Sample Critical Thinking Paper on Rhetoric


The visual argument presented seems to be encouraging gamers to concentrate more on physical activities than virtual games in play stations. From the background, we clearly see that the picture is taken outside, maybe in a back yard, the swings present the ‘physical’ nature of the games that the author of the image wants gamers to play.  “The original play station,” is conveying the message, physical games (like swings) were the original games to be played. It has been used creatively to encourage gamers to play outside i.e. in the ‘original’ play station.  Play station serves two purposes. First, denoting the ancient nature of physical games, and secondly, the modern play station, that is the games played on Sony’s play station devices.

Choice of words and the background pictures in the visual argument convinces the reader of its opinion. The words “GET REAL” and “GET OUTSIDE” are very influential to the reader. They can see what the author means without an explanation. The questions most readers would ask right after seeing the picture, ‘how do I get real’ or ‘how do I get outside’ are already answered in the picture. You get real by playing in the original play station which according to the author means getting involved in physical exercises. The author’s idea of playing outside is presented by the actual swings which are present in the picture taken outside.

The visual argument is antagonistic. It conveys the message; you have to get outside in order to be real. It is like telling the reader that if you play, modern play station games you can not be real. The visual argument is discouraging gamers from playing modern play station games and encouraging them to be playing on the original play station which happens to be physical games.



Rhetoric is the craft of speaking or writing persuasively with the aim of persuading the audience to do something or please them. Visual arguments communicate primarily through the images or the pictures and the text they contain. Designers of Visual arguments ensure that the images they produce are visually appealing and convey a message in the right manner. They are considered visual rhetoric because they use the images to create a meaning or construct an argument. Thus when people view the image, they can get the author’s original message without an explanation from the author.




Consider Berger’s advert above. On first sight, one may think that the person is cutting off the advert, but he has a brush, so he is painting. The image has implemented optical illusion to express their message “Natural finish colors.” If you look keenly to the upper right corner of the image, you can’t differentiate between the image and the sky. This has the impression the image is natural, that is, it is like no color has been applied to it, “You only see the natural sky including part of the image” But to ensure that readers get the point, we have an image of someone doing the painting on real time. From the writings on the can, the person is using Berger paint. Thus the final impression on the reader will be, “That person is using Berger paint and each patch he paints looks natural” and they could have achieved their “NATURAL FINISHING COLORS.”