Use the following videos to practice rhetorical analyzing a given medium.
Before you watch the video: On a separate piece of paper, sketch a triangle and before you watch the video, fill in who the author is. Depending on which video you choose, you may be able to jot down a few things you know about the author/singer/writer/speaker before you watch the video.
After you watch the video: Now, you will need to fill in the other aspects of the triangle.
- Who was this video specifically targeting? Was there a broader audience that needs to be considered too?
- What was happening in society when this video was published?
- What was the author’s purpose in creating this video?
Now, you need to add the appeals which are where the content of the video becomes the focus.
- How did the author use ethos? Was it only used via name recognition/pre-determined credibility? Did he or she refer to credentials? Provide an example using the author notes made earlier or using a content example.
- How did the author use logos? Did he or she say or do something that was logical to include based on the audience or what his or her purpose was? Provide a content example to prove that the author employed a logical appeal.
- How did the author use pathos? Did he or she use emotionally charged words? Was his or her body language deliberate? Visuals? Sound? Provide a content example to prove that the author employed a logical appeal.
The final step, look at your completed triangle and begin drawing arrows to connect the sections that affect one another. Did who the author was affected which appeal they relied on? Did the context determine who the specific audience was? Which parts of the rhetorical situation were the driving force behind the type of appeals used and how they appeared?
This may feel messy, but this is how communication happens which, honestly, is typically pretty messy. The following videos are a mixture of different types of mediums (music videos, commercials, etc.). Not all of them are succesfull; however, rhetorically analyzing both successful and unsuccessful mediums will help you utalize these skills in your own work.
- Nike Colin Kapernick Commercial
- “Pretty Hurts” by Beyonce
- President Bush’s 9/11 Speech
- President Obama’s speech on the death of Osama bin Laden
- Toxic Masculinity Gillete Commercial
- Kendal Jenner Pepsi Commercial
- “Looking Hot” by No Doubt music video
- Budweiser #Upforwhatever campaign label
- ASPCA commercial