Fifteen Basic Appeals

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English 93 Second Essay Assignment

Anna Mills, Instructor

Adapted from a handout by Lizzie Brock
Using “Fifteen Basic Appeals” by Jib Fowles and your own observations and inferences about one particular magazine advertisement of your choice, write a three to four page essay in which you analyze which appeals (at least two) the advertisers are using to stimulate the psychological needs of the ad’s viewers.
This assignment demands:

    • thorough understanding of Fowles’ points

    • careful and detailed visual observation of your ad

    • inferences about your observations

    • analysis of how the ads appeal to the viewers’ psychological needs

    • analysis of any cultural trends, pressures, or assumptions related to your ad

Essay Requirements

1. An introduction that

a) tells the reader why this essay matters

b) briefly summarizes Fowles’ argument and

c) explains how your essay uses it

2. A thesis at the end of your introductory paragraph that explains the advertisers’ strategy in appealing to the desires of a particular demographic of a particular magazine. For example: Advertisers appeal to Seventeen Magazine’s readers by appealing to their desire for affiliation and independence.
3. Multiple body paragraphs that support the argument you make in your thesis with specific evidence. Each paragraph should:

  • explain the appeal and quote or paraphrase Fowles’ explanation

  • show how specific details in the ads appeal to one of the viewers’ needs

  • discusses the cultural trends which the ad relies on or encourages

In other words, organize your paragraphs by appeal, not by ad, but you may have multiple paragraphs about one appeal.

4. A conclusion that summarizes the main points and tells us why these issues matter.

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