26th Edition

 New Voices

Reynolds 8769-6 F16_BD-proof3.pdf

 Table of Contents by Title

The Ideal Woman” by Cindy Marquez — This essay examines the portrayal of women in advertisements, particularly the Victoria Secret Angels line.

Running Out of Water” by Anahi Lara — This ad analysis uses descriptive language to argue passionately for more careful attention to the perils of climate change.

Axe Advertising” by Marvin Guerra — In this ad analysis essay, Guerra discusses Axe’s advertising strategies employed in the “Even Angels Fall” advertisement.

Till Eternity” by Jose Cuardos — This essay analyzes the video for Justin Timberlake’s song “Mirrors” and compares it to the film The Notebook, arguing that close analysis of the video reveals that the song is in fact about the singer’s grandparents, and not about his own marriage, as critics have suggested.

The Confident Woman” by Saleh Alajmi —  This essay contrasts a Folger’s coffee commercial from the 1960s and a current ad campaign by Pantene, and compares the portrayal of women between them.

Misleading Gym Advertisements” by Andrew Ovsepyan — This essay analyses three ads placed around World’s Gym in Tujunga, and argues that they create unrealistic expectations for those who come to exercise.

Feminist” by Zully Munoz — In this essay, the author performs a rhetorical analysis of an image created by UN Women, engaging the image from a critical and a personal perspective.

Target: Empowering the People” by Amy Young — This essay analyzes advertisements and marketing strategies employed by Target that reveal an emphasis on gender, LGBTQ, and ethnic equality.

Seeing More Broadly” by Mary Dzhuryan — In this essay, Dzhuryan uses close reading and supporting sources to argue against critics who suggest that Sia’s “Electric Heart” music video pushes beyond the boundaries of good taste, and instead suggesting that the work is a powerful work of art.


Free Write:

What does the saying, “a picture is worth a thousand words” mean?

What Does the Writer Say?

  1. Using “The Ideal Women, According to Advertisers,” analyze the evidence the author uses in each paragraph to support her position. How does each paragraph provide different kinds of evidence?
  2. Examine “Axe Advertising.” How has the author composed his introduction paragraph? What is the strategy he uses to grab your attention? Do you find the introduction effective? Why or why not?
  3. In “Misleading Gym Advertisements,” the writer says that advertisements send the wrong messages to people working out in the gym. According to Ovesepyan, what are those messages? Does he effectively convince the reader of this? What is his evidence?

What Do You Say?

  1. In “Running Out of Water,” the author concludes that “we have to act fast and change our habits.” What are some habits that you can think of that might increase sustainability?
  2. Watch the music video “Mirrors,” by Justin Timberlake. What is your analysis of the video? To what extent do you agree with the author’s analysis that the song is dedicated to Timberlake’s grandparents?
  3. In “Feminist,” the writer asserts repeatedly how powerful the women are who are being silenced. The writer attributes this to inequality in gender roles. Do you agree or disagree with this assessment? Might there be another intention behind the UN ad campaign? Google the ad and provide your own reading of the image.
  4. In “Seeing More Broadly,” Dzhuryan defends the video based on artist integrity. Are there ever situations where artists cross the line? Discuss a few examples of this

Section Writing Assignments:

  1. Authors Cindy Marquez and Marvin Guerra both analyze commercials that portray women as angels, but are targeted towards different gender identities. If the two authors were to have a conversation, how would they each respond to each other’s essays? On what points would they agree or disagree?
  2. Visual communication is all around us. Re-read the essays in this section and come to a consensus about the kinds of messages that appear to be communicated over others. Write a 5 paragraph essay arguing a position about this kind of communication advertisers use and why that’s important to understand. In your essay consider what kind of society is being depicted in the messages. Use 2 or 3 of the essays in this section for your evidence, using at least one as a counter to your argument.


