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- How to write a rhetorical analysis | Key concepts & examples
How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis | Key Concepts & Examples
Published on August 28, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience.
Table of contents
Key concepts in rhetoric, analyzing the text, introducing your rhetorical analysis, the body: doing the analysis, concluding a rhetorical analysis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about rhetorical analysis.
Rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and writing, is a subject that trains you to look at texts, arguments and speeches in terms of how they are designed to persuade the audience. This section introduces a few of the key concepts of this field.
Appeals: Logos, ethos, pathos
Appeals are how the author convinces their audience. Three central appeals are discussed in rhetoric, established by the philosopher Aristotle and sometimes called the rhetorical triangle: logos, ethos, and pathos.
Logos , or the logical appeal, refers to the use of reasoned argument to persuade. This is the dominant approach in academic writing , where arguments are built up using reasoning and evidence.
Ethos , or the ethical appeal, involves the author presenting themselves as an authority on their subject. For example, someone making a moral argument might highlight their own morally admirable behavior; someone speaking about a technical subject might present themselves as an expert by mentioning their qualifications.
Pathos , or the pathetic appeal, evokes the audience’s emotions. This might involve speaking in a passionate way, employing vivid imagery, or trying to provoke anger, sympathy, or any other emotional response in the audience.
These three appeals are all treated as integral parts of rhetoric, and a given author may combine all three of them to convince their audience.
Text and context
In rhetoric, a text is not necessarily a piece of writing (though it may be this). A text is whatever piece of communication you are analyzing. This could be, for example, a speech, an advertisement, or a satirical image.
In these cases, your analysis would focus on more than just language—you might look at visual or sonic elements of the text too.
The context is everything surrounding the text: Who is the author (or speaker, designer, etc.)? Who is their (intended or actual) audience? When and where was the text produced, and for what purpose?
Looking at the context can help to inform your rhetorical analysis. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has universal power, but the context of the civil rights movement is an important part of understanding why.
Claims, supports, and warrants
A piece of rhetoric is always making some sort of argument, whether it’s a very clearly defined and logical one (e.g. in a philosophy essay) or one that the reader has to infer (e.g. in a satirical article). These arguments are built up with claims, supports, and warrants.
A claim is the fact or idea the author wants to convince the reader of. An argument might center on a single claim, or be built up out of many. Claims are usually explicitly stated, but they may also just be implied in some kinds of text.
The author uses supports to back up each claim they make. These might range from hard evidence to emotional appeals—anything that is used to convince the reader to accept a claim.
The warrant is the logic or assumption that connects a support with a claim. Outside of quite formal argumentation, the warrant is often unstated—the author assumes their audience will understand the connection without it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore the implicit warrant in these cases.
For example, look at the following statement:
We can see a claim and a support here, but the warrant is implicit. Here, the warrant is the assumption that more likeable candidates would have inspired greater turnout. We might be more or less convinced by the argument depending on whether we think this is a fair assumption.
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Rhetorical analysis isn’t a matter of choosing concepts in advance and applying them to a text. Instead, it starts with looking at the text in detail and asking the appropriate questions about how it works:
- What is the author’s purpose?
- Do they focus closely on their key claims, or do they discuss various topics?
- What tone do they take—angry or sympathetic? Personal or authoritative? Formal or informal?
- Who seems to be the intended audience? Is this audience likely to be successfully reached and convinced?
- What kinds of evidence are presented?
By asking these questions, you’ll discover the various rhetorical devices the text uses. Don’t feel that you have to cram in every rhetorical term you know—focus on those that are most important to the text.
The following sections show how to write the different parts of a rhetorical analysis.
Like all essays, a rhetorical analysis begins with an introduction . The introduction tells readers what text you’ll be discussing, provides relevant background information, and presents your thesis statement .
Hover over different parts of the example below to see how an introduction works.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is widely regarded as one of the most important pieces of oratory in American history. Delivered in 1963 to thousands of civil rights activists outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech has come to symbolize the spirit of the civil rights movement and even to function as a major part of the American national myth. This rhetorical analysis argues that King’s assumption of the prophetic voice, amplified by the historic size of his audience, creates a powerful sense of ethos that has retained its inspirational power over the years.
The body of your rhetorical analysis is where you’ll tackle the text directly. It’s often divided into three paragraphs, although it may be more in a longer essay.
Each paragraph should focus on a different element of the text, and they should all contribute to your overall argument for your thesis statement.
Hover over the example to explore how a typical body paragraph is constructed.
King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.
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The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis wraps up the essay by restating the main argument and showing how it has been developed by your analysis. It may also try to link the text, and your analysis of it, with broader concerns.
Explore the example below to get a sense of the conclusion.
It is clear from this analysis that the effectiveness of King’s rhetoric stems less from the pathetic appeal of his utopian “dream” than it does from the ethos he carefully constructs to give force to his statements. By framing contemporary upheavals as part of a prophecy whose fulfillment will result in the better future he imagines, King ensures not only the effectiveness of his words in the moment but their continuing resonance today. Even if we have not yet achieved King’s dream, we cannot deny the role his words played in setting us on the path toward it.
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The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.
Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.
The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.
Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.
Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.
In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.
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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay–Examples & Template
What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?
A rhetorical analysis essay is, as the name suggests, an analysis of someone else’s writing (or speech, or advert, or even cartoon) and how they use not only words but also rhetorical techniques to influence their audience in a certain way. A rhetorical analysis is less interested in what the author is saying and more in how they present it, what effect this has on their readers, whether they achieve their goals, and what approach they use to get there.
Its structure is similar to that of most essays: An Introduction presents your thesis, a Body analyzes the text you have chosen, breaks it down into sections and explains how arguments have been constructed and how each part persuades, informs, or entertains the reader, and a Conclusion section sums up your evaluation.
Note that your personal opinion on the matter is not relevant for your analysis and that you don’t state anywhere in your essay whether you agree or disagree with the stance the author takes.
In the following, we will define the key rhetorical concepts you need to write a good rhetorical analysis and give you some practical tips on where to start.
