Black Lives Matter Movement Poster Visual Argument

Black Lives Matter Movement Poster Visual Argument


In our increasingly visual world, it is important to understand how visual texts do rhetorical work. Just like written texts, visual texts make arguments aimed at particular audiences. The images we see every day (commercials on TV, billboards on the side of the freeway, ads on social media, etc.) are made up of a series of visual strategies tailored to a specific group of people. Analyzing an image involves many of the same procedures as analyzing a written text: specific elements and details of the image are closely examined in order to determine meaning and effectiveness.

For this first essay, you will choose a visual text on your own that you think makes an argument and targets a specific audience—this can be a still image, like a picture or poster, or it can be a video, like a commercial, public service announcement, or music video. Once you’ve chosen your text, you will perform a visual analysis, focusing on how this text uses imagery to make a specific argument and whether or not you think this text will successfully persuade its intended audience.

Your introduction should introduce the text you chose to analyze. Make sure to discuss context: who created this visual text, when it was created, who the intended audience is, etc. You should also say what argument you see this text making.

Your body paragraphs should closely analyze this visual text, focusing on how you see it making the argument that you discussed in your introduction. In this section, you should break the image down a bit and examine some specific elements of the image (feel free to reference the resources on Canvas). Think about how each of these smaller details of the text helps it to make the argument you described in your introduction.

Your conclusion should say whether or not you think this text will successfully persuade its intended audience. So, given the details you discussed in your body paragraphs, will this text do what it was intended to do? This is the place to really evaluate this text and explain your reasoning.


MLA format. This requires: Times New Roman size 12 font, double spacing, 1 inch margins, appropriate heading and page numbers, correct in-text citations, and a Works Cited page.

Your rough draft should be at least 3 full pages. Your final draft should be at least 3-5 full pages.

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