• Affiliate Program

Wordvice

  • UNITED STATES
  • 台灣 (TAIWAN)
  • TÜRKIYE (TURKEY)
  • Academic Editing Services
  • - Research Paper
  • - Journal Manuscript
  • - Dissertation
  • - College & University Assignments
  • Admissions Editing Services
  • - Application Essay
  • - Personal Statement
  • - Recommendation Letter
  • - Cover Letter
  • - CV/Resume
  • Business Editing Services
  • - Business Documents
  • - Report & Brochure
  • - Website & Blog
  • Writer Editing Services
  • - Script & Screenplay
  • Our Editors
  • Client Reviews
  • Editing & Proofreading Prices
  • Wordvice Points
  • Partner Discount
  • Plagiarism Checker
  • APA Citation Generator
  • MLA Citation Generator
  • Chicago Citation Generator
  • Vancouver Citation Generator
  • - APA Style
  • - MLA Style
  • - Chicago Style
  • - Vancouver Style
  • Writing & Editing Guide
  • Academic Resources
  • Admissions Resources

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay–Examples & Template

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay is, as the name suggests, an analysis of someone else’s writing (or speech, or advert, or even cartoon) and how they use not only words but also rhetorical techniques to influence their audience in a certain way. A rhetorical analysis is less interested in what the author is saying and more in how they present it, what effect this has on their readers, whether they achieve their goals, and what approach they use to get there. 

Its structure is similar to that of most essays: An Introduction presents your thesis, a Body analyzes the text you have chosen, breaks it down into sections and explains how arguments have been constructed and how each part persuades, informs, or entertains the reader, and a Conclusion section sums up your evaluation. 

Note that your personal opinion on the matter is not relevant for your analysis and that you don’t state anywhere in your essay whether you agree or disagree with the stance the author takes.

In the following, we will define the key rhetorical concepts you need to write a good rhetorical analysis and give you some practical tips on where to start.

Key Rhetorical Concepts

Your goal when writing a rhetorical analysis is to think about and then carefully describe how the author has designed their text so that it has the intended effect on their audience. To do that, you need to consider a number of key rhetorical strategies: Rhetorical appeals (“Ethos”, “Logos”, and “Pathos”), context, as well as claims, supports, and warrants.

Ethos, Logos, and Pathos were introduced by Aristotle, way back in the 4th century BC, as the main ways in which language can be used to persuade an audience. They still represent the basis of any rhetorical analysis and are often referred to as the “rhetorical triangle”. 

These and other rhetorical techniques can all be combined to create the intended effect, and your job as the one analyzing a text is to break the writer’s arguments down and identify the concepts they are based on.

Rhetorical Appeals

Rhetorical appeal #1: ethos.

Ethos refers to the reputation or authority of the writer regarding the topic of their essay or speech and to how they use this to appeal to their audience. Just like we are more likely to buy a product from a brand or vendor we have confidence in than one we don’t know or have reason to distrust, Ethos-driven texts or speeches rely on the reputation of the author to persuade the reader or listener. When you analyze an essay, you should therefore look at how the writer establishes Ethos through rhetorical devices.

Does the author present themselves as an authority on their subject? If so, how? 

Do they highlight how impeccable their own behavior is to make a moral argument? 

Do they present themselves as an expert by listing their qualifications or experience to convince the reader of their opinion on something?

Rhetorical appeal #2: Pathos

The purpose of Pathos-driven rhetoric is to appeal to the reader’s emotions. A common example of pathos as a rhetorical means is adverts by charities that try to make you donate money to a “good cause”. To evoke the intended emotions in the reader, an author may use passionate language, tell personal stories, and employ vivid imagery so that the reader can imagine themselves in a certain situation and feel empathy with or anger towards others.

Rhetorical appeal #3: Logos

Logos, the “logical” appeal, uses reason to persuade. Reason and logic, supported by data, evidence, clearly defined methodology, and well-constructed arguments, are what most academic writing is based on. Emotions, those of the researcher/writer as well as those of the reader, should stay out of such academic texts, as should anyone’s reputation, beliefs, or personal opinions. 

Text and Context

To analyze a piece of writing, a speech, an advertisement, or even a satirical drawing, you need to look beyond the piece of communication and take the context in which it was created and/or published into account. 

Who is the person who wrote the text/drew the cartoon/designed the ad..? What audience are they trying to reach? Where was the piece published and what was happening there around that time? 

A political speech, for example, can be powerful even when read decades later, but the historical context surrounding it is an important aspect of the effect it was intended to have. 

Claims, Supports, and Warrants

To make any kind of argument, a writer needs to put forward specific claims, support them with data or evidence or even a moral or emotional appeal, and connect the dots logically so that the reader can follow along and agree with the points made.

The connections between statements, so-called “warrants”, follow logical reasoning but are not always clearly stated—the author simply assumes the reader understands the underlying logic, whether they present it “explicitly” or “implicitly”. Implicit warrants are commonly used in advertisements where seemingly happy people use certain products, wear certain clothes, accessories, or perfumes, or live certain lifestyles – with the connotation that, first, the product/perfume/lifestyle is what makes that person happy and, second, the reader wants to be as happy as the person in the ad. Some warrants are never clearly stated, and your job when writing a rhetorical analysis essay is therefore to identify them and bring them to light, to evaluate their validity, their effect on the reader, and the use of such means by the writer/creator. 

bust of plato the philosopher, rhetorical analysis essay

What are the Five Rhetorical Situations?

A “rhetorical situation” refers to the circumstance behind a text or other piece of communication that arises from a given context. It explains why a rhetorical piece was created, what its purpose is, and how it was constructed to achieve its aims.

Rhetorical situations can be classified into the following five categories:

Asking such questions when you analyze a text will help you identify all the aspects that play a role in the effect it has on its audience, and will allow you to evaluate whether it achieved its aims or where it may have failed to do so.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Analyzing someone else’s work can seem like a big task, but as with every assignment or writing endeavor, you can break it down into smaller, well-defined steps that give you a practical structure to follow. 

To give you an example of how the different parts of your text may look when it’s finished, we will provide you with some excerpts from this rhetorical analysis essay example (which even includes helpful comments) published on the Online Writing Lab website of Excelsior University in Albany, NY. The text that this essay analyzes is this article on why one should or shouldn’t buy an Ipad. If you want more examples so that you can build your own rhetorical analysis template, have a look at this essay on Nabokov’s Lolita and the one provided here about the “Shitty First Drafts” chapter of Anne Lamott’s writing instruction book “Bird by Bird”.

Analyzing the Text

When writing a rhetorical analysis, you don’t choose the concepts or key points you think are relevant or want to address. Rather, you carefully read the text several times asking yourself questions like those listed in the last section on rhetorical situations to identify how the text “works” and how it was written to achieve that effect.

Start with focusing on the author : What do you think was their purpose for writing the text? Do they make one principal claim and then elaborate on that? Or do they discuss different topics? 

Then look at what audience they are talking to: Do they want to make a group of people take some action? Vote for someone? Donate money to a good cause? Who are these people? Is the text reaching this specific audience? Why or why not?

What tone is the author using to address their audience? Are they trying to evoke sympathy? Stir up anger? Are they writing from a personal perspective? Are they painting themselves as an authority on the topic? Are they using academic or informal language?

How does the author support their claims ? What kind of evidence are they presenting? Are they providing explicit or implicit warrants? Are these warrants valid or problematic? Is the provided evidence convincing?  

Asking yourself such questions will help you identify what rhetorical devices a text uses and how well they are put together to achieve a certain aim. Remember, your own opinion and whether you agree with the author are not the point of a rhetorical analysis essay – your task is simply to take the text apart and evaluate it.

If you are still confused about how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, just follow the steps outlined below to write the different parts of your rhetorical analysis: As every other essay, it consists of an Introduction , a Body (the actual analysis), and a Conclusion .

Rhetorical Analysis Introduction

The Introduction section briefly presents the topic of the essay you are analyzing, the author, their main claims, a short summary of the work by you, and your thesis statement . 

Tell the reader what the text you are going to analyze represents (e.g., historically) or why it is relevant (e.g., because it has become some kind of reference for how something is done). Describe what the author claims, asserts, or implies and what techniques they use to make their argument and persuade their audience. Finish off with your thesis statement that prepares the reader for what you are going to present in the next section – do you think that the author’s assumptions/claims/arguments were presented in a logical/appealing/powerful way and reached their audience as intended?

Have a look at an excerpt from the sample essay linked above to see what a rhetorical analysis introduction can look like. See how it introduces the author and article , the context in which it originally appeared , the main claims the author makes , and how this first paragraph ends in a clear thesis statement that the essay will then elaborate on in the following Body section:

Cory Doctorow ’s article on BoingBoing is an older review of the iPad , one of Apple’s most famous products. At the time of this article, however, the iPad was simply the latest Apple product to hit the market and was not yet so popular. Doctorow’s entire career has been entrenched in and around technology. He got his start as a CD-ROM programmer and is now a successful blogger and author. He is currently the co-editor of the BoingBoing blog on which this article was posted. One of his main points in this article comes from Doctorow’s passionate advocacy of free digital media sharing. He argues that the iPad is just another way for established technology companies to control our technological freedom and creativity . In “ Why I Won’t Buy an iPad (and Think You Shouldn’t, Either) ” published on Boing Boing in April of 2010, Cory Doctorow successfully uses his experience with technology, facts about the company Apple, and appeals to consumer needs to convince potential iPad buyers that Apple and its products, specifically the iPad, limit the digital rights of those who use them by controlling and mainstreaming the content that can be used and created on the device . 

Doing the Rhetorical Analysis

The main part of your analysis is the Body , where you dissect the text in detail. Explain what methods the author uses to inform, entertain, and/or persuade the audience. Use Aristotle’s rhetorical triangle and the other key concepts we introduced above. Use quotations from the essay to demonstrate what you mean. Work out why the writer used a certain approach and evaluate (and again, demonstrate using the text itself) how successful they were. Evaluate the effect of each rhetorical technique you identify on the audience and judge whether the effect is in line with the author’s intentions.

To make it easy for the reader to follow your thought process, divide this part of your essay into paragraphs that each focus on one strategy or one concept , and make sure they are all necessary and contribute to the development of your argument(s).

One paragraph of this section of your essay could, for example, look like this:

One example of Doctorow’s position is his comparison of Apple’s iStore to Wal-Mart. This is an appeal to the consumer’s logic—or an appeal to logos. Doctorow wants the reader to take his comparison and consider how an all-powerful corporation like the iStore will affect them. An iPad will only allow for apps and programs purchased through the iStore to be run on it; therefore, a customer must not only purchase an iPad but also any programs he or she wishes to use. Customers cannot create their own programs or modify the hardware in any way. 

As you can see, the author of this sample essay identifies and then explains to the reader how Doctorow uses the concept of Logos to appeal to his readers – not just by pointing out that he does it but by dissecting how it is done.

Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion

The conclusion section of your analysis should restate your main arguments and emphasize once more whether you think the author achieved their goal. Note that this is not the place to introduce new information—only rely on the points you have discussed in the body of your essay. End with a statement that sums up the impact the text has on its audience and maybe society as a whole:

Overall, Doctorow makes a good argument about why there are potentially many better things to drop a great deal of money on instead of the iPad. He gives some valuable information and facts that consumers should take into consideration before going out to purchase the new device. He clearly uses rhetorical tools to help make his case, and, overall, he is effective as a writer, even if, ultimately, he was ineffective in convincing the world not to buy an iPad . 

Frequently Asked Questions about Rhetorical Analysis Essays 

What is a rhetorical analysis essay.

A rhetorical analysis dissects a text or another piece of communication to work out and explain how it impacts its audience, how successfully it achieves its aims, and what rhetorical devices it uses to do that. 

While argumentative essays usually take a stance on a certain topic and argue for it, a rhetorical analysis identifies how someone else constructs their arguments and supports their claims.

What is the correct rhetorical analysis essay format?

Like most other essays, a rhetorical analysis contains an Introduction that presents the thesis statement, a Body that analyzes the piece of communication, explains how arguments have been constructed, and illustrates how each part persuades, informs, or entertains the reader, and a Conclusion section that summarizes the results of the analysis. 

What is the “rhetorical triangle”?

The rhetorical triangle was introduced by Aristotle as the main ways in which language can be used to persuade an audience: Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, Ethos to the writer’s status or authority, and Pathos to the reader’s emotions. Logos, Ethos, and Pathos can all be combined to create the intended effect, and your job as the one analyzing a text is to break the writer’s arguments down and identify what specific concepts each is based on.

Let Wordvice help you write a flawless rhetorical analysis essay! 

Whether you have to write a rhetorical analysis essay as an assignment or whether it is part of an application, our professional proofreading services feature professional editors are trained subject experts that make sure your text is in line with the required format, as well as help you improve the flow and expression of your writing. Let them be your second pair of eyes so that after receiving paper editing services or essay editing services from Wordvice, you can submit your manuscript or apply to the school of your dreams with confidence.

And check out our editing services for writers (including blog editing , script editing , and book editing ) to correct your important personal or business-related work.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Nova A.

Crafting an Effective Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline - Free Samples!

10 min read

rhetorical analysis essay outline

People also read

Rhetorical Analysis Essay - A Complete Guide With Examples

320+ Best Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example - Free Samples

Ethos, Pathos, and Logos - Structure, Usage & Examples

Have you ever stared at a blank page, wondering how to begin your rhetorical analysis essay?

You're not alone. Many students find the first step, creating an outline, to be a challenge. 

The truth is - tackling a rhetorical analysis without a well-structured outline can lead to confusion and disorganization. But fear not because there's a solution.

In this blog, we will show you how you can create a rhetorical analysis essay outline. By the end, you’ll have a thorough understanding of what your outline should look like. 

So, keep reading to find out how you can beat the blank pages!

Arrow Down

  • 1. What Is Rhetorical Analysis Essay?
  • 2. Why Create a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline?
  • 3. Components of a Rhetorical Analysis Outline
  • 4. Steps to Create a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline
  • 5. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Examples

What Is Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of analytical essay that examines how an author uses language and persuasion to get their message across.

It involves analyzing speeches or essays to understand how authors use strategies within the rhetorical triangle to influence their intended audience. These techniques usually involve logical appeal, moral argument, and vivid imagery that appeals to the listener. 

Key Elements to Analyze

In a rhetorical analysis essay, you would be analyzing the text keeping these key rhetorical concepts in mind:

  • Ethos: This concerns the credibility of the author or speaker.
  • Logos: This focuses on the logical aspects of the argument.
  • Pathos: Pathos explores the emotional appeal of the discourse.
  • Style and Tone: This involves analyzing the author's writing style and the overall tone of the text.

These elements provide a structured approach to rhetorical analysis, revealing how effective communication is achieved.

Why Create a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline?

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay requires a writer to draft a structured piece of writing. This essay type is one of the most challenging tasks students are assigned to do for their academics. 

Apart from conducting a strong analysis, a rhetorical analysis essay depends on how perfectly the essay outline is drafted. 

An outline organizes the raw information and makes it understandable for the readers. It serves as your compass, ensuring you stay on course throughout the rhetoric essay. It helps you structure your ideas and arguments, adding clarity to your essay writing process. 

Moreover, an outline works as a checklist for your essay. It assures you that nothing important is missed in the content.

Components of a Rhetorical Analysis Outline

Now that we've explored why creating an essay outline is essential, it's important to explore the different components of a rhetorical analysis outline. 

Here’s a detailed rhetorical analysis essay outline:

Each element plays a crucial role in crafting a well-structured and persuasive analysis, so let's explore them in detail:

Introduction

The introduction of your rhetorical analysis essay serves as the gateway to your analysis. It's where you captivate your reader's interest, provide essential background information, and present your thesis statement. 

Here are the elements typically included in an introduction paragraph:

  • Hook The " hook " is a sentence or two designed to grab the reader's attention. It could be a thought-provoking quote, a surprising fact, or a compelling question. The purpose is to make your reader interested in what you're about to discuss—how an author uses rhetorical devices.
  • Background Information After the hook, provide some context. Here, you briefly introduce the text you're analyzing, the author or speaker, and the overall topic. It's like giving your reader a map to navigate through your analysis.
  • Thesis Statement The thesis statement is the main argument, your "claim." This concise sentence outlines what you'll be analyzing and what your main points will be. Your thesis should tell the reader what to expect in your analysis.

The body of your essay is where you dissect the author's persuasive techniques and reveal their impact on the audience. It contains sections dedicated to each rhetorical strategy you're examining. 

In these sections, you'll explain the strategies, provide evidence from the text, and offer your insightful analysis of their effectiveness. 

Section for Each Rhetorical Strategy

In the body paragraphs, you'll have sections dedicated to each rhetorical strategy you're analyzing. These sections each will focus on a different aspect of the text. For each strategy, you'll do three things:

  • Explanation of the Strategy Start by explaining what the rhetorical technique is. Define it clearly for your reader. This is like providing a dictionary definition.
  • Examples from the Text Next, provide examples from the text you're analyzing. These are specific quotes or passages where the author or speaker uses the strategy you're discussing. It's like showing your reader the evidence.
  • Analysis of the Effectiveness Finally, analyze how effective the strategy is. This is where you dive deep into the text and explain how and why the strategy persuades the audience. 

The conclusion should leave your readers with a sense of closure and a clear understanding of your analysis. 

