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Analyzing Viral Videos

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This fun, low-stakes activity combines an initial asynchronous step with a follow-up engagement in real-time during class.  It invites students to start thinking about research topics, practice/refresh their rhetorical analysis skills, and to develop their oral communication skills (through a brief in-class presentation).

Author: Emily Polk

Course: PWR 2

Activity length and schedule:  This activity works well early in the quarter when students are starting to think about research topic; it also serves as a rhetoric refresher that helps them make connections between their work in PWR 1 and their work in PWR 2.

Activity goals:

  • To encourage students to think about their research topic by having them analyze a viral video related to their intended topic
  • To have students engage critically with a digital text
  • To invite students to analyze the rhetorical relationship between a text and its capacity to inform and/or persuade its audience

Activity details: Students search for an viral video about resiliency (Emily's course theme - your students could search one related to your course theme or their intended topic), rhetorically analyze it, and then share their analysis in a brief 3-minute presentation in class.

Find the student-facing instruction sheet here.