Students will consider visual rhetoric through an analysis of a cultural artifact from the community that challenges the status quo. Students should demonstrate an understanding of how the artifact(s) uses rhetoric to persuade its audience. Beyond explaining how, students will determine if the rhetoric involved is effective.  To do so, students will review the artifact’s central idea, audience, design, and textual components, along with evaluating the artifact as it relates to sociocultural and/or socioeconomic factors.

Although a cultural artifact can be just about anything, for the purposes of this assignment, students will focus on an item’s packaging, platform, design, and/or advertising—its visual components.  Some examples are:

  • Video game packaging
  • iPhone screen
  • Magazine cover
  • Sneaker advertisement


Words and images, particularly in this era, inundate us; they are ubiquitous, working to shape our thoughts, emotions, and actions.  To navigate and negotiate this information, students will develop visual literacy, an aptitude to analyze, interpret, and articulate what information has been conveyed through an object so as to better inform their cultural literacy, the ability to understand and participate in a given culture.


ØIdentification of a cultural artifact;

ØAnalysis of its cultural meaning and how that information is conveyed through the rhetoric of the object;

ØDefining of the creator (rhetor), user (audience), and overall purpose of the item;

ØEvaluation effectiveness and impact;

ØInteresting title;

ØControlling idea (thesis);

ØClear organizational pattern/structure;

ØMLA Format (double-spaced, 12-point font, 1” margins, Times New Roman font, Works Cited page);

Ø3-5 popular and scholarly sources;

Ø5-7 pages.


Ø  Your peers