You don't introduce new information or arguments in this section; instead, you tie everything together. Here are the three essential elements of an impactful essay conclusion:

  • Restate Thesis Start by restating your thesis to remind readers of your main argument. Repeating your main argument clearly helps the reader tie in all they have read in your essay.
  • Summarize Main Points Summarize the main points from each section of your analysis. This serves as a reminder of the highlights of your arguments made throughout the essay.
  • Final Thoughts Conclude by sharing your thoughts on how the author's strategies affect the audience and the text's broader importance. Encourage readers to consider these strategies' impact and the text's relevance.

This structure in your rhetorical analysis outline ensures that your analysis is clear, well-organized, and persuasive. Each component plays a crucial role in guiding your reader through your analysis.

Steps to Create a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Creating an essay outline is a crucial step in organizing your thoughts and effectively analyzing a piece of rhetoric. Here are the steps to craft an outline for a rhetorical analysis essay:

Step 1 - Choose the Text

Select the piece of rhetoric that you will be analyzing. It could be a speech, a written essay, an advertisement, a political campaign, or any other form of communication.

Step 2 - Identify Rhetorical Devices and Rhetorical Appeals

Look for rhetorical devices such as metaphor, simile, analogy, hyperbole, and alliteration. Analyze how these devices contribute to the message. Identify any repetition, parallelism, or rhetorical questions used in the text.

Moreover, look for common rhetorical appeals i,e., ethos, pathos, and logos.

Step 3 -  Analyze Appeals and Strategies in Each Section

For each argument, dedicate a body paragraph that will analyze how the author/speaker uses ethos, pathos, and logos.

Note the specific rhetorical devices used in each section and their impact.

Step 4 -  Consider the Effect on the Audience

While outlining the last body paragraph, add points that analyze how the appeals are intended to affect the audience.

Consider whether the author/speaker is trying to persuade, inform, entertain, or provoke a specific emotional response. Include specific examples and quotations from the text to support your analysis.

Step 5 -  Filter Out Extra Information

It's important to know what parts of the arguments should be included and which should be filtered out. 

After having a sketch of the introduction and body paragraphs, remove any information that might feel irrelevant.

Step 6 -  Conclude and Summarize

For the ending, make sure to restate your thesis statement. Include points that directly support your arguments and sum up your analysis.

These steps help you plan your essay for a well-structured, clear, and cohesive essay.

Here's a sample rhetorical analysis essay outline template that analyzes ethos, pathos and logos :

Here’s a practice outline:

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Fill In The Blanks

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Examples

Here are some rhetorical analysis essay outline pdf that you can use as reference outlines:

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Ethos Pathos Logos

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Ap Lang

Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Introduction Outline

Need more help getting started? Check out these expert rhetorical analysis essay examples to get inspired!

In conclusion, you've got the tools and examples you need to ace your rhetorical analysis essay. The steps we've gone through provide a strong starting point for your academic journey into analyzing persuasive writing. 

But if you ever hit a wall or need help with tight deadlines, don't forget our experts are here to lend a helping hand. Our essay writing service for college has helped lots of students like you get top-notch essays.

So, why wait? Place your order now and set yourself up for academic success!

AI Essay Bot

Write Essay Within 60 Seconds!

Nova A.

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

Get Help

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Keep reading

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  • Features for Creative Writers
  • Features for Work
  • Features for Higher Education
  • Features for Teachers
  • Features for Non-Native Speakers
  • Learn Blog Grammar Guide Community Events FAQ
  • Grammar Guide

What Is a Rhetorical Analysis and How to Write a Great One

Helly Douglas

Helly Douglas

Cover image for article

Do you have to write a rhetorical analysis essay? Fear not! We’re here to explain exactly what rhetorical analysis means, how you should structure your essay, and give you some essential “dos and don’ts.”

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

How do you write a rhetorical analysis, what are the three rhetorical strategies, what are the five rhetorical situations, how to plan a rhetorical analysis essay, creating a rhetorical analysis essay, examples of great rhetorical analysis essays, final thoughts.

A rhetorical analysis essay studies how writers and speakers have used words to influence their audience. Think less about the words the author has used and more about the techniques they employ, their goals, and the effect this has on the audience.

Image showing definitions

In your analysis essay, you break a piece of text (including cartoons, adverts, and speeches) into sections and explain how each part works to persuade, inform, or entertain. You’ll explore the effectiveness of the techniques used, how the argument has been constructed, and give examples from the text.

A strong rhetorical analysis evaluates a text rather than just describes the techniques used. You don’t include whether you personally agree or disagree with the argument.

Structure a rhetorical analysis in the same way as most other types of academic essays . You’ll have an introduction to present your thesis, a main body where you analyze the text, which then leads to a conclusion.

Think about how the writer (also known as a rhetor) considers the situation that frames their communication:

  • Topic: the overall purpose of the rhetoric
  • Audience: this includes primary, secondary, and tertiary audiences
  • Purpose: there are often more than one to consider
  • Context and culture: the wider situation within which the rhetoric is placed

Back in the 4th century BC, Aristotle was talking about how language can be used as a means of persuasion. He described three principal forms —Ethos, Logos, and Pathos—often referred to as the Rhetorical Triangle . These persuasive techniques are still used today.

Image showing rhetorical strategies

Rhetorical Strategy 1: Ethos

Are you more likely to buy a car from an established company that’s been an important part of your community for 50 years, or someone new who just started their business?

Reputation matters. Ethos explores how the character, disposition, and fundamental values of the author create appeal, along with their expertise and knowledge in the subject area.

Aristotle breaks ethos down into three further categories:

  • Phronesis: skills and practical wisdom
  • Arete: virtue
  • Eunoia: goodwill towards the audience

Ethos-driven speeches and text rely on the reputation of the author. In your analysis, you can look at how the writer establishes ethos through both direct and indirect means.

Rhetorical Strategy 2: Pathos

Pathos-driven rhetoric hooks into our emotions. You’ll often see it used in advertisements, particularly by charities wanting you to donate money towards an appeal.

Common use of pathos includes:

  • Vivid description so the reader can imagine themselves in the situation
  • Personal stories to create feelings of empathy
  • Emotional vocabulary that evokes a response

By using pathos to make the audience feel a particular emotion, the author can persuade them that the argument they’re making is compelling.

Rhetorical Strategy 3: Logos

Logos uses logic or reason. It’s commonly used in academic writing when arguments are created using evidence and reasoning rather than an emotional response. It’s constructed in a step-by-step approach that builds methodically to create a powerful effect upon the reader.

Rhetoric can use any one of these three techniques, but effective arguments often appeal to all three elements.

The rhetorical situation explains the circumstances behind and around a piece of rhetoric. It helps you think about why a text exists, its purpose, and how it’s carried out.

Image showing 5 rhetorical situations

The rhetorical situations are:

  • 1) Purpose: Why is this being written? (It could be trying to inform, persuade, instruct, or entertain.)
  • 2) Audience: Which groups or individuals will read and take action (or have done so in the past)?
  • 3) Genre: What type of writing is this?
  • 4) Stance: What is the tone of the text? What position are they taking?
  • 5) Media/Visuals: What means of communication are used?

Understanding and analyzing the rhetorical situation is essential for building a strong essay. Also think about any rhetoric restraints on the text, such as beliefs, attitudes, and traditions that could affect the author's decisions.

Before leaping into your essay, it’s worth taking time to explore the text at a deeper level and considering the rhetorical situations we looked at before. Throw away your assumptions and use these simple questions to help you unpick how and why the text is having an effect on the audience.

Image showing what to consider when planning a rhetorical essay

1: What is the Rhetorical Situation?

  • Why is there a need or opportunity for persuasion?
  • How do words and references help you identify the time and location?
  • What are the rhetoric restraints?
  • What historical occasions would lead to this text being created?

2: Who is the Author?

  • How do they position themselves as an expert worth listening to?
  • What is their ethos?
  • Do they have a reputation that gives them authority?
  • What is their intention?
  • What values or customs do they have?

3: Who is it Written For?

  • Who is the intended audience?
  • How is this appealing to this particular audience?
  • Who are the possible secondary and tertiary audiences?

4: What is the Central Idea?

  • Can you summarize the key point of this rhetoric?
  • What arguments are used?
  • How has it developed a line of reasoning?

5: How is it Structured?

  • What structure is used?
  • How is the content arranged within the structure?

6: What Form is Used?

  • Does this follow a specific literary genre?
  • What type of style and tone is used, and why is this?
  • Does the form used complement the content?
  • What effect could this form have on the audience?

7: Is the Rhetoric Effective?

  • Does the content fulfil the author’s intentions?
  • Does the message effectively fit the audience, location, and time period?

Once you’ve fully explored the text, you’ll have a better understanding of the impact it’s having on the audience and feel more confident about writing your essay outline.

A great essay starts with an interesting topic. Choose carefully so you’re personally invested in the subject and familiar with it rather than just following trending topics. There are lots of great ideas on this blog post by My Perfect Words if you need some inspiration. Take some time to do background research to ensure your topic offers good analysis opportunities.

Image showing considerations for a rhetorical analysis topic

Remember to check the information given to you by your professor so you follow their preferred style guidelines. This outline example gives you a general idea of a format to follow, but there will likely be specific requests about layout and content in your course handbook. It’s always worth asking your institution if you’re unsure.

Make notes for each section of your essay before you write. This makes it easy for you to write a well-structured text that flows naturally to a conclusion. You will develop each note into a paragraph. Look at this example by College Essay for useful ideas about the structure.

Image showing how to structure an essay

1: Introduction

This is a short, informative section that shows you understand the purpose of the text. It tempts the reader to find out more by mentioning what will come in the main body of your essay.

  • Name the author of the text and the title of their work followed by the date in parentheses
  • Use a verb to describe what the author does, e.g. “implies,” “asserts,” or “claims”
  • Briefly summarize the text in your own words
  • Mention the persuasive techniques used by the rhetor and its effect

Create a thesis statement to come at the end of your introduction.

After your introduction, move on to your critical analysis. This is the principal part of your essay.

  • Explain the methods used by the author to inform, entertain, and/or persuade the audience using Aristotle's rhetorical triangle
  • Use quotations to prove the statements you make
  • Explain why the writer used this approach and how successful it is
  • Consider how it makes the audience feel and react

Make each strategy a new paragraph rather than cramming them together, and always use proper citations. Check back to your course handbook if you’re unsure which citation style is preferred.

3: Conclusion

Your conclusion should summarize the points you’ve made in the main body of your essay. While you will draw the points together, this is not the place to introduce new information you’ve not previously mentioned.

Use your last sentence to share a powerful concluding statement that talks about the impact the text has on the audience(s) and wider society. How have its strategies helped to shape history?

Before You Submit

Poor spelling and grammatical errors ruin a great essay. Use ProWritingAid to check through your finished essay before you submit. It will pick up all the minor errors you’ve missed and help you give your essay a final polish. Look at this useful ProWritingAid webinar for further ideas to help you significantly improve your essays. Sign up for a free trial today and start editing your essays!

Screenshot of ProWritingAid's web editor

You’ll find countless examples of rhetorical analysis online, but they range widely in quality. Your institution may have example essays they can share with you to show you exactly what they’re looking for.

The following links should give you a good starting point if you’re looking for ideas:

Pearson Canada has a range of good examples. Look at how embedded quotations are used to prove the points being made. The end questions help you unpick how successful each essay is.

Excelsior College has an excellent sample essay complete with useful comments highlighting the techniques used.

Brighton Online has a selection of interesting essays to look at. In this specific example, consider how wider reading has deepened the exploration of the text.

Image showing tips when reading a sample essay

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can seem daunting, but spending significant time deeply analyzing the text before you write will make it far more achievable and result in a better-quality essay overall.

It can take some time to write a good essay. Aim to complete it well before the deadline so you don’t feel rushed. Use ProWritingAid’s comprehensive checks to find any errors and make changes to improve readability. Then you’ll be ready to submit your finished essay, knowing it’s as good as you can possibly make it.

Try ProWritingAid's Editor for Yourself

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.

Helly Douglas is a UK writer and teacher, specialising in education, children, and parenting. She loves making the complex seem simple through blogs, articles, and curriculum content. You can check out her work at hellydouglas.com or connect on Twitter @hellydouglas. When she’s not writing, you will find her in a classroom, being a mum or battling against the wilderness of her garden—the garden is winning!

Get started with ProWritingAid

Drop us a line or let's stay in touch via :

Reference management. Clean and simple.

How to write a rhetorical analysis

Rhetorical analysis illustration

What is a rhetorical analysis?

What are the key concepts of a rhetorical analysis, rhetorical situation, claims, supports, and warrants.

  • Step 1: Plan and prepare
  • Step 2: Write your introduction
  • Step 3: Write the body
  • Step 4: Write your conclusion

Frequently Asked Questions about rhetorical analysis

Related articles.

Rhetoric is the art of persuasion and aims to study writers’ or speakers' techniques to inform, persuade, or motivate their audience. Thus, a rhetorical analysis aims to explore the goals and motivations of an author, the techniques they’ve used to reach their audience, and how successful these techniques were.

This will generally involve analyzing a specific text and considering the following aspects to connect the rhetorical situation to the text:

  • Does the author successfully support the thesis or claims made in the text? Here, you’ll analyze whether the author holds to their argument consistently throughout the text or whether they wander off-topic at some point.
  • Does the author use evidence effectively considering the text’s intended audience? Here, you’ll consider the evidence used by the author to support their claims and whether the evidence resonates with the intended audience.
  • What rhetorical strategies the author uses to achieve their goals. Here, you’ll consider the word choices by the author and whether these word choices align with their agenda for the text.
  • The tone of the piece. Here, you’ll consider the tone used by the author in writing the piece by looking at specific words and aspects that set the tone.
  • Whether the author is objective or trying to convince the audience of a particular viewpoint. When it comes to objectivity, you’ll consider whether the author is objective or holds a particular viewpoint they want to convince the audience of. If they are, you’ll also consider whether their persuasion interferes with how the text is read and understood.
  • Does the author correctly identify the intended audience? It’s important to consider whether the author correctly writes the text for the intended audience and what assumptions the author makes about the audience.
  • Does the text make sense? Here, you’ll consider whether the author effectively reasons, based on the evidence, to arrive at the text’s conclusion.
  • Does the author try to appeal to the audience’s emotions? You’ll need to consider whether the author uses any words, ideas, or techniques to appeal to the audience’s emotions.
  • Can the author be believed? Finally, you’ll consider whether the audience will accept the arguments and ideas of the author and why.

Summing up, unlike summaries that focus on what an author said, a rhetorical analysis focuses on how it’s said, and it doesn’t rely on an analysis of whether the author was right or wrong but rather how they made their case to arrive at their conclusions.

Although rhetorical analysis is most used by academics as part of scholarly work, it can be used to analyze any text including speeches, novels, television shows or films, advertisements, or cartoons.

Now that we’ve seen what rhetorical analysis is, let’s consider some of its key concepts .

Any rhetorical analysis starts with the rhetorical situation which identifies the relationships between the different elements of the text. These elements include the audience, author or writer, the author’s purpose, the delivery method or medium, and the content:

  • Audience: The audience is simply the readers of a specific piece of text or content or printed material. For speeches or other mediums like film and video, the audience would be the listeners or viewers. Depending on the specific piece of text or the author’s perception, the audience might be real, imagined, or invoked. With a real audience, the author writes to the people actually reading or listening to the content while, for an imaginary audience, the author writes to an audience they imagine would read the content. Similarly, for an invoked audience, the author writes explicitly to a specific audience.
  • Author or writer: The author or writer, also commonly referred to as the rhetor in the context of rhetorical analysis, is the person or the group of persons who authored the text or content.
  • The author’s purpose: The author’s purpose is the author’s reason for communicating to the audience. In other words, the author’s purpose encompasses what the author expects or intends to achieve with the text or content.
  • Alphabetic text includes essays, editorials, articles, speeches, and other written pieces.
  • Imaging includes website and magazine advertisements, TV commercials, and the like.
  • Audio includes speeches, website advertisements, radio or tv commercials, or podcasts.
  • Context: The context of the text or content considers the time, place, and circumstances surrounding the delivery of the text to its audience. With respect to context, it might often also be helpful to analyze the text in a different context to determine its impact on a different audience and in different circumstances.

An author will use claims, supports, and warrants to build the case around their argument, irrespective of whether the argument is logical and clearly defined or needs to be inferred by the audience:

  • Claim: The claim is the main idea or opinion of an argument that the author must prove to the intended audience. In other words, the claim is the fact or facts the author wants to convince the audience of. Claims are usually explicitly stated but can, depending on the specific piece of content or text, be implied from the content. Although these claims could be anything and an argument may be based on a single or several claims, the key is that these claims should be debatable.
  • Support: The supports are used by the author to back up the claims they make in their argument. These supports can include anything from fact-based, objective evidence to subjective emotional appeals and personal experiences used by the author to convince the audience of a specific claim. Either way, the stronger and more reliable the supports, the more likely the audience will be to accept the claim.
  • Warrant: The warrants are the logic and assumptions that connect the supports to the claims. In other words, they’re the assumptions that make the initial claim possible. The warrant is often unstated, and the author assumes that the audience will be able to understand the connection between the claims and supports. In turn, this is based on the author’s assumption that they share a set of values and beliefs with the audience that will make them understand the connection mentioned above. Conversely, if the audience doesn’t share these beliefs and values with the author, the argument will not be that effective.