Key Rhetorical Concepts
Your goal when writing a rhetorical analysis is to think about and then carefully describe how the author has designed their text so that it has the intended effect on their audience. To do that, you need to consider a number of key rhetorical strategies: Rhetorical appeals (“Ethos”, “Logos”, and “Pathos”), context, as well as claims, supports, and warrants.
Ethos, Logos, and Pathos were introduced by Aristotle, way back in the 4th century BC, as the main ways in which language can be used to persuade an audience. They still represent the basis of any rhetorical analysis and are often referred to as the “rhetorical triangle”.
These and other rhetorical techniques can all be combined to create the intended effect, and your job as the one analyzing a text is to break the writer’s arguments down and identify the concepts they are based on.
Rhetorical appeal #1: ethos.
Ethos refers to the reputation or authority of the writer regarding the topic of their essay or speech and to how they use this to appeal to their audience. Just like we are more likely to buy a product from a brand or vendor we have confidence in than one we don’t know or have reason to distrust, Ethos-driven texts or speeches rely on the reputation of the author to persuade the reader or listener. When you analyze an essay, you should therefore look at how the writer establishes Ethos through rhetorical devices.
Does the author present themselves as an authority on their subject? If so, how?
Do they highlight how impeccable their own behavior is to make a moral argument?
Do they present themselves as an expert by listing their qualifications or experience to convince the reader of their opinion on something?
Rhetorical appeal #2: Pathos
The purpose of Pathos-driven rhetoric is to appeal to the reader’s emotions. A common example of pathos as a rhetorical means is adverts by charities that try to make you donate money to a “good cause”. To evoke the intended emotions in the reader, an author may use passionate language, tell personal stories, and employ vivid imagery so that the reader can imagine themselves in a certain situation and feel empathy with or anger towards others.
Rhetorical appeal #3: Logos
Logos, the “logical” appeal, uses reason to persuade. Reason and logic, supported by data, evidence, clearly defined methodology, and well-constructed arguments, are what most academic writing is based on. Emotions, those of the researcher/writer as well as those of the reader, should stay out of such academic texts, as should anyone’s reputation, beliefs, or personal opinions.
Text and Context
To analyze a piece of writing, a speech, an advertisement, or even a satirical drawing, you need to look beyond the piece of communication and take the context in which it was created and/or published into account.
Who is the person who wrote the text/drew the cartoon/designed the ad..? What audience are they trying to reach? Where was the piece published and what was happening there around that time?
A political speech, for example, can be powerful even when read decades later, but the historical context surrounding it is an important aspect of the effect it was intended to have.
Claims, Supports, and Warrants
To make any kind of argument, a writer needs to put forward specific claims, support them with data or evidence or even a moral or emotional appeal, and connect the dots logically so that the reader can follow along and agree with the points made.
The connections between statements, so-called “warrants”, follow logical reasoning but are not always clearly stated—the author simply assumes the reader understands the underlying logic, whether they present it “explicitly” or “implicitly”. Implicit warrants are commonly used in advertisements where seemingly happy people use certain products, wear certain clothes, accessories, or perfumes, or live certain lifestyles – with the connotation that, first, the product/perfume/lifestyle is what makes that person happy and, second, the reader wants to be as happy as the person in the ad. Some warrants are never clearly stated, and your job when writing a rhetorical analysis essay is therefore to identify them and bring them to light, to evaluate their validity, their effect on the reader, and the use of such means by the writer/creator.
What are the Five Rhetorical Situations?
A “rhetorical situation” refers to the circumstance behind a text or other piece of communication that arises from a given context. It explains why a rhetorical piece was created, what its purpose is, and how it was constructed to achieve its aims.
Rhetorical situations can be classified into the following five categories:
Asking such questions when you analyze a text will help you identify all the aspects that play a role in the effect it has on its audience, and will allow you to evaluate whether it achieved its aims or where it may have failed to do so.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline
Analyzing someone else’s work can seem like a big task, but as with every assignment or writing endeavor, you can break it down into smaller, well-defined steps that give you a practical structure to follow.
To give you an example of how the different parts of your text may look when it’s finished, we will provide you with some excerpts from this rhetorical analysis essay example (which even includes helpful comments) published on the Online Writing Lab website of Excelsior University in Albany, NY. The text that this essay analyzes is this article on why one should or shouldn’t buy an Ipad. If you want more examples so that you can build your own rhetorical analysis template, have a look at this essay on Nabokov’s Lolita and the one provided here about the “Shitty First Drafts” chapter of Anne Lamott’s writing instruction book “Bird by Bird”.
Analyzing the Text
When writing a rhetorical analysis, you don’t choose the concepts or key points you think are relevant or want to address. Rather, you carefully read the text several times asking yourself questions like those listed in the last section on rhetorical situations to identify how the text “works” and how it was written to achieve that effect.
Start with focusing on the author : What do you think was their purpose for writing the text? Do they make one principal claim and then elaborate on that? Or do they discuss different topics?
Then look at what audience they are talking to: Do they want to make a group of people take some action? Vote for someone? Donate money to a good cause? Who are these people? Is the text reaching this specific audience? Why or why not?
What tone is the author using to address their audience? Are they trying to evoke sympathy? Stir up anger? Are they writing from a personal perspective? Are they painting themselves as an authority on the topic? Are they using academic or informal language?
How does the author support their claims ? What kind of evidence are they presenting? Are they providing explicit or implicit warrants? Are these warrants valid or problematic? Is the provided evidence convincing?
Asking yourself such questions will help you identify what rhetorical devices a text uses and how well they are put together to achieve a certain aim. Remember, your own opinion and whether you agree with the author are not the point of a rhetorical analysis essay – your task is simply to take the text apart and evaluate it.
If you are still confused about how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, just follow the steps outlined below to write the different parts of your rhetorical analysis: As every other essay, it consists of an Introduction , a Body (the actual analysis), and a Conclusion .
Rhetorical Analysis Introduction
The Introduction section briefly presents the topic of the essay you are analyzing, the author, their main claims, a short summary of the work by you, and your thesis statement .
