Print Ad Analysis Essay Instructions:

For this essay, you will find a print advertisement from a magazine and analyze it rhetorically in a three-or-more page essay. Your essay should not evaluate the product but, rather, the ad’s rhetorical strategies that attempt to persuade the audience.

Your essay should answer the following questions in essay format, paying particular attention to questions three through six:

  1. Where does this text come from? (Who created and/or sponsored it? What do you know about that organization?)
  2. Into what larger conversation does the text speak? (What is the historical and social context? What issues are evoked?)
  3. Who seems to be the primary audience for the text? How is this recognizable?
  4. How was the creator of the text attempting to influence or persuade the audience? (What is the purpose?)
  5. What rhetorical strategies does the text use to persuade its audience?
  6. How does the text appeal to logos, ethos, and pathos?
  7. How effective do you find the text? Why? Does it accomplish its purpose with its intended audience? How so? Generally, this serves as a strong conclusion paragraph.

YOU MUST INCLUDE A COPY OF YOUR ADVERTISEMENT with your draft and final version! For this assignment, either include it as a separate, additional attachment, or on the final page of your submission.

IMPORTANT: The advertisement should be from a magazine. Choose something that will offer you much to describe.

Please review a high-quality magazine ad that is clever enough to give you lots to analyze and write about in your essay. To be extra clear, magazine ads are NOT the same thing as a billboard, commercial, online ad, movie poster, website, infographic, restaurant menu, movie graphic on Netflix, T-shirt design, direct mail (junk mail), article, flyer, entire advertising campaign, brochure, newspaper ad, newspaper article, or packaging for a video game. A magazine ad is only that — an ad inside a magazine.

For example, you may select any of the award-winning magazine ads in any of these collections:

These are the sorts of advertising campaigns where world-class marketing experts spent months developing ads with rhetorical appeals to logos, ethos, and pathos — which is what you’ll be writing about.

There is little to say about ads that merely promote an upcoming sale, so you can earn a higher grade while analyzing a better magazine advertisement, like those linked above.


  • Three or more double-spaced pages (over 750 words)
    • Note: There is no such thing as “too much writing” in this collegiate writing course!
  • Follow MLA formatting guidelines:
    • At top right, set up automated page numbers, with your last name, a space, and the page number
    • At top left, put your name, then your instructor’s name, the course name, and the CURRENT date
    • Center your title, in the same font, which should be descriptive and engaging (not “Assignment Name”)
    • Indent the first line of each paragraph
    • If you aren’t sure how to set those up, there are thousands of “MLA How to…” tutorials online
  • Save the file name in this format: Your Last Name – Assignment Name – Draft (or Final)(1, 2, or 3)
  • Submit your narrative as an attachment, in .pdf format (or .doc/.docx)


  • Identify and explore the rhetorical strategies used in creating an advertisement.
  • Recognize the use of logos, ethos, and pathos in presenting to a specific audience.
  • Apply rhetorical awareness to your own writing.
  • Practice using exploration as a method of inquiry and making observations that reveal rhetorical choices.


You will also comment on the following questions for your student review:

  1. Did the author address all seven questions in the Print Ad Analysis Essay assignment instructions? Which were left out or overlooked?
  2. Which specific things struck you as confusing or needing elaboration?
  3. As a reader, what ideas did you find needed to be elaborated on?
  4. How would you describe the organization of the analysis? Is the organization effective? What suggestions could be done to improve the organization in regard to the introduction, conclusion, topic sentences, transition sentences, and the ordering of paragraphs?
  5. Does the essay focus mostly on logos, ethos, pathos, audience, and rhetorical methods? If so, how is it made clear? If not, what needs to be done to make these aspects the main focus of the paper?
  6. What does this draft do especially well?
  7. What two or three things would most improve the draft in revision?
  8. Provide a few of your opinions or observations regarding the rhetoric of the ad that perhaps your peer didn’t analyze closely enough.