Appeals are used by authors to convince their audience and, as such, are an integral part of the rhetoric and are often referred to as the rhetorical triangle. As a result, an author may combine all three appeals to convince their audience:

  • Ethos: Ethos represents the authority or credibility of the author. To be successful, the author needs to convince the audience of their authority or credibility through the language and delivery techniques they use. This will, for example, be the case where an author writing on a technical subject positions themselves as an expert or authority by referring to their qualifications or experience.
  • Logos: Logos refers to the reasoned argument the author uses to persuade their audience. In other words, it refers to the reasons or evidence the author proffers in substantiation of their claims and can include facts, statistics, and other forms of evidence. For this reason, logos is also the dominant approach in academic writing where authors present and build up arguments using reasoning and evidence.
  • Pathos: Through pathos, also referred to as the pathetic appeal, the author attempts to evoke the audience’s emotions through the use of, for instance, passionate language, vivid imagery, anger, sympathy, or any other emotional response.

To write a rhetorical analysis, you need to follow the steps below:

With a rhetorical analysis, you don’t choose concepts in advance and apply them to a specific text or piece of content. Rather, you’ll have to analyze the text to identify the separate components and plan and prepare your analysis accordingly.

Here, it might be helpful to use the SOAPSTone technique to identify the components of the work. SOAPSTone is a common acronym in analysis and represents the:

  • Speaker . Here, you’ll identify the author or the narrator delivering the content to the audience.
  • Occasion . With the occasion, you’ll identify when and where the story takes place and what the surrounding context is.
  • Audience . Here, you’ll identify who the audience or intended audience is.
  • Purpose . With the purpose, you’ll need to identify the reason behind the text or what the author wants to achieve with their writing.
  • Subject . You’ll also need to identify the subject matter or topic of the text.
  • Tone . The tone identifies the author’s feelings towards the subject matter or topic.

Apart from gathering the information and analyzing the components mentioned above, you’ll also need to examine the appeals the author uses in writing the text and attempting to persuade the audience of their argument. Moreover, you’ll need to identify elements like word choice, word order, repetition, analogies, and imagery the writer uses to get a reaction from the audience.

Once you’ve gathered the information and examined the appeals and strategies used by the author as mentioned above, you’ll need to answer some questions relating to the information you’ve collected from the text. The answers to these questions will help you determine the reasons for the choices the author made and how well these choices support the overall argument.

Here, some of the questions you’ll ask include:

  • What was the author’s intention?
  • Who was the intended audience?
  • What is the author’s argument?
  • What strategies does the author use to build their argument and why do they use those strategies?
  • What appeals the author uses to convince and persuade the audience?
  • What effect the text has on the audience?

Keep in mind that these are just some of the questions you’ll ask, and depending on the specific text, there might be others.

Once you’ve done your preparation, you can start writing the rhetorical analysis. It will start off with an introduction which is a clear and concise paragraph that shows you understand the purpose of the text and gives more information about the author and the relevance of the text.

The introduction also summarizes the text and the main ideas you’ll discuss in your analysis. Most importantly, however, is your thesis statement . This statement should be one sentence at the end of the introduction that summarizes your argument and tempts your audience to read on and find out more about it.

After your introduction, you can proceed with the body of your analysis. Here, you’ll write at least three paragraphs that explain the strategies and techniques used by the author to convince and persuade the audience, the reasons why the writer used this approach, and why it’s either successful or unsuccessful.

You can structure the body of your analysis in several ways. For example, you can deal with every strategy the author uses in a new paragraph, but you can also structure the body around the specific appeals the author used or chronologically.

No matter how you structure the body and your paragraphs, it’s important to remember that you support each one of your arguments with facts, data, examples, or quotes and that, at the end of every paragraph, you tie the topic back to your original thesis.

Finally, you’ll write the conclusion of your rhetorical analysis. Here, you’ll repeat your thesis statement and summarize the points you’ve made in the body of your analysis. Ultimately, the goal of the conclusion is to pull the points of your analysis together so you should be careful to not raise any new issues in your conclusion.

After you’ve finished your conclusion, you’ll end your analysis with a powerful concluding statement of why your argument matters and an invitation to conduct more research if needed.

A rhetorical analysis aims to explore the goals and motivations of an author, the techniques they’ve used to reach their audience, and how successful these techniques were. Although rhetorical analysis is most used by academics as part of scholarly work, it can be used to analyze any text including speeches, novels, television shows or films, advertisements, or cartoons.

The steps to write a rhetorical analysis include:

Your rhetorical analysis introduction is a clear and concise paragraph that shows you understand the purpose of the text and gives more information about the author and the relevance of the text. The introduction also summarizes the text and the main ideas you’ll discuss in your analysis.

Ethos represents the authority or credibility of the author. To be successful, the author needs to convince the audience of their authority or credibility through the language and delivery techniques they use. This will, for example, be the case where an author writing on a technical subject positions themselves as an expert or authority by referring to their qualifications or experience.

Appeals are used by authors to convince their audience and, as such, are an integral part of the rhetoric and are often referred to as the rhetorical triangle. The 3 types of appeals are ethos, logos, and pathos.

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

Are you seeking one-on-one college counseling and/or essay support? Limited spots are now available. Click here to learn more.

How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay (With Example)

November 27, 2023

Feeling intimidated by the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay? We’re here to help demystify. Whether you’re cramming for the AP Lang exam right now or planning to take the test down the road, we’ve got crucial rubric information, helpful tips, and an essay example to prepare you for the big day. This post will cover 1) What is the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay? 2) AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Rubric 3) AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis: Sample Prompt 4) AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example 5)AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Why It Works

What is the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

The AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay is one of three essays included in the written portion of the AP English Exam. The full AP English Exam is 3 hours and 15 minutes long, with the first 60 minutes dedicated to multiple-choice questions. Once you complete the multiple-choice section, you move on to three equally weighted essays that ask you to synthesize, analyze, and interpret texts and develop well-reasoned arguments. The three essays include:

Synthesis essay: You’ll review various pieces of evidence and then write an essay that synthesizes (aka combines and interprets) the evidence and presents a clear argument. Read our write up on How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis Essay here.

Argumentative essay: You’ll take a stance on a specific topic and argue your case.

Rhetorical essay: You’ll read a provided passage, then analyze the author’s rhetorical choices and develop an argument that explains why the author made those rhetorical choices.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Rubric

The AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay is graded on just 3 rubric categories: Thesis, Evidence and Commentary, and Sophistication . At a glance, the rubric categories may seem vague, but AP exam graders are actually looking for very particular things in each category. We’ll break it down with dos and don’ts for each rubric category:

Thesis (0-1 point)

There’s nothing nebulous when it comes to grading AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay thesis. You either have one or you don’t. Including a thesis gets you one point closer to a high score and leaving it out means you miss out on one crucial point. So, what makes a thesis that counts?

  • Make sure your thesis argues something about the author’s rhetorical choices. Making an argument means taking a risk and offering your own interpretation of the provided text. This is an argument that someone else might disagree with.
  • A good test to see if you have a thesis that makes an argument. In your head, add the phrase “I think that…” to the beginning of your thesis. If what follows doesn’t logically flow after that phrase (aka if what follows isn’t something you and only you think), it’s likely you’re not making an argument.
  • Avoid a thesis that merely restates the prompt.
  • Avoid a thesis that summarizes the text but does not make an argument.

Evidence and Commentary (0-4 points)

This rubric category is graded on a scale of 0-4 where 4 is the highest grade. Per the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis rubric, to get a 4, you’ll want to:

  • Include lots of specific evidence from the text. There is no set golden number of quotes to include, but you’ll want to make sure you’re incorporating more than a couple pieces of evidence that support your argument about the author’s rhetorical choices.
  • Make sure you include more than one type of evidence, too. Let’s say you’re working on your essay and have gathered examples of alliteration to include as supporting evidence. That’s just one type of rhetorical choice, and it’s hard to make a credible argument if you’re only looking at one type of evidence. To fix that issue, reread the text again looking for patterns in word choice and syntax, meaningful figurative language and imagery, literary devices, and other rhetorical choices, looking for additional types of evidence to support your argument.
  • After you include evidence, offer your own interpretation and explain how this evidence proves the point you make in your thesis.
  • Don’t summarize or speak generally about the author and the text. Everything you write must be backed up with evidence.
  • Don’t let quotes speak for themselves. After every piece of evidence you include, make sure to explain your interpretation. Also, connect the evidence to your overarching argument.

Sophistication (0-1 point)

In this case, sophistication isn’t about how many fancy vocabulary words or how many semicolons you use. According to College Board , one point can be awarded to AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essays that “demonstrate sophistication of thought and/or a complex understanding of the rhetorical situation” in any of these three ways:

  • Explaining the significance or relevance of the writer’s rhetorical choices.
  • Explaining the purpose or function of the passage’s complexities or tensions.
  • Employing a style that is consistently vivid and persuasive.

Note that you don’t have to achieve all three to earn your sophistication point. A good way to think of this rubric category is to consider it a bonus point that you can earn for going above and beyond in depth of analysis or by writing an especially persuasive, clear, and well-structured essay. In order to earn this point, you’ll need to first do a good job with your thesis, evidence, and commentary.

  • Focus on nailing an argumentative thesis and multiple types of evidence. Getting these fundamentals of your essay right will set you up for achieving depth of analysis.
  • Explain how each piece of evidence connects to your thesis.
  • Spend a minute outlining your essay before you begin to ensure your essay flows in a clear and cohesive way.
  • Steer clear of generalizations about the author or text.
  • Don’t include arguments you can’t prove with evidence from the text.
  • Avoid complex sentences and fancy vocabulary words unless you use them often. Long, clunky sentences with imprecisely used words are hard to follow.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis: Sample Prompt

The sample prompt below is published online by College Board and is a real example from the 2021 AP Exam. The prompt provides background context, essay instructions, and the text you need to analyze. For sake of space, we’ve included the text as an image you can click to read. After the prompt, we provide a sample high scoring essay and then explain why this AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essay example works.

Suggested time—40 minutes.

(This question counts as one-third of the total essay section score.)

On February 27, 2013, while in office, former president Barack Obama delivered the following address dedicating the Rosa Parks statue in the National Statuary Hall of the United States Capitol building. Rosa Parks was an African American civil rights activist who was arrested in 1955 for refusing to give up her seat on a segregated bus in Montgomery, Alabama. Read the passage carefully. Write an essay that analyzes the rhetorical choices Obama makes to convey his message.

In your response you should do the following:

  • Respond to the prompt with a thesis that analyzes the writer’s rhetorical choices.
  • Select and use evidence to support your line of reasoning.
  • Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the rhetorical situation.
  • Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

In his speech delivered in 2013 at the dedication of Rosa Park’s statue, President Barack Obama acknowledges everything that Parks’ activism made possible in the United States. Telling the story of Parks’ life and achievements, Obama highlights the fact that Parks was a regular person whose actions accomplished enormous change during the civil rights era. Through the use of diction that portrays Parks as quiet and demure, long lists that emphasize the extent of her impacts, and Biblical references, Obama suggests that all of us are capable of achieving greater good, just as Parks did.

Although it might be a surprising way to start to his dedication, Obama begins his speech by telling us who Parks was not: “Rosa Parks held no elected office. She possessed no fortune” he explains in lines 1-2. Later, when he tells the story of the bus driver who threatened to have Parks arrested when she refused to get off the bus, he explains that Parks “simply replied, ‘You may do that’” (lines 22-23). Right away, he establishes that Parks was a regular person who did not hold a seat of power. Her protest on the bus was not part of a larger plan, it was a simple response. By emphasizing that Parks was not powerful, wealthy, or loud spoken, he implies that Parks’ style of activism is an everyday practice that all of us can aspire to.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (Continued)

Even though Obama portrays Parks as a demure person whose protest came “simply” and naturally, he shows the importance of her activism through long lists of ripple effects. When Parks challenged her arrest, Obama explains, Martin Luther King, Jr. stood with her and “so did thousands of Montgomery, Alabama commuters” (lines 27-28). They began a boycott that included “teachers and laborers, clergy and domestics, through rain and cold and sweltering heat, day after day, week after week, month after month, walking miles if they had to…” (lines 28-31). In this section of the speech, Obama’s sentences grow longer and he uses lists to show that Parks’ small action impacted and inspired many others to fight for change. Further, listing out how many days, weeks, and months the boycott lasted shows how Parks’ single act of protest sparked a much longer push for change.

To further illustrate Parks’ impact, Obama incorporates Biblical references that emphasize the importance of “that single moment on the bus” (lines 57-58). In lines 33-35, Obama explains that Parks and the other protestors are “driven by a solemn determination to affirm their God-given dignity” and he also compares their victory to the fall the “ancient walls of Jericho” (line 43). By of including these Biblical references, Obama suggests that Parks’ action on the bus did more than correct personal or political wrongs; it also corrected moral and spiritual wrongs. Although Parks had no political power or fortune, she was able to restore a moral balance in our world.

Toward the end of the speech, Obama states that change happens “not mainly through the exploits of the famous and the powerful, but through the countless acts of often anonymous courage and kindness” (lines 78-81). Through carefully chosen diction that portrays her as a quiet, regular person and through lists and Biblical references that highlight the huge impacts of her action, Obama illustrates exactly this point. He wants us to see that, just like Parks, the small and meek can change the world for the better.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Why It Works

We would give the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essay above a score of 6 out of 6 because it fully satisfies the essay’s 3 rubric categories: Thesis, Evidence and Commentary, and Sophistication . Let’s break down what this student did:

The thesis of this essay appears in the last line of the first paragraph:

“ Through the use of diction that portrays Parks as quiet and demure, long lists that emphasize the extent of her impacts, and Biblical references, Obama suggests that all of us are capable of achieving greater good, just as Parks did .”

This student’s thesis works because they make a clear argument about Obama’s rhetorical choices. They 1) list the rhetorical choices that will be analyzed in the rest of the essay (the italicized text above) and 2) include an argument someone else might disagree with (the bolded text above).

Evidence and Commentary:

This student includes substantial evidence and commentary. Things they do right, per the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis rubric:

  • They include lots of specific evidence from the text in the form of quotes.
  • They incorporate 3 different types of evidence (diction, long lists, Biblical references).
  • After including evidence, they offer an interpretation of what the evidence means and explain how the evidence contributes to their overarching argument (aka their thesis).

Sophistication

This essay achieves sophistication according to the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis essay rubric in a few key ways:

  • This student provides an introduction that flows naturally into the topic their essay will discuss. Before they get to their thesis, they tell us that Obama portrays Parks as a “regular person” setting up their main argument: Obama wants all regular people to aspire to do good in the world just as Rosa Parks did.
  • They organize evidence and commentary in a clear and cohesive way. Each body paragraph focuses on just one type of evidence.
  • They explain how their evidence is significant. In the final sentence of each body paragraph, they draw a connection back to the overarching argument presented in the thesis.
  • All their evidence supports the argument presented in their thesis. There is no extraneous evidence or misleading detail.
  • They consider nuances in the text. Rather than taking the text at face value, they consider what Obama’s rhetorical choices imply and offer their own unique interpretation of those implications.
  • In their final paragraph, they come full circle, reiterate their thesis, and explain what Obama’s rhetorical choices communicate to readers.
  • Their sentences are clear and easy to read. There are no grammar errors or misused words.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay—More Resources

Looking for more tips to help your master your AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay? Brush up on 20 Rhetorical Devices High School Students Should Know and read our Tips for Improving Reading Comprehension . If you’re ready to start studying for another part of the AP English Exam, find more expert tips in our How to Write the AP Lang Synthesis blog post.

Considering what other AP classes to take? Read up on the Hardest AP Classes .

  • High School Success

Christina Wood

Christina Wood holds a BA in Literature & Writing from UC San Diego, an MFA in Creative Writing from Washington University in St. Louis, and is currently a Doctoral Candidate in English at the University of Georgia, where she teaches creative writing and first-year composition courses. Christina has published fiction and nonfiction in numerous publications, including The Paris Review , McSweeney’s , Granta , Virginia Quarterly Review , The Sewanee Review , Mississippi Review , and Puerto del Sol , among others. Her story “The Astronaut” won the 2018 Shirley Jackson Award for short fiction and received a “Distinguished Stories” mention in the 2019 Best American Short Stories anthology.

  • 2-Year Colleges
  • Application Strategies
  • Best Colleges by Major
  • Best Colleges by State
  • Big Picture
  • Career & Personality Assessment
  • College Essay
  • College Search/Knowledge
  • College Success
  • Costs & Financial Aid
  • Data Visualizations
  • Dental School Admissions
  • Extracurricular Activities
  • Graduate School Admissions
  • High Schools
  • Law School Admissions
  • Medical School Admissions
  • Navigating the Admissions Process
  • Online Learning
  • Private High School Spotlight
  • Summer Program Spotlight
  • Summer Programs
  • Teacher Tools
  • Test Prep Provider Spotlight

“Innovative and invaluable…use this book as your college lifeline.”

— Lynn O'Shaughnessy

Nationally Recognized College Expert

College Planning in Your Inbox

Join our information-packed monthly newsletter.

  • Link to facebook
  • Link to linkedin
  • Link to twitter
  • Link to youtube
  • Writing Tips

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

3-minute read

  • 22nd August 2023

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of academic writing that analyzes how authors use language, persuasion techniques , and other rhetorical strategies to communicate with their audience. In this post, we’ll review how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, including:

  • Understanding the assignment guidelines
  • Introducing your essay topic
  • Examining the rhetorical strategies
  • Summarizing your main points

Keep reading for a step-by-step guide to rhetorical analysis.

What Is a Rhetorical Strategy?

A rhetorical strategy is a deliberate approach or technique a writer uses to convey a message and/or persuade the audience. A rhetorical strategy typically involves using language, sentence structure, and tone/style to influence the audience to think a certain way or understand a specific point of view. Rhetorical strategies are especially common in advertisements, speeches, and political writing, but you can also find them in many other types of literature.

