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The Rhetoric of Infomercials

shared by ISUComm on August 18, 2014

Activity Summary:

This activity is used to teach ethos, pathos, and logos by asking students to create an infomercial. The activity takes about 50 minutes to run.

Instructions:

 

“This is a in-class activity. I usually use this activity before a rhetorical analysis unit or an oral presentation unit. This is activity is a good way of teaching the different strategies for persuading an audience. The interactive nature of this activity creates a very energetic beginning to any unit.”

 

This activity is used to teach ethos, pathos, and logos by asking students to create an infomercial. The activity takes about 50 minutes to run.
  1. First thing I do is have the students break into groups.
  2. Explain to the groups that the activity should help them think about different invention strategies for persuading an audience.
  3. Next, give the students 5-7 minutes to talk as a group and invent a product. The product should be something they can use to create an infomercial.
  4. Ask the student to check with you and see if their product is appropriate for the activity.
  5. The students then start working on their commercial—outline, content, and strategy.
  6. Most importantly, stress the need for students to incorporate ethos, pathos, and logos in their infomercial.
  7. I run a second check with the groups, looking for the “three ingredients” of rhetoric.
  8. Finally, I invite the students to present their infomercials.
  9. As a class we vote on who used ethos the best; who used pathos the best; who used logos the best; and who had the best infomercial overall.