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Professor Christopher Schmersahl
Phone: (561) 993-1196
Office Location: CRA 001051, Belle Glade
Here you'll find a list of links with cross-curricular assignments completed by students.
On a daily basis we are bombarded with visual arguments. Whether they be magazine ads, billboards, or commercials, visual arguments use various forms of appeals to convince us that their overall message is correct. A restaurant commercial may convince us to buy a new hamburger, or a charity ad may convince us that we should donate money to some cause. Regardless of the purpose, each ad will use at least one of the following types of appeal:
Furthermore, certain literary devices are frequently employed to make the ad even more compelling. An example of this would be hyperbole (exaggeration). For instance, we could imagine a shoe commercial where a child puts on a new pair of sneakers and can now dunk a basketball. Since this set of circumstances is highly unlikely, this would be hyperbole. On the other hand, we have accent, which highlights an object or person. If in the same ad everything was in black and white and the shoe was in color, then that object would be accented. Furthermore, merely zooming in on the object could be a form of accent.
Our Composition I class had to craft television advertisements for some fictional product or service. The ad needed to contain all three types of appeal: pathos, logos, and ethos. Furthermore, the ad had to contain at least two visual literary devices:
After the actual advertisement, the students then had to identify and explain the types of appeal present and the literary devices that were employed. Each student then had to write a response essay summarizing and explaining these features as well as their role in creating the project.
Here is a sample video created by a group of students. Click to watch.
Visual Argument Summary Essay
Faux Claire is a fictional product that our group created. It’s a lotion that a person puts on by rubbing it into the skin. Faux Claire works on all skin types. The product also provides many beneficial ingredients and vitamins to help protect the skin and keep it beautiful. Our goal is to convince the audience to buy Faux Claire by using the pathos, logos, and ethos appeals.
First, we use the pathos appeal when we try to get the audience excited about the product. We also use hyperbole as a way to convince the audience more that Faux Claire really works. In scene I, we use pathos when the girl is unsure about the product, and we reassure her that the product really does work. We also use hyperbole in this scene when the girl sees the transformation of her face and gets really excited. We use accent to zoom in on the product we are talking about. The pathos appeal was very obvious in scene I.
Secondly, we use ethos in the commercial when I present myself as the beauty expert. When I say that I am a beauty expert, I establish personal credibility. I prove my credibility when I start talking about the product in a professional manner. I also use the ethos appeal when I say I have been using the product myself. The ethos appeal plays a big part in convincing our audience.
Thirdly, in scene 2, we use the logos appeal when we name the ingredients and vitamins in the product. We say how they help the consumer. We say that saw palmetto, passion fruit extract, and vitamins A, E, K, and polensignq10 are the major ingredients. When I the beauty expert say what they do for the skin helps appeal to the rational part of the brain. Logos is the last, type of argumentative appeal we use.
In conclusion, our man purpose is to appeal emotional, reason, and trust worthiness part of the audience to convince them to buy Faux Claire. First we appeal to the audience’s emotion. Then we appeal to the logical part of the audience, and last we establish our credibility trough the expert’s opinion. It is always best to use pathos, ethos, and logos appeal to get the audience interested when advertising a product.