1.   Understanding the Assignment Guidelines

Before you begin your rhetorical analysis essay, make sure you understand the assignment and guidelines. Typically, when writing a rhetorical analysis, you should approach the text objectively, focusing on the techniques the author uses rather than expressing your own opinions about the topic or summarizing the content. Thus, it’s essential to discuss the rhetorical methods used and then back up your analysis with evidence and quotations from the text.

2.   Introducing Your Essay Topic

Introduce your essay by providing some context about the text you’re analyzing. Give a brief overview of the author, intended audience, and purpose of the writing. You should also clearly state your thesis , which is your main point or argument about how and why the author uses rhetorical strategies. Try to avoid going into detail on any points or diving into specific examples – the introduction should be concise, and you’ll be providing a much more in-depth analysis later in the text.

3.   Examining the Rhetorical Strategies

In the body paragraphs, analyze the rhetorical strategies the author uses. Here are some common rhetorical strategies to include in your discussion:

●  Ethos : Establishing trust between the writer and the audience by appealing to credibility and ethics

●  Pathos : Appealing to the audience’s emotions and values

●  Logos : Employing logic, reason, and evidence to appeal to the reader

Find this useful?

Subscribe to our newsletter and get writing tips from our editors straight to your inbox.

●  Diction : Deliberately choosing specific language and vocabulary

●  Syntax : Structuring and arranging sentences in certain ways

●  Tone : Conveying attitude or mood in certain ways

●  Literary Devices : Using metaphors, similes, analogies , repetition, etc.

Keep in mind that for a rhetorical analysis essay, you’re not usually required to find examples of all of the above rhetorical strategies. But for each one you do analyze, consider how it contributes to the author’s purpose, how it influences the audience, and what emotions or thoughts it could evoke in the reader.

4.   Summarizing Your Main Points

In your conclusion , sum up the main points of your analysis and restate your thesis. Without introducing any new points (such as topics or ideas you haven’t already covered in the main body of your essay), summarize the overall impact that the author’s rhetorical strategies likely had on their intended audience.

Expert Proofreading Services

Ensure that your rhetorical analysis essay stands out by having our expert team proofread it. Send in your free sample of 500 words or less and see for yourself the difference in your work!

Share this article:

Post A New Comment

Got content that needs a quick turnaround? Let us polish your work. Explore our editorial business services.

9-minute read

How to Use Infographics to Boost Your Presentation

Is your content getting noticed? Capturing and maintaining an audience’s attention is a challenge when...

8-minute read

Why Interactive PDFs Are Better for Engagement

Are you looking to enhance engagement and captivate your audience through your professional documents? Interactive...

7-minute read

Seven Key Strategies for Voice Search Optimization

Voice search optimization is rapidly shaping the digital landscape, requiring content professionals to adapt their...

4-minute read

Five Creative Ways to Showcase Your Digital Portfolio

Are you a creative freelancer looking to make a lasting impression on potential clients or...

How to Ace Slack Messaging for Contractors and Freelancers

Effective professional communication is an important skill for contractors and freelancers navigating remote work environments....

How to Insert a Text Box in a Google Doc

Google Docs is a powerful collaborative tool, and mastering its features can significantly enhance your...

Logo Harvard University

Make sure your writing is the best it can be with our expert English proofreading and editing.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Guide

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Last updated on: Feb 9, 2023

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline - Template & Writing Guide

By: Betty P.

Reviewed By: Melisa C.

Published on: Feb 11, 2020

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Students often freak out when they hear the professor assigning a rhetorical analysis essay.

It is considered to be one of the most challenging tasks, and it sure is a little complicated, but definitely not impossible.

The first step for writing a rhetorical essay is to understand exactly what it is.

The reason why students find rhetorical essays to be a daunting task is the fact that writing such essays requires analysis of anything ranging from a literary work to a piece of art or even an advertisement.

The writer’s task is to analyze it and figure out the goal of the creator, author or painter, and the way he conveyed his views. The explanation also includes the extent to which he achieved his goal.

However, there is absolutely no need to be intimidated by it. Once you figure out the design to follow, writing a rhetorical analysis essay will be a piece of cake.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

On this Page

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

The outline for any type of writing is just like a skeleton, keeping a human body erect and well-structured. After choosing a good rhetorical analysis essay topic, following the correct rhetorical analysis essay outline will make the writing process logical and ten times easier.

Before you jump straight to writing, take your time to read and understand the original text carefully and analyze the information side by side. Focus on the author, his intended audience, his purpose, the setting, and other details.

‘How do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline?’

To learn how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, continue reading the section given below.

Introduction

The introduction section of your essay is the part where you inform your readers about the original text that you are going to analyze.

Consider the following elements of the text when doing the analysis:

  • Target audience
  • Background context

Keep this information clear and to the point by focusing on important aspects of the text only. Also, the introductory paragraph must specify whether or not the author was successful in achieving his goal.

Start your introduction with an interesting hook. Briefly describe the author and the work, followed by your judgment and purpose of choosing it.

Write a strong thesis statement at the end of the introduction and highlight the point that you are going to discuss in the essay. A thesis statement is the most important component of the essay as it provides a brief guide on what is going to be discussed in it.

Thesis Statement

A thesis is usually one to two sentences long, written at the end of the introductory paragraph to define the purpose of your essay.

The thesis statement should be clear and concise, with the sole purpose of informing the reader what to expect from your paper.

Point out the tools used by the author and how they supported his argument.

As mentioned above, the thesis statement must outline the tools that you are going to analyze in the essay.

Typically, the authors use the following kinds of tools in their work:

Simile - a direct comparison of two things by using "like" and "as."

Imagery – visually descriptive language.

Diction – the writer's choice of words and style of expression.

Body Paragraphs

The body of a rhetorical analysis essay should analyze the original text or work. Analyze how the tools used by the author helped fulfill the purpose of the text.

Start each paragraph in the body section with a topic sentence that should refer back to your thesis statement and fortify it further.

In addition to the topic sentence, it should also include a short quote from the original text that you will use to stress the idea and analyze it.

The body should be made up of the analysis, which should be three times more than the quoted text.

The persuasive methods, ethos, pathos, and logos, will be used in the body paragraphs to analyze the content. Also, respond to the questions that are mentioned in the previous step and describe the strategies used by the author.

You can also use quotes and findings to support your thesis.

Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Did the author use rhetorical appeals such as ethos, logos, pathos? When analyzing the text, notice how the author has used them to prove his point.

Ethos displays how the writer establishes reliability and integrity through tone or credentials, or both.

Pathos is the use of feelings as an appeal to the audience's emotions. The writer may add pathos by using emotional language or personal stories.

Logos indicates the logical use of the author's ideas and how he concludes things. Make sure you keep them in your mind while analyzing your text, and employ these tips in your paper.

Order Essay

Tough Essay Due? Hire Tough Writers!

Rhetorical Strategies

Authors use different types of rhetorical techniques or strategies to examine and better analyze the paragraphs and the content of the entire essay. These strategies help the authors to express their point of view and persuade the audience by following a pattern.

The most common strategies leading to an engaging rhetorical analysis include:

1. Description

Defining strategy involves telling your reader about what something means. It explains what something is and something is not. Defining strategy makes sure your readers understand what you mean by a specific term.

2. Cause and Effect

It focuses on the causes to help readers understand why something happened. Cause concerns the future while effect looks back at the past. But you can use this strategy either way from the present to the past or from the present to the future.

3. Process Analysis

With the process strategy, the writer illustrates how something is done. It goes from everyday processes like writing an application letter to complex processes such as how to face death. This rhetorical strategy is mostly used in historical essays to show how something has been done in the past.

4. Exemplification

One of the most commonly used rhetorical analysis strategies is where the writer provides examples to illustrate a larger point in detail. To make a point, there should be a clear relationship between the examples and the point you make.

5. Compare and Contrast

This rhetorical strategy looks for similarities and differences. Compare and contrast strategy is widely used in writing reports, making an argument, or even giving a speech to convince your readers.

6. Narration

Another important and one of the fundamental rhetorical strategies. Narration is which we tell stories about our life experiences to make a point.

The concluding paragraph is where the reader leaves you; make sure you address your main argument to strengthen its effect.

Provide an overview of the positive and negative points of the text and state whether or not the text was effective.

This was the basic outline that needs to be followed when tackling a rhetorical analysis essay.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Template

If this is your first time dealing with such essays, then this sample rhetorical analysis essay outline template will definitely come in handy. Just go through it once and fill out the sections one by one.

OUTLINE TEMPLATE FOR RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY (PDF)

AP RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY (PDF)

THOMAS PAINE RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY OUTLINE (PDF)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

A great approach is to read some examples of rhetorical analysis essays to understand the concept of writing a great rhetorical piece of the paper better.

RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY EXAMPLE (PDF)

You can also explore a great rhetorical analysis essay example from our expert writers to understand what it takes to craft a brilliant piece of writing.

Great Rhetorical Analysis Essay Tips

When writing a detailed outline for your rhetorical analysis essay, make sure that you take care of the following things.

  • Study an essay topic, book, painting, or any other piece of art, thoroughly before choosing a topic for your essay.
  • Present the right information in each of the essay sections.
  • Do not mention the main details in the introduction and thesis statement section.
  • Do not add new information or ideas in the conclusion.
  • Reread and recheck the entire outline and key points after you are done writing.

Hopefully, you have understood the basics of the rhetorical analysis essay outline by now, and you are confident and willing to give it a try. If you want to learn more about rhetorical analysis essays, here is a detailed guide that covers everything about writing a rhetorical analysis essay .

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

Professional Writing Help

However, if you lack the time or writing skills and looking for a professional essay writing service . Then hand over your problems to 5staressays , and our expert essay writers will take care of the rest. Whether it is an AP rhetorical analysis essay outline or a research paper for a science class, we have got it all covered.

Reach out to us today and enjoy quality work!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of rhetorical analysis.

When writing a rhetorical analysis essay, the main purpose of the writer is to convey his message to the intended audience.

What is the difference between rhetorical analysis and critical analysis?

In a rhetorical analysis essay, different parts of a text or work are discussed as they work together to form meaning. In a critical essay, the different parts of the work are critically analyzed, and arguments are formed around them.

Betty P.

Speech, Literature

Betty is a freelance writer and researcher. She has a Masters in literature and enjoys providing writing services to her clients. Betty is an avid reader and loves learning new things. She has provided writing services to clients from all academic levels and related academic fields.

Was This Blog Helpful?

Keep reading.

  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay - The Ultimate Guide

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example - Samples By Experts

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

  • Top Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for Students

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

People Also Read

  • how to write a summary
  • analytical essay topics
  • apa vs mla format
  • essay outline
  • writing an analytical essay

Burdened With Assignments?

Bottom Slider

Advertisement

  • Homework Services: Essay Topics Generator

© 2024 - All rights reserved

Facebook Social Icon

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: Full Guide

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

Have you ever been completely fascinated by a speech or ad, wondering how it managed to convince you so effectively? From powerful political speeches to catchy commercials, persuasion is all around us, shaping our thoughts and choices every day.

In this guide, we'll explain all about a rhetorical analysis essay. We'll break down the clever tricks writers and speakers use to win over their audience, like how they choose their words carefully and play with our emotions. This article will give you the tools you need to understand and analyze texts more deeply. So, let’s jump right in and start by understanding the nature of this assignment first.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay is a type of essay where you examine how authors or speakers use words, phrases, and other techniques to influence or persuade their audience. This type of essay focuses on analyzing the strategies used by the writer or speaker to achieve their purpose, whether it's to inform, persuade, entertain, or provoke.

You'll dissect the text or speech into its components, looking at how each part contributes to the overall message. This might involve examining the introduction, thesis statement, body paragraphs, evidence, and conclusion.

Once you've identified the strategies used, you'll assess their effectiveness in achieving the author's or speaker's purpose. This involves considering the intended audience, context, and the impact of the communication.

As per our essay writing service , some common topics for rhetorical analysis include analyzing speeches by influential leaders, dissecting political advertisements, or examining the rhetoric used in literary works.

Do You Want to Ease Your Academic Burden?

Order a rhetorical analysis essay from our expert writers today and experience the power of top-notch academic writing.

Rhetorical Analysis Topic Ideas

Now that we've grasped the essence of a rhetorical analysis essay let's explore some potential topics you might consider for your own analysis. Here are 15 specific ideas to get you started:

  • The Use of Metaphors in Barack Obama's 'Yes We Can' Speech
  • Visual Rhetoric in Dove's 'Real Beauty' Advertising Campaign
  • The Role of Irony in Jonathan Swift's 'A Modest Proposal'
  • The Manipulation of Emotions in Coca-Cola's 'Share a Coke' Campaign
  • The Repetition Technique in Winston Churchill's 'We Shall Fight on the Beaches' Speech
  • The Argument Structure in Michelle Obama's Speech on Education
  • The Use of Imagery in Edgar Allan Poe's 'The Raven'
  • Gender Stereotypes in Old Spice's 'The Man Your Man Could Smell Like' Ad
  • Satirical Elements in George Orwell's 'Animal Farm'
  • The Influence of Tone in Greta Thunberg's Climate Change Speeches
  • Political Symbolism in Banksy's Street Art
  • Humor as Persuasion in Ellen DeGeneres' Stand-Up Comedy
  • The Power of Silence in Emma Watson's UN Speech on Gender Equality
  • Ethical Appeals in ASPCA's Animal Rights Advertisements
  • The Cultural References in Super Bowl Commercials: A Case Study

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

Understanding how to start a rhetorical analysis essay involves dissecting a piece of communication to learn how it works and what effect it aims to achieve. This analytical process typically includes five paragraphs and three main parts: an introduction, three body paragraphs, and a conclusion. Below, our analytical essay writing service will explain each in more detail

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Major Rhetorical Elements

Before heading towards the analysis process, it's essential to grasp some key rhetorical concepts that will help guide your examination of the text or speech. These concepts provide a framework for understanding how authors and speakers use language to persuade and influence their audience.

Ethos, pathos logos in rhetorical analysis form the foundation of persuasive communication and are often intertwined in rhetorical strategies. Ethos refers to the credibility or authority of the speaker or author. Pathos involves appealing to the audience's emotions, while logos appeals to reason and logic.

There are also other rhetorical devices that are specific techniques or patterns of language used to convey meaning or evoke particular responses. Examples include metaphor, simile, imagery, irony, repetition, and hyperbole. Recognizing and analyzing these devices can provide insight into the author's intended message and its impact on the audience.

Tone and mood also play crucial roles in shaping the audience's perception and response to the communication. Tone refers to the author's attitude toward the subject matter, while mood describes the emotional atmosphere created by the text.

Whether you ask us - write my essay , or tackle the task yourself, familiarizing yourself with these concepts will help you analyze the text and persuade the audience more effectively.

Understanding Rhetorical Appeals

Understanding Rhetorical Appeals

First off, what is ethos in rhetorical analysis? Well, it revolves around establishing the credibility and authority of the speaker or author. This appeal seeks to convince the audience that the communicator is trustworthy, knowledgeable, and reliable. Ethos in rhetorical analysis can be built through various means, including:

  • Professional Credentials : Demonstrating expertise in the subject matter through relevant qualifications or experience.
  • Personal Character : Highlighting traits such as honesty, integrity, and sincerity to engender trust and respect.
  • Association : Aligning oneself with respected individuals, institutions, or causes to enhance credibility by association.

For instance, in a health-related speech, a doctor might leverage their medical expertise and professional experience (credentials) to establish ethos. Similarly, a celebrity endorsing a product is using their fame and reputation (association) to persuade consumers.

Now, let's understand what is pathos in rhetorical analysis. Pathos involves appealing to the audience's emotions, aiming to evoke feelings such as empathy, sympathy, joy, anger, or fear. This emotional connection can be a powerful tool for persuasion, as it resonates with the audience on a personal level. Strategies for employing pathos in rhetorical analysis include:

  • Vivid Imagery : Painting a vivid picture or narrative that elicits strong emotional responses from the audience.
  • Anecdotes : Sharing personal stories or anecdotes that evoke empathy or sympathy and make the message more relatable.
  • Language Choice : Using emotive language, sensory details, and rhetorical devices to evoke specific emotional reactions.

For example, in a charity advertisement for children in need, images of impoverished and suffering children coupled with heart-wrenching stories (anecdotes) are used to evoke feelings of compassion and a desire to help.

Lastly, what is logos in rhetorical analysis, you may ask. It appeals to reason and logic, aiming to persuade the audience through rational argumentation and evidence. This appeal relies on facts, statistics, logical reasoning, and sound arguments to convince the audience of the validity of the message. Strategies for employing logos in rhetorical analysis include:

  • Factual Evidence : Providing empirical data, research findings, or expert opinions to support the argument.
  • Logical Reasoning : Presenting a well-structured argument with clear premises and conclusions that logically follow one another.
  • Counterarguments : Addressing potential counterarguments and refuting them with logical reasoning and evidence.

For instance, in a persuasive essay advocating for environmental conservation, the author might present scientific data on climate change (factual evidence) and use logical reasoning to explain the consequences of inaction.

Text and Context

Text analysis involves closely examining the language, structure, and rhetorical devices employed within the communication. This includes identifying key themes, rhetorical appeals, persuasive strategies, and stylistic elements used by the author or speaker to convey their message.

For example, in a political speech advocating for healthcare reform, text analysis might involve identifying the use of rhetorical appeals such as ethos (e.g., highlighting the speaker's experience in healthcare policy), pathos (e.g., sharing anecdotes of individuals struggling with medical costs), and logos (e.g., presenting statistics on healthcare affordability).

