Rhetorical Analysis Essay Made Simple: A Step By Step Guide

Brief Guide and Tips on Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay is a form of essay writing that focuses on the rhetoric of the content. Instead of analyzing the message that the author wants to deliver, the concern is “how does he deliver it?” We focus on the technique and how it appeals to the readers.

A rhetorical essay can’t be a summary. Rather, it is an excellent medium that breaks the entire piece into several parts. How does it produce a certain effect when brought together?

We dissect the author’s work to assess their strategies and their rhetorical devices. It gives you a clear picture of how you can achieve a predefined goal. We examine the author’s viewpoint, and style of writing by evaluating their persuasion methods and the impact on readers’ minds.

A rhetorical analysis is not specific to any platform and can be conducted on an advertisement, cartoon, speech, document, etc. It hardly matters whether you agree with the author’s views or not. The entire focus should be based on the technique utilized and assessed for its suitability, and relevancy.

Brief Guide and Tips on Rhetorical Analysis Essay

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay? 

A Rhetorical Analysis Essay is all about how writers or speakers use their words to influence their audiences. It consists of various parts of the content, a play, a speech, a book, or a piece of writing. This essay emphasizes a work of non-fiction and analyzes it in depth. 

So this is all about breaking the content into fragments, understanding the text between lines, and how to influence your audience with your write-ups. However, the outcome is beyond that. Before you start to write and analyze texts, you should also think about how does it impact a reader?

Rhetorical analysis essays seek a look into local language use, its intention, or auditory perception. Also, it did not emphasize either or not, agree with the author’s perspective.

Describe the techniques used by the author or their impact on the reader. The proof presentation and opinion make it for the learners critically. Writing an essay on rhetoric needs a high literacy degree and the capability to analyze language use. It needs subject matter awareness that has been examined in an exact piece when people review it.


What defines a rhetorical situation?

Talking about understanding a rhetorical situation, it is the communicative context of a text which includes:

Audience: The class of people whom you’re writing for. 

Author/speaker/writer: The person or group of people composing the text.

Purpose: To inform, persuade, entertain; what the author wants the audience to believe, know, feel, or do.

Exigence: The text’s reason for being, such as an event, situation, or position within an ongoing debate that the writer is responding to.

Message: The most important context of the text, and the essential pointers, is that the author is communicating to the audience.

Medium and Genre: The delivery method, which includes broadly and narrowly defined categories of communication, such as:

  • Alphabetic text (newspaper editorials, peer-reviewed academic articles, magazine feature essays),
  • Images (advertisements, photographs),
  • Sound (speeches, radio commercials, songs),
  • Multimodal texts (YouTube videos, performances, graphic novels).


Rhetorical Strategies:

After breaking down the rhetorical situation, you need to analyze, how the author uses rhetorical techniques to express your ideas? As you analyze the text, consider this:

  • In what respect does the author use the ethos technique to accomplish the intended purpose? How does the author convince the audience of the author’s credibility, authority, or trustworthiness? Do they have the relevant qualifications? How does the author demonstrate shared values with the audience?
  • In what respect, has the author been able to evoke emotions of pity, sympathy, anger, courage, happiness, sorrow, etc? How has he been able to establish a strong bond? What kinds of images, colors, sounds, and words does the author use to hold the reader’s attention.
  • In what respect does the author use the logo appeal to accomplish the intended purpose? Mention the type of evidence and reasoning the author used. How does the author arrange their ideas or order their main points? What kind of logic does the author use?


How Can I Prepare a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline?

The outline of a rhetorical analysis essay is the structure that keeps everything in place. While writing any type of assignment, it is important to follow a certain outline to ensure a meaningful outcome. The outline instantly adds logic to any write-up by making it look organized. You need to assess the subject carefully to recognize the intentions, purpose, and techniques used by the author.

Let us dive in and discuss how the outline of your rhetorical analysis essay should be.

  • Introductory Paragraph: In this part, you need to aware the readers of what the entire piece is going to be. Make the introduction informative and also mention has the author has been successful in delivering the goals. Add a thesis statement and talk about the elements that you will be including in the write-up. Address the “what”, “who”, “why”, and “how”.
  • Body: Maintain an informative outlook throughout the body and discuss all the elements utilized by the author. Assess and explain how the subject persuades, informs, and entertains the audience. Ensure clarity and consistency throughout your rhetorical analysis essay.