Tell the reader what the text you are going to analyze represents (e.g., historically) or why it is relevant (e.g., because it has become some kind of reference for how something is done). Describe what the author claims, asserts, or implies and what techniques they use to make their argument and persuade their audience. Finish off with your thesis statement that prepares the reader for what you are going to present in the next section – do you think that the author’s assumptions/claims/arguments were presented in a logical/appealing/powerful way and reached their audience as intended?
Have a look at an excerpt from the sample essay linked above to see what a rhetorical analysis introduction can look like. See how it introduces the author and article , the context in which it originally appeared , the main claims the author makes , and how this first paragraph ends in a clear thesis statement that the essay will then elaborate on in the following Body section:
Cory Doctorow ’s article on BoingBoing is an older review of the iPad , one of Apple’s most famous products. At the time of this article, however, the iPad was simply the latest Apple product to hit the market and was not yet so popular. Doctorow’s entire career has been entrenched in and around technology. He got his start as a CD-ROM programmer and is now a successful blogger and author. He is currently the co-editor of the BoingBoing blog on which this article was posted. One of his main points in this article comes from Doctorow’s passionate advocacy of free digital media sharing. He argues that the iPad is just another way for established technology companies to control our technological freedom and creativity . In “ Why I Won’t Buy an iPad (and Think You Shouldn’t, Either) ” published on Boing Boing in April of 2010, Cory Doctorow successfully uses his experience with technology, facts about the company Apple, and appeals to consumer needs to convince potential iPad buyers that Apple and its products, specifically the iPad, limit the digital rights of those who use them by controlling and mainstreaming the content that can be used and created on the device .
Doing the Rhetorical Analysis
The main part of your analysis is the Body , where you dissect the text in detail. Explain what methods the author uses to inform, entertain, and/or persuade the audience. Use Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle and the other key concepts we introduced above. Use quotations from the essay to demonstrate what you mean. Work out why the writer used a certain approach and evaluate (and again, demonstrate using the text itself) how successful they were. Evaluate the effect of each rhetorical technique you identify on the audience and judge whether the effect is in line with the author’s intentions.
To make it easy for the reader to follow your thought process, divide this part of your essay into paragraphs that each focus on one strategy or one concept , and make sure they are all necessary and contribute to the development of your argument(s).
One paragraph of this section of your essay could, for example, look like this:
One example of Doctorow’s position is his comparison of Apple’s iStore to Wal-Mart. This is an appeal to the consumer’s logic—or an appeal to logos. Doctorow wants the reader to take his comparison and consider how an all-powerful corporation like the iStore will affect them. An iPad will only allow for apps and programs purchased through the iStore to be run on it; therefore, a customer must not only purchase an iPad but also any programs he or she wishes to use. Customers cannot create their own programs or modify the hardware in any way.
As you can see, the author of this sample essay identifies and then explains to the reader how Doctorow uses the concept of Logos to appeal to his readers – not just by pointing out that he does it but by dissecting how it is done.
Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion
The conclusion section of your analysis should restate your main arguments and emphasize once more whether you think the author achieved their goal. Note that this is not the place to introduce new information—only rely on the points you have discussed in the body of your essay. End with a statement that sums up the impact the text has on its audience and maybe society as a whole:
Overall, Doctorow makes a good argument about why there are potentially many better things to drop a great deal of money on instead of the iPad. He gives some valuable information and facts that consumers should take into consideration before going out to purchase the new device. He clearly uses rhetorical tools to help make his case, and, overall, he is effective as a writer, even if, ultimately, he was ineffective in convincing the world not to buy an iPad .
Frequently Asked Questions about Rhetorical Analysis Essays
What is a rhetorical analysis essay.
A rhetorical analysis dissects a text or another piece of communication to work out and explain how it impacts its audience, how successfully it achieves its aims, and what rhetorical devices it uses to do that.
While argumentative essays usually take a stance on a certain topic and argue for it, a rhetorical analysis identifies how someone else constructs their arguments and supports their claims.
What is the correct rhetorical analysis essay format?
Like most other essays, a rhetorical analysis contains an Introduction that presents the thesis statement, a Body that analyzes the piece of communication, explains how arguments have been constructed, and illustrates how each part persuades, informs, or entertains the reader, and a Conclusion section that summarizes the results of the analysis.
What is the “rhetorical triangle”?
The rhetorical triangle was introduced by Aristotle as the main ways in which language can be used to persuade an audience: Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, Ethos to the writer’s status or authority, and Pathos to the reader’s emotions. Logos, Ethos, and Pathos can all be combined to create the intended effect, and your job as the one analyzing a text is to break the writer’s arguments down and identify what specific concepts each is based on.
