Purpose: This assignment gives you the opportunity to describe the visual elements of a document and apply the principles of visual rhetoric that we’ve covered so far to that document; apply critical thinking and analytical skills; practice writing a clear, efficient, and effective message; and practice writing the memo genre.
Instructions: Find a (printed or online) document (poster, brochure, advertisement, etc.) or a website and write an analysis of the visual elements of the document.
Your analysis needs to describe the parts or elements of the document (the rhetorical situation: purpose, audience, and context) and you should evaluate the context based on principles, discussed in class to this point. Refer to the PowerPoints and texts in module 1. In this assignment, you’ll discuss (don't just describe) what you see in the document against the principles we discuss in class, what you learned in ENGL 3309 or other courses, and your common sense.
Choose something fairly simple (not a complicated design) since this is your first effort at analyzing the visual elements and appeal of something. For this assignment, begin by identifying the context of the document and its purpose. Then, focus on identifying and describing the visual elements in the document you’ve selected. You may also evaluate the quality of those elements, but be sure to do so in light of the design principles we have discussed. Identify the principles or concepts you are applying to the document. The evaluation should discuss how the visual elements contribute to the success or failure of the document to meet its purpose, how they enhance or impede the message or ethos of the author (or organization). In other words, do the visual elements help the message succeed? Because this assignment comes so early in the course, we may not have covered very many principles and concepts. Do the best you can with what you know. You can discuss the visual elements in the document without knowing a ton about visual rhetoric. Remember, your focus is on effectiveness, not whether the visual elements are good or bad (i.e., the words good and bad shouldn’t be used).
Use correct memo format; do not use a template.