25th Edition

 New Voices

New Voices Cover

 Table of Contents by Title

  • American Ingenuity: The Car Company Made by You” by Nestor Javier Delcid (instructor, Anna Dawahare) — In this advertisement analysis, Delcid reveals how an American car company uses pathos to sell both the idea of American Ingenuity and their Chrysler 200.
  • Men Who Are Miles High” by Mikael Perry (instructor, Melisa Malvin) — Perry performs a close reading of the photograph “Lunch atop a Skyscraper, 1932,” analyzing the photo’s compositional features and its historical context.
  • More Than a Friend” by Ali Alawadhi (instructor, Melissa Filbeck) — Alawadhi’s literacy narrative charts the positive impact that reading comic books has had on both his “personality and intelligence.” 
  • The Struggles of Gender and Sexual Identity in Modern Society” by Arely Flores-Osorio (instructor, Mary Shannon) — Flores-Osorio compares and contrasts the presentation of gender identity in the 2015 First-Year Common Reading text Every Day by David Levithan and “Relearning the Mothertongue: Notes from a Second-Generation Queer”  by Ryn Gluckman.




What Does the Writer Say?

  1. In “American Ingenuity: the Car Company Made by You” Nestor Javier Delcid examines a car commercial. What deeper meanings does he discover inside the advertisement?
  1. In the essay “More Than a Friend” Ali Alawadhi reflects on the way that comics helped him deal with the hardships of his life. How does he explain the importance of comics in his life?

What Do You Say?

  1. Men Who Are Miles High” by Mikael Perry combines evocative description and historical detail to tell the story of a photograph. Having seen the photograph, what details would you like to add to the description?
  1. In “The Struggles of Gender and Sexual Identity in Modern Society” Arely Flores-Osorio connected her own life experiences to two thematically similar texts. How is she able to synthesize these texts to tell a story about herself?

Writing Exercises

  1. For this exercise, study Nestor Javier Delcid’s “American Ingenuity: the Car Company Made by You” and “Men Who Are Miles High” by Mikael Perry to use as models:  Employ the rhetorical strategies used by these authors in a 2-3 page analysis of an image or artifact. What hidden meanings can you identify in a photograph or an advertisement?
  1. For this exercise, use Ali Alawadhi’s “More Than A Friend” as a model for a 2-3 page reflection of your own: Alawadhi found both creative escape and inspiration in comics. Where have you found similar comfort in creative endeavors? How have books or movies or video games helped you through difficult times in your own life?


24th Edition

New Voices

New Voices Cover


Reflecting on Writing

  • Reflection,” by Cassandra C. Sanchez (instructor, Vana Derohanessian) — This comic narrates a student’s anxiety about turning in her portfolio on time. The illustrations placed next to the text emphasize both the humor of her situation, and her peril. Her panic and eventual triumph are a cautionary tale about procrastination and a testament to the virtues of revising ahead of time.
  •  “A Writer’s Journey,” by Valentina Moreno (instructor, Vana Derohanessian) — In this comic, the speaker reflects on her experience in her writing class, with an emphasis on her expectations and her use of campus resources to help her continue in her improvement. The innovative layout of this comic allows the readers to choose their own path as they follow cheerfully-drawn characters through the first semester experience.

Examining the Roles of Women in Advertisements

  •  “Sex and Advertising,” by Claus Offersen (instructor, Keli Rowley)  — Offersen analyzes two print advertisements for Roxy, a popular brand of surf apparel and sports equipment. Noting that the advertisements for this brand have been become increasingly sexualized, he argues that advertisements such as the two he considers are both indicative of and contributing to an unrealistic set of expectations for women.  He supports this argument with logos, and an effective use of both primary and secondary sources.
  •  “The Need to Look and Feel Beautiful,” by Elissa Rodas (instructor, Rebecca Lawson) —  In an analysis of print advertisements for makeup and moisturizers, Rodas uses pathos and logos to argue that marketing companies take advantage of women’s need to meet a standard set by the marketers in the first place. Her analysis also extends to the use of makeup itself, which she passionately argues that women use because, without it, many feel that they cannot meet those expectations reinforced by advertisements such as those she examines.
  •  “Reality of Beauty,” by Heidy Hernandez (instructor, Keli Rowley) —  Hernandez compares and contrasts a Victoria’s Secret advertising campaign with Dove’s Campaign for Real Beauty advertising campaign. Through a close analysis of these companies’ marketing approach and the use of outside sources, she creates a well-organized, thesis-driven argument that not only articulates the causes and effects of this type of advertising on women, but also states that instead, advertisers should choose to present women realistically.

