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Readings for ENGL 105: Visual Rhetorical Analysis: ENGL 105: Home


Essay #3: How do artists represent issues related to the criminal "justice" system?

For this assignment you'll conduct visual rhetorical analysis that includes researching both

a visual/audiovisual object and the political resistance, movement or protest it represents. 










Anderson Photo/Rueters 2015


Essay 3

 Visual Rhetorical Analysis


Image from


Thus far this semester, we have been discussing certain issues related to the criminal “justice” system, such as mass incarceration, racial profiling, police brutality, the war on drugs, immigration, and other issues that interest each of you. Now, you are going to analyze and critique how artists represent issues we have discussed in class. The goal of this assignment is to familiarize yourself with rhetorical methods as you practice identifying and critiquing their effectiveness. 


Your Mission

Every movement roots itself in a central/communal image, figure, slogan, and/or song. Choose your “artifact” from any movement, fully describe it to your reader, and then analyze its rhetorical strength. Argue how the artifact utilizes purpose, logic, emotional appeal, and credibility to deliver an effective message. 



  • Give your paper a creative title relating to your topic
  • Craft a strong introduction by giving a short background on your movement and describing your “artifact”
  • Provide a clear, persuasive thesis statement in your first or second paragraph. 
  • MLA format with proper in-text citations and works cited page (you MUST properly cite the artifact)
  • Utilize “quote sandwich” format with clear focus sentences, context, evidence, and developed analysis.
  • Use specific examples from the “artifact” in your discussion
  • Refer to historical references that explain the image and its purpose
  • Consider the larger (societal) implication of your artifact in your conclusion (the “so what”)
  • All artifacts must be properly embedded and captioned (MLA format)
  • 4-5 typed pages, double spaced, 12 point Times New Roman font 


Date Due In Class

Brainstorming/Pre-Writing & Working Thesis & Shitty First Draft


Complete Outline

Introduction paragraph, thesis, 3 topic sentences, 3 examples (ethos) and analysis (logos).


Essay 3 Draft 1

3 full pages! Turn in on Canvas


Essay 3 Draft 2

Full 4 pages and TYPED for peer review


Final Draft and Essay Portfolio

Submitted to Canvas 









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Jessica Silver-Sharp
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