Rhetorical analysis essay guidance.

How to write a rhetorical analysis essay.


  • Congratulations! You are assigned to write a rhetorical analysis essay. To write such an essay, you should let your reader know, that this is a rhetorical analysis essay you present and to be able to do that, you need to have a clear vision what rhetorical essay is before getting started.
  •  A rhetorical analysis essay is about application of one`s critical skills on what you have read by breaking down the text two parts for analysis with the purpose of either providing with information, entertainment or persuasion. It can be a television show, an advertisement, literary work, a film, a scholarly article, a collection of art works, believe it or not, but a bumper sticker and many more as a topic for your rhetorical analysis essay.
  •  It is highly important to read carefully what you are going to analyze in your essay so you understand it correctly. Make sure you catch the main point about the piece you are to analyze. After reading the sources and all the arguments, start working on analyzing the rhetorical features.
  • Answer the following questions while doing your analysis: what is the main idea? With what purpose was the work done? What order of expression the ideas is followed? What were the author`s intentions while working on the piece you choose to analyze? What is its potential audience? Are there any slang, dialogues, and quotations? What about the structure of sentences and the way punctuation marks are located.

Guideline to followrhetorical essay

  • With these points in mind, you may begin writing your rhetorical analysis essay. To start with, write down your thesis, which is going to be the main idea of your analysis paper. Make your points about what the author or rhetorician was trying to say. Note whether the choice of rhetorical strategies made by the author was strong enough or on the contrary weak.
  •  When your thesis is identified, answer the question about the audience and why this particular theme was chosen by the author. Then, speak on the choice of words, style of speech, whether it is formal or informal.
  •  Every time you make some point, put a strong topic sentence in supporting the purpose you discuss. Keep in mind that just like the author whose work you analyze uses a rhetorical strategy, you need to use a rhetorical strategy too so it was not looking like just a summary. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is about exploring how exactly rhetoric works, exploring the argued ideas and how they are presented, and analyzing how the strategy works to help the writer in achievement of the purpose.
  •  Pay attention to what effect it makes on the paper that the author, for example, uses formal manner of speech. If that is an academic writing, make sure you proofread and edited your paper. Check on grammar and punctuation errors along with ease at translation, how smoothly and logically it flows.
  •  There are rhetoricians who see it as occasion, purpose, audience and subject. Some, though, tend to look at it as a rhetorical triangle of purpose, writer and, of course, reader.

 In addition

  • Just like any other kind of an essay, a rhetorical analysis essay should contain introduction, body paragraphs and a conclusion. Put your argument into introduction section and if it includes the author`s position, it would be reasonable to begin with naming a historical date of the event if any. Do not forget that your argument starts with the first words of your essay. Provide your reader with background information as a relevant layer of arguments in your “essay cake”.
  •  As has already been mentioned, every body paragraph should contain a topic sentence. Each idea in the paragraph should relate to the topic sentence. Make sure that the every topic sentences is connected to your thesis in the end of every body paragraph. It makes the text cohesive.
  •  In conclusion, make a concise restatement of your argument. Why it matters, what it means for the world. The text should be analyzed in a simple present tense. Do not use first person viewpoint but as if, you were audience. No conversational tone is allowed. Your claims should be supported with textual evidence, for example paraphrases and direct quotations.
  •  Avoid using polemical and ambiguous language with statements, which are unqualified and throwaway sentences. It might be obvious for you but put yourself into a reader`s shoes trying to see it with his eyes.
    Do not forget to use transition words between the paragraphs for easier reading.
    When it comes to strategies, Aristotle`s book called Rhetoric should be mentioned. He described three types of strategies in his book, which are ethics (ethos), emotions (pathos) and logic (logos). Speaking about ethics, it is not always about ethical argument. It may be about how credible and authoritative an author is on the particular subject, which is analyzed. Using this strategy, you present yourself and persuade your reader in your authority on the issue. Using the strategy of emotions, the aim would be to concentrate on your reader`s emotions based on the issue described. As for the strategy of logic, you present logical arguments, which are certainly clear and get-a-able.
  •  Feel free to try hand in the rhetorical terminology quiz 🙂
  •  Rhetoric is actually everywhere. As rhetorician, Kenneth Burke said: “wherever there is persuasion, there is rhetoric. And wherever there is ‘meaning’, there is ‘persuasion’. Food eaten and digested is not rhetoric. But in the meaning of food there is much rhetoric, the meaning being persuasive enough for the idea of food to be used, like the ideas of religion, as a rhetorical device of statesmen”.