Media literacy is the ability to analyze and evaluate the messages
we see in movies, television shows, magazines, newspapers, online,
and in other forms of media. One part of media literacy is developing
the ability to take a critical look at advertisements, so you can understand
how advertisements are constructed as well as how to interpret their
messages. What are some of the strategies used to create advertisements?
How do professionals use these techniques to persuade you? Is there
an element of bias in an advertisement you've recently seen? In this
WebQuest, you will explore advertising strategies, understand how they
are used to get their messages across, and evaluate how bias can play
a role in advertising.
Your job in the WebQuest is to expand your media literacy. You will
learn about advertising techniques and investigate their use. You'll
take a look at stereotyping as one type of bias in advertising. Once
you've conducted some research to increase your knowledge of advertising
and bias, select a print advertisement to evaluate. Using a worksheet,
you'll describe the elements of the print ad and describe biases you
observe. The purpose of this evaluation is to help you become more
informed about advertising techniques and bias in order to make you
a better consumer of advertising and the products and services they
2 days to answer the questions and evaluate a product advertisement
First, read through the following set of questions before you begin
your Internet research. As you explore each site, look for answers
to the questions.
Questions about Evaluating Bias in Consumer Product Advertisements
- What are some strategies that professional groups use to create
“good ads?” Which strategies have the potential to introduce
- What is a strategy that advertisers use to gain your attention?
Think of an example of an advertisement that uses this strategy. Describe
the ad and its strategy.
- What are the elements of a magazine advertisement? How do they
work to persuade the reader?
- What is stereotyping? Why is stereotyping a problem?
- Some types of advertising contain the ad creator’s perspective.
What is propaganda? What is the difference between information and
Next, use the Print Advertisement
Analysis worksheet to evaluate a print ad for bias. (Requires Adobe
Select a printed advertisement from one of these sources:
- Local or national newspapers
- Organization newsletters
Use the worksheet to evaluate the information in the advertisement.
Describe the techniques included in the ad and address the biases that
are specifically represented.
Review the rubric to understand how your worksheet will be evaluated.
Look at these web sites to find the information that will help you
answer questions about bias in product advertising and to gather information
to use for your advertisement evaluation.
In the process of completing this WebQuest, you've become informed
about the techniques of advertising as well as evaluating bias in advertising.
You have read information to answer questions about this topic, and
have increased your media literacy. You've also used your evaluation
skills to take a critical look at a print advertisement. By expanding
your media literacy, you will become more aware of advertising techniques,
how they are used to persuade you, and how to be observant of the different
messages advertisements present.