Home Blog Rhetorical Analysis Essay - Expert Guide With Examples

Rhetorical Analysis Essay - Expert Guide With Examples

Rhetorical Analysis Essay - Expert Guide With Examples

If you are an English language student, you will be writing a lot of assignments for your academics. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is one of those assignments.

A rhetorical analysis essay is a form of analytical essay that is usually assigned to the high school and college students. It is the most challenging assignment for students as it involves a professional level analyzing and writing skills.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is different from drafting ordinary research papers and essays. Learn how a perfect rhetorical analysis essay is written by reading this simple guide.

What Is A Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay is an essay in which a piece of writing is analyzed in detail. Also, in this essay, the writer studies a topic and forms a standpoint.

This essay is drafted to persuade the audience by providing strong reasoning for the writer’s claim. The main purpose of this essay writing is to use different methods and approaches to influence different characteristics of the audience.

Unlike other essay types, a rhetorical essay is based on the following information:

  • The situation highlighted by the author in the original piece.
  • Who is the author?
  • The main goal of the analyzed text based on the original author’s intentions
  • Does the main idea complete the author’s objectives?

It is important to know the steps involved in the planning and writing process to write an effective essay.

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How To Start A Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Before you move on to the writing section of the rhetorical analysis essay, it is important to learn how to approach this essay. There are six elements that are required in order to start a rhetorical analysis essay.

  • Speaker

Identify the speaker of the work. It is important to keep in mind the speaker is not necessarily the author. Sometimes the author uses the character’s point of view to narrate the story. Analyze who is the speaker and what are your assumptions about him/her?

  • Occasion

The occasion refers to the context of the work and its setting. The occasion is analyzed using two main views; micro and macro. The micro view analyzes where the original writing was set. While a macro view observes when the writer drafted the piece of writing and what was the environment then.

  • Audience

As the name suggests, the audience is the set of people to whom the author shared his ideas. Identify who was the targeted audience of the writing that the author delivered his message.

  • Purpose

Developing a purpose means that a writer identifies what message the author wants to deliver his audience. This can be analyzed by answering the question like what was the purpose of the writing? Or was the author’s purpose served?

  • Subject

When writing a rhetorical analysis essay, it is essential to identify and analyze the underlying meaning of the chosen subject. A writer of this essay type should understand that message and explain it in a few words.

  • Tone

Understanding the tone of the writer is another important element to analyze when writing a rhetorical analysis essay. The tone is identified by studying the author’s choice of words. Also, the use of other literary devices such as imagery and sentence structure states the tone.

SOAPS Tone Worksheet (PDF)

Once you have analyzed the basic elements of the work, it is time to start drafting your rhetorical analysis essay.

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How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

When the planning of your essay is strong the writing process will become easier. Once you have taken all the required pre-writing steps, start writing your essay taking the steps provided below:

  1. Determine the rhetorical strategy
  2. Choose a topic
  3. Develop a thesis statement
  4. Conduct research
  5. Draft a rhetorical analysis outline
  6. Proofread and edit

Determine The Rhetorical Strategy

The effectiveness of any communication, whether verbal or written, is based on persuading the audience. The strategies used to persuade the audience includes; ethos, pathos, and logos.

  • Ethos - As the word itself suggests, ethos appeals to ethics. This strategy convinces the readers that the writer is a credible source. He/she uses this approach to justify the stance and exhibits his/her morality.

For example, "As a doctor, I am qualified to tell you that this course of treatment will likely generate the best results."

  • Pathos - Pathos is a strategy that appeals to the reader’s emotions and aims to provoke their emotional response. It is due to this approach that the audience feels pity or angry on certain issues or situations.

For example, "If we don't move soon, we're all going to die! Can't you see how dangerous it would be to stay?"

  • Logos - This strategy is used to appeal to the audience by a logical representation of facts. According to this strategy, the audience is convinced through logical reasoning.

For example, "History has shown time and again that absolute power corrupts absolutely."

Ethos, Pathos, And Logos Example (PDF)

When writing a rhetorical analysis essay, identify which strategy the author used and whether he succeeded in persuading the audience or not.

Choose A Topic

Every writer aims to attract the audience towards his writing to communicate his ideas to them. In order to do this, a writer makes several efforts and uses different techniques. The first attempt to attract the audience towards the essay is by choosing an engaging topic.

Choose a topic that perfectly suits the source text and reflect your analysis. A topic for this essay type can be chosen keeping in mind the targeted audience.

Develop A Thesis Statement

Brainstorm ideas about the work in hand and develop a strong thesis statement. The thesis statement is the main stance or interpretation of the writer that he/she forms on the original text. This main argument will be the basis of your rhetorical analysis essay.

The thesis statement should be well defined and arguable so that logical reasoning can be done in the essay.

