How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay That Will Work

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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay That Will Work
Table of Contents
  1. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay That Will Work
  2. Rhetorical Analysis: Definition
  3. Key Ingredients in Rhetoric
  4. Rhetorical Appeals
  5. Logos
  6. Ethos
  7. Pathos
  8. Parts of Argument
  9. Claim
  10. Evidence
  11. Warrant
  12. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis
  13. 1. Ask Questions
  14. 2. Be Attentive to Details
  15. 3. Draw a Summary
  16. 4. Outline Your Analysis
  17. 5. Double-Check Your Paper
  18. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Structure
  19. Introduction
  20. Body Part
  21. Conclusion
  22. Other Tips on Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
  23. Bottom Line

An effective rhetorical text should pull strings. When composing a rhetorical analysis essay, an assingment writer should recognize these strings and explore what makes the text convincing. While most students care about the reader's involvement, none of that works if textual analysis lacks critical aspects. In this blog post, we will break down some helpful tips on how to write a good rhetorical analysis essay without effort. From doing research to organizing your paper, this guide covers every stage of writing a compelling rhetoric analysis.

Rhetorical Analysis: Definition

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of academic writing that explores a literary work from the rhetoric perspective. In a nutshell, it deals with the "how": instead of uncovering the main message conveyed throughout the text, a student should analyze the strategies used to persuade the reader. As a writer, your goal is to read the text between the lines, make a thorough analysis, and draw your summary.

Most teachers assign a rhetorical analysis essay to test students' analytical skills and ability to focus on details. This being said, your task is to break the literary work into parts to recognize the rhetorical devices – the appeals to the readers.

Now let's take a closer look at the key components, and then we will move on to the steps of writing a great rhetorical analysis essay.

Key Ingredients in Rhetoric

Rhetoric is the art of speaking and writing effectively. There are various ways to make the audience accept a specific opinion. Let’s see how. 

Rhetorical Appeals

The first seed of this discipline was planted over 2000 years ago, when Aristotle first identified rhetorical appeals to the audience – logos, ethos, and pathos. Together, they create the rhetorical triangle – a set of techniques that aim to convince the recipient. Let's make clear what each of these components means.

Logos

What is the ultimate goal of persuasive writing? Most students will be right when saying "to convince the audience with the help of reasoning supported by evidence". Logos, or an appeal to logic, deals with supporting examples. Logos examples in the literary text include facts, statistics, citations, numbers, and other reliable information.

It is crucial that any data the author provides can be verified. This way, logos will help build trust with the audience.

Ethos

Different price aside: which running shoes would you rather buy — original or replica? Assuming all things except price and quality are the same, most would choose the original brand. It is a credibility that appeals to the audience, and this is the main objective of ethos. This appeal is probably the most challenging to establish since ethos's main purpose is to show the author's expertise in the subject. And this is exactly the thing that helps come up with the background for a Rogerian argument.

To earn the reader's trust, authors often mention personal experience, knowledge, and skills in the field.

Pathos

Have you ever made an irrational decision when excited or angry? The power of emotions can be irresistibly persuading even if it runs against our reasoning. Pathos, or appeal to emotions, is a unique method used to convince the audience by evoking feelings. This appeal is the most common persuading strategy in literature.

In essence, literary texts are created to awaken emotions, so it usually doesn't require extra effort to find pathos examples in any form of literature.

Parts of Argument

As a rule, a rhetorical speech or writing contains an argument, which is either explicit or implied. No argumentation can be made without three principal parts: claim, evidence, and warrant. Let's discuss them in more detail.

Claim

A claim is a statement that an author aims to prove. Argumentation may be built based on one claim or made of several different ones. Generally, the claim is evident; however, in some cases, it may be inferred.

Evidence

Evidence, or otherwise called a ground, includes examples and facts that help the author prove the claim. In a rhetorical text, supporting evidence may vary from explicit facts to emotional appeals – any information that is given to sway the reader's opinion.

Warrant 

A warrant is an assumption that ties the evidence to the claim. While supporting examples and claims are relatively easy to find, the warrant is often implied. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't be looking for explicit warrants.

Now let's look at the following argument:

There was a total lockdown; the students' results for finals are low.

In the example above, both claim and evidence are evident, but the warrant is built on the inferred assumption. A reader assumes that it's a lockdown that has affected the students' academic performance since they couldn't attend the classes.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

When it comes to a rhetorical analysis essay, most students end up wasting too much time on the writing process. However, any decent analysis begins well before composing the very first sentence. There are several steps that you need to make the whole process go smoothly.

This section will give a full guide on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, with each stage explained in detail.

