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Composition 2
Visual Analysis
Assignment Objectives
â–ª Write an essay that analyzes visual persuasion in an advertisement, commercial, public service announcement,
political campaign, or other visual designed to persuade its audience to buy or do something.
â–ª Include a Works Cited page in MLA format with at least two sources
â–ª Length: 800+ words, double spaced and in MLA format.
topic ideas
Choose a visual—or related series of visuals—with persuasive strategies such as propaganda, color, attractive design,
and/or emotional, ethical, and/or logical appeals. Some examples you can take or adjust to an appropriate topic:
▪ Advertising for a fast food restaurant chain—how does the brand’s advertising use colors, emotional appeal, and
glittering generalities to entice customers?
▪ Student recruitment webpage on a university website—how effectively does it use the school’s colors, logical
appeal, and bandwagon to encourage students to enroll or transfer there?
▪ Public service announcement (PSA)—how does it use emotion, right vs. wrong ethical appeal, and bright or dark
colors to get a particular message across? For PSA topic possibilities, such as autism awareness or shelter pet
adoption, see the Ad Council’s website: https://www.adcouncil.org/all-campaigns
▪ Political campaign advertising—what kinds of emotional appeal, visual strategies, and propaganda techniques
make a particular candidate seem genuinely concerned for citizens?
▪ Other possibilities—movie posters, running shoe brand advertising, military recruitment campaign, many more.
Topics need to be narrowed down to a manageable number of visuals and persuasive strategies.
Visual image in the paper
Incorporate the visual image into your essay. If you’re analyzing a commercial, a still screen capture will work. If you’re
analyzing a series of advertisements, only one visual image is required, although you may incorporate more than one if
you would like. Apply text wrapping and include a caption in MLA format that briefly describes its content and gives
credit to the source of the image.
Sources—two or more
Include a Works Cited page in MLA format with at least two sources:
▪ The visual that you analyze in your paper—for instance, an image of a movie poster or a university’s website.
â–ª A source about use of visual persuasive techniques, persuasive impact of color, or official website of the brand.
Mention the source within your evaluation as well as on a Works Cited page, either with formal in-text citations or a
phrase such as, According to….
This generic outline is just an example of how you might organize your topic, but it works well for this assignment if you
want to try it.
I. Start with an introduction paragraph that catches readers’ attention and states your claim in a thesis statement.
II. Explanation of the visual’s purpose and goals.
III. Paragraph about one persuasive strategy used in the visual, such as colors. Describe and provide details. What
impact does it have on consumers, voters, or other target audience?
IV. Paragraph about another persuasive strategy, such as a propaganda technique. Explain and provide details.
V. Paragraph about a third persuasive strategy, such as emotional, ethical, or logical appeal. Explain and provide
VI. End your essay with a summarizing conclusion paragraph.
Don’t Plagiarize
Do your own work and leave no doubt that it is your own work.

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