Critical Evaluation of a master’s thesis

I analyzed master’s thesis by Yao Guo with the title „The Mapping Between Interactive Art and Classical Rhetoric: An Analogy Approach“. He has studied on university of art Linz in the institute „Interface Cultures“. In the thesis, the author first gives an overview about the history of rhetoric and the main characteristics of it and further tries to find similarities in interactive art.

Level of design

The thesis’ design looks like the classical design of most theses. The author used simple justified text, which sometimes is separated with images. But since the design is really simple, it is also easy to follow and you can really focus on the content. But just from the look of it, you would not think that this is a thesis of a art/design student.

Degree of innovation

In my opinion, the topic is very innovative. The author states in the beginning of the master’s thesis that the topic has not been addressed before and as I also stated in the beginning, I have not heard of something similar as well. Also through research on this topic I have not found a comparable work.


Focussing on the feeling I had when reading the text, I thought that he wrote the thesis independently. Especially in the chapter, where he tries to find similarities between the elements of rhetoric and interactive art, you get the feeling that he really understood what he was doing in order to be able to find those similarities. He also analyzes his artistic work that he did in the past and tries to find out which characteristics of rhetoric where more prominent than the others. As a last step, he also creates a diagram to analyze other art pieces. But, unfortunately I cannot be sure if everything written in the statements are correct, because there are a lot of sections, where no citations are used at all. Also, there where a few passages that were formatted like literal quotes but missed a citation, so I was not sure if that was something he thought or if it was a quote from another person.

Outline and structure

In my opinion, the structure made sense. He started with giving an introduction to rhetoric and outlined its main characteristics. Then, he states analogies between interactive art and rhetoric and uses artworks from other artists as examples. After that he analyzes a few of his own projects and evaluates how present those rhetoric elements in his work are. After that he visualizes a diagram on how to rate the presence of rhetoric elements in media art pieces. Each of the chapters was building on the previous one so overall the structure was great.

Degree of communication

As I will also mention later, the thesis unfortunately has a lot of spelling mistakes, which made it a bit hard for me to always understand what he wrote about. Occasionally image and tables where used to create a better understanding of the topic, which I appreciated.

Scope of the work

The scope of work is okay for a master’s thesis. With 56 pages, the thesis is not very long but it gives a good overview of the topic, although I think there is also a lot of potential to dive even deeper into the topic.

Orthography and accuracy

Unfortunately, I found a lot of spelling mistakes. Some of them where words that did not fit in the sentence, other ones where words that should not been there at all. There where also some minor mistakes, like the left out space and some singular/plural mistakes. Sometimes it was necessary for me to read a sentence or paragraph twice in order to understand what it was really about. In the chapter where he analyzes his own work, he mostly writes in first person (he writes about the artist) but then switches to the first person to explain his intentions while working on the project, which was a bit confusing for me. In general, unfortunately the thesis was not easy to read for me.


He mainly used books as literature which are a mixture out of older and newer ones. The bibliography contains also a view web resources, unfortunately there is no link to the websites included. As I mentioned before, in the thesis there where passages which missed a quotations, so some statements are not traceable. He also used Wikipedia as a resource for at least two times but did not include it in the bibliography.


Guo, Yao: The Mapping Between Interactive Art and Classical Rhetoric. An Analogy Approach (2016). In: (zuletzt aufgerufen am 30. 11. 2022)

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