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Learn Everything about Writing Rhetorical Analysis Essays

UserAlice Anderson time08 January,2018

Ever seen those political leaders popping up right before the election and giving a long persuasive speech? If you take up one such speech and analyse it to see how the different sections work together to persuade the audience, you will be conducting a rhetorical analysis.

Rhetorical Analysis Essays

If you ask me to define rhetoric, I would say that it is the process of studying the way speakers and writers utilise words to influence the audience. However, remember that just trying to understand the meaning of a work is not the purpose of rhetorical analysis.

How do we define rhetorical analysis essays?

According to the rhetorical analysis essay definition, it is a type of writing which requires the author to break down another writer’s work and examine it in detail. The purpose is to find out how the author has written the paper to produce a specific effect. This pretty much sums up what is a rhetorical analysis.  To do the analysis, you have to examine the rhetorical strategies used by the author.

What are rhetorical analysis essay strategies?

In rhetorical analysis, the writer needs to use his/her critical reading skills to break down a literary work. He/she uses various strategies to achieve the goals and aim to make a specific effect on the readers. It can be anything from persuading, informing or entertaining the readers.

Now that you know how to define rhetorical analysis essays, you should learn how to draft one. Keep reading to know.

How to write a rhetorical analytical essay

If you are writing a rhetorical analysis, you must discover the goals of the rhetorician, the techniques used and how effective the techniques are. Your primary goal as a writer is to show how the rhetorician establishes an argument and how successful the approach is.

The first thing you must do is carefully read the whole text you are going to analyse. Try to understand the text you are reading. Reading the literary work or article is mandatory if you want to learn how to write an analysis essay. When you are evaluating a text, your main goal should be:

  • To find out how all the sections of the article connect with each other
  • To reveal which persuasive technique the author has used to get the readers’ feedback

Once you understand the author’s main idea or thesis in the text, re-read the content while asking the following questions:

  • What is a rhetoric situation that has been described by the author?
  • What is the thesis or main argument of the author in the text?
  • Who is the target audience in the piece being analysed?
  • What purpose does the author want to fulfil through his literary work?
  • In which order does the author arrange the main ideas?
  • Does the whole article successfully help the author to reach his/her goals?
  • What diction does the author use?
  • How are the sentence structure and the use of punctuations in the text? Are they creating any specific effect?

When you answer to these questions, always try to understand why the author selected a specific way to write the text. You can also develop your own questions that will help you to understand the writing critically.

Before you start writing, you should learn about some literary strategies used in rhetorical writing.

Rhetoric writers use appeal in their writing to get the readers’ approval. Different types of rhetoric persuasive strategies are the pathetic, the ethical, and the logical.

  • The pathetic- The pathetic appeal affects the emotions of the audience. It is simply the target audience’s emotional reaction to the arguments made by the author.
  • The ethical- The ethical appeal utilises the credibility of the author himself to make the audience accept his/her argument.
  • The logical- The logical appeal utilises various evidence, facts and other logical reasoning to influence how the audience thinks.

Learning about ethos, pathos, and logos will help you not only to understand the strategy used by the author but also assist you in deciding how you will support your thesis.

Find out how to use ethos, pathos, and logos in communication here.

You should follow the below-mentioned points to write a brilliant rhetorical analysis:

  • Prepare a thesis- You have to create a thesis statement. You will tell the readers about the point you want to establish regarding the text.
  • Explain the rhetorical strategies used by the author- After you have written the thesis, arrange the rhetorical strategies used by the author of the text in a logical way. Following this, identify the stylistic choices made by the author and arrange them in a similar way. Write about the purpose the author has for making these specific choices.
  • Create a topic sentence using each point of your thesis- Prepare a strong topic sentence using each of the points you have made in the thesis. Your readers will identify the arguments you are making.
  • Make points to achieve your purpose- You need to make strong points to establish your argument. Evaluate the strategies used by the authors without summarising them.
  • Proofread and edit- Just like any other writing, you must check your paper for mistakes. Revise your paper more than once to make it perfect.

What should be the rhetorical analysis essay outline?

The outline of a rhetorical analysis essay will be similar to that of any other essay. It will contain the following sections:

  • Introduction- Write an interesting introduction to arouse the interest of the readers.
  • Body paragraphs- Write the main discussion of your essay in the body of the write-up.
  • Conclusion- Draft a great conclusion that will help in creating a lasting impression on the readers.

Read rhetorical analysis essay examples

The greatest way to prepare before writing a rhetorical analysis essay is to go through several examples. By reading many rhetoric examples, you will learn more about the different strategies used in this type of writing. You will also get to know about other different aspects of writing this paper like how to arrange the information, how to analyse a text, etc.

Also, look for rhetorical precis templates to learn how to outline the paper.

Click here to get a useful example of rhetorical analysis.

How to find out the best rhetorical analysis essay topics

It is easy to get overwhelmed by the large number of topics for writing a rhetorical analysis essay topics. Here are some tips for finding the most appropriate topic:

Always make sure that the topic is something that:

  • Seems interesting to you
  • You have basic knowledge
  • Has many resources available

Now you have all the information you need to write a rhetorical analysis essay. Use the guide and surprise your professor with your writing.

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