a watered-down
version of your opponent’s argument isn’t very impressive either.
Example: “Feminists want to ban all pornography and punish everyone who looks at it! But such
harsh measures are surely inappropriate, so the feminists are wrong: porn and its fans should be left
in peace.” The feminist argument is made weak by being overstated. In fact, most feminists do not
propose an outright “ban” on porn or any punishment for those who merely view it or approve of it;
often, they propose some restrictions on particular things like child porn, or propose to allow people
who are hurt by porn to sue publishers and producers—not viewers—for damages. So the arguer
hasn’t really scored any points; he or she has just committed a fallacy.
Tip: Be charitable to your opponents. State their arguments as strongly, accurately, and
sympathetically as possible. If you can knock down even the best version of an opponent’s
argument, then you’ve really accomplished something.
Red herring
Definition: Partway through an argument, the arguer goes off on a tangent, raising a side issue that
distracts the audience from what’s really at stake. Often, the arguer never returns to the original
issue.
Example: “Grading this exam on a curve would be the most fair thing to do. After all, classes go
more smoothly when the students and the professor are getting along well.” Let’s try our premiseconclusion outlining to see what’s wrong with this argument:
Premise: Classes go more smoothly when the students and the professor are getting along well.
Conclusion: Grading this exam on a curve would be the most fair thing to do.
When we lay it out this way, it’s pretty obvious that the arguer went off on a tangent—the fact that
something helps people get along doesn’t necessarily make it more fair; fairness and justice
sometimes require us to do things that cause conflict. But the audience may feel like the issue of
teachers and students agreeing is important and be distracted from the fact that the arguer has not
given any evidence as to why a curve would be fair.
Tip: Try laying your premises and conclusion out in an outline-like form. How many issues do you see
being raised in your argument? Can you explain how each premise supports the conclusion?
Begging the question
Definition: A complicated fallacy; it comes in several forms and can be harder to detect than many of
the other fallacies we’ve discussed. Basically, an argument that begs the question asks the reader to
simply accept the conclusion without providing real evidence; the argument either relies on a
premise that says the same thing as the conclusion (which you might hear referred to as “being
circular” or “circular reasoning”), or simply ignores an important (but questionable) assumption that
the argument rests on. Sometimes people use the phrase “beg the question” as a sort of general
criticism of arguments, to mean that an arguer hasn’t given very good reasons for a conclusion, but
that’s not the meaning we’re going to discuss here.
Examples: “Active euthanasia is morally acceptable. It is a decent, ethical thing to help another
human being escape suffering through death.” Let’s lay this out in premise-conclusion form:
Premise: It is a decent, ethical thing to help another human being escape suffering through death.
Conclusion: Active euthanasia is morally acceptable.
If we “translate” the premise, we’ll see that the arguer has really just said the same thing twice:
“decent, ethical” means pretty much the same thing as “morally acceptable,” and “help another
human being escape suffering through death” means something pretty similar to “active euthanasia.”
So the premise basically says, “active euthanasia is morally acceptable,” just like the conclusion
does. The arguer hasn’t yet given us any real reasons why euthanasia is acceptable; instead, she has
left us asking “well, really, why do you think active euthanasia is acceptable?” Her argument “begs”
(that is, evades) the real question.
Tip: One way to try to avoid begging the question is to write out your premises and conclusion in a
short, outline-like form. See if you notice any gaps, any steps that are required to move from one
premise to the next or from the premises to the conclusion. Write down the statements that would fill
those gaps. If the statements are controversial and you’ve just glossed over them, you might be
begging the question. Next, check to see whether any of your premises basically says the same
thing as the conclusion (but in different words). If so, you’re probably begging the question. The
moral of the story: you can’t just assume or use as uncontroversial evidence the very thing you’re
trying to prove.
Loaded Question
Definition: Ask a question that contains an assumption or unproven statement that must first be
proven in order for the argument to stand, logically.
