Help appreciated for dissertation word choice

Hi all,

I would like to focus on a topic that discusses the effectiveness of rhetorical tropes (visual metaphors/synecdoches/metonyms) in advertising. I also would like to discuss archetypes and stereotypes and how effective they are towards creating impact/persuading and forming a more emotional connection.

I am not sure what the correct word is for the above. (archetypes/stereotypes/visual tropes)
Would they be non-literal representations? Forms of representation? I brought up the topic of codes with my tutor, who suggested this would be the term to use instead of “visual tropes” as I was initially going to just focus on those. Would it be correct to have my essay topic as one that argues/measures the effectiveness of the application/use of unconscious codes in graphic design for advertising? I am concerned about plagiarism here, so I am keeping it brief. But I am stuck on a broader term for rhetorical tropes, archetypes, stereotypes. Are those “unconscious codes”? If referring to theories such as Barthes/Eco, for example (more broadly, semiotics). Or what is a better word to use for all of them?

Help appreciated!

Thank you


More generic, over-arching terms might include words like, generic, visual clichè, symbolism, visual metaphor.

Personally, I think it is not a bad thing to make the language approachable, using clearly-understood terminology.

I know when I look back at my final thesis (on the perception and acceptance of visual information), it is so full of the kind of academic babble that I thought the examiners wanted to see, that years later, the hairs on the back of my neck stand on end when I see it.

I’d have marked me down for it. Thankfully they didn’t. Perhaps they are expecting to see that particular kind of pseudo-intellectual obfuscation. Only you’ll know what your faculty is expecting to see. Personally, I’d rather read clearly-communicated thoughts and ideas.

Good luck.

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