Rhetorical Analysis Essay - A Step by Step Guide & Examples

Written by

Nova Allison

7 mins read
 rhetorical analysis essay

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can seem like an overwhelming task for beginners. However, with time and patience, you'll find that this type of paper is not as tough to complete. Due to different types, many students consider essay writing a difficult task.

To write a good one, you need to familiarize yourself with the author's argument, analyze the structure, and identify any persuasive devices used.

However, with a little guidance and some examples, it's easier than you think!

In this blog post, we'll walk you through the steps of writing a rhetorical analysis essay and provide examples to help you get started.

So read on for all the information you need to make your next rhetorical analysis essay a success!

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that examines a text and its use of rhetoric. Rhetoric is the way the authors use language to achieve the goals and connect with their audience. This means that a rhetorical analysis not only looks at what the author is saying but also how they are saying it.

In your analysis essay, you analyze the way in which each part works to persuade or inform. Here, we explore what techniques were used for argument construction as well as give examples from the text to emphasize our point.

A rhetorical analysis is like other essays: it has an introduction, a body, and a conclusion. The introduction presents the thesis, the body analyzes the text, and the conclusion wraps up everything.

The main aim of the rhetorical analysis essay is to:

  • The rhetorical analysis essay aims to reveal the author's message and how that message is conveyed to the audience.
  • The goal of a rhetorical analysis essay is to show how an author relates to and influences the audience.

A good rhetorical analysis essay should be:

  • Concise
  • Coherent
  • Clear
  • Grammatically correct

Also, before you begin writing the essay, consider the following questions.

  • Who is the writer/author?
  • How does the main message sound?
  • What is the main goal of the analyzed text?

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How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Some students have a hard time starting an essay because they don't know where to begin. Here are the steps you should follow before you start writing your essay.

  1. 1. Identify the SOAPSTone
  2. SOAPSTone helps you organize the essay by making it easier for you to draft an outline. It helps you cover all the important points in your essay.

    The SOAPSTone includes

    • Speaker: The speaker mentions the writer's first and last name. If they have any credentials, briefly introduce them.
    • Occasion: It defines the type of text as well as the context.
    • Audience: You need to know who will be reading your work. It will help you make your essay successful.
    • Purpose: You should ask yourself what you want to convey in your paper and how it will benefit your readers. You must also contemplate why you chose to write about this topic.
    • Subject: The subject is a topic covered by the author in this text.
  3. 2. Analyze the Rhetorical Appeals
  4. This step is called finding a rhetorical strategy and it includes ethos, pathos, and logos. Aristotle established these three appeals, and they are often called the rhetorical triangle. These appeals are used to persuade an audience.

    Let’s take a closer look at each one:

    • Ethos Appeal: This rhetorical technique and ethical appeal might involve a speaker appearing as an authority on their subject.
    • Pathos Appeal: In this emotional appeal, you choose your words and images wisely to manipulate the audience's emotional response.
    • Logos Appeal: In this logical appeal, writers must consider how logical the argument is and what evidence supports its claims.

    Moreover, it is important to identify the author's strategy and whether he successfully persuaded his audience.

  5. 3. Pick an Interesting Topic
  6. The essay topic should be something that interests you because it will show in the writing and will make a difference in how well-written or engaging an essay is.

  7. 4. Create a Thesis Statement
  8. The thesis statement is a crucial first step in writing your rhetorical analysis essay. It should summarize what you will discuss in the essay.

  9. 5. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline
  10. A good essay outline is the best way to start writing. After choosing the topic and making a thesis statement, start outlining your paper. Write down all the main points by following a proper structure.

    If you don’t create a proper outline before writing, you’re likely to forget some important points, and the writing process will be more difficult.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Example

Here is an example of a rhetorical analysis essay outline for your ease.

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

When you have finished the outline, you should start and follow the steps below.

  1. 1. Write the Introduction
  2. Introduction is the most important part of your essay in which you will introduce your essay’s topic. Open with a good attention-getting grabbing hook and briefly summarize some background information about your topic.

    The thesis statement is located at the end of the introduction, where the main purpose of the essay is explained.

  3. 2. Create the Body Paragraphs
  4. The essay’s body paragraphs explain the author’s methods for informing, persuading, and entertaining the reader. Provide plenty of examples and support your opinions.

    In addition, your essay can be strengthened and aided by using relevant data and facts. Also, organize your essay points in the correct order for a smooth flow of ideas.

  5. 3. Write the Conclusion
  6. End your essay by leaving the reader with an interesting thought. When you’re writing a conclusion, restate your thesis in different words, summarize the main points, and try to end on a strong note.

  7. 4. Proofread and Edit
  8. Before you submit your essay, carefully proofread it for mistakes in spelling, grammar, and word choice.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples

We’ve gathered some professionally written examples of rhetorical analysis essays to help you get a better idea of what the genre entails.

Rhetorical Analysis Sample Essay

AP Language Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Letter from a Birmingham Jail Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Rhetorical Techniques with Examples

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Rubric

Related: Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example to Help You Get Started

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Here is a list of rhetorical analysis essay topics to help you with your topic selection.

  • Leonardo’s “The Last Supper” from 1497
  • Rhetorical analysis of “Agree to Disagree” Movie
  • Flowers are the eyes of nature
  • A Nation Among Nations"
  • “Death of a Salesman” by Arthur Miller.
  • Do you like your friends or not?
  • England in 1819” by Percy Bysshe Shelley.
  • “Mini Habits: Smaller Habits, Bigger Results” by Stephen Guise.
  • “The Crucible” by Arthur Miller.
  • Feminism and Louisa May Alcott

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Tips for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay AP Lang

Advanced Placement English Language and Composition classes require students to write a rhetorical analysis essay. The process for writing a rhetorical analysis essay for this class is the same as the process for writing any other rhetorical analysis essay.

Here are some tips from experts at EssayHours.com to help you craft a perfect rhetorical analysis essay for AP Lang.

Follow the easy writing tips provided below to draft a compelling rhetorical analysis essay:

  • Select an intriguing topic for your essay.
  • Read the original work until you have a good understanding of its main points. For example, speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject, and tone.
  • Use accurate and appropriate language when writing an essay.
  • Make sure your thesis statement reflects your topic when writing a rhetorical analysis essay.
  • Remember that when writing these essays your objective is to analyze, not to prove the opposite.
  • In your concluding paragraph, restate your points and be sure that you leave the reader with a feeling of satisfaction. Do not introduce new ideas.
  • Proofread your essay at least three times to catch spelling and grammatical errors.

Now you have the tools for writing an effective rhetorical analysis essay, including samples and tips. However, if you are still confused about the writing process and need professional guidance, contact EssayHours.com.

Our expert essay writers process your ‘write essay for me’ requests quickly. They have years of writing experience and they always write high-quality essays.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the goal of a rhetorical analysis essay?

The goal of a rhetorical analysis essay is to explain how writers try to influence readers. It also describes the techniques that have been used to convince or persuade the reader.

What counts as a text for rhetorical analysis?

The text in the rhetorical analysis is the thing you are analyzing. It’s usually a piece of writing, but it can also be a political cartoon or an advertisement.

What are supports, claims, and warrants?

In rhetorical analysis:

  • Support: It is a proof or appeal used to convince the reader.
  • Claim: It is something that the writer wants the readers to believe.
  • Warrant: It is an assumption to link the claim with the support.

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