Example: Our society needs some urgent legislation against the court systems being too lenient on
criminals. One cannot call for ‘urgent’ action, if the problem (“court systems being too lenient on
criminals”) has not yet been credibly established. This argument tries to evade giving evidence of the
problem and moves right on to advocating for new law. Like Post Hoc the relationship between
Event or Fact A and Event of Fact B has not been adequately proven. These types of
pronouncements are easy to counter if you can identify what has been ‘loaded’ into the statement,
but is actually just an unproven assumption.
Tip: Look closely at your own argumentation and make sure that you have solid proof of every logical
step and that you are not inadvertently (or purposely) basing your argument on something assumed
or unproven.
Double Standard
Definition: Is what it sounds like—applying two different standard to the same thing. These may also
appear as labeling or judging a similar or same act differently, or even basing that judgment on who,
group or person, performs the act.
Example: The Nazis perpetrated genocide in Europe they sought to reclaim sole possession of what
they considered ‘their lands.’ However, the United States westward expansion that dislocated and
wiped out many Native American Tribe was just a new nation pursuing its Manifest Destiny and
occupying newly discovered wilderness.
Tip: Any time there is judgment of two (or more) things in an argument or statement, be very clear
what the parameters/criteria of that judgment/standard are and be sure to set aside any notion of
bias or opinion. Logical judgment needs to be universally applicable within the given argument or
topic and completely committed to subjective analysis.
Appeal to Pity/ Appeal to Fear
Definition: Calls, within the argument, not on logical reasoning, rather, attempts to win sympathy. Of
course, not all arguments involving sympathy/empathy are faulty. Sometimes there is a legitimate call
for action based on sympathy. It is when the logic breaks down, however, that a fallacious appeal
takes hold. Similarly, there are times when fear, or danger, or insecurity are well founded, like: “If you
never go to class, dude, …there’s a good chance you are going to fail!” (Unless it’s an ONLINE class,
of course) …is good advice, and solid in its logic. However, when the logic is absent, like the Appeal
to Pity, fallacy comes into play.
Examples:
Pity: “I really need a good grade in this class, Professor, or I won’t get into my top choice university.”
Fear: “Every home needs a security system, preferably one connected to their mobile phone and the
local police, our they are simply asking to be robbed.”
Tip: Remember to always be aware of using emotion in logical argumentation—it has its place, but
must still be based on solid reasoning, not just distracting away from the point that is being proven
and relying on the audience’s emotional response for support.
Poisoning the Well
Definition: Like the Loaded Question, this fallacy embeds false or unsupported logic in order to make
its argument. In this case, one cannot disagree with the argument, without falling prey to a
presupposition included within the statement. This fallacy basically forces the audience to agree with
the argument or accept another argument or precondition. This is also a strategy of intimidation and
one that precludes the possibility of any further discussion of the topic at hand.
Example: “Any reasonable citizen of this country will agree that businesses in a free market system
should be regulated as little as possible.” In other words, if perhaps you believe that close regulation
of industry is actually crucial to the efficient functioning of a society, you are an unreasonable person.
Works consulted
Hurley, Patrick J. A Concise Introduction to Logic. Thornson Learning, 2000
Lunsford, Andrea and John Ruszkiewicz. Everything’s an Argument. Bedford Books, 1998.
Copi, Irving M. and Carl Cohen. Introduction to Logic. Prentice Hall, 1998.
FALLACY EXERCISES
1. Ever since I started taking those multivitamins, my grades have gotten much
better.
2. We either go out to eat and spend all our money, or we stay at home and cook and
watch our savings grow.
3. The cost of speeding tickets are going up, as well the price of car insurance; soon
public transportation will be mandatory.
4. This streak of freezing weather is caused by the non-stop low temperature.
5. My friend’s son is doing jail time for his third burglary, you just can’t trust the youth
these days.
6. I don’t think that what you are saying with regard to changing the tax laws is very
valid, after all we don’t have kings and queens anymore.
7. Are we going to keep allowing people to abuse the welfare system and its benefits?
8. I don’t think the graduate student’s argument is very compelling, especially given
that she is arguing against what a professional economist has claimed.
9. If you don’t work out every day and get in shape, and get some nicer clothes, …
you’re never going to find romance.
