WRA 260

WRA 891

rhetoric, persuasion, culture

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Home Schedule Assignments

Assignment 4: World War I Poster Style Guide

Description: This assignment is asking you to think about the cultural contexts of rhetoric. To those ends, working in groups, you will create a Propaganda Style Guide for designing World War I Posters. Base your guide on the collection at the MSU Museum and from the accompanying website:

You'll notice from the above website and the MSU Museum collection that there are numerous types of posters with varying purposes and audiences. It is up to your group to decide how you want to narrow down (if at all) your style guide, as well as WHO you want the style guide to be addressed to. Here are a few options, but I'm open to anything that 1) is a style guide, and 2) had an audience in mind:

  1. Choose one or two subsets of posters (say, War Bonds and Food) and do an in-depth style guide for a designer from that time (audience). This style guide would tell the designer what types of image, color, font, content choices to make when creating a poster for War Bonds or for food-related war issues.
  2. Do the same from above, but instead of targeting it to designer from WWI, address it to a movie set designer from current day who needs to create WWI styled posted for a movie set.
  3. Instead of choosing a subset of posters, do a range of posters across purposes. Find a way to address style elements from these posters. Maybe you do a page for each poster? Maybe you find things in common and address those things (say, colors or font choices or images used).
  4. Literally ANYTHING else your group wants to do, so long as you are digging into how a set of posters from this collection are using rhetorical strategies (style elements) and representing that in the form of a style guide.

REQUIREMENT: You are responsible to your group during this Unit, meaning you need to be in class on work days and do your part. If you are not a responsible group member, your grade both for this project and for class participation will be lowered.

TOTAL 25 POINTS broken down as follows:

[2 points] Part 1, due 3pm on April 11 in D2L: Read the articles for today (one in D2L and one linked to the schedule) and INDIVIDUALLY write a 1-page double-spaced response that addresses the following questions. 1) What was the role of posters during WWI? That is, what was their overall purpose? 2) What kind of rhetorical appeals were these posters using to persaude their audience? 3) Describe something about the poster design or history you found interesting from our Museum visit on Monday?

[1 point] Part 2, due 5pm on April 16 in D2L (by end of class): Create a group contract that describes what each member in the group is responsible for. Include a description of each member's role in the group and deadlines for the tasks assigned. You all must sign the contract and upload a picture or scanned version to D2L.

[2 points] Part 3, drafts due 3pm on April 23 in class, BRIEF report due by end of class that day: Drafts of your style guide are due in class this day for review. After review, write up a brief (1 paragraph) description of how the peer review went. Please submit by end of class.

[10 points] Part 4, April 25: Presentations. Your group will have 8 minutes to share your style guide with the class (and 2 for Q&A, so 10 minutes total). Explain to us what you designed and why you designed in this way. Please be prepared with visual aids (PowerPoint, Keynote, Prezi, Whatever Works Best For Your Group). You will be graded on the following:

  1. How well did you explain the rhetorical situation FOR YOUR STYLE GUIDE (who was your target audience, what was your purpose, and what context do you imagine the audience using the style guide in?)
  2. How well did you explain the strategies YOU USED (not that the posters used) in order to convey your purpose to your audience?
  3. In addition to talking about your own strategies (1 and 2), you will also be graded on how well you talk through the content of your style guide. That is, describe what you included and what you learned about how your sub-set of posters illustrate rhetoric within a specifical cultural context. Here you can talk about the strategies you explain in your style guide.
  4. How professional was the presentation? Did you have an introduction, conclusion, a clearly organized structure, and polished visuals?

[10 points] Part 5: The Style Guide. The Style Guide will be graded on the following:

  1. How well do you illustrate an attention to rhetorical situation of WWI posters?
  2. How well do you illustrate an attention to rhetorical strategies found in the WWI posters?
  3. How well does your style guide target a specific audience?
  4. Does it look good? ( the gist is "did you put effort into making it.")
DUE in D2L DROPBOX by 5PM on Monday, April 30.