1. Ask Questions

When you write a rhetorical analysis essay, you must be as good and observant as Sherlock Holmes. To succeed in this task, you need to do a thorough investigation – interrogate the author and his composition. Your goal is to uncover the hidden motives and rhetorical techniques used to convince the reader. This basically comes down to asking the "what", "why," and "how" questions:

  • Who is the author? Identify the author's credibility.
  • What is the author's intention in writing?
  • What is the main argument?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What kind of rhetorical strategy did the author choose to appeal to the audience?
  • What kind of style did the author use and why?
  • What effect does the article have on the audience?

After answering these fundamental questions, you should make a brief overview of the gained insights. This way, you'll have a full understanding of what aspects you need to cover in a rhetorical analysis essay.

2. Be Attentive to Details

Focus on the structure of the passages and overall strategic functions of each part. The emphasis should be placed on rhetoric techniques, appeals, literary devices, and word choice used by the author to persuade the audience. Pay special attention to the stylistic details like figurative language (i.e., extended metaphors, allegories, imagery)

3. Draw a Summary

Once you identify the main argument and the tools of persuasion, make a small overview. This summary will turn into the thesis statement of your rhetorical analysis essay. Keep in mind, a thesis statement sets the ground for analysis, so you should focus on it throughout the entire paper.

4. Outline Your Analysis

This stage involves writing down all rhetorical techniques found during your textual analysis – this is basically your essay outline. Your essay shouldn't look like a mess, so make sure it is easy to scan. Organize your thoughts in chronological order. This way, you will see how to spread information throughout your rhetorical analysis essay.

5. Double-Check Your Paper

Think about this: you create a rhetorical analysis essay to get good grades, your professor will read it, and something turns out to be incorrect. Can you imagine how harmful grammar and stylistic mistakes can be? Remember, your rhetorical analysis essay is your reflection– make it flawless.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Structure

Now that you are familiar with all stages of the writing process, it's time to put your knowledge into practice. When writing a rhetorical analysis, you should use a typical 5-paragraph essay structure. As most academic papers, a rhetorical analysis essay must include three essential parts:

  • An introduction
  • 3 Body paragraphs
  • A conclusion

Next, we'll break down some useful tips on how to make each essay section look perfect.

Introduction

An introduction is the first thing your target audience will read. With this in mind, it should be catchy and absorbing – this way your reader will be compelled to soak up the rest of your piece. The introductory paragraph should be brief and begin with an engaging hook to induce the reader's interest.

First of all, briefly mention who the speaker or writer is. Then smoothly move on to your rhetorical analysis subject: give some background information on the main topic.

Do not forget to include a strong thesis statement that must present your main argument. The thesis statement is a crucial part of any essay or research paper: it introduces the subject you will discuss in the paper.

Apart from this, explain why the chosen text is worth discussion. Was the speaker or author particularly good at convincing people? Is there a masterful use of rhetorical appeals?

Body Part

The body is the juiciest part of your rhetorical analysis essay. In this section, a student should present rhetorical research results: persuasive strategies, writing techniques, tone of voice, literary devices, appeals to the audience, and other techniques used in the text. Use examples and quotes to support your key findings but do not forget to present your own arguments.

As a rule, this part of the rhetorical analysis essay includes three body paragraphs. Note that each paragraph should address a single aspect and naturally lead to the next section.

One good idea is to dedicate each body paragraph to one of the appeals – ethos, pathos, and logos. Another approach is to discuss appeals in one section and analyze the parts of the argument and literary devices in the rest of the two body paragraphs.

Feel free to arrange the thoughts in your own way. You shouldn't limit your creativity, but it is vital to stick to the clear rhetorical analysis essay structure.

Conclusion

The conclusion is the last paragraph that must leave a lasting impression on the reader. Make the ending of your rhetorical analysis essay strong. A good concluding part should overview the key ideas and reveal how the analyzed text affects the target audience. You also need to restate your thesis statement and logically sway a reader to the final thoughts.

To effectively conclude your rhetorical analysis, you should stimulate intellectual nourishment – give your reader something to think about.

Other Tips on Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay 

And here are some other useful tips on mastering a good rhetorical analysis essay.

  1. Get more practice. You may discover thousands of statements on TV, the Internet, and social media. Try to find what makes the text appealing to the audience.
  2. Don't get distracted. Letting yourself be lead away while writing the rhetorical analysis essay is a bad idea. Avoid explaining the meaning, but rather focus on rhetorical techniques.
  3. Provide decent analysis. At least 50% of your writing must be a commentary. You need quotes to support your judgments and thesis.
  4. Keep your own voice. Prove your statement, reflect your opinion and describe the arguments and examples explicitly. Again, do not forget that rhetorical analysis is not a research paper.

Bottom Line

In short, a good rhetorical essay should target the text in terms of rhetoric. A rhetorical analysis goes beyond searching for ethos, pathos, and logos. Apart from recognizing the main persuasive tools, you should also properly integrate the results of research in your writing and properly structure your paper. Leaving this job to our competent writers is a cinch to take your  rhetorical essay to a whole new level. Do not miss out on your chance to benefit from our academic writing services – get any paper done in no time.