10. How can you possibly send this man back to prison, his mother is seriously ill.
11. The Russian agents that came to our country are guilty of espionage, our
government representatives were merely gathering intelligence.
2. 1How can we trust what Mr. Kerouac has written in his article on strategies for
women’s’ rights, when he is a man and has never spent a second of his life in
situations that females confront every day.
13. The people who want the assault weapons ban want to eradicate the Second
Amendment.
14. If you support the United States, then you will support the decisions of our
President.
15. If we are so worried about addiction, how come video games and social media
don’t receive the same kind of intolerance and criticism as drug abuse? It has been
scientifically proven that both are addictive.
16. If we don’t allow the government to monitor internet usage and communications,
then how will we prevent future terrorist attacks?
17. Global Warming—what a joke! …It’s snowing outside, right now!
18. I knew this guy from Germany who was a total fascist—I’m not surprised at their
militant past.
19. This recession will end or continue, depending on whether the economy bounces
back, or not.
20. First the Professor told us no late work would be accepted, then she added that all
the homework assignments were required to pass the class, as well as fifty pages of
reading per week! …What’s next, is she going to tell us to quit our jobs, just so we can
pass this class?
21. America: Love it or leave it!
Answer:
FALLACY EXERCISES
1. Ever since I started taking those multivitamins, my grades have gotten much better.
Post hoc (false cause) fallacy.
This is a causality fallacy that assumes that if event 2 occurs after event 1, then event
1 caused event 2. However, even though two events may occur within the same
timeline, it is not always guaranteed that one caused the other. For example, in this
case, even though the ingestion of multivitamins may be part of the reason why the
author’s grades have improved, the argument fails to show us how one is the cause of
the other.
2. We either go out to eat and spend all our money, or we stay at home and cook and
watch our savings grow.
False Dilemma Fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer presents their audience with a situation where it seems as if
there are only two choices even though there are more options to be explored. In the
above argument, the arguer only presents two possible situations for the audience to
choose, including going out to eat and wasting all the money or cooking at home and
watching their savings grow. However, the arguer fails to mention that there are other
possibilities, such as going out to eat without necessarily spending all the money or
that cooking at home does not necessarily translate to growth in savings.
3. The cost of speeding tickets are going up, as well the price of car insurance; soon
public transportation will be mandatory.
Red herring fallacy.
In this fallacy, midway through an argument, the arguer often goes off on a tangent by
raising issues unrelated to the main argument hence distracting the audience from the
original idea. In this argument, it is clear that the arguer went off on a tangent to
discuss the possibility of public transportation becoming mandatory instead of
following on the original idea about the increasing costs of speeding tickets and car
insurance. As a result, the audience will be distracted to think about the possibility of
mandatory public transport instead of following up on the consequences of the
increasing costs presented in the original idea.
4. This streak of freezing weather is caused by the non-stop low temperature.
Loaded Question Fallacy.
In this fallacy, the presented argument contains claims, unproven statements, or
assumptions that have not been proven for the argument to stand logically. For
example, in this case, some claims made in the argument contain no solid proof and
are based on the arguer’s presuppositions since the arguer does not provide adequate
proof of the connection between events A and B. In this case, the arguer fails to
explain how the non-stop low temperatures are directly linked to the streak of freezing
weather hence, even though the two may be related, there is no evidence that the
non-stop low temperatures are the only cause for the freezing weather.
5. My friend’s son is doing jail time for his third burglary, you just can’t trust the youth
these days.
Hasty Generalization fallacy.
In this fallacy, an arguer makes an assumption about a whole group based on the
activities or characteristics of an inadequate sample and on the underpinnings of
stereotyping, where the action of an individual is taken to represent the group’s
actions. For example, in this case, the assumption is that the youth are untrustworthy
because a son of the arguer’s friend has been jailed due to several burglary cases.
However, the actions of the jailed burglar, even though a youth, cannot be generalized
to assume that all youths are untrustworthy.
6. I don’t think that what you are saying concerning changing the tax laws is very
valid, after all we don’t have kings and queens anymore.
