In order to create the rhetorical analysis video seen above, I had to complete a thorough genre analysis of 3 distinct, yet related online texts. I chose to examine the call-to-action pages of 3 political parties: the Democratic Party, the Green Party US, and the Party for Socialism and Liberation.My hypothesis was that the call-to-action pages would be indicative of each party’s individual locus within the overarching rhetorical situation of civic engagement.
The Genre Analysis
While completing the genre analysis, what began to stick out the most was not only the extent to which the 3 pages differed in their design elements and rhetorical strategies, utilized but also the surface-level similarities of the pages. In other words, all of the pages utilize the same basic genre constructs, but each page fits within and outside of those constructs in wholly varying ways. The further from the norm of establishment politics the party, the more fluid its existence within the genre construct of the political call-to-action page.
With the above in mind, I decided to choose the Green Party US to examine further in the assigned rhetorical analysis video. While the Democratic Party represents the establishment and the Party for Socialism and Liberation is completely outside of what could be considered an establishment party, the Green Party exists on the fence. The Green Party is still a third party, however, it is becoming increasingly mainstream. As such, the Green Party US draws from organizing and rhetorical strategies used by establishment parties as well as third parties.
Before beginning to work on the rhetorical analysis video, I created a storyboard in order to figure out a preliminary direction to go in with the video.
However, the further I got into creating the video, the more useless the storyboard became. I noticed fairly early on that I was beginning to feel anxious about the amount of planning that went into creating the storyboard as compared to the number of impromptu changes that I was making. Eventually, I ended up ditching the storyboard and working as necessary in the moment. While I understand using storyboards for more extensive video creation, it felt more restricting than helpful for this specific project.
Perceived Strengths of the Video
I believe that the topic that I chose for the genre analysis allowed me to make some very interesting observations about the core of the rhetorical strategy of the Green Party US. The video begins with an embedded video aimed at portraying the interesting rhetorical situation that the Green Party US finds itself in and ends with how the party’s position within that very situation allows it to maneuver civic engagement in a way that is fairly revolutionary. The connection between memes, communitarianism, and sharing power within the frame of civic engagement within party lines is the strongest claim put forth in the video.
Analysis aside, I utilized a number of design techniques in the video as a means of maintaining the attention of the audience. These design techniques range from using three different typefaces and font colors in order to subliminally drive home the differences realities and rhetorical strategies being explained in the video itself. In this way, the video exists not only as a rhetorical analysis of an online text but also as a rhetorical artifact which uses many of the same rhetorical strategies that were discovered to be in use by the three political parties examined in the genre analysis piece.