Home Blog Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay - A Complete Guide Rhetorical Analysis Essay - The Ultimate Guide

Rhetorical Analysis Essay - The Ultimate Guide

Rhetorical Analysis Essay - The Ultimate Guide

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can be a challenge. This article will provide a clear rhetorical analysis essay definition and rhetorical analysis essay samples. This will also give you the skills you need to write a compelling rhetorical analysis essay.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical essay analyzes different parts of a literary work, a book, a drama, speech or any other writing piece. Such essays focus mainly on non-fiction work, and analyze it critically.

Rhetorical writing is a system of breaking down written text into its many parts. Then providing perspectives on each of those parts.

But before you begin to write and analyze any written text, you must critically think about the elements of the text. That requires critical thinking and examining the words used in a given text and how they influence the reader.

Rhetorical essays seek a deeper look into the use of language, its intention, and its common perception that the audience usually has.

A rhetorical analysis doesn’t focus on whether or not you agree with the author’s point of view. Rather, a rhetorical analysis dissects and appraises the manner in which that point of view is presented. It makes a conclusion that adds to the effectiveness of the entire essay and the ideas that are presented in it.

Did the author succeed in delivering his message? If so, what elements contributed to that success? If the intended communication lacked in any way, how did the language fall short of its intended purpose?

Examine the techniques used by the author and their effect upon the reader. The presentation of proof and a promising opinion make it critical for the students.

Writing a rhetorical essay requires a high degree of literacy and the ability to analyze the use of language. It also requires an awareness of the subject matter topics being discussed in the original piece which you are reviewing.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Step by Step

When you encounter something for the first time, it's natural that you do not know anything about it. You may feel overwhelmed but it's completely okay. It happens and it will settle down once you are familiar with the task at hand.

Making a rhetorical analysis essay outline involves the following sections and steps.

Understanding your Topic

To write a rhetorical analysis essay, you need to understand the topic and the work that you are considering. As a writer, your job is to research and analyze it from a different perspective. Then add your own explanation to it.

For the readers, it is important to reveal the rhetorical aspects of the topic and analyze them from different angles.

Something that makes literature, fiction and nonfiction interesting is that it is usually open ended. You can use your judgement to form meaning of it. However, be careful that whatever you say is backed with reason and proper proof.

Instead of taking on the topic, as a whole, break it into bits and pieces and deal with each section separately. Once you have divided your topic into parts, determine the relationship between different parts. Also check how they influence the work, as a whole.

A tricky part about writing rhetorical essays is choosing the right topic. If your professor was kind enough to assign a topic, you're good to go. If not, you can head on to our essay topic generator and find compelling topics.

Collect Information

The next step when writing a rhetorical essay is to gather all the necessary information.

Answering these questions will provide the essential guidelines to follow as you begin your composition:

  • What is the author's goal in presenting the text?
  • What are the primary ideas highlighted by the writer in the text?
  • Which issue is raised by the author?
  • Who is the author(s) of the text under analysis?
  • What is the target audience of the author (location, age, gender)?
  • How is the essential theme reflected in the text?
  • Has the author successfully managed to convey the message?
  • Which methods were utilized by the author to communicate the objectives?

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Just like any other academic essay, rhetorical analysis essay structure also has an introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion.

Let's find out what information to present in these paragraphs, shall we?

Writing the Introductory Paragraph

The introduction is an important part of any essay. It acts like a roadmap and sets the tone of the entire paper. To start a rhetorical analysis essay introduction, discuss the main ideas, goals and purpose of the essay.

Also, include the rhetorical techniques you will use to define and analyze different concepts and ideas.

Writing the Body Paragraphs

The body is the flesh and blood that makes up the entire essay. It comprises important information and arguments, and answers several questions.

Divide each body paragraph according to different ideas and identify the ethos, pathos and logos in the work. Each paragraph must have just one claim and evidence to support it. Talking about ethos, pathos and logos, these are the cornerstones of any rhetorical analysis essay.

A rhetorical analysis essay example using ethos, pathos and logos will serve the purpose of helping you understand how to write this type of essay.

Writing the Concluding Paragraph

To conclude a rhetorical analysis essay, summarize the main ideas and arguments mentioned throughout the essay and restate your thesis statement. Don’t forget to provide your opinion about whether or not the original text was effective.

If you need more information to outline for your essay, visit our blog on writing a rhetorical analysis essay outline.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Tips

  • Don’t focus on proving your point, rather, analyze the text.
  • Write your essay in present tense.
  • Use correct transitions.
  • Recheck the paper once you are done writing.
  • Edit and fix the mistakes.

Rhetorical Analysis Strategies for Persuasion

There are three different persuasive methods used to support the arguments made in the essay. For a greater effect, use a combination of ethos, pathos and logos.

  • Ethos – Relying on the author’s personal experience.

    Take a look at ethos literary definition:

    Ethos is a greek word that means character. It focuses on the authority and the credibility of the person. For example, for advertisements celebrities are shown using the product as they appeal to the people.

  • Pathos – Use of feelings to arouse emotions among the readers.

    Pathos literary definition:

    Pathos is a persuasion method that gets the reader to feel the emotion instead of thinking about something. It is used to trigger the audience’s emotions.

  • Logos – Use of rational and logical approach with facts, statistics and strong arguments to convince the readers.

    Logos literary definition:

    Logos refers to the use of logic and reason to persuade the reader with the writing.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Here is our list of top 10 rhetorical analysis topics to assist you in making the right choice.

Literature Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Rhetorical Analysis of "Pride And Prejudice"
  • Rhetorical Analysis of "The Fault in Our Stars"
  • "The Odyssey" And "Beowulf"
  • The symbolism of Bullfighting In "The Sun Also Rises" by Ernest Hemingway

Sports Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Rhetorical Analysis of Presidential Sports Encomia
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Symbolic Power of Sports
  • Rhetorical Analysis on the use of steroids

Consumerism Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Rhetorical Analysis of the Commercials and the Media
  • "Electronic Media and Culture" Rhetorical Analysis
  • Environment and Consumerism Analysis

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples

Want to understand the basics of how to work with a rhetorical analysis essay? The following examples will help you with it. Examples are great when you do not have time for extensive learning and want to learn something in less time.

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AP LANG Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (PDF)
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Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (PDF)
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Letter from Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (PDF)

For more detailed examples, visit our rhetorical examples blog.

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