Red herring fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer goes off-topic partway through the argument by raising
issues that easily distract the audience from the original idea. In this argument, the
arguer went off on a tangent because the non-existence of kings and queens has
nothing to do with the validity of the argument being made regarding the change of tax
laws. Instead, the audiences’ attention may be drawn away from the point of the
validity of the tax law change argument to agree with the arguer that kings and queens
no longer exist.
7. Are we going to keep allowing people to abuse the welfare system and its benefits?
Begging the question fallacy.
In this fallacy, an argument asks the audience to accept a stated conclusion without
providing real evidence to justify the assumptions that form the basis of the argument.
In this case, the argument fails to provide important information on how the people in
question abuse the welfare systems and their benefits. Instead, the arguer expects the
audience to say no even though there is not enough explanation on the crime
committed.
8. I don’t think the graduate student’s argument is very compelling, especially given
that she is arguing against what a professional economist has claimed.
Appeal to authority fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer draws strength for their argument by inferring to the position
taken by respective authorities or respected sources on the issue at hand. For
example, in this argument, the arguer draws their strength from the claims made by a
professional economist and even though the topic of discussion is not mentioned, the
arguer assumes that the graduate student’s opinion is not valid since a professional
economist said otherwise. However, in reality, the professional economist may not be
right on the issue at hand, and the student may be more knowledgeable on the
subject matter.
9. If you don’t work out every day and get in shape, and get some nicer clothes, …
you’re never going to find romance.
Post hoc fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer presents information that suggests that the occurrence of
one event ultimately leads to the occurrence of the other even though there is no proof
linking the two. For example, in the argument above, the arguer claims that one may
never find romance if they do not work out every day, get in shape, and buy nice
clothes. Even though people who do not do these things may not find romance in the
future, there is no direct proof linking working out and buying nice clothes to finding
romance.
10. How can you possibly send this man back to prison, his mother is seriously ill.
Appeal to pity fallacy.
This fallacy seeks to win the audience over through sympathy rather than logical
reasoning as the arguer seeks sympathy by making emotionally instigated claims that
are not based on logic or rationality. For example, in the argument above, the arguer
tries to utilize emotional appeal because of the mother’s serious illness to prevent his
son from going back to jail. This appeal is not based on logical reasoning because
despite the mother’s illness, if the man has been found guilty of a crime, the only
rational thing to do is to take them to jail and there is no evidence showing that not
taking the man back to jail will heal his ailing mum.
11. The Russian agents that came to our country are guilty of espionage, our
government representatives were merely gathering intelligence.
Double standard fallacy.
This fallacy is based on the application of different standards, judgments, or decisions
on similar acts due to the subjectivity of the arguer rather than the objectivity of the
issue at hand. For example, in the argument above, the arguer accuses the Russian
agents of espionage for gathering intelligence in their country while claiming that the
government representatives from their country were merely collecting intelligence in
other nations. This is a double standard fallacy because the arguer should not treat the
two parties indifferent for doing the same thing, intelligence collection in foreign
countries.
12. How can we trust what Mr. Kerouac has written in his article on strategies for
women’s rights when he is a man and has never spent a second of his life in situations
that females confront every day.
Ad hominem fallacy.
This fallacy exists when an arguer focuses their argument on an individual’s personal
characteristics rather than on their claims regarding the issue at hand. For example, in
the argument above, the arguer claims that Mr. Kerouac should not be trusted in
advocating women’s rights because he is a man and has never been a woman in his
life; hence he cannot relate to the issues faced women confront every day. This
reasoning is illogical because the arguer fails to consider Mr. Kerouac’s article, which
may have some important points on the strategies of women’s rights but instead
chooses to attack their gender.
13. The people who want the assault weapons ban want to eradicate the Second
Amendment.
Straw man fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer tries to score some points by watering down and setting up
weaker versions of their opponent’s possible points. For example, in the argument
above, the arguer tries to water down propositions made by some people on the
banning of assault weapons by indicating that they wish to eradicate the second
amendment. Ideally, this is an overstatement of their proposition because banning
assault rifles does not necessarily translate to the holistic eradication of the second
amendment act.
14. If you support the United States, then you will support the decisions of our
President.
