How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

It can be intimidating for a student encountering a rhetorical analysis assignment for the first time. But once you know the definition and what it’s about, you’ll write it like a pro. Wondering how to write a rhetorical analysis essay? Read on to learn what a rhetorical analysis essay is and how to write one.

how to write a rhetorical analysis essay

What is Rhetoric Analysis?

To write a good rhetorical analysis essay, you must understand the rhetoric definition. Essentially, rhetoric is the art of persuasion through writing. It’s also the technique and type of language used to connect to audiences and convince people to believe a certain point of view or message.

A rhetoric analysis essay critiques another author’s work by examining how it’s written. It defines, analyzes, and discusses the most important rhetorical features of the assigned text. The purpose of writing a rhetorical analysis essay is to examine the goals and motivations of the original author of a text. It also answers whether or not these rhetorical techniques were successful.

What the Rhetorical Analysis Essay Contains

In the essay, a writer will address elements of the text they have chosen to critique. The elements to critique include the author’s intended audience, what language they use, how they employ the modes of persuasion (ethos/ethics, pathos/emotion, and logos/ logic), and how they convey their argument.

The best way to understand rhetoric is to examine Martin Luther King, Jr.’s iconic “I Have a Dream” speech. This speech resonated with so many people and became one of the most well-known speeches in history, thanks to King’s use of rhetorical writing.

Whats more, he made his audience feel the pain that African Americans were going through in the segregated ’60s and appealed to emotions to promote the need for equal treatment between races. Apart from a speech, other works that be examined through rhetoric analysis include:

  • Cartoon or advertisement
  • Novel
  • Scholarly article
  • A play, film, or television show

Teachers assign rhetoric analysis essays to high school and college students. Thus, it might be hard to avoid it. But, if you’re having trouble completing a rhetoric analysis essay in a few hours, don’t panic. Count on PhD writers from EssayAxe to help you out.

rhetorical analysis essay

What are the 3 Parts of Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis is structured similarly to other essays: an introduction containing a good thesis, a body analyzing the text with solid evidence that supports the thesis, and a conclusion to wrap up. When you have a text to analyze, consider three things:

  • The use of different rhetorical strategies (pathos, ethos, logos)
  • Reasoning, evidence, and examples to support their main ideas
  • The use of persuasive or stylistic elements

What are the 5 Components of the Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

The five parts of a rhetoric analysis are the purpose of writing, the target audience, the topic, the writer, and the context. Several things, such as culture and experiences, can influence the writing you submit.

Hence you first need to determine whether the influences will have a positive or negative outcome on the essay you are writing. Besides, this is true when the individual is passionate about a specific topic.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

The trick to acing a rhetoric analysis essay is to provide specific evidence to support all claims in a line of reasoning. Also, the evidence should explain how multiple rhetorical strategies help to achieve the author’s purpose.

Here is a step-by-step procedure. The steps also apply when writing a rhetorical analysis essay ap lang exam.

Step 1: Read and Thoroughly Analyze the Text

Only by reading the text can you identify rhetorical features and rhetorical devices. When reading the text, first take notes of key points. Next, jot down any questions that will lead you to learn more about the topic under discussion.

Additionally, take note of the voice narrating the story, the context, the audience, and the purpose of the work. Check whether the setting has any importance or connection to the main message.

Step 2: Examine the Appeals

Reading the text gives the student a better understanding of the author’s methods of persuasion. So look for the following persuasive tactics:

  • Ethos – appeals to ethics. So consider whether the author is a credible source for delivering that type of information to people.
  • Pathos- appeals to motions. Consider what the speaker is doing to get a reaction from the audience.
  • Logos- appeals to logic and reasoning. Check whether the author of a literary piece makes a statement and supports it with valid facts.

Step 3: Build an Analysis

Examine the word choice, figurative language, tone, and other style choices that can generate a reaction from the audience. Next, focus on what the writer does and why. For example, what is the argument, the writer’s intention, and the strategy used to make the argument?

Step 4: Write a Compelling Introduction

Want to know how to write a rhetorical analysis introduction? First, state the main ideas you will discuss in the rhetorical analysis essay. Next, give a brief background about the author, the relevance of their text, and the message they are sending.

Finally, end the introduction paragraph with a good rhetorical analysis thesis that addresses the ‘who,’ ‘what,’ ‘how,’ and ‘why’ questions. Hopefully, that answers the question, how do you start a rhetorical analysis essay?

Step 5: Write the Body Paragraphs

Organize your paragraphs by appeals (examples of ethos, pathos, and logos) and their efficacy, by techniques the writer used and their effectiveness, or chronologically. Start each paragraph of the rhetorical analysis essay with a topic sentence and support each with convincing evidence, which can be examples, data, or facts.

Step 6: Write a Concluding Paragraph

Summarize what you’ve previously elaborated on and restate the thesis statement. Additionally, talk about how the author’s words have changed the opinion of their audience or if they’ve had a significant impact on society.

In the final sentence of your rhetorical analysis essay, you can provide an impactful concluding statement that shows the importance of the author’s writing.

Parting Shot

Are you a tutor or student wondering how you write a rhetorical analysis example? You can opt to read a few examples available online. However, you will need to determine if a subject expert will write them.

The best solution to reading quality work is to click on EssayAxe and ask for a written sample from a highly experienced and trustworthy writer. Our writers have also gained the reputation of completing high-quality rhetoric analysis essays from a wide array of topics for students at all academic levels.

Morever, if you send your request now, your paper will be in the hands of the most qualified writer. What’s even great about choosing us is that the content from the essay will help you become a better student.

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