Contextual analysis involves considering the broader social, cultural, and historical factors that shape communication and influence its reception. This includes examining the audience demographics, the political and cultural climate, the historical events surrounding the communication, and any relevant societal norms or values.

For instance, when analyzing a historical speech advocating for civil rights, contextual research paper writers might involve considering the social and political context of the time, including prevailing attitudes towards race, ongoing civil rights movements, and recent legislative developments.

Claims, Supports, and Warrants

A claim is a statement or assertion that the author or speaker is advocating for or seeking to prove. Claims can take various forms, including factual claims (assertions of fact), value claims (judgments about what is good or bad), and policy claims (proposals for action). For example, in an argumentative essay about the importance of exercise, the claim might be that regular physical activity is essential for maintaining good health.

Supports are the evidence, reasoning, or examples provided to substantiate and strengthen the claims being made. Supports can take many forms, including empirical data, expert testimony, personal anecdotes, logical reasoning, and analogies. The quality and relevance of the supports provided play a critical role in the persuasiveness of the argument.

Continuing with the example of the argumentative essay about exercise, supports might include scientific studies demonstrating the health benefits of physical activity, testimonials from fitness experts, and personal stories of individuals who have experienced positive changes from incorporating exercise into their routine.

Warrants are the underlying assumptions or principles that connect the supports to the claims. They provide the reasoning or justification for why the supports are relevant and valid evidence for supporting the claims. Warrants are often implicit rather than explicit and require careful analysis to uncover. In the context of the essay on exercise, the warrant connecting the supports to the claim might be the assumption that actions that promote good health are inherently valuable and worthy of pursuit.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Whether you opt for the option to buy essay or start writing it yourself, it's important to use a clear plan to organize your thoughts well. This plan usually includes four main steps, each looking at different parts of your analysis.

Analyzing the Text

Before writing a rhetorical analysis, take the time to thoroughly analyze the text you'll be examining. This means more than just skimming through it; it requires a thorough understanding of its subtleties and complexities. Here are some questions to guide your analysis:

  • How does the text try to sway its audience? What methods does it use to convince or influence them?
  • Which rhetorical appeals—ethos (credibility), pathos (emotion), logos (logic)—does the author use, and how do they contribute to the overall argument?
  • What specific rhetorical devices and strategies does the author employ to effectively convey their message? Are there any patterns or recurring motifs?
  • How does the structure of the text contribute to its persuasive power or overall impact?
  • Are there any cultural, historical, or contextual factors that influence how the text is perceived or understood?

By scrutinizing the text in this manner, you'll gain a deeper understanding of how it functions and the techniques employed by the author to achieve their desired effect.

Rhetorical Analysis Introduction

The introduction sets the stage for your analysis by providing essential context and framing the discussion. Start by introducing the text you're analyzing, including the author's name and the title of the work. Provide some background information to give context to your analysis. For example, if you're analyzing a speech, mention the occasion or event where it was delivered.

Next, summarize the main arguments or claims made by the author. Highlight the rhetorical techniques they use to persuade their audience. Are they appealing to logic, emotion, credibility, or a combination of these? Use specific examples from the text to illustrate these techniques discussed by our dissertation service .

For instance, if you're analyzing a speech on climate change, mention the speaker's expertise in environmental science to establish credibility. Summarize the key points they make about the consequences of inaction and the urgent need for change.

Finally, conclude your introduction with a clear thesis statement. This statement should encapsulate the main argument or purpose of your analysis.

Rhetorical Analysis Body Paragraph

The body paragraphs form the crux of your analysis, where you delve into the details of the text and dissect its rhetorical strategies. Each paragraph should focus on a specific aspect of the text, such as the use of ethos, pathos, logos, or specific rhetorical devices.

Utilize Aristotle's rhetorical triangle and other key concepts introduced earlier to guide your analysis. Provide quotations or examples from the text to illustrate your points and explain why the author chose certain approaches. Evaluate the effectiveness of these strategies in achieving the author's goals and persuading the audience.

For instance, if you're discussing the use of pathos in a marketing campaign, analyze the emotional appeal of the imagery or language used and consider how it resonates with the target audience.

Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion

In the conclusion, it's crucial to reinforce your main arguments and evaluate the author's effectiveness in achieving their goals, whether you're writing an MLA or APA essay format . Reflect on the overall impact of the text on both its immediate audience and society at large, underscoring the importance of your analysis.

Resist the temptation to introduce new ideas in the conclusion. Instead, draw upon the points you've already explored in the body of your essay to strengthen your analysis. Conclude with a poignant statement that resonates with your readers, encapsulating the essence of your interpretation and leaving a lasting impression. This final remark should tie together the threads of your analysis, leaving the reader with a deeper understanding of the text's rhetorical strategies and significance.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

In this section, you'll discover two essay samples that skillfully demonstrate the application of rhetorical analysis. These examples offer insightful insights into the effective use of rhetorical techniques in writing.

5 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Tips

Here are five focused tips that will help you lay a solid foundation for your examination.

  • Dissect Rhetorical Strategies : Break down the text to identify specific rhetorical devices such as metaphor, simile, or parallelism.
  • Evaluate Tone and Diction : Pay attention to the author's tone and word choice. Analyze how these elements contribute to the overall mood of the text.
  • Probe Ethos, Pathos, Logos : Explore how the author establishes credibility (ethos), evokes emotions (pathos), and employs logic (logos) to sway the audience.
  • Contextualize Historical Significance : Consider the historical, cultural, and social backdrop against which the text was written.
  • Craft a Structured Analysis : Organize your essay with a clear introduction, body paragraphs focusing on specific rhetorical elements, and a conclusion that synthesizes your findings.

Final Words

As we near the end, it's important to analyze carefully whether you're examining a speech, an advertisement, or a story. Pay attention to the smart tactics that influence our thinking. It's all about revealing how we communicate and relate to one another. Ultimately, understanding rhetoric offers a fresh perspective on the world beyond just academic success.

Looking to Take Your Academic Performance to the Next Level?

Say goodbye to stress, endless research, and sleepless nights - and hello to a brighter academic future.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

How to structure a rhetorical analysis essay, how to write a rhetorical analysis essay.

Daniel Parker

Daniel Parker

is a seasoned educational writer focusing on scholarship guidance, research papers, and various forms of academic essays including reflective and narrative essays. His expertise also extends to detailed case studies. A scholar with a background in English Literature and Education, Daniel’s work on EssayPro blog aims to support students in achieving academic excellence and securing scholarships. His hobbies include reading classic literature and participating in academic forums.

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

is an expert in nursing and healthcare, with a strong background in history, law, and literature. Holding advanced degrees in nursing and public health, his analytical approach and comprehensive knowledge help students navigate complex topics. On EssayPro blog, Adam provides insightful articles on everything from historical analysis to the intricacies of healthcare policies. In his downtime, he enjoys historical documentaries and volunteering at local clinics.

Related Articles

How to Find Credible Sources

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Cathy A.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline - Tips & Examples

11 min read

Published on: Aug 4, 2020

Last updated on: Jan 31, 2024

Rhetorical analysis essay outline

People also read

How To Write A Rhetorical Analysis Essay That Stands Out

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics & Ideas for Students

Top 15+ Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples for Students

Understanding Ethos, Pathos, Logos - The Three Rhetorical Appeals

Share this article

A rhetorical analysis essay is an essay type that aims to study how the author persuaded, informed, or entertained the audience. This essay type analyzes the text in specific terms of rhetoric. Then break it down into several parts and examine them individually.

The writer uses different techniques and methods to analyze text. Writing this essay requires a writer to explore the author’s writing style and present information in a structured manner.

To make this essay effective, develop an outline, and organize your raw data into logical information.

This article is written to understand how a rhetorical analysis essay outline is created. Continue reading the blog and make your academic writing impressive.

Order Essay

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That's our Job!

On This Page On This Page -->

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline?

An outline of an essay is as important as a backbone to the human body. An outline provides a structure to the content making it readable and understandable for the readers.

A rhetorical analysis essay uses the traditional essay outline to arrange its content. According to the standard outline, an essay is divided into three sections and five paragraphs.

  • Introduction
  • Body Paragraph 1
  • Body Paragraph 2
  • Body Paragraph 3

Outlining an essay falls under the planning phase. Experts suggest before you jump on to the writing process, plan out your essay. Arrange all the gathered ideas and information in a logical order to make it easier for you to write the essay.

Start your essay with all the pre-writing steps. Pre-writing includes choosing a topic, identifying the target audience, and gathering supporting information. After taking these steps, arrange everything according to the outline.

Continue reading to learn how the information is organized in each section.

An introduction is the first section of your rhetorical analysis essay. It introduces the selected piece of work and the essay topic to the audience.

The rhetorical analysis essay’s introductory paragraphs must be informative to clear the primary goal to the readers. The rhetorical analysis introduction has three basic components:

  • Background information
  • Thesis statement.

The opening statement of the introductory paragraph is called a hook. The purpose of drafting this sentence is to grab the reader’s attention and motivate them to read the entire essay. The hook statement is designed, keeping in mind the chosen text and its theme.

Once you have started your essay, provide the background information for your essay. The background information includes the author and his work’s introduction and strategies to persuade the audience.

After this, the writer provides his argument or claim on the original text. It is the essay’s thesis statement, and the writer proves it by gathering evidence from the chosen content. The last part of the introduction makes the audience clear about what the paper is about. 

Here's an example of a rhetorical essay introduction to a speech from president trump:

Your essay’s body is the most significant section of the outline as it contains all the details on the topic. Therefore, this part of the essay presents an in-depth analysis of the text. 

Each point is discussed in a separate paragraph in the body section. A topic sentence is used for each paragraph. It focuses on the point that is to be addressed in that particular segment. The topic sentence makes it easier for the readers to identify which aspect is under discussion in that specific paragraph.

Moreover, the body paragraphs shed light on the persuasive methods that the author used and their effectiveness. The writer uses quotes and analysis to support the main thesis statement .

A trick to making your content stand out is to quote less and provide more analysis. The readers are looking forward to seeing your viewpoint on the text.

In a nutshell, the body of the rhetorical analysis essay should discuss the following things:

  • Effectiveness of the strategies
  • How well the strategy works in the example?
  • Reasons behind choosing the specific approach
  • Effects of the appeals on the audience

Here’s an example of a rhetorical analysis essay’s body paragraphs.

All the paragraphs in the body section should lead the audience toward the rhetorical analysis essay’s conclusion. It is the last section where the discussion is concluded by summarizing the significant points. Moreover, the conclusion also highlights how the author influenced the audience’s opinion or society in general.

At the end of the concluding paragraph, restate the text’s importance and its contribution to history.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline Template (PDF)

Types of Rhetorical Strategies

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is a bit different from other essay types . The reason is, a writer studies rhetorical or persuasive techniques used by the author to influence his audience.

Generally, there are three rhetorical devices or strategies through which the author attempts to persuade the audience. These include:

  • Ethos - It establishes the writer’s credibility in the work. Ethos is then used to persuade the audience on a particle idea. The author built this credibility through his knowledge, expertise, and moral competence in the field.
  • Pathos - It is a device that the author uses to appeal to the reader’s emotions. The goal of this technique is to arouse feelings in the audience to persuade them.
  • Logos - Unlike the other two devices, logos is a strategy that uses logic and reasons to persuade readers. The writer uses facts, critical thinking, statistics, and undeniable data to convince the audience of his viewpoint.

For writing an effective rhetorical analysis essay, a writer identifies the author’s strategies in the original text and evaluates them.

Here's an example of ethos, pathos, and logos.

Watch the video to discover more about rhetorical strategies and how they can help you create persuasive content.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Students require written examples and essay samples to understand the actual writing process and its structure. The following are examples to make the students learn the rhetorical analysis essay concept.

These examples will allow them to draft an impressive piece, making them achieve higher grades. 

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay - Sample (PDF)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample (PDF)

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline College

Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Searching for additional rhetorical analysis essay examples ? Click this link to explore more essays!

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics 

Rhetorical analysis essays are a great way to practice analyzing and interpreting the persuasive techniques used in different forms of media. 

So, if you’re stuck on where to begin, why not start with one of these Rhetorical Analysis Essay topics for college students?

  • "I Have a Dream" speech by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • "The Gettysburg Address" by President Abraham Lincoln
  • The use of imagery in Edgar Allan Poe's "The Raven"
  • The impact of tone in F. Scott Fitzgerald's "The Great Gatsby"
  • The use of ethos, pathos, and logos in Arthur Miller's "The Crucible"
  • "The First Inaugural Address" by President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • "The Ballot or the Bullet" speech by Malcolm X
  • "A Modest Proposal" by Jonathan Swift
  • Civil rights movement  protests
  • The representation of society in Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice"

Need more rhetorical analysis essay topics ? Visit this link!

In summary, the rhetorical analysis essay outline is a valuable tool to analyze a piece of writing. By using the outline to structure their analysis, writers can present a clear and convincing argument.

Are you still confused? Not sure where to take the start and which format to follow? Take our professional's help.

Embark on your academic journey with confidence, thanks to our college essay writing service . Tailored to meet the unique demands of college assignments, our team of expert writers is committed to delivering essays that not only meet but exceed your expectations. 

Or, elevate your writing experience with our AI essay writer , an advanced tool designed to refine your essays with the precision of artificial intelligence.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do you outline a rhetorical analysis.

Here are some tips that will help you outline a rhetorical analysis essay.

  • Identify the rhetorical strategies
  • Describe the rhetoric appeals
  • State your thesis statement
  • Organize your ideas

What are the 5 parts of rhetorical analysis?

Below are the five main parts of rhetorical analysis.

How many paragraphs is a rhetorical analysis essay?

When writing a rhetorical analysis, it is important to use a typical 5-paragraph essay structure. A rhetorical analysis essay must include three essential parts: an introduction, body paragraphs, and a conclusion.

What are the 6 elements of the rhetorical situation?

The six main elements of the rhetorical situation are;

What are the 8 rhetorical modes?

The main eight rhetorical modes are;

  • Description
  • Illustration
  • Compare and contrast
  • Cause and effect
  • Classification
  • Argumentation 

Cathy A. (Literature, Marketing)

For more than five years now, Cathy has been one of our most hardworking authors on the platform. With a Masters degree in mass communication, she knows the ins and outs of professional writing. Clients often leave her glowing reviews for being an amazing writer who takes her work very seriously.

Paper Due? Why Suffer? That’s our Job!

Get Help

Keep reading

Rhetorical analysis essay outline

Legal & Policies

  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy
  • Terms of Use
  • Refunds & Cancellations
  • Our Writers
  • Success Stories
  • Our Guarantees
  • Affiliate Program
  • Referral Program
  • AI Essay Writer

Disclaimer: All client orders are completed by our team of highly qualified human writers. The essays and papers provided by us are not to be used for submission but rather as learning models only.

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

pep

Find what you need to study

Rhetorical Analysis Essay How-To

7 min read • november 18, 2021

Brandon Wu

Kathryn Howard

What is the Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

According to the college board:.

 “The rhetorical analysis free-response essay question presents students with a passage of nonfiction prose of approximately 600 to 800 words. Students are asked to write an essay that analyzes the writer’s rhetorical choices . This question assesses students’ ability to do the following:

Respond to the prompt with a thesis that analyzes the writer’s rhetorical choices .

Select and use evidence to support your line of reasoning .

Explain how the evidence supports your line of reasoning .

Demonstrate an understanding of the rhetorical situation .

Use appropriate grammar and punctuation in communicating your argument."

Essentially, you are being asked to analyze someone’s writing and what strategies they used to help them achieve their purpose.

Rhetorical Analysis Rubric for Scoring

The rhetorical analysis frq is out of 6 points.

https://i.ibb.co/5symGXr/thesis-statement-woody.jpg

To get this point you need to clearly write a defensible thesis about the rhetorical choices the author makes. Do not take a stance on the argument the author is making if he/she is making one. You are only talking about rhetorical strategies.

🎥 Watch: AP Language - How to Find Rhetorical Strategies

Evidence and Commentary (4 points)

To get the four points you need to not only present evidence but explain why it supports your thesis and how it contributes to the author’s message.

Sophistication (1 point)

To get to this point you have to demonstrate a complex understanding of both what that purpose was, and how the rhetorical analysis devices aided the author’s purpose.

There are a few ways that you can earn the sophistication point :

Explaining the significance or relevance of the writer’s rhetorical choices (given the rhetorical situation ).

Explaining a purpose or function of the passage’s complexities or tensions.

Employing a style that is consistently vivid and persuasive.

You have 40 minutes to complete the rhetorical analysis essay for AP Lang:

12 minutes: Read the text and plan out your essay. (TOBI)

6 minutes: Write your introduction paragraph.

18 minutes: Write 2-3 body paragraphs.

2 minutes: Write a quick conclusion.

2 minutes: Proofread and revise your essay.

🎥 Watch: AP Language - Rhetorical Analysis Organization and Timing

https://i.ibb.co/mCr5BDx/timed.jpg

How to Maximize Your Time

Outline your rhetorical analysis essay before writing! A great tool for this is a TOBI:

TOBI stands for thesis , outline , and big idea.

TOBI Outline

BI -Big Idea

Here is an example of how to use TOBI given a rhetorical analysis prompt:

https://i.ibb.co/hBMWsnj/Screen-Shot-2020-03-08-at-12-44-23-PM.png

From CollegeBoard AP Lang 2017 Exam, FRQ Question 2

T: Luce uses many rhetorical strategies including pathos , antithesis , and a humorous tone to soften up her audience before introducing her true reasons for being there. 