Poisoning the well fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer embeds and uses unsupported or false logic to advance their
argument in a manner where the audience cannot contradict the argument presented
without falling to a presupposition or precondition placed in the argument. For
example, in the above argument, the audience is forced to support the president’s
decisions, or they will be regarded as not supporting the United States. This doesn’t
seem right because one may not support the president’s decision but support the
United States and vice versa.
15. If we are so worried about addiction, how come video games and social media
don’t receive the same kind of intolerance and criticism as drug abuse? It has been
scientifically proven that both are addictive.
False analogy fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer compares two or more ideas, situations, or objects that are
not alike in the relevant aspects in question and even though they may have similar
aspects, they cannot be deemed similar in their application and implication; hence
comparing them forms a weak analogy. For example, in the argument above, the
implications of addiction in drug abuse and in social media and video games are not
the same. While addiction in drug abuse may have severe physiological,
psychological, and socioeconomic ramifications, addiction to games and social media
is unlikely to produce similar levels of implications.
16. If we don’t allow the government to monitor internet usage and communications,
then how will we prevent future terrorist attacks?
Appeal to fear fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer turns to using fear as a form of emotional appeal to align the
reasoning of the audience with a particular claim hence forming a clear disconnect
between one claim and the other. For example, in the argument above, the arguer
appeals to fear in reference to futuristic terrorist attacks to get the citizens to allow the
government to monitor their communications and internet usage legally. However,
allowing the government to monitor these sectors does not guarantee that there will
be no terrorist attacks in the future and vice versa.
17. Global Warming—what a joke! …It’s snowing outside, right now!
Loaded question fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer makes statements based on unproven ideologies or
assumptions that need to be proven logically before the argument can stand as
logical. For example, in the above argument, the arguer dismisses the global warming
phenomenon because of the presence of snow outside even though snowing in one
region is not an indication that there is no global warming. Therefore, the arguer would
have to provide evidence showing that the snowing of one region is an indication of
the non-existence of the global warming phenomenon.
18. I knew this guy from Germany who was a total fascist—I’m not surprised at their
militant past.
Hasty generalization fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer assumes that the characteristics exhibited by an individual
are an indication of what the whole group from which they come from represent
(stereotyping). For example, in the argument above, the arguer assumes that the
fascism characteristic exhibited by a German guy he knew can be used to explain
Germany’s past militant rule. It is incorrect to base the actions of a whole nation on
what one has experienced with one person.
19. This recession will end or continue, depending on whether the economy bounces
back, or not.
Begging the question fallacy.
In this fallacy, the arguer provides a premise that offers the same information as the
conclusion in a circular reasoning trajectory, hence providing no real evidence. For
example, in the argument above, the two proclamations (the premise and conclusion)
mean the same thing as they are both alluding to the fact that the economy may
bounce back or not despite using different words. Instead of repeating the same thing,
the arguer should have provided more information on why the economy may bounce
back or not.
20. First the Professor told us no late work would be accepted, then she added that all
the homework assignments were required to pass the class, as well as fifty pages of
reading per week! …What’s next, is she going to tell us to quit our jobs, just so we can
pass this
class?
Slippery
slope
fallacy.
In this
fallacy, the
arguer
alludes to a
dire
consequenc
e that
happens due
to a chain of
reactions
that ultimately leads to the worst consequences, even though there is really not
enough evidence to indicate the same. For example, in the argument provided above,
the arguer
claims that
from the
Professor
putting
restrictions
on the
lateness of
work to a
mandatory
passing of
the class to
reading fifty
pages per
week, the
next course
of action might be them being required to quit their jobs. This seems extreme, and
there is a higher
possibility that
the professor will
not ask them for
such a thing.
21. America:
Love it or leave it!
False dilemma
fallacy.
In this fallacy, the
arguer sets up an
argument in such
a manner that the
audience
perceives that
they only have
two options and,
inadvertently, the audience is made to believe that they can only choose one of the
two options and not any other. For example, in the argument above, the audiences are
made to believe that they can either love America or leave it. However, a thorough
analysis of the argument reveals that the audience may have more than two options
including the fact that they can love America and still leave it, or that they may also not
love America but still be in it for various reasons.