Developing an Argument

  •  “Metal Music,” by Erick Bravo (instructor,  Noreen Lace)   — Through an analysis of the heavy metal counter culture, Bravo argues that, contrary to popular belief, metal music is a positive influence on people. As he refutes the conventional idea that this type of music causes violence and aggression, he uses logos and ethos. His argument is supported by a blend of personal experiences as a metal fan and outside resources and textual analysis of primary sources, in particular the lyrics and music of Metallica.
  •  “U.S.A.: Unequal States of America,” by Bianca Lowe (instructor, Angie Olliff)   — Lowe examines social inequity in the United States and the differences between “equality” and “fairness.”  In a textual analysis of a political cartoon by Andy Davey and Stanley Fish’s article “Fair is Fair,” Lowe argues that society should balance their attention on both equality and fairness, in the hopes that a divided nation can be truly United.

Responding  to Garbology 

  • Hope Lost in the Ocean’s Ugliness,” by Pamela C. Palencia (instructor, Amy Reynolds)  —  In this brief Word Picture, Palencia describes a photograph of a child living in polluted conditions. Following her vivid description she responds to the image, making personal connections, and lastly connects the photo to the progression and Humes’s Garbology.
  •  “Letter to Dad: Garbology,” by Jenny Dullas (instructor,  Mary Marca)  —  In this response to the “Letter to a Friend or Family Member” exercise, Dullas shares with her father her enthusiasm for Garbology and the lessons it teaches. Through textual evidence and additional video resources, she aims to show her father the problems with mass consumption, and to encourage her family to make changes in the way they shop.

 Writing an Ethnography

  • Tende: The Foundation of My Family,” by Marina Vasquez (instructor,  Daniel Linton) —   Vasquez vividly describes the small town in Mexico where her parents came from.  Her depiction encompasses both the lifestyle and culture of Tende and her own connections to a community that means so much to her family and contributes to her identity.



What types of things do you read online? Do prefer to read online? Why or why not? What makes them suitable to be read online?

Vocabulary to Define and Use:

  • Adorn
  • Catalyst
  • Catharsis
  • Defer
  • Heterosexism
  • Lenient
  • Novice
  • Reluctantly
  • Signifies
  • Substantive


Discussion Questions:

  1. Compare and contrast the use of visual images in Cassandra C. Sanchez’ “Reflection,” and Valentina Moreno’s “A Writer’s Journey.” Look specifically at the connections between text and images in each of them. How do the images reflect or influence the text?
  2. How does Bianca Lowe define both fairness and inequality in her essay “U.S.A.: Unequal States of America”?  What examples does Lowe use to illustrate inequality?  What are possible solutions for these inequalities?
  3. In her essay “Tende, the Foundation of my Family,” Marina Vazquez compares and contrasts her parents’ life in Tende to what is commonly experienced in the United States. What does Vazquez discover through learning about her parents’ hometown?
  4. Consider the outside sources Claus Offersen uses in his essay “Sex in Advertising.” How do the particular sources work to increase his credibility or ethos?
  5. In her essay “Reality of Beauty,” Heidy Hernandez argues that society needs more ad campaigns “like Dove, that empowers real women’s beauty,” instead of ads like those for Victoria’s Secret. To what extent do you agree or disagree with this claim?
  6. In what ways does Jenny Dullas address the needs and expectations of her audience in order to communicate her point effectively in her “Letter to Dad“?

