Fresh Voices: Composition at Cal Poly


Collin Tateishi’s “Selling Your Lip for a Taste of Freedom” offers a rhetorical analysis of a Skoal® Smokeless Tobacco advertisement. Tateishi purposefully uses second-person, direct-address to appeal to the reader and model the methods of advertisers. When he writes, “By purchasing this product, you are freeing yourself of the monotonous burdens that have plagued your current lifestyle,” how do you respond? Is the tone conversational, moralistic, engaging? While Tateishi relies on both pathos and ethos to appeal to his reader, can you recognize appeals to reason and logic as well? Consider Tateishi’s command of language. He uses active verbs such as “welcomes,” “horse-shoed,” and “symbolizes.” Do these verbs give the essay energy and, in turn, paint a more vivid picture in your mind?

Though Tateishi’s response is brief, he delves deeply into the content and meaning(s) of the advertisement. What is the difference between summary and analysis? Locate moments where the writer shifts between these two modes to give a fully developed response. For example, the statement, “Color is a major contributor to the ad’s devious message,” is an analytic claim. Overall, how does Tateishi organize the essay? Lastly, notice the conclusion, especially the last line. It is somewhat unsettling and lingers in our minds; Tateishi places the responsibility of being discerning readers of advertisements back on his readers.