The provided 10 Common Core rigorous activities explore argumentative appeals (logos, ethos, and pathos) in popular commercials. The activities are tied to the Common Core standards RI2, RI3, RI5, RI6, SL3. The activities focus on theme, author’s purpose, rhetorical devices, argumentative appeals, and speaking and listening standards. Students will examine how the argumentative appeal is revealed and developed in the commercial. The activities include a teacher answer key to assist you in your guided feedback to students. The zipped folder also includes a blank copy of the analysis document that can be modified and printed. The video for each commercial is embedded on each Word document so that you do not have to look for the commercial. The video is in a standard AVI format so that it can be played on most computers, and teachers who cannot access YouTube at work can still show the video to their classes. Wherever applicable, a link to a YouTube version of the commercial is provided. As students view and analyze the author’s use of argumentative appeals, rhetorical devices, and establishment of purpose, students will become critical viewers and thinkers. Students will answer the following questions for each of the 10 commercials:
1. What type of argumentative appeal is reflected in this commercial/print advertisement?
2. What evidence from the commercial/print advertisement can you cite to illustrate how the argumentative appeal is developed?
3. Why was the argumentative appeal that the commercial/print advertisement used the most effective method of targeting its intended audience and selling its product?
4. Does the commercial/print advertisement include any rhetorical devices such as allusions, sarcasm, repetition, etc.?
5. What is the tone of the commercial/print advertisement? How is it developed?
6. What, if any, logical errors or fallacies do the makers of the commercial/print advertisement make? What do they incorrectly assume about their audience and/or its interests?
7. What is the product maker's purpose for creating the advertisement?
8. Are there any potential inaccuracies or biases that you can identify in the commercial/print advertisement? How does the maker of the product use syntax (word choice) to express their bias and promote a particular point of view about its product to the audience?
9. Who is the target audience (gender, age) for this product? In what type of magazine or during what type of television program would this commercial/print advertisement be featured?
10 Common Core Logos, Ethos, and Pathos in Commercials Activities
by Dr. Joel C. Boyce
is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License
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