Conduct Research

Once you form a thesis statement for your essay, start gathering supporting information from the original text. Re-read the work and take notes of all the supporting and opposing information to prove your claim right.

Every idea or point you form about the work should have a shred of evidence from the work to support it.

Draft A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

All the gathered information needs to be organized in order to shape the content in a readable manner. For this purpose, an outline is drafted. A rhetorical analysis essay uses the basic essay outline of 5 paragraphs:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

The information is divided into the different sections of the outline taking the following steps:


An introduction is the first section of a rhetorical analysis essay. In this part, the chosen work is introduced along with some basic information about the author. A rhetorical essay introduction can include a summary of the work under analysis as well.

Also in the introductory paragraphs, the strategies used to persuade the audience by the author are discussed. All the basic elements that were analyzed in the planning phase about the work are mentioned here.

It is essential to keep in mind that your introduction section should be engaging. This is to make sure that the readers are inspired and encouraged to read your essay. In order to make your introductory section interesting, use a catchy hook and a strong thesis statement.

The thesis statement usually comes at the end of the introductory paragraph. A thesis statement in the introduction is to make the audience familiar with the purpose of your writing.

Body Paragraphs

Following the introduction comes the main body section of the essay where all the details about the work are presented. Here the writer attempts to justify his arguments and claims regarding the work of the author.

In order to prove your point use quotes from the text. Provide references from the original work to give strong evidence for your argument.

All the points gathered for discussion should be clearly presented in the body paragraphs. A good idea is to give each point a separate paragraph for its explanation. Use each point as a topic sentence of the paragraph and provide its analysis and explanation.

For a rhetorical essay, the writer should present the points in chronological order.


All the body paragraphs should lead the audience towards the final verdict of the writer about the chosen work. The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis essay restates the thesis statement and summarizes all the major points of the content.

In addition to this, concluding paragraphs discuss how the main argument is proved right. The writer also presents the impact of the author’s work on the audience in the past paragraph.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Sample (PDF)

Proofread And Edit

After drafting a conclusion for your essay, revise the written content. This is to check if there are any mistakes in the essay. Cross-check the references made and all the writing conventions. Make editings at this point if you come across any errors to make your rhetorical analysis essay flawless.

Writing Tips For Rhetorical Analysis Essay AP Language

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay for Advanced Placement English Language and composition is mandatory. It is a course and examination offered in Advanced Placement Programs by the College Board.

The writing process of the essay for this course is the same as the basic writing process of a rhetorical analysis essay. There are some writing tips provided by the professionals at MyPerfectWords.com to make your rhetorical analysis essay for AP Lang perfect.

Follow the easy writing tips provided below to draft a compelling rhetorical analysis essay:

  • Choose an interesting topic for your essay.
  • Read the original until the basic elements of the work are not clear. For example, speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject, and tone.
  • When drafting a thesis statement for your rhetorical analysis essay, make sure the thesis matches your topic.
  • Use accurate and appropriate language when drafting an essay.
  • Keep in mind that the basic objective of this essay type is to analyze and not to prove the counter-argument.
  • Keep your own voice as well while explaining the ideas of the text.
  • In the concluding section of the essay, only summarize the major points of the contents. Avoid introducing new ideas in the concluding paragraphs.
  • Proofread your essay at least thrice to check if the content is error-free.
  • Another tip is to take a professional’s help in order to draft a perfect essay.
AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (PDF)

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

In order to write a rhetorical analysis essay that is strong and effective, choosing a good topic is essential. Selecting rhetorical analysis essay topics that are appropriate for the content is a time taking process.

Grabbing the reader’s attention and motivating them to read your essay is the core objective of any writing. For this purpose, the writers choose engaging topics as they are the first attempt to attract readers.

If you are searching for good topics to write a rhetorical essay, we have a solution. Professional writers of MyPerfectWords.com have gathered some strong essay topics that are provided in the list below:

  • Martin Luther King Jr’s last speech
  • A scene from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet
  • “I Am Prepared to Die” by Nelson Mandela
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Macbeth’s rhetorical analysis
  • Rhetorical analysis of the movie “The fault in our stars”
  • Analyze the poem "The Epic" by Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Analyze Joseph Stiglitz’s “The Price of Inequality”
  • Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
  • Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mocking Bird'

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

It is essential to first go through examples and samples to see which structure and outline to follow when drafting an assignment. For our student’s ease, expert writers at MyPerfectWords.com have provided some rhetorical analysis essay examples.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample (PDF) Rhetorical Analysis of Cory Doctorow’s (PDF)

If you are looking for some more samples for your rhetorical analysis essay, MyPerfectWords.com provides free samples for every essay type. In addition to this, if you are seeking professional assistance for your academic papers and academic essays, MyPerfectWords.com is the best choice.

MyPerfectWords.com is the best essay writing service that provides original content for all academic writing types. Our qualified and experienced writers draft quality assignments for all the subjects and levels.

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