Visual Analysis Essay Definition

Visual Rhetoric is a fairly recent theoretical development explaining how images communicate meaning to the audience.It is considered a component of visual literacy (two other components being visual thinking and visual learning).

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This is often called a “target audience.” Identifying and proving the target audience may become a significant portion of your rhetorical analysis.

It’s best to think of audience analysis as seeking and speculating about the variables in people that would make them read the same images in different ways.

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The same image may mean different things to people from different cultures or societies.

To convey the exact message and get the desired effect, the author must carefully choose his/her audience.A website might potentially have an audience of anyone with internet access; however, based on the site, there are audiences more likely to end up there than others.A pamphlet or flyer may also technically have an audience of anyone who finds it; however, their physical placements may provide clues for who the designer would most like to see them.Audience The audience is the group of people who may or may not be persuaded by the document.Analyzing the audience for a visual production may not be all too different from analyzing an audience for a solely textual work.Summary: This resource covers how to write a rhetorical analysis essay of primarily visual texts with a focus on demonstrating the author’s understanding of the rhetorical situation and design principles.Introduction No matter what specific direction your essay takes, your points and observations will revolve around the rhetorical situation of the document you are analyzing.These variables may include but are not limited to: region, race, age, ethnicity, gender, income, or religion.We are accustomed to thinking these variables affect how people read text, but they also affect how people interpret visuals.Either way, context is an important part of the rhetorical situation and can easily make or break the effectiveness of a document’s message.Below are some questions to get you thinking about the possibilities and pitfalls when analyzing the context of a visual document.


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