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Rhetorical Analysis Sample Essay
Ms. Rebecca Winter
13 Feb. 2015
Not Quite a Clean Sweep: Rhetorical Strategies in
Grose's "Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier”
A woman’s work is never done: many American women grow up with this saying and feel it to be true. 1 One such woman, author Jessica Grose, wrote “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier,” published in 2013 in the New Republic, 2 and she argues that while the men recently started taking on more of the childcare and cooking, cleaning still falls unfairly on women. 3 Grose begins building her credibility with personal facts and reputable sources, citing convincing facts and statistics, and successfully employing emotional appeals; however, toward the end of the article, her attempts to appeal to readers’ emotions weaken her credibility and ultimately, her argument. 4
In her article, Grose first sets the stage by describing a specific scenario of house-cleaning with her husband after being shut in during Hurricane Sandy, and then she outlines the uneven distribution of cleaning work in her marriage and draws a comparison to the larger feminist issue of who does the cleaning in a relationship. Grose continues by discussing some of the reasons that men do not contribute to cleaning: the praise for a clean house goes to the woman; advertising and media praise men’s cooking and childcare, but not cleaning; and lastly, it is just not fun. Possible solutions to the problem, Grose suggests, include making a chart of who does which chores, dividing up tasks based on skill and ability, accepting a dirtier home, and making cleaning more fun with gadgets. 5
Throughout her piece, Grose uses many strong sources that strengthen her credibility and appeal to ethos, as well as build her argument. 6 These sources include, “sociologists Judith Treas and Tsui-o Tai,” “a 2008 study from the University of New Hampshire,” and “P&G North America Fabric Care Brand Manager, Matthew Krehbiel” (qtd. in Grose). 7 Citing these sources boosts Grose’s credibility by showing that she has done her homework and has provided facts and statistics, as well as expert opinions to support her claim. She also uses personal examples from her own home life to introduce and support the issue, which shows that she has a personal stake in and first-hand experience with the problem. 8
Adding to her ethos appeals, Grose uses strong appeals to logos, with many facts and statistics and logical progressions of ideas. 9 She points out facts about her marriage and the distribution of household chores: “My husband and I both work. We split midnight baby feedings ...but ... he will admit that he’s never cleaned the bathroom, that I do the dishes nine times out of ten, and that he barely knows how the washer and dryer work in the apartment we’ve lived in for over eight months.” 10 These facts introduce and support the idea that Grose does more household chores than her husband. Grose continues with many statistics:
[A]bout 55 percent of American mothers employed full time do some housework on an average day, while only 18 percent of employed fathers do. ... [W]orking women with children are still doing a week and a half more of “second shift” work each year than their male partners. ... Even in the famously gender-neutral Sweden, women do 45 minutes more housework a day than their male partners. 11
These statistics are a few of many that logically support her claim that it is a substantial and real problem that men do not do their fair share of the chores. The details and numbers build an appeal to logos and impress upon the reader that this is a problem worth discussing. 12
Along with strong logos appeals, Grose effectively makes appeals to pathos in the beginning and middle sections. 13 Her introduction is full of emotionally-charged words and phrases that create a sympathetic image; Grose notes that she “was eight months pregnant” and her husband found it difficult to “fight with a massively pregnant person.” 14 The image she evokes of the challenges and vulnerabilities of being so pregnant, as well as the high emotions a woman feels at that time effectively introduce the argument and its seriousness. Her goal is to make the reader feel sympathy for her. Adding to this idea are words and phrases such as, “insisted,” “argued,” “not fun,” “sucks” “headachey,” “be judged,” “be shunned” (Grose). All of these words evoke negative emotions about cleaning, which makes the reader sympathize with women who feel “judged” and shunned”—very negative feelings. Another feeling Grose reinforces with her word choice is the concept of fairness: “fair share,” “a week and a half more of ‘second shift’ work,” “more housework,” “more gendered and less frequent.” These words help establish the unfairness that exists when women do all of the cleaning, and they are an appeal to pathos, or the readers’ feelings of frustration and anger with injustice. 15
However, the end of the article lacks the same level of effectiveness in the appeals to ethos. 16 For example, Grose notes that when men do housework, they are considered to be “’enacting “small instances of gender heroism,” or ‘SIGH’s’—which, barf.” 17 The usage of the word “barf” is jarring to the reader; unprofessional and immature, it is a shift from the researched, intelligent voice she has established and the reader is less likely to take the author seriously. This damages the strength of her credibility and her argument. 18
Additionally, her last statement in the article refers to her husband in a way that weakens the argument. 19 While returning to the introduction’s hook in the conclusion is a frequently-used strategy, Grose chooses to return to her discussion of her husband in a humorous way: Grose discusses solutions, and says there is “a huge, untapped market ... for toilet-scrubbing iPods. I bet my husband would buy one.” 20 Returning to her own marriage and husband is an appeal to ethos or personal credibility, and while that works well in the introduction, in the conclusion, it lacks the strength and seriousness that the topic deserves and was given earlier in the article. 21
Though Grose begins the essay by effectively persuading her readers of the unfair distribution of home-maintenance cleaning labor, she loses her power in the end, where she most needs to drive home her argument. Readers can see the problem exists in both her marriage and throughout the world; however, her shift to humor and sarcasm makes the reader not take the problem as seriously in the end. 22 Grose could have more seriously driven home the point that a woman’s work could be done: by a man. 23
Grose, Jessica. “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier.” New Republic. The New Republic, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.
- Article author's claim or purpose
- Summary of the article's main point in the second paragraph (could also be in the introduction)
- Third paragraph begins with a transition and topic sentence that reflects the first topic in the thesis
- Quotes illustrate how the author uses appeals to ethos
- Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of ethos as noted in the thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about the second point from the thesis
- Quote that illustrates appeals to logos
- Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of logos, as noted in the thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about the third point from the thesis
- Quotes that illustrate appeals to pathos
- Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of pathos, as noted in the thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about fourth point from the thesis
- Quote illustrates how the author uses appeal to ethos
- Analysis explains how quote supports thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about fourth point from thesis
- Conclusion returns to the ideas in the thesis and further develops them
- Last sentence returns to the hook in the introduction
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AP ® Lang teachers: looking to help your students improve their rhetorical analysis essays?
Coach Hall Writes
clear, concise rhetorical analysis instruction.
How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Introduction
February 20, 2022 by Beth Hall
When AP Lang students begin writing timed essays, they often wonder how to write a rhetorical analysis introduction quickly. After all, 40 minutes is not much time to write an essay.
Writing an introductory paragraph for a rhetorical analysis essay can be intimidating. So, how can you impress your AP reader from the very start?
Tip #1: Don’t get stuck with writer’s block.
If you are struggling with how to start your essay and introduction, skip it (for now). Jump down a few lines and begin by writing your defensible thesis statement. After you write your thesis, move onto the first body paragraph.
The majority of the points in the AP Lang rubric come from the body paragraphs. Therefore, you don’t want to waste precious time on the introduction as you try to get past writer’s block. Once you have completed your body paragraphs, then, if time permits, you can go back and develop your introduction more if needed. Hopefully now that you have flushed out your ideas, your mind is ready to complete the introduction.
Tip #2: Include the rhetorical situation and a defensible thesis.
In your introduction, it’s very important that you reference the rhetorical situation. The rhetorical situation alerts your reader to what you will be analyzing in the rhetorical analysis essay. If you are feeling unsure about the rhetorical situation, check out this blog post.
