Poster Analysis

Due: Wednesday, 16 February.

For this assignment, I want you to find and print out a poster from an online source, and then perform a rhetorical analysis of it. In performing this analysis, I want you to interrogate and explain the decisions that the author made when they created the poster. Naturally, your analysis should do much more than just summarize; although you should discuss the basic features of the poster, you should do this only as it is relevant to the analysis you are performing. The key to successful analysis is supporting your claims. Offer evidence to back up your arguments about the author's strategies, their purpose, their audience, their style, their message, and whether their piece works or not.

I'm providing the following questions as a guide for your thinking; you don't have to answer them all in your analysis. Keep in mind that you can also discuss whether the author fails or succeeds on any of the points listed below, but again, be prepared to back up your claims.

Rhetorical Situation


The Visual

The Message

Your audience for this assignment is me, and I'm looking for thoughtful interrogations of the author's purposes and strategies, as well as well-defended critiques of the effectiveness of the posters. Your analysis should be 250–750 words in length, and it must be accompanied by a printout of your poster. The following are some sources you can use for your poster images. Please try to find high-resolution images, and print them out in color if you are able (this is to your advantage—the more you can make out in your poster, the more you can analyze). You can find other sources for posters, if you want, but please make sure that they originated as a print poster, and are more or less noncommercial.