Writing Exercises:

  1. Using Erik Bravo’s essay “Metal Music” as a model, think about stereotypes that are commonly associated with any of your hobbies or interests. Construct an argument to prove why such stereotypes may be incorrect or unfounded.
  2. Thinking about Elisa Rodas’s essay “The Need to Look and Feel Beautiful,” choose two advertisements for make-up or beauty products.  Compare and contrast the underlying messages in these advertisements and explain the strategies that these ads are using to promote such messages.
  3. Using Pamela Palencia’s piece “Hope Lost in the Ocean’s Ugliness” as an example, find a photograph and describe it to create a word picture in which you transform the image into words and use descriptive language.



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What sort of texts do you read online?  What do you expect from texts when you read online? Do you prefer reading texts electronically or on the physical, paper page? Why or why not?


What Does the Writer Say?

1.  Compare the use of visual rhetoric in Jessica Whang’s “Preface” and Irma Arias’s “Spanglish.”  Revisit these pieces and identify where the authors use ethos, logos and pathos when reflecting on their experiences.

2. Consider the ethnographies in this section and respond to the following:

a) In “Rustam’s Los Angeles,“ Rustam Sharipov states that Los Angeles is like a museum of art. What observations does the author make to support this description?

b) Why does Taravat Gorji, author of  “Ethnography – Arbor Court,” feel so peaceful there?

c) In Richere Barbeau’s “The Botanic Gardens,” how does the author connect the outside world with her personal thoughts? What is her ultimate revelation?

d) “Observing the Bus,” by Mark Santiago, provides various descriptions of different interactions between people. What are these interactions and why does the author find these observations important?

3. Briefly summarize the arguments in Vladimir Jimenez’s “‘Big Brother’ Becoming a Reality” and Jamie Dorado’s “Give Social Media a Second Chance.”  How do the writers support their claims?

What Do You Say?

4. In “Spanglish,” Arias struggles to balance two languages. What do you believe is the relationship between language and identity?

5. In “We are All the Same,” Jasmine Estrada analyzes PETA’s rhetorical strategies. Do you think this is enough to compel people to adopt a vegan diet? Why or why not?

6. Enrique Gonzalez’s “Green Eggs and Slam” provides an analysis of cartoons most people don’t know were drawn by the famous Dr. Seuss. Do the racist cartoons affect your perception of Dr. Seuss?

Writing Exercises

7. For this exercise, write a 1 – 2 page analysis of Jessica Contreras’s “The Sacrifice of Being a Teen Model.”

In the response, address Contreras’s argument about the detrimental effects of teen modeling. Do you agree with her position? Think closely about her main points and counterarguments in order to construct a thoughtful response.

8.  For this exercise, write a 1 – 2 page imagined dialogue between Elizabeth Fierros (author of “Emotional and Physical Effects of Heartbreak“), yourself, and the singer of your favorite breakup song.

Revisit the five stages of grief used by Fierros to analyze breakup songs by Adele and Eminem. Then, think of your own favorite breakup song.  To prepare for the dialogue, analyze your songs using the five stages of grief as Fierros did. Then, create an imagined dialogue between yourself, Fierros, and the singer of the song you chose. Discuss how the five stages of grief are represented in the song. Don‘t forget to pay close attention to the symbolism and details shown in the video and/or lyrics. Give everyone equal say and consider how a universal theme as heartbreak can be interpreted in various ways. 

9. For this exercise, write a 1 – 2 page word picture and reflection about a public place you frequent.

The goal of the word picture is to use concrete, descriptive language so that readers can “see” the scene even though they are not there. Making reference to all five senses, describe the location.  Then, reflect and meditate on the significance of this place. How do others act in this space? Is the place static or does it change regularly? Why did you pick this place? Why do you go there often? Make a connection between your experience and that of others who share your space.