Additionally, you don’t just want any thesis in your essay. You want your thesis to be defensible. Essentially, a defensible thesis should reference the rhetorical choices you intend to analyze within your essay as well as the main purpose, message, or argument (whichever one is specified in the prompt.)
For more tips about how to write a defensible thesis for a rhetorical analysis essay, check out this blog post.
#3: avoid overused “attention grabbers.”.
When you were in junior high, you might have been told to start your essay with a question. Now that you are in high school, you want to avoid this technique. You don’t want to use a rhetorical question or an opener such as “since the dawn of time.” These tactics are overused and come across as a bit cheesy.
Instead, try turning that rhetorical question into a statement or getting rid of the cliche sentence starter. Additionally, if you want to start your introduction with a hook, try a description, false assumption, or historical fact.
To see some examples of what this could look like, check out this video.
Now that I’ve shared some tips, let’s look at an example of an introduction.
Every child should have the ability to just be a kid. Florence Kelley understood that. A staunch supporter of women’s rights, Kelley was also an active voice against the harsh labor laws of the early 1900’s. In a passionate speech to the National American Woman Suffrage Association, Kelley presents examples of harsh child labor laws and offers a detailed account of the hardships the children face in order to convince her audience to join with male voters to put an end to child labor.
In this example, the hook is a universal truth. After this hook, the introduction makes a reference to the passage and then gives a defensible thesis. This introduction isn’t too long, and it’s a great example of how your rhetorical analysis doesn’t have to include a lengthy or complicated introduction.
Now that you know how to write a rhetorical analysis introduction, do a practice “mini” timed write. After reading a rhetorical analysis passage, time yourself for 7 minutes. In that time, write an intro paragraph for a rhetorical analysis essay and apply the tips above.
You can do this activity multiple times with multiple prompts. As you practice, see if you can “cut down” the time a bit. Try to write the rhetorical analysis introduction paragraph in 5 minutes instead of 7.
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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
What Is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Definition
If you're tasked with defining -'what is a rhetorical analysis essay?', our dissertation service provides a thorough explanation of the topic.
A rhetorical analysis essay requires you to analyze a piece of writing, speech, or another form of communication to determine how effectively the author or speaker has used rhetorical strategies to convey their message. A rhetorical analysis aims to identify the techniques used by the author or speaker to persuade their audience and evaluate the effectiveness of those techniques in achieving the intended goal.
One rhetorical essay example might be an analysis of a political speech. In this case, you would examine how the speaker uses language, tone, and other rhetorical strategies to appeal to their audience. You would also evaluate how successfully those strategies convey the speaker's message. Another example of rhetorical analysis essay might be analyzing a piece of advertising. Here, you would examine how the advertiser uses visual and verbal cues to persuade their audience to buy a particular product or service, and you would evaluate the effectiveness of those cues in achieving that goal.
In short, a rhetorical analysis essay analyzes how language and other persuasive strategies are used to achieve a particular goal. By carefully examining the techniques used by an author or speaker, you can gain a deeper understanding of how language and persuasion work and develop your skills as a communicator.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Prompt
When given a rhetorical analysis essay prompt, it is important to carefully analyze the prompt to understand the assignment's expectations. The prompt will typically provide you with a text to analyze and a set of specific questions or tasks to guide your analysis.
Here are two different prompts for rhetorical analysis examples:
- Analyze the use of rhetorical strategies in Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. Identify at least three specific rhetorical strategies used by King, and evaluate their effectiveness in achieving his goal of promoting civil rights for African Americans.
- Analyze the use of visual rhetoric in a recent political advertisement. Identify the specific visual and verbal cues used by the ad's creator, and evaluate how those cues are used to persuade the viewer. Consider the ad's intended audience and the creator's goal in shaping the viewer's perception.
In both of these prompts, the key to a successful rhetorical analysis essay is to carefully analyze the text or visual rhetoric to identify the specific strategies used to persuade the audience and to evaluate the effectiveness of those strategies in achieving the intended goal.
Rhetorical Analysis Strategies
There are three universal methods of persuasion—also called rhetorical strategies. To handle the task, you need to have a good understanding of these strategies and their use.
So, what are the 3 rhetorical strategies? Let’s define each and look closer at their key attributes with our dissertation service :
The ethos rhetorical device is what establishes the author’s credibility in a literary piece. Simply put, the skillful use of this strategy is what helps readers determine whether or not a particular author can be trusted on a specific matter. Credibility is defined by the author’s expertise, knowledge, and moral competence for any particular subject. According to Aristotle, there are three categories of ethos: arete (virtue, goodwill), phronesis (useful skills & wisdom), and eunoia (goodwill towards the audience).
For example, when the author of a book is a well-known expert in a specific subject, or when a product is advertised by a famous person – these are uses of ethos for persuasion.
According to the pathos literary definition, this Greek word translates to “experience,” “suffering,” or “emotion” and is one of the three methods of persuasion authors are able to use to appeal to their readers’ emotions. In a nutshell, the key goal of this strategy is to elicit certain feelings (e.g. happiness, sympathy, pity, anger, compassion, etc.) in their audience with the sole goal of persuading them of something. The main goal is to help readers relate to the author’s identity and ideas.
Some of the common ways to use pathos in rhetoric are through:
- Personal anecdotes, etc.
Just to give you an example, when you see an advertisement that shows sad, loveless animals and it asks you to donate money to an animal shelter or adopt an animal – that’s clear use of emotional appeal in persuasion.
According to the logos literary definition, this word translates from Greek as “ground,” “plea,” “reason,” “opinion,” etc. This rhetorical strategy is solely logical; so, unlike ethos or pathos that rely on credibility or emotions, the logos rhetorical device is used to persuade readers through the use of critical thinking, facts, numbers and statistics, and other undeniable data.
For example, when the author of a literary piece makes a statement and supports it with valid facts – that’s logos.
These three strategies: logos, ethos, and pathos play an essential role in writing a rhetorical analysis essay. The better you understand them, the easier you will be able to determine how successful the author of the assigned text was in using them. Now, let’s take a look at how to start.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
For a better understanding, take a careful look at our analysis sample essay. This will serve as an inspiration for your assignment.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example:
Get a better idea of what’s needed to master this type of writing. Take a look at our rhetorical analysis essay example, which was written by one of our professional writers.