- Pathos Appeal

(“There is no audience more forgiving”)

- Antithesis

(“I am happy, I am less happy”)

- Humorous tone

(“consequently, no audience is more forgiving, I hope”)

BI: Today, just like for Luce, it is very difficult to give criticism to your peers.

Note: It is a good idea to make the TOBI about the size of your hand to make sure you don’t spend too much of your precious essay writing time on it.

What if I can't find any rhetorical devices that I recognize?

You can always go back and rely on tone as every piece of literature has one, even if it is just informative. If you know what they are doing, but not the name of the term, you can still just describe it and get the points. Additionally, make sure that you are familiar with all the rhetorical devices that are a part of AP Lang!

🎥 Watch: AP Language - Reading with an Analytical Mind

If it’s not an argumentative essay, what do you put in your thesis?

You state the most important writing choices the author made in order to impact the audience of the work.

Other Tips and Tricks

The big idea should show how this prompt applies to today. This will help you write your conclusion. In most language arts classes they teach you to simply restate your points, but not in AP Lang!

The first thing you are going to want to do is carefully read through and highlight any strategies you see. 

Even if TOBI doesn’t work for you, it is a good idea to outline the essay. Even though it takes time, it will end up saving you time in the end because it gives you direction.

One of the most useful tools for the introduction is something called Soapstones. In this intro you are introducing the S peaker, O ccasion, A udience, P urpose, S ubject, T one, and S tyle. (Keep in mind: You do not need to include EVERY ONE). But, most successful essays include a few of them.

DON’T SKIM! It will only hurt you in the long run, even if you think it might be saving you time.

If you need to, review strategy names, but if you don’t remember, do your best to describe what is going on and how the author is using it.

https://i.ibb.co/fQfQLNT/diction.jpg

Rhetorical Analysis Example Essay Prompt

The speech below was given at the site of the battle of Gettysburg by president Abraham Lincoln. Lincoln went on to describe his desire to save the union. Read the passage carefully and then in a well-developed essay, analyze the writing choices Lincoln makes to share his message with others. Support your analysis of his rhetoric with specific references from the text.

“Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent a new nation, conceived in Liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate—we can not consecrate—we can not hallow—this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us—that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion—that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain—that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom—and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.”

Key Terms to Review ( 20 )

Complex Understanding

Defendable Thesis

FRQ (Free-Response Question)

Grammar and Punctuation

Humorous Tone

Line of Reasoning

Passage's Complexities or Tensions

Pathos Appeal

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Rubric

Rhetorical Choices

Rhetorical Situation

Significance or Relevance

Sophistication Point

TOBI (Thesis, Outline, Big Idea)

Vivid and Persuasive Style

Writer's Rhetorical Choices

Fiveable

Stay Connected

© 2024 Fiveable Inc. All rights reserved.

AP® and SAT® are trademarks registered by the College Board, which is not affiliated with, and does not endorse this website.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline: Examples & Strategies

Rhetorical analysis is never a simple task. This essay type requires you to analyze rhetorical devices in a text and review them from different perspectives. Such an assignment can be a part of an AP Lang exam or a college home task. Either way, you will need a solid outline to succeed with your writing. And we can help you nail it.

In this article by our custom-writing team, you will find:

  • the structure of a rhetorical analysis essay;
  • a detailed guide and tips for writing a rhetorical essay outline;
  • an example and a template for you to download.
  • 📚 Rhetorical Analysis Structure

Introduction

  • Body Paragraphs
  • 📑 Example Outline & Template

🔍 References

📚 structure of a rhetorical analysis essay: pre-writing.

The first thing you need to know before you start working on your essay is that the analysis in your paper is strictly rhetorical. In other words, you don’t need to discuss what the author is saying. Instead, it’s a take on how the author says it.

And to understand “how,” you need to find rhetorical appeals. An appeal is a technique that the author uses to convince the reader. The main ones are logos, ethos, and pathos.

The picture shows the rhetorical triangle: ethos, pathos, logos.

The whole analysis is structured around them and divided into 3 parts: appeals in the text’s introduction, in the body paragraphs, and in its conclusion.

Remember that it’s essential to structure your essay in chronological order. To put it simply, it’s better not to describe the appeals from the conclusion before the ones in the introduction. Follow the structure of the text you’re analyzing, and you’ll nail it.

Rhetorical Analysis Triangle

We’ve already mentioned ethos, pathos, and logos. The rhetorical triangle is another name for these 3 main appeals. Let’s examine them in more detail:

In your essay, it’s best to mention all 3 appeals. It’s also necessary to measure their effectiveness and give examples. A good strategy is to find the appeals in the text, underline them, and analyze them before writing the outline.

Each appeal can be characterized by the following:

  • Diction. Diction is the words that the author uses to describe the idea. When analyzing diction, you want to find words that stand out in the text.
  • Syntax. Simply put, syntax is the order of words used by the author. You can also look at the sentence length as a part of the syntax.
  • Punctuation. This characteristic is all about the usage of punctuation marks. Aside from commas, it’s good to pay attention to colons and dashes. Authors can use them to focus the audience’s attention on something or create a dramatic disjunction.
  • Tone. It’s the author’s attitude towards the discussed idea. The tone is a combination of diction, syntax, and punctuation. For example, you can tell if the author is interested or not by evaluating the length of sentences.

Remember that all 3 appeals are artistic proofs, and you shouldn’t confuse them with factual evidence. The difference between them lies in the amount of effort:

  • Citing factual evidence requires no skill. You create proof just by mentioning the fact.
  • In the case of artistic proof , you must use your knowledge of rhetoric to create it.

SOAPS: Rhetorical Analysis

SOAPS is a helpful technique for conducting a rhetorical analysis. It’s fairly popular and is recommended for AP tests. SOAPS stands for:

Answering the questions above will make it easy for you to find the necessary appeals.

✍️ How to Write an Outline for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Now that you’ve found the appeals and analyzed them, it’s time to write the outline. We will explain it part by part, starting with the introduction.

How to Write an Introduction for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

In a rhetorical analysis, the introduction is different from that of a regular essay. It covers all the necessary information about the author of the text:

  • Name (or names, if there are several authors.)
  • Genre and title of the reviewed work.

The author claims that cats are better pets than dogs.

  • The target audience that the writer is aiming at.
  • The context in which the text was produced, e.g. a specific event.

The picture shows the components of an introduction for a rhetorical analysis essay.

Aside from that, a rhetorical essay introduction should include a hook and a thesis statement. Want to know how to write them? Keep reading!

How to Write a Hook for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A hook is a sentence that grabs the reader’s attention. You can do it by presenting an interesting fact about the author. You may also use an inspiring or amusing quote. Make sure your hook is connected with the text you are writing about.

For example, if you’re analyzing MLK’s I Have a Dream speech, you can hook the reader with the following sentence:

Martin Luther King is widely considered the most famous speaker in history.

Our article on hooks in writing can provide you with e great ideas.

Thesis Statement for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

In a rhetorical analysis essay, you don’t need to create a thesis statement in the usual sense. Instead, you describe the main point made by the author using a rhetorically accurate verb (such as “claims” or “asserts”) followed by a “that” clause.

For example, your thesis can focus on the techniques that the author uses to convince the audience. If we look at the I Have a Dream speech, we will notice several stylistic elements:

It’s not a complete list, but that’s enough to form a decent thesis.

We also need to mention the ideas behind the speech. The main idea is, obviously, equality. So, we’ll put it in our thesis as well. As a result, we have something like this:

Through the skillful usage of metaphor, repetition, and symbolism Martin Luther King effectively fills his audience’s hearts with the idea of unity and equality.

Rhetorical Analysis Body Paragraphs

If you are writing a generic 5-paragraph essay, you can divide your essay’s body into 3 parts:

  • A paragraph about appeals in the text introduction.
  • A section about rhetorical devices in the text’s body.
  • A paragraph about rhetorical devices in the text’s conclusion.

Sometimes there is no distinct structure in a text. If that’s the case, just analyze the appeals in chronological order. You can also split the analysis based on the type of appeals. For example:

  • A paragraph about emotional appeals.
  • A section about logical appeals.
  • A paragraph about ethical appeals.

Each of your essay’s body paragraphs should have 3 key elements:

  • Topic sentence that shows what appeal you will discuss in the section.
  • Examples that illustrate the rhetorical device you want to showcase.
  • Your take on the effectiveness of the given device.

It’s good to remember that every appeal you talk about needs an example. If you can illustrate your claim about a strategy with more examples, then go for it. The more examples, the better.

Good Transition Words for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Transition words allow you to follow up one idea with another. They also help build connections between paragraphs. Choosing correct transition words depends on the strategy you use. If you want to build a sequence of a cause and its effect, you will need words like “thus” or “hence.” If you’re going to clarify something, you should use a different set of words.

Here’s a list of helpful transition words suitable in different contexts:

Rhetorical Analysis Verbs to Use

A rhetorical analysis essay is a serious work that often touches on complex topics. Regular verbs like “tells us” or “shows” don’t always fit it. To make your paper more inclusive and precise, consider using strong verbs .

Strong verbs (or power verbs) are typically used when talking about the author. That includes their strategies, attitude, personality, or ideas.

For example, instead of “the author says,” you can use “suggests” or “clarifies,” depending on the context.

Some other rhetorically accurate verbs include:

  • Sheds light

You don’t have to use strong verbs only. If you feel like “says” suits your point better than any strong verb, feel free to use it.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Conclusion

The conclusion is the ending of your paper. It sums your essay up and underlines the points you’ve made in the body paragraphs. A good conclusion should accomplish several things:

  • Paraphrasing the thesis . You shouldn’t just rewrite the thesis from the introduction. The restatement is usually used to demonstrate a deeper understanding of your point.
  • A summary of the body paragraphs . Again, simple repetition is not enough. We need to link the points to our thesis and underline the importance of our statements.
  • Final thoughts . A powerful epilogue will leave a good impression about your work.

Make sure to avoid including any new ideas or statements. The conclusion is exclusively for summarizing. If you found yourself putting a new assertion in the ending, it’s probably a good idea to restructure your body paragraphs.

📑 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Outline & Template

To make the writing process even easier for you, we will show you what an outline for your essay can look like. As an example, we will outline a rhetorical analysis of MLK’s I Have a Dream speech. We are going to structure it according to the appeals.

Have a look:

  • Hook . An interesting fact about the MLK or his quote. An emotional start about the importance and the lasting legacy of the speech will also work.
  • The speaker’s name, occupation, and years of life.
  • The context in which the subject of our essay was produced.
  • The speech’s target audience.
  • Thesis statement . Point out the appeals you are going to write about. Describe their impact on the author’s general argumentation.

Body paragraphs

  • Underline the often use of metaphor. Set “lonely island of poverty” and “ocean of material prosperity” as examples.
  • Talk about the usage of repetition. Use the constant repetition of “I have a dream…” as an illustration.
  • Demonstrate the use of logos. Mention King citing President Lincoln as an authority for his argumentation.
  • Showcase the ethos of the speech. Notice that MLK’s Civil Rights Movement logic correlates with social ethics at the time.
  • Comparing segregation to a “bad check.”
  • Referring to the Civil Rights Movement as “my people.”
  • Comparing the acquisition of equality to “cashing a check.”
  • Restate the thesis. Demonstrate a deeper understanding of the point made in the introduction.
  • Summary of the body paragraphs. Connect them to the thesis statement. Give a final take on King’s rhetorical strategies and evaluate their effectiveness.
  • Closing thought. Finish by stating the primary goal of your analysis.

Alternatively, you can structure your essay in chronological order. Below you’ll find a template you can use for this type of rhetorical analysis. Simply download the PDF file below and fill in the blanks.

Rhetorical Analysis Outline Template

(your essay’s title)

Introduction.

The speaker/author is (state the author’s name.) The purpose of the text is to (state the text’s purpose.) The text is intended for (describe the text’s intended audience.)

Check out the rhetorical analysis samples below to get some ideas for your paper.

  • Greta Thunberg’s Speech: Rhetorical Analysis
  • Rhetorical Analysis: “In Defense of the ‘Impractical’ English Major” by C. Gregoire and “Top 10 Reasons You’re Not Wasting Your Time as an English Major” by S. Reeves
  • Steve Jobs’ Commencement Speech Rhetorical Analysis
  • The Speech “Beyond Vietnam: A Time to Break Silence” by Martin Luther King, Jr: Rhetorical Analysis
  • Rhetorical Analysis Through Lyrics: “The Times They Are A-Changing” and “The Wind of Change”
  • Roiphe’s Confessions of a Female Chauvinist Sow: Rhetorical Analysis
  • “Snack Attack”: Rhetorical Analysis
  • Rhetorical Analysis of “Hidden Intellectualism” by Gerald Graff

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analyze rhetorical appeals of a Hallmark’s commercial 
  • Rhetorical devices and the atmosphere of Hamlet’s To Be or Not to Be monologue
  • The author’s argument in Us film
  • Compare pathos, ethos, and logos in two advertisements
  • Google Analytics : rhetorical analysis
  • The background and the audience of the Gillette commercial short film
  • Rhetorical analysis of capitalism and socialism
  • What makes John F. Kennedy’s inaugural address iconic?
  • The significance of the historical parallel in Susan B. Anthony’s speech
  • Sarcasm and skepticism in Shikha Dalmia’s article
  • Rhetorical analysis of political debates between Biden, Harris, and Booker
  • What makes Letter From Birmingham Jail powerful?
  • Problems of the modern education in Moore’s Idiot Nation and Gatto’s Against School
  • Rhetorical techniques in Learning to Read and Write by Frederick Douglass
  • Compare and contrast Antigone and Creon
  • The word framing of Michelle Obama’s TED speech
  • James Q. Wilson’s arguments on gun ownership laws
  • Analyze ethos, pathos, and logos in a video advertisement
  • What makes the 2005 speech by Steve Jobs remarkable?
  • How does Jenna Berko convince readers in her essay?
  • Successful persuasion in the film Henry V
  • Margaret Fuller and Frederick Douglass : a rhetorical comparison
  • Characters, setting, and emotions in Of Mice and Men
  • Web blogs rhetorical analysis
  • Rhetorical devices in Barbara Holland’s collection of thoughts
  • Conduct a rhetorical analysis of Louis C. K.’s Shameless
  • What makes Claire Giordano’s essay convincing?
  • Biblical allusions in Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglas
  • Ali Siddiq’s ‘Prison Riot’ standup: a rhetorical analysis
  • Presentation of interracial romance in Get Out movie
  • Rhetoric Instruments in The Oxford Encyclopedia of Latinos and Latinas in the United States
  • How does Barack Obama try to change reality with his speech?
  • Target and purpose of L’Oreal EverCrème advertisement
  • Perform a rhetorical analysis of Pop Can: Popular Culture in Canada
  • The Myth of the Charioteer by Plato : rhetorical devices
  • Rhetorical goals of the authors of African-American history articles
  • The effectiveness of the Michelin advertising campaign
  • Rhetorical analysis of the Double Cola Company’s image
  • Compare the use of argument in Lincoln’s and Dickinson’s works
  • Rhetoric analysis of anti-communist and anti-Islam promotion

We hope this article helped you with your assignment. Make sure to tell us what part helped you the most in the comments. And good luck with your studies!

Further reading:

  • How to Write a Reflection Paper: Example & Tips
  • How to Write a Narrative Essay Outline: Template & Examples
  • What Is a Discourse Analysis Essay: Example & Guide
  • How to Write a Critical Thinking Essay: Examples & Outline
  • How to Write a Precis: Definition, Guide, & Examples
  • How to Write a Process Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline

🤔 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline FAQs

According to SOAPS, the main 5 elements of a rhetorical analysis are:

1. Subject, or the author’s ideas. 2. Occasion, or the text’s background. 3. Audience, or the people who would find the text interesting. 4. Purpose, or the reasoning behind the writing. 5. Speaker’s characteristics, or the author’s personal beliefs.

1. Logos— the appeal to logic. It includes argumentation, statistics, and facts. 2. Ethos— the ethical appeal. Ethos appeal to the morality and ethical norms of the target audience. 3. Pathos —the appeal to the reader’s emotions. 4. Kairos— the time of the argument.

Every rhetorical analysis ends with a conclusion. A good conclusion should:

1. Restate the thesis. 2. Summarize the points and strategies described in the body paragraphs. 3. End with concluding thoughts on the analysis.

A thesis for a rhetorical analysis is a bit different from the usual one. It needs to include the author’s appeals and the main point the author is trying to make. Like any other thesis, it must structure the further analysis and be connected to every paragraph.

Kairos is the timeliness of the argument. It is the appeal of the right time. The usage of kairos usually means that the author’s text is relevant for a certain period of time only.

  • Rhetorical Analysis: Miami University
  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Formatting: California State University, East Bay
  • The Rhetorical Triangle: Understanding and Using Logos, Ethos, and Pathos: Louisiana State University
  • The Rhetorical Triangle: The University of North Carolina at Charlotte
  • General Notes on Rhetorical Analysis: Deer Valley Unified School District
  • SOAPS: Rhetorical Analysis of a Reading Source: Kent Campus
  • How To Write a Rhetorical Analysis in 8 Simple Steps: Indeed
  • Rhetorical Analysis: Texas A&M University
  • Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statements: Virginia Wesleyan University
  • What Are Logos, Ethos, Pathos, and Kairos?: University of Louisville
  • Share to Facebook
  • Share to Twitter
  • Share to LinkedIn
  • Share to email

How to Write a Synthesis Essay: Examples, Topics, & Outline

A synthesis essay requires you to work with multiple sources. You combine the information gathered from them to present a well-rounded argument on a topic. Are you looking for the ultimate guide on synthesis essay writing? You’ve come to the right place! In this guide by our custom writing team,...

