Analysis of rhetorical situation of Monsanto Advertisement
Analysis of the Rhetorical Situation
Rhetoric and the Public Sphere
As we have learned in class, rhetoricâin any formâboth creates and responds to the rhetorical situation. This assignment
asks you to do an analysis of one of the texts I have chosen and write a short essay that explains how the text works to
characterize and address the rhetorical situation. It is meant to give you the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding
of the concept, to practice doing a critical reading of a text, and to work on crafting strong analytical thesis statements.
1. Monsanto Ad. In late 2014, Monsanto, a chemical company infamous for producing toxic agricultural chemicals and
suing farmers for âstealingâ their crops, was ranked the third least trusted company in America. In an attempt to redesign
their image, they produced several ads, including the one posted on Canvas.
Here is the link of the advertisement:
2. Once you have read and closely analyzed the text, please write a paper that answers the following question:
How does the text characterize and respond to the rhetorical situation?
Please note that this question does not ask you talk about how well the text responds to the situation. That is, you are not
talking about whether it is a good or appropriate response. Instead, you are looking at how the text defines the situation
and responds to the situation it constitutes.
3. The paper should provide textual evidence from the text. If you are analyzing the Monsanto ad, please describe the
scene or quote the voiceover. You should talk very specifically about what you see on the screen rather than just generally
describe what happens. Think about color, background music, what is positioned in the foreground and background.
You should NOT use any other sources other than the primary text (the ad) and Bitzer and/or Vatz. You do not need to use
the theory if you do not want. But, you cannot do internet research. The primary focus of this paper should be the ad or
4. Your paper must be between 1000 and 1200 words. It should include your name, a final word count, page numbers and
an appropriate title. It must be typed, doublespaced
margins in Times New Roman font. It should include a
bibliography in either MLA or Chicago format. It should be printed on clean, white paper and stapled together.
Structure of Paper:
Includes your research question
Offers a rhetorical thesis statement
Should follow this 4 steps:
Announce the topic
Define the controversy
Raise a question
Offer a thesis
Thesis should answer to the research question and includes two parts:
1. Interpretive claim that directly answer the question
2. Statement of significance that explain why this answer matter
3. EXAMPLE: In this paper, I ask: How does Reaganâs Challenger Shuttle speech characterize and respond to theÂ rhetorical situation? Reganâs speech defines the challenger Shuttle astronauts as explorers and the expedition as one ofÂ discovery. In doing so, he demonstrate that the tragedy is a necessary sacrifice for the American story if progress. ThisÂ argument is significant because it contextualizes and gives meaning to the loss, thereby removing the need to blameÂ someone for the explosion.