Choosing Rhetorical Analysis Topics
Choosing a rhetorical analysis topic can be a challenging task, but there are several strategies you can use to identify a suitable topic.
- Consider your interests and passion. Think about the texts that have had the most significant impact on you and that you feel passionate about analyzing. This can include speeches, essays, advertisements, or even social media posts.
- Explore current events or issues that are relevant to your life or the lives of those around you . Analyzing a timely and relevant text can add depth and meaning to your analysis and may also make it more engaging to your audience.
- Look for texts that have had a significant impact on society or culture. This could include classic speeches, historical documents, or even popular cultural texts such as music videos or movies.
- Reflect on the scope of your analysis once you have identified a few potential topics. Make sure the text is complex enough to analyze in detail but not so dense or lengthy that it becomes overwhelming. Additionally, ensure enough information is available to support your analysis and provide context for your arguments.
Unique Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
Now if you're wondering - 'what is a rhetorical analysis essay example that stands out?', consider the following rhetorical analysis essay topics from our ' write my paper for me ' expert writers:
- The rhetorical strategies used in a political speech
- The effectiveness of an advertisement in persuading its target audience
- The use of figurative language in a poem or song
- The rhetorical techniques used in a famous historical document, such as the Declaration of Independence or the Gettysburg Address
- The use of social media to convey a message or persuade an audience
- The use of humor in a comedic TV show or movie
- The rhetorical devices used in a TED talk or other popular talk
- The use of imagery in a work of literature, such as a novel or short story
- The persuasive techniques used in a persuasive essay or editorial
- The use of language in a product review or critique of a work of art or literature.
High School Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
With these high school rhetorical analysis essay topics, you can start your analysis and produce a strong and effective essay.
- The use of persuasive techniques in a political campaign ad
- The rhetorical strategies used in a famous speech, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech
- The use of imagery and symbolism in a work of literature, such as William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies.'
- The persuasive techniques used in a college application essay
- The rhetorical devices used in a poem, such as Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken.'
- The use of humor in a satirical TV show or movie
- The rhetorical strategies used in a popular YouTube video or podcast
- The use of emotional appeals in a charity or non-profit advertisement
- The rhetorical devices used in a historical document, such as the Constitution or the Bill of Rights
- The persuasive techniques used in a personal essay or memoir.
College Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
Here are ten college-level topics you can use for your ap rhetorical analysis essay:
- The use of persuasive techniques in a political speech delivered by a contemporary leader
- The rhetorical strategies used in a famous literary work, such as Toni Morrison's 'Beloved.'
- The use of figurative language and literary devices in a contemporary poem or song
- The persuasive techniques used in a corporate advertising campaign or public relations effort
- The rhetorical devices used in a contemporary work of art, such as a painting or sculpture
- The use of emotional appeals in a documentary or film exploring a social issue
- The rhetorical strategies used in a scientific research paper or article
- The use of humor and satire in a contemporary TV show or movie
- The persuasive techniques used in a political opinion editorial published in a major newspaper or online media outlet
- The rhetorical devices used in a speech delivered at a significant historical event, such as the Stonewall Riots or the March on Washington.
2023 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
Here are some unique rhetorical analysis essay topics for 2023 from our essay writing service :
- The use of rhetorical strategies in a popular TikTok video or trend
- The persuasive techniques used in a social media influencer's sponsored post
- The rhetorical devices used in a podcast episode exploring a current social issue
- The use of visual rhetoric in a contemporary art exhibit or installation
- The rhetorical strategies used in a political satire TV show, such as 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.'
- The persuasive techniques used in a climate change awareness campaign
- The use of rhetorical devices in a contemporary speech given by a notable public figure, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Greta Thunberg
- The rhetorical strategies used in popular video games, such as 'Fortnite.'
- The use of emotional appeals in a recent documentary film, such as 'The Social Dilemma.'
- The persuasive techniques used in a contemporary marketing campaign for a popular fashion brand.
How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: Step-by-Step
Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can be a valuable skill for students of all disciplines, as it requires various forms of critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation of communication. Whether you are analyzing a political speech, a work in academic writing, or a visual advertisement, following these steps can help you write a compelling and insightful rhetorical analysis essay.
- Analyze the Text : The first step in writing a rhetorical analysis is carefully reading and analyzing the text. Look for the author's purpose, the target audience, and the text's context. Take note of any rhetorical devices, such as metaphors, repetition, or appeals to ethos, pathos, or logos, that the author uses to convey their message.
- Organize Your Analysis: After the actual analysis, organize your thoughts into an outline or structure for your analysis. Begin with an introduction that provides some background information on the text and the author's purpose. Then, break down the text into smaller sections and analyze each in detail. Use specific examples from the text to support your analysis.
- Write Your Analysis : With your outline or structure in place, you can begin writing your analysis. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction that sets the tone for your analysis. Then, work through your analysis, using specific examples from the text to support your arguments. Provide the summary in your rhetorical analysis conclusion and a final statement about the author's effectiveness using key rhetorical concepts.
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You'll need to employ some rhetorical techniques to write good rhetorical analysis essays. These are persuasive strategies used to appeal to an audience and effectively communicate a message. Three of the most commonly used techniques, otherwise known as the rhetorical triangle, are ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos refers to the credibility and authority of the speaker or writer. It involves establishing oneself as a trustworthy and knowledgeable source to persuade the audience through ethical appeal. Ethos can be established through professional credentials, moral argument, personal experience, or other forms of expertise.
Pathos refers to the use of emotional appeals to persuade an audience. This can be accomplished through vivid imagery, powerful language, and relatable stories or experiences. The goal of pathos is to evoke strong emotional reactions in the audience, such as empathy, compassion, or outrage.
Logos refers to the use of logic and reason to persuade an audience. It involves providing factual information, statistics, and other evidence to support the arguments presented. Logos uses logical appeal and effectively convinces them to adopt a particular viewpoint.