How to Write a Critical Analysis Essay: Examples & Guide

A critical analysis essay is an academic paper that requires a thorough examination of theoretical concepts and ideas. It includes a comparison of facts, differentiation between evidence and argument, and identification of biases. Crafting a good paper can be a daunting experience, but it will be much easier if you...

How to Write a Visual Analysis Essay: Examples & Template

A visual analysis essay is an academic paper type that history and art students often deal with. It consists of a detailed description of an image or object. It can also include an interpretation or an argument that is supported by visual evidence. In this article, our custom writing experts...

How to Write a Character Analysis Essay: Examples & Outline

A character analysis is an examination of the personalities and actions of protagonists and antagonists that make up a story. It discusses their role in the story, evaluates their traits, and looks at their conflicts and experiences. You might need to write this assignment in school or college. Like any...

Critical Writing: Examples & Brilliant Tips [2024]

Any critique is nothing more than critical analysis, and the word “analysis” does not have a negative meaning. Critical writing relies on objective evaluations of or a response to an author’s creation. As such, they can be either positive or negative, as the work deserves. To write a critique, you...

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Outline, Steps, & Examples

If you are assigned to write a rhetorical analysis essay, you have one significant advantage. You can choose a text from an almost infinite number of resources. The most important thing is that you analyze the statement addressed to an audience. The task of a rhetorical analysis essay is to...

How to Analyze a Poem in an Essay

Any literary analysis is a challenging task since literature includes many elements that can be interpreted differently. However, a stylistic analysis of all the figurative language the poets use may seem even harder. You may never realize what the author actually meant and how to comment on it! While analyzing...

Book Review Format, Outline, & Example

As a student, you may be asked to write a book review. Unlike an argumentative essay, a book review is an opportunity to convey the central theme of a story while offering a new perspective on the author’s ideas. Knowing how to create a well-organized and coherent review, however, is...

Argumentative vs. Persuasive Essays: What’s the Difference?

The difference between an argumentative and persuasive essay isn’t always clear. If you’re struggling with either style for your next assignment, don’t worry. The following will clarify everything you need to know so you can write with confidence. First, we define the primary objectives of argumentative vs. persuasive writing. We...

How to Write a Cause & Effect Essay: Examples, Outline, & Tips

You don’t need to be a nerd to understand the general idea behind cause and effect essays. Let’s see! If you skip a meal, you get hungry. And if you write an essay about it, your goal is achieved! However, following multiple rules of academic writing can be a tough...

How to Write an Argumentative Essay: 101 Guide [+ Examples]

An argumentative essay is a genre of academic writing that investigates different sides of a particular issue. Its central purpose is to inform the readers rather than expressively persuade them. Thus, it is crucial to differentiate between argumentative and persuasive essays. While composing an argumentative essay, the students have to...

How to Title an Essay: Guide with Creative Examples [2024]

It’s not a secret that the reader notices an essay title first. No catchy hook or colorful examples attract more attention from a quick glance. Composing a creative title for your essay is essential if you strive to succeed, as it: Thus, how you name your paper is of the...

Extremely helpful. Gave me wonderful definitions of Pathos,Lagos and Ethos.Broke down how to use these points to write my analysis. Thank you

Calculate for all schools

Your chance of acceptance, your chancing factors, extracurriculars, tips for writing a rhetorical analysis essay.

In my English class, we have to write a rhetorical analysis essay and I've never done one before. Can anyone give me some advice on how to break down the text and write a solid essay? I'd really appreciate any help you guys can provide!

First and foremost, it's essential to understand the basic structure of a rhetorical analysis essay and what the purpose is. Rhetorical analysis essays focus on examining how authors use rhetorical strategies (such as ethos, pathos, and logos) to create an argument or persuade the audience. Here is a step-by-step guide to help you write an effective rhetorical analysis essay:

1. Carefully read the text: Begin by reading the text multiple times to ensure that you thoroughly understand the arguments presented. Note down significant points, arguments, and claims made by the author.

2. Identify rhetorical strategies: After understanding the text, identify the rhetorical strategies the author uses, such as ethos (credibility), pathos (emotional appeal), and logos (logical appeal). Keep in mind that authors may also utilize rhetorical devices like analogy, juxtaposition, or irony to enrich their arguments.

3. Analyze the effectiveness of rhetorical strategies: Examine how the rhetorical strategies contribute to the author's purpose and message. Assess the effectiveness of each strategy and how they work in tandem to persuade the audience.

4. Develop a thesis statement: Craft a concise and clear thesis statement that outlines your essay's focus. The thesis should articulate the author's purpose, the rhetorical strategies used, and your analysis of their effectiveness.

5. Outline your essay: Create an outline that includes the introduction, main points supporting your thesis, and a conclusion. This will help you organize your thoughts and ensure a coherent flow throughout the essay.

6. Write the introduction: In the introduction, provide some background on the text and author, as well as a brief summary of the main arguments. Your thesis statement should be placed at the end of the introduction.

7. Develop body paragraphs: Each body paragraph should focus on one rhetorical strategy, starting with a topic sentence that connects to your thesis statement. Then, provide evidence from the text to illustrate the strategy's use and effectiveness. Finally, analyze how the strategy contributes to the author's overall message and purpose.

8. Write the conclusion: Summarize your analysis, restate your thesis, and discuss the implications or significance of your findings. Avoid introducing new ideas in this section.

9. Revise and edit: Make sure to proofread your essay and revise any errors in grammar, syntax, or punctuation. Also, check for clarity, coherence, and cohesion throughout the essay.

By following these steps and maintaining a clear focus on the author's rhetorical strategies, you'll be well on your way to crafting a strong rhetorical analysis essay. Good luck!

About CollegeVine’s Expert FAQ

CollegeVine’s Q&A seeks to offer informed perspectives on commonly asked admissions questions. Every answer is refined and validated by our team of admissions experts to ensure it resonates with trusted knowledge in the field.

  • PRO Courses Guides New Tech Help Pro Expert Videos About wikiHow Pro Upgrade Sign In
  • EDIT Edit this Article
  • EXPLORE Tech Help Pro About Us Random Article Quizzes Request a New Article Community Dashboard This Or That Game Popular Categories Arts and Entertainment Artwork Books Movies Computers and Electronics Computers Phone Skills Technology Hacks Health Men's Health Mental Health Women's Health Relationships Dating Love Relationship Issues Hobbies and Crafts Crafts Drawing Games Education & Communication Communication Skills Personal Development Studying Personal Care and Style Fashion Hair Care Personal Hygiene Youth Personal Care School Stuff Dating All Categories Arts and Entertainment Finance and Business Home and Garden Relationship Quizzes Cars & Other Vehicles Food and Entertaining Personal Care and Style Sports and Fitness Computers and Electronics Health Pets and Animals Travel Education & Communication Hobbies and Crafts Philosophy and Religion Work World Family Life Holidays and Traditions Relationships Youth
  • Browse Articles
  • Learn Something New
  • Quizzes Hot
  • This Or That Game
  • Train Your Brain
  • Explore More
  • Support wikiHow
  • About wikiHow
  • Log in / Sign up
  • Education and Communications
  • College University and Postgraduate
  • Academic Writing

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

Last Updated: April 2, 2024 Fact Checked

This article was co-authored by Megan Morgan, PhD . Megan Morgan is a Graduate Program Academic Advisor in the School of Public & International Affairs at the University of Georgia. She earned her PhD in English from the University of Georgia in 2015. This article has been fact-checked, ensuring the accuracy of any cited facts and confirming the authority of its sources. This article has been viewed 1,378,324 times.

A rhetorical analysis can be written about other texts, television shows, films, collections of artwork, or a variety of other communicative mediums that attempt to make a statement to an intended audience. In order to write a rhetorical analysis, you need to be able to determine how the creator of the original work attempts to make his or her argument. You can also include information about whether or not that argument is successful. To learn more about the right way to write a rhetorical analysis, continue reading.

Gathering Information

Step 1 Identify the SOAPSTone.

  • The speaker refers to the first and last name of the writer. If the writer has any credentials that lend to his or her authority on the matter at hand, you should also briefly consider those. Note that if the narrator is different from the writer, though, it could also refer to the narrator.
  • The occasion mostly refers to the type of text and the context under which the text was written. For instance, there is a big difference between an essay written for a scholarly conference and a letter written to an associate in the field.
  • The audience is who the text was written for. This is related to the occasion, since the occasion can include details about the audience. In the example above, the audience would be a conference of scholars versus an associate in the field.
  • The purpose refers to what the writer wants to accomplish in the text. It usually includes selling a product or point of view.
  • The subject is simply the topic the writer discusses in the text.

Step 2 Examine the appeals.

  • Ethos, or ethical appeals, rely on the writer's credibility and character in the garnering of approval. Mentions of a writer's character or qualifications usually qualify as ethos. For instance, if a family therapist with 20 years of practice writes an article on improving familial relations, mention of that experience would be using ethos. Despite their name, these appeals don't have anything to do with "ethics" as we usually think of them.
  • Logos, or logical appeals, use reason to make an argument. Most academic discourse should make heavy use of logos. A writer who supports an argument with evidence, data, and undeniable facts uses logos.
  • Pathos, or pathetic appeals, seek to evoke emotion in order to gain approval. These emotions can include anything from sympathy and anger to the desire for love. If an article about violent crime provides personal, human details about victims of violent crime, the writer is likely using pathos.

Step 3 Note style details.

  • Analogies and figurative language, including metaphors and similes, demonstrate an idea through comparison.
  • Repetition of a certain point or idea is used to make that point seem more memorable.
  • Imagery often affects pathos. The image of a starving child in a low income country can be a powerful way of evoking compassion or anger.
  • Diction refers to word choice. Emotionally-charged words have greater impact, and rhythmic word patterns can establish a theme more effectively.
  • Tone essentially means mood or attitude. A sarcastic essay is vastly different from a scientific one, but depending on the situation, either tone could be effective.
  • Addressing the opposition demonstrates that the writer is not afraid of the opposing viewpoint. It also allows the writer to strengthen his or her own argument by cutting down the opposing one. This is especially powerful when the author contrasts a strong viewpoint he or she holds with a weak viewpoint on the opposing side.

Step 4 Form an analysis.

  • Ask yourself how the rhetorical strategies of appeals and style help the author achieve his or her purpose. Determine if any of these strategies fail and hurt the author instead of helping.
  • Speculate on why the author may have chosen those rhetorical strategies for that audience and that occasion. Determine if the choice of strategies may have differed for a different audience or occasion.
  • Remember that in a rhetorical analysis, you do not need to agree with the argument being presented. Your task is to analyze how well the author uses the appeals to present her or his argument.

Writing the Introduction

Step 1 Identify your own purpose.

  • By letting the reader know that your paper is a rhetorical analysis, you let him or her know exactly what to expect. If you do not let the reader know this information beforehand, he or she may expect to read an evaluative argument instead.
  • Do not simply state, "This paper is a rhetorical analysis." Weave the information into the introduction as naturally as possible.
  • Note that this may not be necessary if you are writing a rhetorical analysis for an assignment that specifically calls for a rhetorical analysis.

Step 2 State the text being analyzed.

  • The introduction is a good place to give a quick summary of the document. Keep it quick, though. Save the majority of the details for your body paragraphs, since most of the details will be used in defending your analysis.

Step 3 Briefly mention the SOAPS.

  • You do not necessarily need to mention these details in this order. Include the details in a matter that makes sense and flows naturally within your introductory paragraph.

Step 4 Specify a thesis statement.

  • Try stating which rhetorical techniques the writer uses in order to move people toward his or her desired purpose. Analyze how well these techniques accomplish this goal.
  • Consider narrowing the focus of your essay. Choose one or two design aspects that are complex enough to spend an entire essay analyzing.
  • Think about making an original argument. If your analysis leads you to make a certain argument about the text, focus your thesis and essay around that argument and provide support for it throughout the body of your paper.
  • Try to focus on using words such as "effective" or "ineffective" when composing your thesis, rather than "good" or "bad." You want to avoid seeming like you are passing value judgments.

Writing the Body

Step 1 Organize your body paragraphs by rhetorical appeals.

  • The order of logos, ethos, and pathos is not necessarily set in stone. If you intend to focus on one more than the other two, you could briefly cover the two lesser appeals in the first two sections before elaborating on the third in greater detail toward the middle and end of the paper.
  • For logos, identify at least one major claim and evaluate the document's use of objective evidence.
  • For ethos, analyze how the writer or speaker uses his or her status as an "expert" to enhance credibility.
  • For pathos, analyze any details that alter the way that the viewer or reader may feel about the subject at hand. Also analyze any imagery used to appeal to aesthetic senses, and determine how effective these elements are.
  • Wrap things up by discussing the consequences and overall impact of these three appeals.

Step 2 Write your analysis in chronological order, instead.

  • Start from the beginning of the document and work your way through to the end. Present details about the document and your analysis of those details in the order the original document presents them in.
  • The writer of the original document likely organized the information carefully and purposefully. By addressing the document in this order, your analysis is more likely to make more coherent sense by the end of your paper.

Step 3 Provide plenty of evidence and support.

  • Evidence often include a great deal of direct quotation and paraphrasing.
  • Point to spots in which the author mentioned his or her credentials to explain ethos. Identify emotional images or words with strong emotional connotations as ways of supporting claims to pathos. Mention specific data and facts used in analysis involving logos.

Step 4 Maintain an objective tone.

  • Avoid use of the first-person words "I" and "we." Stick to the more objective third-person.

Writing the Conclusion

Step 1 Restate your thesis.

  • When restating your thesis, you should be able to quickly analyze how the original author's purpose comes together.
  • When restating your thesis, try to bring more sophistication or depth to it than you had in the beginning. What can the audience now understand about your thesis that they would not have without reading your analysis?

Step 2 Restate your main ideas.

  • Keep this information brief. You spent an entire essay supporting your thesis, so these restatements of your main ideas should only serve as summaries of your support.

Step 3 Specify if further research needs to be done.

  • Indicate what that research must entail and how it would help.
  • Also state why the subject matter is important enough to continue researching and how it has significance to the real world.

Writing Help

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

Community Q&A

Community Answer

  • Avoid the use of "In conclusion..." While many writers may be taught to end conclusion paragraphs with this phrase as they first learn to write essays, you should never include this phrase in an essay written at a higher academic level. This phrase and the information that usually follows it is empty information that only serves to clutter up your final paragraph. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Do not introduce any new information in your conclusion. Summarize the important details of the essay. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0
  • Do not argue in an analysis. Focus on the "how" they made their point, not if it's good or not. Thanks Helpful 0 Not Helpful 0

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

You Might Also Like

Write

  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/academic_writing/establishing_arguments/rhetorical_strategies.html
  • ↑ https://writingcenter.tamu.edu/Students/Writing-Speaking-Guides/Alphabetical-List-of-Guides/Academic-Writing/Analysis/Rhetorical-Analysis
  • ↑ https://courses.lumenlearning.com/englishcomp1/chapter/text-an-overview-of-the-rhetorical-modes/
  • ↑ https://oer.pressbooks.pub/informedarguments/chapter/rhetorical-modes-of-writing/
  • ↑ https://owl.purdue.edu/owl/general_writing/visual_rhetoric/analyzing_visual_documents/organizing_your_analysis.html
  • ↑ https://www.pfw.edu/offices/learning-support/documents/WriteARhetoricalAnalysis.pdf

About This Article

Megan Morgan, PhD

To write a rhetorical analysis, start by determining what the author of the work you're analyzing is trying to argue. Then, ask yourself if they succeeded in making their argument. Whether you think they did or didn't, include quotes and specific examples in your analysis to back up your opinion. When you're writing your analysis, use the third-person to appear objective as opposed to using "I" or "we." Also, make sure you include the author's name, profession, and purpose for writing the text at the beginning of your analysis to give reader's some context. To learn different ways to structure your rhetorical analysis from our English Ph.D. co-author, keep reading! Did this summary help you? Yes No

  • Send fan mail to authors

Reader Success Stories

Echo Meyer

Dec 15, 2016

Did this article help you?

Theophilus Ndubisi Chukwu

Theophilus Ndubisi Chukwu

Aug 13, 2016

Pamela Austin

Pamela Austin

Sep 28, 2017

John Cornelius

John Cornelius

Jul 13, 2016

McKenzie Jameson

McKenzie Jameson

Oct 18, 2017

Am I a Narcissist or an Empath Quiz

Featured Articles

115 Cute, Creative, & Funny Ways to Say “Thank You” Over Text

Trending Articles

How to Answer “How’s It Going?” in Any Situation

Watch Articles

Make Homemade Liquid Dish Soap

  • Terms of Use
  • Privacy Policy
  • Do Not Sell or Share My Info
  • Not Selling Info

Get all the best how-tos!

Sign up for wikiHow's weekly email newsletter

Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts

Organizing Your Analysis

OWL logo

Welcome to the Purdue OWL

This page is brought to you by the OWL at Purdue University. When printing this page, you must include the entire legal notice.

Copyright ©1995-2018 by The Writing Lab & The OWL at Purdue and Purdue University. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, reproduced, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of our terms and conditions of fair use.

There is no one perfect way to organize a rhetorical analysis essay. In fact, writers should always be a bit leery of plug-in formulas that offer a perfect essay format. Remember, organization itself is not the enemy, only organization without considering the specific demands of your particular writing task. That said, here are some general tips for plotting out the overall form of your essay.