Visual Analysis
Answer:
Visual Analysis
Total: 533 words
Fenty Beauty.
An analysis of the above image reveals how an advertisement can carefully combine various themes
and visual elements to successfully drive a global advertisement and marketing strategy for a
particular product. In the above advertisement image, there are two standout themes, including
beauty and prestige, which have been employed to attract the target audience’s attention (young
adult females). Moreover, this advert has also efficiently employed various visual elements, including
expression, gaze, body language, placement, color, and background, to drive its intended message.
These underlying themes and visual elements play a critical role in driving the advert’s narrative.
In propelling its underlying beauty theme, this advert uses the image of a woman (Rihanna) who has
applied the product (lip-gloss) on her lips to appear more attractive. Through this technique, the
woman is reflected as more beautiful due to her bright lips, encouraging other women to use the
product if they wish to achieve similar results. Furthermore, this image employs the prestige theme
by using the image of a celebrity (Rihanna), hence evoking the feeling that the product belongs to the
high-end market
and guarantees
to offer its
claimed value
proposition,
hence building
confidence in it.
In addition, the
advert employs
various visual
elements,
including
expression,
gaze, body
language,
placement,
color, and background, to drive its intended message. Under the expression visual element,
Rihanna’s relaxed face and focused eyes express
confidence and satisfaction resulting from using the
product. Furthermore, this advert utilizes an averted gaze
where the woman’s eyes in the image are looking away
from the audience. Consequently, this gaze seeks to draw
the audience in while encouraging them to feel like part of
the advert’s narrative. The image utilizes the body
language visual element through facial expression to
communicate its intended message. The lowered
eyebrows and determined eyes give the impression of a
focused person whose confidence levels are high hence
helping the audience trust the advert’s narrative more
easily. Moreover, the advert image utilizes the placement
visual element to communicate its message effectively. In
applying this technique, the advert image specifically
focuses on the subject’s face while ignoring all other
aspects. More light is concentrated on the front part of the subject’s face to draw the audience’s
attention to the specific uses and effects of the product in question. In addition, the advert image
utilizes brown and white colors as its primary colors. The light brown color used symbolizes the
dependability, safety, security, and resilience of the product under review. Furthermore, the white
color in the image’s writings is used to symbolize the simplicity and cleanliness of the product.
Together, these colors seek to evoke a feeling of confidence and reliability in the product being
advertised. Finally, even though the advert’s up-close shot eliminates most of the background, the
image still utilizes the negative space aspect as part of the background on the left side of the image.
This space is essential as it helps divert all attention to the subject of the advert while making it look
more professional and clean. When combined, these visual elements play a critical role in grabbing
the attention of the targeted audience while efficiently selling the advert’s narrative and
communicating its underlying message.
These are the professor comments :
COMMENTS:
1. “including beauty and prestige, ” –beauty YES< but prestige is only apparent if one knows this celebrity. What other theme might be working here, besides just beauty? 2. Definitely need to more explicitly unpack/analyze what this image presents a iconic facial beauty (its much more than lips/lip color) 3. "this gaze seeks to draw the audience in while encouraging them to feel like part of the advert's narrative. " --UC, how does this work? Explain 4. Can you analyze why they would devote fully 50% of this image simply to showing the product in its container--what does that add, is it compelling (or a waste of space) 5. "The light brown color used symbolizes the dependability, safety, security, and resilience of the product under review." --Explain (and what do you mean by "under review"?) --And how does the product color/container color work with her lip color? These are for responses to your comments with my homework #Visual Analysis#. for comment 1, I substituted the prestige theme with the self-confidence theme. for comment 2, the addition of details on comment 4 ensured that I talked more than about the face for comment 3, I have provided an explanation as to how it works in the subsequent sentence after the quoted one for comment 4, I have added a comment of how using the 50% image of the product helps the advert. for comment 5, I have added on what I had written to provide an explanation of the symbolism of the color and restructured the sentence to eliminate the "under review" bit, and I have also explained the importance of the similarity in colors of the product container and the lips. Purchase answer to see full attachment

  
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