Rhetorical Essay Outline
Here is a detailed outline for writing a rhetorical essay, along with examples:
A. Background information on the topic
B. Rhetorical analysis essay thesis statement
C. Brief overview of the rhetorical analysis
Rhetorical analysis introduction example: The concept of freedom has been a fundamental aspect of American society since its inception. In the speech 'I Have a Dream' delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, the issue of freedom and equality for African Americans is passionately addressed through the use of rhetorical devices. This essay will analyze King's use of ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade his audience and convey his message of equality and freedom.
A. Explanation of ethos and its importance
B. Examples of ethos in the text
C. Analysis of the effectiveness of ethos in the speech
Example: King establishes his credibility as a speaker through ethos by referencing his role as a Baptist minister and a leader in the civil rights movement. He also appeals to the authority of the founding fathers and the Constitution to support his argument for equality. By using these sources of authority, King gains the trust and respect of his audience, making them more likely to accept his message.
A. Explanation of pathos and its importance
B. Examples of pathos in the text
C. Analysis of the effectiveness of pathos in the speech
Example: King uses pathos by employing emotional language and vivid imagery to elicit strong emotions from his audience. For example, he uses phrases like 'sweltering heat of injustice' and 'the quicksands of racial injustice' to create a sense of urgency and desperation in his listeners. By tapping into their emotions, King is able to create a powerful connection with his audience and inspire them to take action.
A. Explanation of logos and its importance
B. Examples of logos in the text
C. Analysis of the effectiveness of logos in the speech
Example: King also uses logos by presenting logical arguments and evidence to support his message. For instance, he references the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence to argue that the American promise of freedom and equality should apply to all citizens. He also uses statistics to highlight the economic and social disparities faced by African Americans. King reinforces his message and persuades his audience to take action by presenting a logical and well-supported argument.
A. Restate thesis statement
B. Summarize the main points
C. Concluding thoughts
Example: In conclusion, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech is a powerful example of effective rhetoric. By using ethos, pathos, and logos, King is able to persuade his audience and convey his message of freedom and equality for all. His speech continues to inspire people today and serves as a reminder of the power of rhetoric to effect change.
Meanwhile, if you'd like a perfect literary analysis in APA essay format done by expert writers, reach out to us for help.
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Steps to Polish Your Rhetorical Analysis
Here are some steps you can take to polish your rhetorical analysis. By following these steps, you can improve the quality and effectiveness of your rhetorical analysis.
- Re-read the text: To ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the text, read it several times. Pay attention to the language, structure, and overall tone of the text.
- Identify the author's purpose : Determine the author's main goal in writing the text. Are they trying to inform, persuade, or entertain? Understanding the author's purpose will help you analyze the text more effectively.
- Analyze the rhetorical situation: Consider the context in which the text was written. Who is the intended audience? What is the author's background, and how might that influence their writing? Understanding the rhetorical situation will help you understand the purpose and effectiveness of the rhetorical techniques used in the text.
- Identify the rhetorical techniques used: Look for specific techniques used by the author to persuade or convey their message. These might include appeals to ethos, pathos, or logos, as well as the use of figurative language, repetition, or rhetorical questions.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the techniques: Once you have identified the rhetorical techniques used, evaluate their effectiveness in achieving the author's purpose. Consider how the techniques affect the audience's perception of the message and whether they are persuasive.
- Revise and edit : Once you have completed your analysis, revise and edit your essay to ensure your argument is clear and well-supported. Pay attention to the organization of your essay, the clarity of your language, and the coherence of your analysis.
- Get feedback : Ask a peer, instructor, or tutor to read your essay and provide feedback. Consider their suggestions for improvement and revise accordingly.
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What Is a Rhetorical Analysis and How to Write a Great One
Do you have to write a rhetorical analysis essay? Fear not! We’re here to explain exactly what rhetorical analysis means, how you should structure your essay, and give you some essential “dos and don’ts.”
What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?
How do you write a rhetorical analysis, what are the three rhetorical strategies, what are the five rhetorical situations, how to plan a rhetorical analysis essay, creating a rhetorical analysis essay, examples of great rhetorical analysis essays, final thoughts.
A rhetorical analysis essay studies how writers and speakers have used words to influence their audience. Think less about the words the author has used and more about the techniques they employ, their goals, and the effect this has on the audience.
In your analysis essay, you break a piece of text (including cartoons, adverts, and speeches) into sections and explain how each part works to persuade, inform, or entertain. You’ll explore the effectiveness of the techniques used, how the argument has been constructed, and give examples from the text.
A strong rhetorical analysis evaluates a text rather than just describes the techniques used. You don’t include whether you personally agree or disagree with the argument.
Structure a rhetorical analysis in the same way as most other types of academic essays . You’ll have an introduction to present your thesis, a main body where you analyze the text, which then leads to a conclusion.
Think about how the writer (also known as a rhetor) considers the situation that frames their communication:
- Topic: the overall purpose of the rhetoric
- Audience: this includes primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences
- Purpose: there are often more than one to consider
- Context and culture: the wider situation within which the rhetoric is placed
Back in the 4th century BC, Aristotle was talking about how language can be used as a means of persuasion. He described three principal forms —Ethos, Logos, and Pathos—often referred to as the Rhetorical Triangle . These persuasive techniques are still used today.
Rhetorical Strategy 1: Ethos
Are you more likely to buy a car from an established company that’s been an important part of your community for 50 years, or someone new who just started their business?
Reputation matters. Ethos explores how the character, disposition, and fundamental values of the author create appeal, along with their expertise and knowledge in the subject area.
Aristotle breaks ethos down into three further categories:
- Phronesis: skills and practical wisdom
- Arete: virtue
- Eunoia: goodwill towards the audience
Ethos-driven speeches and text rely on the reputation of the author. In your analysis, you can look at how the writer establishes ethos through both direct and indirect means.
Rhetorical Strategy 2: Pathos
Pathos-driven rhetoric hooks into our emotions. You’ll often see it used in advertisements, particularly by charities wanting you to donate money towards an appeal.
