What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay and How to write it?

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that examines the authors’ strategies for persuading the reader. Instead of focusing on the content itself, it looks at how it is explained. Generally, for composition exams and English assignments, you will be asked to submit a rhetorical analysis essay. In general, rhetorical analysis is frequently used by professionals and students to analyze texts.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Currently, are you struggling to write a rhetorical analysis essay? Are you confused about how to do a rhetorical analysis? If you don’t know how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, keep reading this blog post for helpful writing advice.

What is Rhetorical Analysis?

Basically, a rhetorical analysis essay examines the authors’ attempts to sway the reader through their writing. The primary objective of this analysis is to evaluate the writer’s objective and methods of argumentation. You will be required to describe how effectively the author has presented their opinions or arguments in their work rather than analyzing them. Additionally, you should consider the audience’s reactions.

With the help of rhetorical analysis, you can carefully study the following work.

  • Novels
  • Speech
  • Academic articles
  • Art shows
  • Advertisements
  • Cartoons
  • TV shows
  • Plays
  • Films

If you are a student in high school or college, you will frequently be required to perform rhetorical analysis as part of your academic work. Next, let’s look at how to compose a rhetorical analysis essay.

Steps for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Generally, when doing analysis, you will have to divide the whole text into different sections. Then, describe how each section informs, persuades, or entertains the audience. A strong rhetorical analysis describes the effectiveness of the techniques used rather than exploring the text.

Like other academic essays, the rhetorical analysis essay should also be structured properly. For writing this essay, you can use a 5-paragraph structure that includes one introduction, three body paragraphs, and one conclusion paragraph.

Discussed below are the key steps that you can follow to prepare a rhetorical analysis essay.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  1. Collect necessary information
  2. Explore the appeals
  3. Recognize the style choices and details
  4. Do a complete analysis based on rhetorical situations
  5. Craft an introduction
  6. Write body paragraphs
  7. Create a conclusion
  8. Proofread and Edit

Collect necessary information

You can’t simply start writing an analysis essay without a proper plan and research. Hence, first, check all the parts of your work and gather the necessary information. Mainly, do a basic literary analysis and identify the answers to the following questions.

  • Who is the speaker or the writer who narrates the story?
  • When and where does the work happen?
  • Who is the target audience?
  • What is the purpose of this work?
  • What is the subject or topic of this work?
  • What tone the speaker or writer has used?

Explore the appeals

After you have gained a basic idea about the work, next move on to find the strategies used in the work. Usually, creators use different appeals to attract the audience. The appeals are nothing but persuasive strategies. In general, rhetorical strategies are of three different types- Ethos, Logos, and Pathos. The three rhetorical strategy types are together called a rhetorical triangle and are created by Aristotle.


Ethos examines how the disposition and the ethical values of the author generate appeal along with their knowledge and experience in a subject area. The ethos-driven text or speech more commonly depends on the author’s reputation. When doing analysis, you will have to check how the author sets up ethos.


Logos focus on reason or logic. This appeal is widely used in academic writing that includes arguments. To create a strong effect on the readers, the writers use valid evidence and data supporting the arguments.


Pathos deals with emotions. By using pathos, the writers make the readers feel a certain way. Mainly, pathos-based text or speech evokes the emotions of the audience. Also, through a set of feelings pathos persuades the audience that their argument is compelling.

The creators generally use any of these three strategies. So, explore the whole work and examine the appeals used.

Recognize the style choices and details

To create a particular reaction from the audience, the writers use unique styles. Some popular literary styles include word order, word choice, imagery, figurative language, analogies, repetition, and analogies. Go through the text or speech and identify the styles implemented in it.

Do a complete analysis based on rhetorical situations

Build your analysis by considering the rhetorical situations. The rhetorical situation shows the events around and behind a piece of rhetoric. Mainly, it helps you to explore the reason for the existence of the text, its purpose, and how it is crafted.

The five common rhetorical situations include Audience, Genre, Purpose, Stance, and Visuals.

To write an outstanding rhetorical analysis essay, you must have a clear understanding of the rhetorical situation used in the work. So, analyze and find the rhetorical situation. Also, do a deep analysis and gather the answers to the below-mentioned questions.

  • What is the argument?
  • Who is the audience?
  • What is the purpose of the work?
  • What is the genre of the text?
  • What style does the writer use?
  • What strategy does the writer use to make an argument and why?
  • What appeals does the writer use to convince the readers?
  • What is the tone of the text?
  • What kind of media or visuals does the writer use for communication?
  • What effect does the work create on the audience?

Craft an introduction

After doing a complete analysis of your rhetorical analysis essay topic, you can go ahead and start preparing the essay. The ideas in the essay should be organized and structured properly into various sections. The opening part of the essay is the introduction.

In the introduction section, you should give brief background information about the author and title. Also, you should mention the relevance of the text and the message the author intends to share. Finally, at the end of the introduction, you should include a strong thesis statement.

The thesis statement is nothing but a statement that summarizes your argument about the author’s strategies. It is an important part of your essay and should be written in one or two sentences.

On the whole, through a simple and informative introductory paragraph, you should give a hint to the readers of what will come in the body paragraphs of the essay.

Write body paragraphs

Next to the introduction section, add the body paragraphs. It is the soul section of the essay where you should explain your thesis statement. You can have at least three body paragraphs. In each paragraph, you should introduce a new topic and explain it with valid evidence.

When creating the body paragraphs, make sure to focus on appeals, rhetorical situations, and techniques the writers have used in their work. No matter how you organize the ideas, remember to support each idea with proper examples, data, quotes, or facts. Never discuss the opinions or arguments presented in the work. At the end of each paragraph, tie the topic back to your thesis statement for maintaining a proper flow.

Create a conclusion

After writing the body paragraphs, end the essay with a catchy conclusion. The conclusion is the closing section of the essay. In the conclusion paragraph, you should restate your thesis statement and summarize the major points discussed in the essay. Finally, you should explain why your analysis matters and provide a call to action using a powerful conclusion statement.

Proofread and Edit

Before submission, do a complete revision of the essay you have written. Check for grammar and spelling errors in your draft and edit them, if there are any. The final draft you submit should be perfect and original.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips

You can write a great rhetorical analysis essay if you follow the steps above. However, when writing the essay, keep the following suggestions in mind to make it more interesting, clear, and concise.

  1. The essay should be written in the third person (he, she, and they).
  2. Compose the essay content present tense.
  3. Use powerful verbs to describe analysis. Example: depicts, lays out, upholds, and so on.
  4. Utilize strong verbs that don’t sound like they are summarizing.
  5. Use direct quotes, facts, paraphrasing, and examples to support your argument.
  6. Never use a quote to begin a paragraph. Also, limit the number of quotes in your essay.
  7. A strong redundant phrase, such as “The research shows that” or “Recognize that,” should be used to begin your conclusion paragraph.
  8. Instead of fighting, analyze your main point.
  9. The conclusion paragraph should never contain any new information.
  10. Always remember to cite all of the sources you used in your analysis.

Final Thoughts

We hope you are now clear about how to write a rhetorical analysis essay. In case, you are not sure how to craft an excellent analytical essay, reach out to us .

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