A Complete Guide to Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

rhetorical analysis essay

Are you looking to learn more about rhetorical analysis essays? Or do you just want some examples of what they can look like?

Rhetorical analysis essays can be daunting tasks. However, with this expert guide and some amazing examples, you'll be able to knock your essay out of the park.

In order to write a great rhetorical analysis essay, you need to first understand what it is. In a rhetorical analysis essay, you break down how the author has used rhetoric to achieve his goal in writing. This can be anything from convincing readers of an idea to persuading them to take a specific action.

In this post, we'll discuss in detail what rhetorical analysis is. Then, we’ll give you a step-by-step guide on how to write one. Plus, we've included some great rhetorical analysis essay sample guides to help you.

Keep reading this guide to draft an amazing essay!

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A simple rhetorical analysis essay definition is that it’s a type of essay in which you examine a piece of writing. Such an essay discusses how a particular piece of writing is effective or ineffective in persuading its audience.

This essay does not focus on the content as much, but on the context of the writing instead. It is used to explore how an author uses rhetoric to persuade, entertain or inform their audience. The writer also takes a position on a topic and provides evidence to support their point of view.

This type of essay can be about a book, poem, movie, song, or play.

(back to top)

How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

In order to start writing your essay, use the SOAPSTone strategy. This is a plan where you identify the speaker, the occasion, the audience, the purpose, and the tone of the writing. You should do this for every piece of writing that you analyze.

This strategy has the following elements that you need to identify first:

  • Speaker: Who wrote the text?
  • Occasion: What is the text about? What is the setting?
  • Audience: To whom is the author speaking?
  • Purpose: Why did the author write this text? What is the main message?
  • Subject: What is the theme or topic of the text?
  • Tone: What rhetoric does the author use?
(back to top)

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Let us now explain how to write an effective rhetorical analysis essay in simple steps.

“How to write a rhetorical analysis essay AP Lang?”

Whether you need to write an essay for a high school assignment or your advanced AP lang course, follow the steps below. You can write a great rhetorical analysis essay with this guide.

  • 1. Understand the Rhetorical Strategies Used by the Author

    In a rhetorical analysis essay, it is important to look at the strategies used by authors in their writing. These involve understanding what methods they employed, their word choice, tone, and context.

    The three strategies authors use to persuade their audience are ethos, pathos, and logos.

    • Ethos makes use of morals for trustworthiness and credibility.
    • Pathos creates an emotional investment in what you're reading.
    • Logos are used to make an argument or persuade the audience with reasoning and logical appeal.
  • 2. Create Your Essay Outline

    Read the writing you’re about to analyze. Gather all the important points you wish to discuss in your essay. Then create your rhetorical analysis essay outline.

    Your essay outline will be a roadmap to guide your writing process. Arrange the ideas in the order you think best for creating an understandable and compelling essay.

    A standard outline follows three parts:

    • Introduction
    • Main body
    • Conclusion
  • 3. Draft a Thesis for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

    When writing a rhetorical analysis essay, it is important to develop a strong thesis statement. This statement should be your main argument.

    You need to support your rhetorical analysis essay thesis with strong evidence. Hence, it should be well-defined and arguable so that logical reasoning can be done in the essay.

  • 4. Start Composing

    Now that you’ve created your outline and thesis statement, you can start composing. Following your outline, start writing in the following manner:

    • Create a Hooking Introduction

      The introduction of a rhetorical analysis essay is the first section where you introduce your chosen work and its author. Give a brief summary of the writing and the rhetorical techniques used by the author.

      A good essay introduction will make your readers want to read on. It's important for them to not only understand what you're writing about but also get engaged.

      To create an interesting opening paragraph, try using a hook. You can use some interesting fact or figure, the author’s quote, or an anecdote.

      The introduction also includes your thesis statement. End your paragraph with your thesis such that it effectively conveys your main idea or argument.

    • The main body section of the essay is where you attempt to prove your arguments and claims regarding the work. Make use of quotes from the writing, as well as provide references. Support your claims with strong facts and evidence.

      Divide your main body into paragraphs. Each paragraph should start with a topic sentence that describes the main idea of that particular paragraph.

    • Summarize or explain the main points that were discussed in your essay. Instead of simply restating them, compose an engaging rhetorical analysis essay conclusion. End with a thought-provoking remark. It is effective to leave your reader pondering in the end.

  • 5. Review and Revise

    When you are done with your essay, go through and make any final edits. Check for mistakes in the text or references used. Make sure your essay is free of plagiarism and any grammatical errors. Also, make sure that the tone of voice is engaging and consistent throughout.

(back to top)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples

Following are some rhetorical analysis essay examples. Take guidance from these samples when writing your own essay.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Check out the following example of rhetorical analysis essay to know how to write yours:

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example AP Lang

Here is an AP Lang rhetorical analysis essay example for your guidance:

Example of Rhetorical Analysis Essay Using Ethos, Pathos and Logos

(back to top)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Here is a list of some interesting prompts to inspire your rhetorical analysis essay writing:

  • Analyzing the main concepts in the movie “The Pursuit of Happiness”
  • “I Have a Dream” - a speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Discuss “Mona Lisa” by Leonardo Da Vinci
  • Examine the literary techniques used by Jane Austen in “Pride and Prejudice”
  • Winston Churchill’s famous speech: “We Shall Fight On The Beaches”
  • Analyze the lyrics of your favorite song
  • Why is “Jane Eyre” by Charlotte Bronte considered a classic in English literature?
  • Analyze McDonald’s tagline “I’m Lovin’ It”
  • The Great Gatsby: analytic comparison of the movie and book series
  • Maya Angelou’s “And Still I Rise”
  • Study the techniques used by Claude Monet in his paintings
  • The central themes in William Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”
  • Use of rhetorical techniques in marketing advertisements
  • “To Kill a Mockingbird” by Harper Lee
  • “1984” by George Orwell: a rhetorical analysis
(back to top)

Tips for Writing an Effective Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is a hard task in itself. However, once you start writing, you want to make sure it’s perfect. We’ve compiled some writing tips to help make your essay more impressive.

Follow these tips below in order to write an effective rhetorical analysis essay:

  • Make sure to keep your reader's attention with an interesting and relevant topic.
  • Read the text again until you fully understand its various aspects.
  • Develop an engaging thesis statement that conveys your main idea precisely.
  • Be objective with your tone.
  • Use the present tense and accurate language.
  • Avoid presenting new facts or arguments in your conclusion.
  • Analyze the writing critically without bias.
  • Make sure to cite your references, if used any.
  • Proofread again and again to check for grammatical and punctuation mistakes.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can be difficult and time-consuming. If you’re not sure how to start or where to find the perfect topic, check out this blog. We’ve compiled writing tips, a list of prompts, and excellent sample essays for your guidance.

We hope this guide will help you through the process of writing a successful rhetorical analysis essay for any topic.

However, if you still feel stuck, don't hesitate to reach out to a reliable writing service, like ours. EssayWriterNow.com has a team of experienced writers ready to work on your assignment anytime.

Whether you need help with just one section or want us to handle every little detail, we're here for you. So, reach out to us if you need an expert essay writer to write your essay for you.

Visit our website and place your order now. We guarantee top-notch work, quick delivery, and affordable rates.