Common use of pathos includes:
- Vivid description so the reader can imagine themselves in the situation
- Personal stories to create feelings of empathy
- Emotional vocabulary that evokes a response
By using pathos to make the audience feel a particular emotion, the author can persuade them that the argument they’re making is compelling.
Rhetorical Strategy 3: Logos
Logos uses logic or reason. It’s commonly used in academic writing when arguments are created using evidence and reasoning rather than an emotional response. It’s constructed in a step-by-step approach that builds methodically to create a powerful effect upon the reader.
Rhetoric can use any one of these three techniques, but effective arguments often appeal to all three elements.
The rhetorical situation explains the circumstances behind and around a piece of rhetoric. It helps you think about why a text exists, its purpose, and how it’s carried out.
The rhetorical situations are:
- 1) Purpose: Why is this being written? (It could be trying to inform, persuade, instruct, or entertain.)
- 2) Audience: Which groups or individuals will read and take action (or have done so in the past)?
- 3) Genre: What type of writing is this?
- 4) Stance: What is the tone of the text? What position are they taking?
- 5) Media/Visuals: What means of communication are used?
Understanding and analyzing the rhetorical situation is essential for building a strong essay. Also think about any rhetoric restraints on the text, such as beliefs, attitudes, and traditions that could affect the author's decisions.
Before leaping into your essay, it’s worth taking time to explore the text at a deeper level and considering the rhetorical situations we looked at before. Throw away your assumptions and use these simple questions to help you unpick how and why the text is having an effect on the audience.
1: What is the Rhetorical Situation?
- Why is there a need or opportunity for persuasion?
- How do words and references help you identify the time and location?
- What are the rhetoric restraints?
- What historical occasions would lead to this text being created?
2: Who is the Author?
- How do they position themselves as an expert worth listening to?
- What is their ethos?
- Do they have a reputation that gives them authority?
- What is their intention?
- What values or customs do they have?
3: Who is it Written For?
- Who is the intended audience?
- How is this appealing to this particular audience?
- Who are the possible secondary and tertiary audiences?
4: What is the Central Idea?
- Can you summarize the key point of this rhetoric?
- What arguments are used?
- How has it developed a line of reasoning?
5: How is it Structured?
- What structure is used?
- How is the content arranged within the structure?
6: What Form is Used?
- Does this follow a specific literary genre?
- What type of style and tone is used, and why is this?
- Does the form used complement the content?
- What effect could this form have on the audience?
7: Is the Rhetoric Effective?
- Does the content fulfil the author’s intentions?
- Does the message effectively fit the audience, location, and time period?
Once you’ve fully explored the text, you’ll have a better understanding of the impact it’s having on the audience and feel more confident about writing your essay outline.
A great essay starts with an interesting topic. Choose carefully so you’re personally invested in the subject and familiar with it rather than just following trending topics. There are lots of great ideas on this blog post by My Perfect Words if you need some inspiration. Take some time to do background research to ensure your topic offers good analysis opportunities.
Remember to check the information given to you by your professor so you follow their preferred style guidelines. This outline example gives you a general idea of a format to follow, but there will likely be specific requests about layout and content in your course handbook. It’s always worth asking your institution if you’re unsure.
Make notes for each section of your essay before you write. This makes it easy for you to write a well-structured text that flows naturally to a conclusion. You will develop each note into a paragraph. Look at this example by College Essay for useful ideas about the structure.
This is a short, informative section that shows you understand the purpose of the text. It tempts the reader to find out more by mentioning what will come in the main body of your essay.
- Name the author of the text and the title of their work followed by the date in parentheses
- Use a verb to describe what the author does, e.g. “implies,” “asserts,” or “claims”
- Briefly summarize the text in your own words
- Mention the persuasive techniques used by the rhetor and its effect
Create a thesis statement to come at the end of your introduction.
After your introduction, move on to your critical analysis. This is the principal part of your essay.
- Explain the methods used by the author to inform, entertain, and/or persuade the audience using Aristotle's rhetorical triangle
- Use quotations to prove the statements you make
- Explain why the writer used this approach and how successful it is
- Consider how it makes the audience feel and react
Make each strategy a new paragraph rather than cramming them together, and always use proper citations. Check back to your course handbook if you’re unsure which citation style is preferred.
Your conclusion should summarize the points you’ve made in the main body of your essay. While you will draw the points together, this is not the place to introduce new information you’ve not previously mentioned.
Use your last sentence to share a powerful concluding statement that talks about the impact the text has on the audience(s) and wider society. How have its strategies helped to shape history?
Before You Submit
Poor spelling and grammatical errors ruin a great essay. Use ProWritingAid to check through your finished essay before you submit. It will pick up all the minor errors you’ve missed and help you give your essay a final polish. Look at this useful ProWritingAid webinar for further ideas to help you significantly improve your essays. Sign up for a free trial today and start editing your essays!
You’ll find countless examples of rhetorical analysis online, but they range widely in quality. Your institution may have example essays they can share with you to show you exactly what they’re looking for.
The following links should give you a good starting point if you’re looking for ideas:
Pearson Canada has a range of good examples. Look at how embedded quotations are used to prove the points being made. The end questions help you unpick how successful each essay is.
Excelsior College has an excellent sample essay complete with useful comments highlighting the techniques used.
Brighton Online has a selection of interesting essays to look at. In this specific example, consider how wider reading has deepened the exploration of the text.
Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can seem daunting, but spending significant time deeply analyzing the text before you write will make it far more achievable and result in a better-quality essay overall.
It can take some time to write a good essay. Aim to complete it well before the deadline so you don’t feel rushed. Use ProWritingAid’s comprehensive checks to find any errors and make changes to improve readability. Then you’ll be ready to submit your finished essay, knowing it’s as good as you can possibly make it.
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Helly Douglas is a UK writer and teacher, specialising in education, children, and parenting. She loves making the complex seem simple through blogs, articles, and curriculum content. You can check out her work at hellydouglas.com or connect on Twitter @hellydouglas. When she’s not writing, you will find her in a classroom, being a mum or battling against the wilderness of her garden—the garden is winning!
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