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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline - Template & Writing Guide

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline - Sample & Template

Students often freak out when they hear the professor assigning a rhetorical analysis essay.

It is considered to be one of the most challenging tasks and it sure is a little complicated, but definitely not impossible.

The first step for writing a rhetorical essay is to understand exactly what it is.

The reason why students find rhetorical essays to be a daunting task is the fact that writing such essays requires analysis of anything ranging from a literary work to a piece of art, or even an advertisement.

The writer’s task is to analyze it and figure out the goal of the creator, author or painter, and the way he conveyed his views. The explanation also includes the extent to which he achieved his goal.

However, there is absolutely no need to be intimidated by it. Once you figure out the design to follow, writing a rhetorical analysis essay will be a piece of cake.

1. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

The outline for any piece of writing is just like a skeleton, keeping a human body erect and well-structured. Following the correct rhetorical analysis essay outline will make the writing process logical and ten times easier.

Before you jump straight to writing, take your time to read and understand the original text carefully and analyze the information side by side. Focus on the author, his intended audience, his purpose, the setting and other details.

To learn how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, continue reading the section given below.

1.1 Introduction

The introduction section of your essay is the part where you inform your readers about the original text that you are going to analyze.

Consider the following elements of the text when doing the analysis:

  • Author
  • Target audience
  • Background context

Keep this information clear and to the point by focusing on important aspects of the text only. Also, the introductory paragraph must specify whether or not the author was successful in achieving his goal.

Start your introduction with an interesting hook. Briefly describe the author and the work, followed by your judgment and purpose of choosing it.

Write a strong thesis statement at the end of the introduction and highlight the point that you are going to discuss in the essay. A thesis statement is the most important component of the essay as it provides a brief guide on what is going to be discussed in it.

1.2 Thesis Statement

Thesis is usually one to two sentences long, written at the end of the introductory paragraph to define the purpose of your essay.

The thesis statement should be clear and concise, with the sole purpose of informing the reader what to expect from your paper.

Point out the tools used by the author and how they supported his argument.

1.3 Tools

As mentioned above, the thesis statement must outline the tools that you are going to analyze in the essay.

Typically, the authors use the following kinds of tools in their work:

Simile - a direct comparison of two things by using "like" and "as."

Imagery – visually descriptive language.

Diction – the writer's choice of words and style of expression.

1.4 Body Paragraphs

The body of a rhetorical analysis essay should analyze the original text, or work. Analyze how the tools used by the author helped fulfill the purpose of the text.

Start each paragraph with a topic sentence that should refer back to your thesis statement and fortify it further.

In addition to the topic sentence, it should also include a short quote from the original text that you will use to stress on the idea and analyze it.

The body should be made up of the analysis, which should be three times more than the quoted text.

The persuasive methods, ethos, pathos and logos, will be used in the body paragraphs to analyze the content. Also, respond to the questions that are mentioned in the previous step and describe the strategies used by the author.

You can also use quotes and findings to support your thesis.

1.5 Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Did the author use rhetorical appeals such as ethos, logos, pathos? When analyzing the text, notice how the author has used them to prove his point.

Ethos displays how the writer establishes reliability and integrity through tone or credentials, or both.

Pathos is the use of feelings as an appeal to the audience's emotions. The writer may add pathos by using emotional language or personal stories.

Logos indicates logical use of the author's ideas and how he concludes things. Make sure you keep them in your mind while analyzing your text, and employ these tips in your paper.

1.6 Rhetorical Strategies

Authors use different types of rhetorical techniques or strategies in order to examine and better analyze the paragraphs and the content of the entire essay. These strategies help the authors to express their point of view by following a pattern.

The most common strategies leading to an engaging rhetorical analysis include:

  1. Description

    Defining strategy involves telling your reader about what something means. It explains what something is and something is not. Defining strategy makes sure your readers understand what you mean by a specific term.

  2. Cause and Effect

    It focuses on the causes to help readers understand why something happened. Cause concerns the future while effect looks back at the past. But you can use this strategy in either way from present to the past or from present to the future.

  3. Process Analysis

    With the process strategy, the writer illustrates how something is done. It goes from everyday processes like writing an application letter to complex processes such as how to face death. This rhetorical strategy is mostly used in historical essays to show how something has done in the past.

  4. Exemplification

    One of the most commonly used rhetorical analysis strategies where the writer provides examples to illustrate a larger point in detail. To make a point there should be a clear relationship between the examples and the point you make.

  5. Compare and Contrast

    This rhetorical strategy looks for similarities and differences. Compare and contrast strategy is widely used in writing reports, making an argument, or even giving a speech to convince your readers.

  6. Narration

    Another important and one of the fundamental rhetorical strategies. Narration in which we tell stories about our life experiences to make a point.

1.7 Conclusion

The concluding paragraph is the part where the reader leaves you, make sure that you address your main argument to strengthen its effect.

Provide an overview of the positive and negative points of the text and state whether or not the text was effective.

This was the basic outline that needs to be followed when tackling a rhetorical analysis essay.

2. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Template

If this is your first time dealing with such essays, then this sample rhetorical analysis essay outline template will definitely come in handy. Just go through it once and fill out the sections one by one.

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Outline Template for Rhetorical Analysis Essay (PDF)
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AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay (PDF)

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Thomas Paine Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline (PDF)

3. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

A great approach is to read some examples of rhetorical analysis essays to understand the concept of writing a great rhetorical piece of the paper better.

To help you out, here you can find an expert rhetoric essay example from one of our writers that you can use to better understand the framework.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (PDF)

You can also explore a great rhetorical analysis essay example from our expert writers to understand what it takes to craft a brilliant piece of writing.

3.1 Great Rhetorical Analysis Essay Tips

When writing a detailed outline for your rhetorical analysis essay, make sure that you take care of the following things.

  • Study an essay topic, book, painting or any other piece of art, thoroughly.
  • Present the right information in each of the essay sections
  • Do not mention the main details in the introduction and thesis statement section.
  • Do not add new information or ideas in the conclusion.
  • Reread and recheck the entire outline and key points after you are done writing.

Hopefully, you have understood the basics of rhetorical analysis essay outline by now and you are confident and willing to give it a try. If you want to learn more about rhetorical analysis essays, here is a detailed guide that covers everything about writing a rhetorical analysis essay.

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Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay - A Complete Guide

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

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