Aristotelian Analysis Paper
Write a short (2-3 page double-spaced) Aristotelian rhetorical analysis of a political
ad of your choice
• Most likely, you will want to choose the ad you used in your chart and sample
paragraph, but you are free to change ads if you like
• Please don’t use any ad that was discussed in the class lectures or readings
• There are still plenty of ads to choose from
• Make sure to include a direct link to your ad in your paper
Post your paper as a Word document or .rft file by Sunday, 11:59 pm (your time zone)
• Don’t forget to attach the file!
In ENG100, we discussed the basic parts of an academic essay as well as concepts of
organization and paragraph structure
• This paper should conform to all the discourse patterns you learned in ENG100
Here are some notes on the content of the paper:
Introduction: Context of the Ad
Before we break down an ad, we need to know its rhetorical situation. This may
be a discussion of what was going on at the time the ad was made, who the target
audience is, and anything else that isn’t in the ad itself that might be important to know.
Your thesis will likely be at the end of your introduction. Your thesis is your main
claim about what rhetorical strategies the ad uses and why. The basic pattern of the
thesis will be something like: The (name of your ad) advertisement uses (these
rhetorical strategies) to achieve (this desired goal).
For example, with the ad, “Fine?”, my thesis might be: “The political
advertisement “Fine?” paints President Obama as callous and out of touch by setting up
a sound bite where he says, “the private sector is doing fine” and then using stylized
testimonials to disprove the idea with a series of tales of personal woe from average
Because this is an analysis paper, your body paragraphs will focus on the two
basic elements of analysis—breaking down, and putting back together. You may cover
all three terms (Ethos, Pathos, or Logos) or you can focus on only one or two if that is
where the rhetorical strategies of the advertisement are the most apparent. Each body
paragraph should prove a point with observations, inferences, and explanation. The
length and number of body paragraphs is up to your discretion. Because we have three
terms and the standard five paragraph essay has three body paragraphs, some students
choose to have a body paragraph for each of the appeals (ethos, pathos, logos), but you
do not have to organize your paper in that way.
Summarize the main analysis of the paper. The conclusion is a place where you
may also need to do more of the “putting it back together” part of your analysis.