How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

You may have ever noticed that facts can be used to present different points of view when it comes to a certain subject. In fact, facts influence the way people think. The reason behind this is simply because they are rhetoric. The main aim of a rhetoric statement is to use either spoken or written words, to influence an audience. It can include the use of facts, imagery, words and phrases to evoke a certain reaction.

A rhetorical analysis essay breaks down a given speech into several parts and explains how rhetoric was used to evoke a certain reaction. So you have been assigned to write a rhetorical analysis essay by your professor. How do you go about it? Here is a quick guideline on how to write a good rhetorical analysis. But before that, let’s look at the basics.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis?

A rhetorical analysis is an essay where you need to break apart the words and phrases created by the author, to bring out the strategies and persuasive styles used to evoke a reaction from the audience. These phrases are found in speeches given by politician and influential figures. In simple words, when you are given a rhetoric essay by your tutor, they are asking you to analyze the content and explain how the written parts influence the mind of the reader.

Preparation of a Rhetorical Analysis

A rhetorical analysis is a timed assignment. Effective preparation is an important part in creating a powerful rhetorical analysis paper. To start with, it is important to take note of relevant information that will make the analysis process easier. It is important for the reader to know the author, the target audience, the purpose for writing the speech, and the actual setting where the speech will be given.

Having all the answers to these questions will speed up the process and analyze the rhetorical analysis strategies fully. Further, this allows you to understand the ingredients of persuasion which are ethos, pathos, and logos.

Let’s expound on these ingredients a little more.

  • The ethos applies in ethics. It provides the reasons to why the speaker is a reliable source of information.
  • The pathos applies to emotions. It is a good way to convince a crowd by creating an emotional response.
  • The logos applies to logical thinking. It persuades the crowd through in-depth reasoning.

A complete rhetorical essay will contain at least one of the three persuasive methods. Once you get the actual concept, it will be very easy to figure out the tactic used by the speaker.

Rhetorical Analysis Outline

After reading and understanding the basics, the remaining part is the actual outline of how to write a rhetorical analysis. It’s time to put it down on a piece of paper. Proper paper structuring is the most appropriate way to satisfy your instructor’s requests, so this outline is a good way to kickstart your writing. Here is how to go about it.

Gather enough information

It is important to know who the writer or speaker is, which organization they are associated with, the main goals of the organization, the qualifications of the speaker, and more. Similarly, get to know the context of the work to be done, the target audience for the speech, and what makes the audience desirable to the author. The final part is an identification of rhetorical analysis topic(s) to be discussed.


In the introduction part, start with a brief summary of the main argument of the speaker. Inform your readers that you understand the rhetorical situation including the author, the audience and the context of the piece. This information should be short, precise and sweet. This will set the mood and inform the reader about the rhetorical strategies used in the text. Finally, put together an informative essay that includes the persuasive styles and narrow down your focus to a few specific aspects.


A thesis statement is included after the introductory paragraph. It consists of a few sentences that explain the main purpose of the paper to the reader. The main aim of this statement is to inform the reader what they should expect in the rest of the paper. The author will mention some of the tools to be analyzed and how they contribute to the final argument of the author.

The Tools

Your essay should outline the specific tools the author uses in the text. Some of the main tools that should appear in the essay are how the author uses imagery, certain kinds of diction and simile. Imagery refers to the descriptive language in an essay, diction refers to the choice of words used, while a simile is comparing two things using words such as “like” or “as.”

The Appeals

Writing a rhetorical analysis involves the use of appeals to make the point clear to the audience. Initially, there are three types of appeals which include ethos (ethic), pathos (pathetic), and logos (logic). Pathos are quite emotional and they are meant to evoke an emotional response in the crowd. For example, when using a pathetic appeal the author uses a twisted story about somebody in a speech to evoke a certain emotional response to get the audience engaged. Ethical appeal concentrates on the author’s credentials, which means that the audience believes the author because he/she is qualified to do the job well. It is also important to remember that it is normal for a speaker or writer to combine two or more appeals in a single piece.

Body Paragraphs

Being the most important part of the essay, the body paragraphs should contain the important aspects of the text including the analyses of the examples you want to use in the text. In this part, the author will be discussing how the author develops his rhetorical analysis topics, the strategies applied and link the content back to the main argument of the essay. Also, the author needs to prove their point of view and explain how specific tools have been used for the purpose of the essay. The body paragraphs should contain a short topic sentence, a quote, an analysis of the quote and how that quote is used to fit the author’s purpose in the essay.

It is also important to take note of shifts in tone and diction in this section. Although they may not impact much on the concept of the rhetorical analysis, having an idea of what they are shows the professor that you understand the different styles used in the text.


By now you have developed, analyzed and supported your definition of rhetorical analysis and arguments associated with it in the best way possible. It is now time to wind up the essay with a strong conclusion to summarize what you have already discussed. To begin with, give a brief description of how the text and the examples of rhetorical analysis affected the audience and the entire essay as a whole. Outline the results that were recorded as a result of this speech. Then, give a conclusion of the argument on each of the rhetorical tools used and link them back to the essay to show their significance.

Finally, provide an overall view or statement that benefit of the speech and how the strategies used helped to achieve the main objective of the essay. Good luck with writing your rhetorical analysis essay.

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