Learn the Art of Crafting a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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Learn the Art of Crafting a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Before we get into details, let us find out what rhetoric means. According to Merriam Webster, rhetoric means “the art of speaking or writing effectively.”

But to write a rhetorical analysis, you have to use a different approach. Let’s introduce the rhetorical analysis essay and find out how you can write one.

This blog offers a complete step-by-step guide to writing a rhetorical research paper.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of essay which analyzes a literary work such as a book, drama, article, or speech. It helps to break down the content into many parts and provides different perspectives.

The rhetorical essay writer analyzes the literary work and explains how the author, text, and audience interact. The writer describes how the non-fictional work’s author has succeeded or failed in creating a certain effect - to persuade, convince, inform, or entertain the audience. Also, identify the techniques that the author has used to convince his target audience.

Apart from this, an analysis essay focuses on the non-fiction work that appears on the AP English test. This type of academic writing requires critical thinking skills to evaluate the text. A rhetorical analysis essay should explore the following things:

  • The author’s goal
  • Techniques used, its examples, and its effects.
  • Analysis of the language
  • Purpose of the argument

It should be noted that a rhetorical essay doesn’t support or reject an argument. It just explains how the author has made an argument and whether or not the approach used is successful.

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Before you start writing your rhetorical essay, you need to do your homework. Here are the main steps that can help you out in crafting a meaningful rhetorical analysis essay.

  1. 1. Get Knowledge

    The first and foremost step is to collect the relevant data needed for your essay. You need to understand the text thoroughly, which you are going to analyze. Read between the lines, do the research, and draw the summary of the text.

    The goal is to reveal the rhetorical strategies the author has used to convince his target audience to agree with his point of view. For that, you need to read the text at least 2-3 times so you can have full command over the text and complete grip over the technique used.

    Read the work thoroughly to find out how well the author has written it. It will also help you analyze whether the writer conveyed the message to the readers or not. Also, choose the mode of evaluation. A rhetorical analysis is more like feedback, and your honest feedback can provide valuable information.

    Here is an example.

    Assume you are a Civil Engineer, and you have to supervise a construction site. During your supervision and evaluation, you will run different tests. You will check what material they are using and what techniques are they following? You’ll check the quality of their work; are they working well according to the expectations, and are you satisfied with the results?

    That’s the point; a rhetorical essay requires similar techniques and processes from the writers.

  2. 2. Prepare Yourself

    There are many methods you can use to examine the information. The three most convincing tactics are ethos, pathos, and logos.

    Let’s discuss these three methods below to understand what they exactly mean:

    • Logos is a method of persuading an audience using logical debate. It appeals to the audience with a sense of intellect. Writers use this technique to convince readers by using logical arguments and presenting authentic evidence.

      An Example of Logos is the Union Address given by Obama back in 2015. He used facts and figures in his speech, telling the audience how they have improved over the years.

    • Ethos uses the credibility factor or ethical approach to convince the audience. For example, an engineer would say, “As an engineer, I am qualified to tell you that this bridge design will pass the test of time.”
    • Pathos target the emotions of the audience to persuade them. For example, an army officer saying, “Many men have fought for this land, just because they loved the motherland, now it’s our turn to fight for the nation.”
  3. 3. Ask Questions

    When you write a rhetorical essay, you need to sound professional to persuade order the audience. To succeed in rhetorical essay writing, you need to investigate the work under analysis carefully. Interrogate the author and his composition and analyze the hidden motive behind his composition.

    Follow the author’s statements and examples and put as many questions as required to uncover the motives. Try to look for an argument that completes the written composition. Remember that the questions that you’ll ask should be rhetorical, i.e., “why” or “what.”

    Here are a few example questions:

    • What is the author’s intention behind this composition?
    • What is the aim of the original text?
    • What is his targeted audience?
    • What is his main argument?
    • Why did he use this particular style or technique? Is the communication technique lacking in any way?
    • What strategy did he choose to compel the audience? How did the writer explain the situation?
    • What affects the composition leaves on the reader's mind? Has the writer delivered the message?
    • And the most important question,” Who is the writer?”
  4. 4. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

    It is beneficial to plan your essay in the form of a well-structured outline before you start writing it. The typical rhetorical analysis essay outline includes:

    • Introductory Paragraph
    • Body Paragraphs
    • Concluding Paragraph

    Below-mentioned is a detailed description of these sections to help you in your rhetorical academic papers’ writing process.

    • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Introduction

      An introduction is an important part where you introduce your essay. In the rhetorical analysis essay introduction, you are supposed to expose the essay’s subject to the reader and tell them the significance of the literary work.

      Start the introduction by mentioning who is the author of the literary work. Briefly describe the author and his composition. Give your judgment linked with the text, occasion, audience, purpose, and writing.

      Point out the key message that the literary work’s author tried to give through his work and the argument that he raised. Provide a strong thesis statement that clearly tells whether the author successfully got his message to the audience.

    • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Body

      The body paragraph is the section of any essay or where you openly discuss your main points with details. Each body paragraph should be dedicated to explaining one aspect related to the subject, but all paragraphs should be logically connected. As for the typical 5 paragraph essay, there are three body paragraphs.

      In the rhetorical analysis essay body section, many authors prefer to dedicate one paragraph to logos, one to pathos, and one to ethos. This is the simplest way to organize the information, but you can choose your own way to organize your information.

      Explain to the reader the techniques and strategies that the author has applied. Use quotes and examples to support the author’s key findings and your argument as well. Make sure you mention your opinion about the text; it will show your sense of language. And don't forget to respond to the questions that we have mentioned in step three.

    • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Conclusion

      Now you would think a conclusion for all kinds of essays is the same, and you are right in the general context.

      But in the rhetorical analysis paper, you have to summarize your analysis and state the significance of the techniques and strategies used in the analyzed text. Outline the key thoughts and how the composition has affected society. Evaluate the work in general and restate the thesis statement.

    Wrap up the conclusion on a high note and encourage the reader for additional thinking and reading.

  5. Revise And Edit Your Essay

    Once you are done writing your essay, the last step is proofreading and editing. Check your essay for any grammatical or spelling mistakes. Check if the information you have presented is in a logical flow. Correct all errors and add or remove the information to make your essay influential.

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Have a look at these examples for better understanding.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline (PDF)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample (PDF)

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

To deal with your confusion, an example topic list is compiled for your reference.

  • Rhetorical analysis of “Harry Potter
  • Rhetorical analysis of “Game of Thrones
  • Rhetorical analysis of “Inferno
  • Rhetorical analysis of “The Selfish Gene”
  • Rhetorical analysis of “Hamlet”
  • Rhetorical analysis of “Romeo and Juliet”.
  • Rhetorical analysis of Edgar Allen Poe’s poem “Raven”
  • Rhetorical analysis of Plato's "Republic"
  • Rhetorical analysis of "Pride And Prejudice"
  • Rhetorical analysis of "The Prince"

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This blog provides you with a detailed idea of writing a rhetorical analysis essay. But if you have an assignment you are supposed to submit at the end of the week; you would need help. You can ask an essay writer for writing help.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How long is a rhetorical essay?

There is no specific word count for rhetorical essays, but it has an introduction and 3 other parts. You need to tell completely what the paper is about and give three reasons for what you are writing.

What are 8 rhetorical modes?

Following are the 8 modes of rhetorical essay:

  • Narrative
  • Description
  • Process Analysis
  • Illustration and Exemplification
  • Cause and Effect
  • Compare and Contrast
  • Definition
  • Classification
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