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english 112 Product Blog:

How Rhetoric & Images Influence Our Buying Habits

Your second major assignment for English 112 is to write a BLOG making observations

and a final recommendation on ONE consumer product that you use and

one that can be found in most grocery stores in America (deodorant,

crackers, shampoo, frozen pizza, etc.). The purpose of this assignment is

for you to think critically about the powerful ways that advertisers use

RHETORIC (color, images, product placement, and language) to sell their

products, and how we are all influenced by their savvy advertising

tactics.

Begin by looking around your home and notice items that you

regularly consume (food or non-food items). Ultimately, you’ll write a 3-

page blog that tells the story of “THE MYTH VS THE REALITY” of this product. Before next week,

take pictures/notes on the product(s), paying close attention to:

Colors used to promote and catch consumers’ attention

Language and images on packaging (slogans, etc)

Shelf placement

Varieties available (low-fat, flavors, etc)

Nutritional Value

Price variations

Packaging

Look online to note ways that this product is advertised in print and/or

television.

Also look online to learn about the process of how this product is made.

Your blog will ultimately be about 3 pages in length, and will follow the same

organizational format as a formal essay, although the tone of your writing may be somewhat

more casual because you are addressing an audience of your peers

(college students). Your final blog will be submitted on Canvas

through the “Discussions” tab. The purpose of the “Discussions”

submission is so that 5 other people can respond to your final blog

post.

First, choose a product you’d like to write about and then go

to any store that sells that product. You’ll need to take pictures of

shelf placement, the nutritional value of the products (if it’s a food),

and some close-ups of the specific ways that the item catches your

eye (like color and labeling). Note, for example, the ways that

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advertisers market this item to consumers, and why some products stand out more than

others.

Your final blog will not simply list a summary of this product; instead, you will make

observations and ANALYZE how advertisers encourage consumers to buy this specific product.

For example, your introduction might provide historical company

information on the product and how it has changed over the

decades; and then the body paragraphs may note price and

nutritional information, shelf placement, packaging colors & images

used to catch the consumers’ eye. Ultimately, your essay will finish

with whether this product’s rhetoric is factual and logical. (Again,

the focus of your blog will be “The Myth vs. The Reality of

____________.”

Be sure that your blog includes the critical thinking aspects

of advertising that we’ll be discussing over the next few weeks.

When appropriate, support your ideas with outside sources

(required) to give credibility to your observations, making sure that you cite

all outside sources. Your own pictures are required. The ultimate purpose

of your blog is to educate other college students on whether this is a “good”

product, or not. Your task is to become an expert on this product,

uncovering the rhetorical tactics used to persuade consumers.

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