You have to understand how the strategies work, why they were used, and their impact on the audience. Add quotes and citations if required.

  • Conclusion: Here you need to rephrase the thesis statement, and summarize your entire piece. Moreover, discuss how the author’s approach influenced the audience’s opinion or left an imprint on society.


Powerful Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics In 2022

Here is a list of interesting rhetorical analysis essay topics for you to choose from!

  • Share a rhetorical analysis view on “The Hunger Games” movie series.
  • A deep rhetorical analysis of Obama’s farewell speech.
  • Write a rhetorical analysis essay on William Shakespeare’s, “The Hamlet”.
  • A rhetorical analysis view on the evolution of art, from the late 90s till today.
  • Discuss the rhetorical analysis: Pepsi v/s Coca-cola advertisements.
  • DC v/s Marvel: What distinguishes them? Share a rhetorical view.
  • Sam Berns, “My Philosophy For A Happy Life”.
  • The most powerful advertisements of 2015.
  • Write a rhetorical analysis on the legendary piece “Romeo and Juliet” by William Shakespeare.
  • Rhetorical analysis on Netflix series, “Money Heist”.
  • A deep rhetorical analysis of the Bible.
  • What are the rhetorical devices used in the portrait of “Monalisa”? Write on analysis.
  • How do works of literature utilize solitude as an element?
  • Write a rhetorical analysis essay on how e-commerce has changed consumer behavior.
  • An analysis on “The Kite Runner”.
  • What rhetorical strategies have been used in “The Harry Potter” series?
  • Share the analysis of rhetorical devices used in the American national anthem.
  • Analyze the rhetorical devices and strategies utilized in Macbeth.
  • Share a rhetorical analysis used in the motivational speeches of “Jack Ma”.
  • Write a rhetorical analysis on “Seize The Day” from Dead Poets Society.


How to Write a Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

When a person encounters something for the first time, it is natural that they won’t understand anything about it. Hence, there is nothing to worry about; instead, it’s completely good. It occurs and it will settle down when the person becomes familiar with the work and the thought behind it. So, learn the steps to writing the Rhetorical Analysis Essay from the guide given below.

1. Writing a Thesis for Your Rhetorical Analysis

While analyzing the rhetorical situation and strategies, you need to create a thesis for rhetorical analysis. Often, the thesis helps you check the effectiveness of accomplishing the purpose with the target audience through rhetorical strategies.

You might adapt a template like this one: “In [text], [author] effectively convinces [audience] of [message] by [rhetorical strategies].”

Let’s quote an example: The webpage “Rhetorical Analysis,” written by the Writers Workshop, effectively informs students about how to write a rhetorical analysis by breaking down the elements of the rhetorical situation into an easy-to-read list, posing a series of questions about rhetorical strategies, and capitalizing on the Workshop’s ethos as the campus writing center.

2. Know Your Topic

To write an essay on Rhetorical Analysis, you need to know the topic or task you are going to describe. In addition, the writer’s job is to do primary research or do analysis. Then include the whole explanation for it. For the reader, it is crucial to predict the aspects of the rhetorical topic or analyze it from various angles.

Something that makes fiction, non-fiction, and literature open-ended, usually. People may use their judgments to form meaning, but be careful that whatever they say is backed up with supportive arguments. Despite taking on the topic, as a complete, break it into pieces and bits deal with every section separately.

When a person has divided the topics into parts, one should examine the relationships between the multitudinous parts. A tricky part about writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay is selecting an accurate topic. If your professor was very kind to assign the topic, you are moving well. You may head over to our generator of essay topics and search for compelling topics.

3. Gather all the related information on the essay topic.

The next step while writing the Rhetorical Analysis Essay is to collect all the essential information.

Answer all questions would give the necessary guidelines to follow as you start the composition:

  1. What is the goal of the author in the text?
  2. What are the initial thoughts outlined by the writer?
  3. Which problem is raised by the author?
  4. What is the author’s target audience?
  5. How is the necessary theme considered in the text?
  6. Has the author handled converting messages successfully?
  7. Which method was used by the author to converse the aims?


Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips

We have curated a list of some useful tips that make writing a rhetorical analysis essay quite easy.

  1. Go to a topic that is engaging and capable of hooking the audience.
  2. You must go through the original text carefully and understand it deeply.
  3. You need to verify the SOAPSTone. What do we mean by this? Analyze the text to identify the speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject, and tone.
  4. Another significant part of any rhetorical analysis essay is crafting a thesis statement. It describes the claim over the text.
  5. Always start by drafting a good outline rather than jumping in and starting writing.
  6. Make it a point to write an attention-getting introduction. Grab all the necessary details about the subject and the thesis statement.
  7. Do not forget to add a topic sentence within the body paragraphs. This is also where you need to present a thorough analysis of the subject.
  8. While writing the conclusion of your rhetorical analysis essay, reinstate the thesis statement to make it impactful. You should give a summary of the major points here.
  9. A lot of people skip the proofreading part, which is a huge mistake! Always proofread your write-ups and make the necessary changes, or delete the unnecessary ones. Strike out the grammatical and spelling errors.
  10. Address these questions in your rhetorical essay copy:
  • What did the author want to say?
  • What did he say?
  • What is it that he said unintentionally?


What are the elements of a rhetorical analysis essay?

Three different persuasive methods are utilized to support the arguments made in the essay. For the biggest impact, utilize the ethos, pathos, or logos combination.

Ethos: Relying on the personal experience of the author. Take a look at a definition of ethos in literature. Ethos is the Greek word that defines character. Its emphasis is on the credibility or authority of an individual. For instance, in commercials, celebrities are shown using the product as they appeal to the audience.

Pathos: Utilize emotions to arouse feelings in readers. Pathos is the method of persuasion that induces the reader to feel emotions despite thinking. It triggers the emotions of an audience.

Logos: utilize of logical or rational approach with statistics, facts, or strong argument to persuade the reader.

Logos are mainly defined as the utilization of reason or logic to convince the reader.


Examples of Analysis of Rhetorical essay

Here is an excellent rhetorical analysis essay sample example, shared by the experts. The entire piece is divided into an introduction, the body, and a conclusion. Let us look at the example to understand it better.

 “Two Years Are Better Than Four.” By Addison

In the article written by Liz Addison, she states the argument that community colleges deserve more praise than they receive. Addison emphasizes the fact that the college period is apparently the time when students get a chance to explore themselves and their interests. She believes that children who have enrolled in a 4-year college program have already proved themselves. They went through competitions and difficult entrance tests, which is evidence of their caliber. In contrast, community colleges accept every application. As they do not conduct tests, it is a fair and best part of their existence. Students who do not otherwise have a chance to higher education benefit from community colleges the most. In the end, Addison views community colleges as potentially strong American institutes. She believes that community colleges are an excellent opportunity for the general public.

In this article, Addison uses denial, to begin with. In the beginning, she talks about the point of view Rick Perlstein stated. She disagrees with him as she believes that he cannot comment on life in a community college without any first-hand experience. She is using Perlstein’s view to build a counterargument. However, the main argument that Addison wants to state is that community colleges are often left overlooked.

Although Addison is referring to Perlstein repeatedly throughout, her prime focus remains on the significance of community colleges. She wants to get her point across repeatedly by telling that community colleges are great American institutes. She believes in the fact that people who step into 4-year programs are already well trained. However, the students who enter community colleges have the opportunity to grow. Throughout the article, Addison is trying to give the readers logical reasoning as to why they should support her point of view about community colleges.

There is no doubt that I agree with her thoughts. However, I did not like the tone she used in the write-up. Yes, community colleges are an asset to society but it seems that she is mocking them with that tone. It is fine that she pinpointed Perlstein. But the way she did it shows disrespect. She could have left an impactful impression with her viewpoint had she shown some respect for the opposition. This is an error of ethos. The tone that she utilized might make her seem unreasonable to most readers.


Final words

It is quite evident that writing an essay on the analysis of rhetoric may be challenging, but with the help of experts, and given samples, it is very easy to write. With the addition of this, it is crucial to learn the steps of essay writing as it not only provides new ideas but entails a new experience. Consequently, individuals should analyze rhetoric, which plays a crucial role.