Introduction

Like any rhetorical analysis essay, an essay analyzing a visual document should quickly set the stage for what you’re doing. Try to cover the following concerns in the initial paragraphs:

  • Make sure to let the reader know you’re performing a rhetorical analysis. Otherwise, they may expect you to take positions or make an evaluative argument that may not be coming.
  • Clearly state what the document under consideration is and possibly give some pertinent background information about its history or development. The intro can be a good place for a quick, narrative summary of the document. The key word here is “quick, for you may be dealing with something large (for example, an entire episode of a cartoon like the Simpsons). Save more in-depth descriptions for your body paragraph analysis.
  • If you’re dealing with a smaller document (like a photograph or an advertisement), and copyright allows, the introduction or first page is a good place to integrate it into your page.
  • Give a basic run down of the rhetorical situation surrounding the document: the author, the audience, the purpose, the context, etc.

Thesis Statements and Focus

Many authors struggle with thesis statements or controlling ideas in regards to rhetorical analysis essays. There may be a temptation to think that merely announcing the text as a rhetorical analysis is purpose enough. However, especially depending on your essay’s length, your reader may need a more direct and clear statement of your intentions. Below are a few examples.

1. Clearly narrow the focus of what your essay will cover. Ask yourself if one or two design aspects of the document is interesting and complex enough to warrant a full analytical treatment.

The website for Amazon.com provides an excellent example of alignment and proximity to assist its visitors in navigating a potentially large and confusing amount of information.

2. Since visual documents often seek to move people towards a certain action (buying a product, attending an event, expressing a sentiment), an essay may analyze the rhetorical techniques used to accomplish this purpose. The thesis statement should reflect this goal.

The call-out flyer for the Purdue Rowing Team uses a mixture of dynamic imagery and tantalizing promises to create interest in potential, new members.

3. Rhetorical analysis can also easily lead to making original arguments. Performing the analysis may lead you to an argument; or vice versa, you may start with an argument and search for proof that supports it.

A close analysis of the female body images in the July 2007 issue of Cosmopolitan magazine reveals contradictions between the articles’ calls for self-esteem and the advertisements’ unrealistic, beauty demands.

These are merely suggestions. The best measure for what your focus and thesis statement should be the document itself and the demands of your writing situation. Remember that the main thrust of your thesis statement should be on how the document creates meaning and accomplishes its purposes. The OWl has additional information on writing thesis statements.

Analysis Order (Body Paragraphs)

Depending on the genre and size of the document under analysis, there are a number of logical ways to organize your body paragraphs. Below are a few possible options. Which ever you choose, the goal of your body paragraphs is to present parts of the document, give an extended analysis of how that part functions, and suggest how the part ties into a larger point (your thesis statement or goal).

Chronological

This is the most straight-forward approach, but it can also be effective if done for a reason (as opposed to not being able to think of another way). For example, if you are analyzing a photo essay on the web or in a booklet, a chronological treatment allows you to present your insights in the same order that a viewer of the document experiences those images. It is likely that the images have been put in that order and juxtaposed for a reason, so this line of analysis can be easily integrated into the essay.

Be careful using chronological ordering when dealing with a document that contains a narrative (i.e. a television show or music video). Focusing on the chronological could easily lead you to plot summary which is not the point of a rhetorical analysis.

A spatial ordering covers the parts of a document in the order the eye is likely to scan them. This is different than chronological order, for that is dictated by pages or screens where spatial order concerns order amongst a single page or plane. There are no unwavering guidelines for this, but you can use the following general guidelines.

  • Left to right and top to down is still the normal reading and scanning pattern for English-speaking countries.
  • The eye will naturally look for centers. This may be the technical center of the page or the center of the largest item on the page.
  • Lines are often used to provide directions and paths for the eye to follow.
  • Research has shown that on web pages, the eye tends to linger in the top left quadrant before moving left to right. Only after spending a considerable amount of time on the top, visible portion of the page will they then scroll down.

Persuasive Appeals

The classic, rhetorical appeals are logos, pathos, and ethos. These concepts roughly correspond to the logic, emotion, and character of the document’s attempt to persuade. You can find more information on these concepts elsewhere on the OWL. Once you understand these devices, you could potentially order your essay by analyzing the document’s use of logos, ethos, and pathos in different sections.

The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis essay may not operate too differently from the conclusion of any other kind of essay. Still, many writers struggle with what a conclusion should or should not do. You can find tips elsewhere on the OWL on writing conclusions. In short, however, you should restate your main ideas and explain why they are important; restate your thesis; and outline further research or work you believe should be completed to further your efforts.

What are your chances of acceptance?

Calculate for all schools, your chance of acceptance.

Duke University

Your chancing factors

Extracurriculars.

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Essay

Do you know how to improve your profile for college applications.

See how your profile ranks among thousands of other students using CollegeVine. Calculate your chances at your dream schools and learn what areas you need to improve right now — it only takes 3 minutes and it's 100% free.

Show me what areas I need to improve

What’s Covered:

What is the ap lang rhetorical essay, tips for writing the ap lang rhetorical essay.

  • AP Lang Rhetorical Essay Example

How Will AP Scores Affect College Chances?

The AP English Language Exam is one of the most common AP exams you can take. However, the average score on the exam in 2020 was a 2.96 out of 5. While this may seem a bit low, it is important to note that over 550,000 students take the exam annually. With some preparation and knowing how to study, it is totally possible to do well on this AP exam.

The AP Lang Rhetorical Essay is one section of the AP English Language Exam. The exam itself is 3 hours and 15 minutes long, and is broken into two sections. The first part of the exam is a 60 minute, 45-question multiple-choice section. The questions on this part of the exam will test your ability to read a passage and then interpret its meaning, style, and overall themes. After the multiple-choice section, there is a section lasting 2 hours and 15 minutes with three “free response” essays. This includes the synthesis essay, the rhetorical analysis essay, and the argument essay. 

  • In the synthesis essay , you will have to develop an argument using pieces of evidence provided to you. 
  • The argumentative essay will have you pick a side in a debate and argue for or against it.
  • The rhetorical essay requires that you discuss how an author’s written passage contributes to a greater meaning or theme. 

The rhetorical essay is perhaps the most unique of all AP Lang exam essays because it requires the test taker to analyze and interpret the deeper meanings of the passage and connect them to the author’s writing style and writing syntax in only 40 minutes. This essay can be the trickiest because it requires you to have knowledge of rhetorical strategies and then apply them to a passage you’ve never seen before.

1. Outline Your Essay Before Writing

One of the most important parts of the AP Lang essays is structuring your essay so that it makes sense to the reader. This is just as important as having good content. For this essay in particular, you’ll want to read the passage first and write a brief outline of your points before you begin the essay. This is because you will want to write the essay using the passage chronologically, which will be discussed in detail below.

2. Understand Rhetorical Strategies 

If you feel like you don’t know where to start as you prepare to study for the rhetorical essay portion of the exam, you aren’t alone. It is imperative that you have a grasp on what rhetorical strategies are and how you can use them in your essay. One definition of rhetoric is “language carefully chosen and arranged for maximum effect.” This can include types of figurative language (metaphor, simile, personification, pun, irony, etc.) elements of syntax (parallelism, juxtaposition, anthesis, anaphora, etc), logical fallacies, or persuasive appeals. Overall, there are many elements that you can analyze in an essay and having a good grasp on them through practice and memorization is important.

3. Keep the Essay Well Structured 

Even if you understand the various rhetorical strategies you can use, where do you begin? First of all, you’ll want to write a strong introduction that outlines the purpose of the piece. At the end of this introduction, you will write a thesis statement that encapsulates all the rhetorical strategies you discuss. Perhaps these are style elements, tone, or syntax. Be sure to be specific as you list these.

Next, you will create your body paragraphs. As you discuss the rhetorical elements in the piece and tie them back to the work’s meanings, be sure to discuss the points in chronological order. You don’t have to discuss every single strategy, but just pick the ones that are most important. Be sure to cite the line where you found the example. At the end of the essay, write a short conclusion that summarizes the major points above.

4. Be Sure to Explain Your Examples

As you write the essay, don’t just list out your examples and say something like “this is an example of ethos, logos, pathos.” Instead, analyze how the example shows that rhetoric device and how it helps the author further their argument. As you write the rhetorical essay, you’ll want to be as specific and detail-focused as possible. 

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

Discover your chances at hundreds of schools

Our free chancing engine takes into account your history, background, test scores, and extracurricular activities to show you your real chances of admission—and how to improve them.

AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

Below is a prompt and example for a rhetorical essay, along with its score and what the writer did well and could have improved:

The passage below is an excerpt from “On the Want of Money,” an essay written by nineteenth-century author William Hazlitt. Read the passage carefully. Then write an essay in which you analyze the rhetorical strategies Hazlitt uses to develop his position about money.

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

Student essay example:

In his essay, Hazlitt develops his position on money through careful use of adjectives and verbs, hypothetical situations, and images. His examples serve to impress upon the reader the highly negative consequences of being in “want of money.”

Hazlitt’s word choice in his opening phrase provides an example of his technique in the rest of the essay. It is not necessary to follow “literally” with “truly” yet his repetition of the same ideas emphasizes his point. In his next sentence, one that lasts forty-six lines, Hazlitt condignly repeats similar ideas, beating into his audience the necessity of having money in this world. The parallelism throughout that one long sentence, “it is not to be sent for to court, or asked out to dinner…it is not to have your own opinion consulted or sees rejected with contempt..” ties the many different situations Haziltt gives together. What could have become a tedious spiel instead becomes a melodious recitation, each example reminding you of one before it, either because of the similarities in structure or content. Hazlitt addresses many different negative effects of not having money but manages to tie them together with his rhetorical strategies. 

The diction of the passage fully relays Hazlitt’s position about money. In every example he gives a negative situation but in most emphasizes the terrible circumstance with strong negative adjectives or verbs. “Rejected,” “contempt,” “disparaged,” “scrutinized,” “irksome,” “deprived,” “assailed” “chagrin;” the endless repetition of such discouragement shows how empathetically Hazlitt believes money is a requisite for a happy life. Even the irony of the last sentences is negative, conveying the utter hopelessness of one without money. Through one may have none in life, pitiless men will proceed to mock one’s circumstances, “at a considerable expense” after death! 

In having as the body of his essay one long sentence, Hazlitt creates a flow that speeds the passage along, hardly giving the reader time to absorb one idea before another is thrown at him. The unceasing flow is synonymous with Hazlitt’s view of the life of a person without money: he will be “jostled” through life, unable to stop and appreciate the beauty around him or to take time for his own leisure. 

The score on this essay was a 6 out of 6. This essay started out very strong as the student had a concrete thesis statement explaining the strategies that Hazlitt used to develop his position on money as well as Hazlitt’s belief on the topic. In the thesis statement, the student points out that adjectives, verbs, hypothetical situations, and images help prove Hazlitt’s point that wanting money can be problematic. 

Next, the student broke down their points into three main subsections related to their thesis. More specifically, the student first discusses word choice of repetition and parallelism. When the student discusses these strategies, they list evidence in the paragraph that can be found chronologically in Hazlitt’s essay. The next paragraph is about diction, and the student used specific adjectives and verbs that support this idea. In the last paragraph, the student emphasized how the speed and flow of the essay helped describe Hazlitt’s viewpoint on life. This last concluding sentence is particularly thoughtful, as it goes beyond the explicit points made in the essay and discusses the style and tone of the writing. 

It is important to remember that in some ways, the rhetorical essay is also an argumentative essay, as the student must prove how certain rhetorical strategies are used and their significance in the essay. The student even discussed the irony of the paragraph, which is not explicit in the passage.

Overall, this student did an excellent job organizing and structuring the essay and did a nice job using evidence to prove their points. 

Now that you’ve learned about the AP Lang rhetorical essay, you may be wondering how your AP scores impact your chances of admission. In fact, your AP scores have relatively little impact on your admissions decision , and your course rigor has much more weight in the application process.

If you’d like to know your chances of admission, be sure to check out our chancing calculator! This tool takes into account your classes, extracurriculars, demographic information, and test scores to understand your chances at admission at over 600 schools. Best of all, it is completely free!

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

Related CollegeVine Blog Posts

how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

IMAGES

  1. Learn How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay on Trust My Paper

    how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

  2. Guide Rhetorical Analysis Essay with Tips and Examples

    how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

  3. Rhetorical Analysis Outline Worksheet

    how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

  4. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

    how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

  5. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Introduction

    how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

  6. Rhetorical Essay Outline : Rhetorical Analysis Essay

    how do you write a rhetorical analysis essay outline

VIDEO

  1. ENGL 101 Rhetorical Analysis PT 1

  2. I Wrote an Ebook!

  3. Writing the Rhetorical Analysis

  4. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

  5. How to Write a Multimodal Rhetorical Analysis

  6. to write rhetorical analysis, remember: context choices do slay #englishstudy #studyhelp

COMMENTS

  1. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: 6 Steps and an Outline for Your

    5. State your thesis. Now that you've completed your analysis of the material, try to summarize it into one clear, concise thesis statement that will form the foundation of your essay. Your thesis statement should summarize: 1) the argument or purpose of the speaker; 2) the methods the speaker uses; and 3) the effectiveness of those methods ...

  2. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

    A rhetorical analysis is a type of essay that looks at a text in terms of rhetoric. This means it is less concerned with what the author is saying than with how they say it: their goals, techniques, and appeals to the audience. A rhetorical analysis is structured similarly to other essays: an introduction presenting the thesis, a body analyzing ...

  3. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay-Examples & Template

    Rhetorical appeal #2: Pathos. The purpose of Pathos-driven rhetoric is to appeal to the reader's emotions. A common example of pathos as a rhetorical means is adverts by charities that try to make you donate money to a "good cause". To evoke the intended emotions in the reader, an author may use passionate language, tell personal stories ...

  4. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline With Templates & Tips

    Key Elements to Analyze. In a rhetorical analysis essay, you would be analyzing the text keeping these key rhetorical concepts in mind: Ethos: This concerns the credibility of the author or speaker. Logos: This focuses on the logical aspects of the argument. Pathos: Pathos explores the emotional appeal of the discourse.

  5. How to Write a Great Rhetorical Analysis Essay: With Examples

    Name the author of the text and the title of their work followed by the date in parentheses. Use a verb to describe what the author does, e.g. "implies," "asserts," or "claims". Briefly summarize the text in your own words. Mention the persuasive techniques used by the rhetor and its effect.

  6. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay in 6 Steps

    How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay in 6 Steps. Written by MasterClass. Last updated: Sep 2, 2021 • 3 min read. In a rhetorical analysis essay, a writer will examine the rhetoric and style of another author's work. If you want to write your own rhetorical analysis essay, we've developed a step-by-step guide to lead you through the ...

  7. How to write a rhetorical analysis [4 steps]

    To write a rhetorical analysis, you need to follow the steps below: Step 1: Plan and prepare. With a rhetorical analysis, you don't choose concepts in advance and apply them to a specific text or piece of content. Rather, you'll have to analyze the text to identify the separate components and plan and prepare your analysis accordingly.

  8. PDF How to Write a RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY Step 1: Full Comprehension of

    Step 2: MAD TO WRITE! Follow this process to prepare for any timed rhetorical analysis essay. Some of this is redundant, but this portion has more to do with the actual process of writing an essay, whereas the previous questions are part of simply gaining full comprehension of the text. Main ideas - read to determine what points the speaker makes

  9. How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay (With Example)

    Her story "The Astronaut" won the 2018 Shirley Jackson Award for short fiction and received a "Distinguished Stories" mention in the 2019 Best American Short Stories anthology. How to write the AP Lang rhetorical analysis essay. We look at a AP lang rhetorical analysis essay example and explore do's and don'ts.

  10. PDF Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Formatting

    Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Formatting Created by: Brandon Everett Summer 2019 *This is a general outline for your rhetorical analysis and can be adapted to the various prompts and guidelines provided by the instructor or professor. Introduction and Thesis ... Write a position paper. Remember that you should not take a position on the issue that

  11. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Step by Step

    Learn what a rhetorical analysis essay is. Learn how to write a rhetorical analysis essay and get an example of a rhetorical analysis essay outline.

  12. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

    4. Summarizing Your Main Points. In your conclusion, sum up the main points of your analysis and restate your thesis. Without introducing any new points (such as topics or ideas you haven't already covered in the main body of your essay), summarize the overall impact that the author's rhetorical strategies likely had on their intended audience.

  13. Sample Rhetorical Analysis Outline To Get You Started

    One of the most commonly used rhetorical analysis strategies is where the writer provides examples to illustrate a larger point in detail. To make a point, there should be a clear relationship between the examples and the point you make. 5. Compare and Contrast. This rhetorical strategy looks for similarities and differences.

  14. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis

    Evaluate Tone and Diction: Pay attention to the author's tone and word choice. Analyze how these elements contribute to the overall mood of the text. Probe Ethos, Pathos, Logos: Explore how the author establishes credibility (ethos), evokes emotions (pathos), and employs logic (logos) to sway the audience.

  15. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

    A rhetorical analysis essay uses the traditional essay outline to arrange its content. According to the standard outline, an essay is divided into three sections and five paragraphs. Outlining an essay falls under the planning phase. Experts suggest before you jump on to the writing process, plan out your essay.

  16. AP Lang

    Timing. You have 40 minutes to complete the rhetorical analysis essay for AP Lang: 12 minutes: Read the text and plan out your essay. (TOBI) 6 minutes: Write your introduction paragraph. 18 minutes: Write 2-3 body paragraphs. 2 minutes: Write a quick conclusion. 2 minutes: Proofread and revise your essay.

  17. PDF Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

    Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline I. Introduction: Rhetorical Précis: A. Name of author, (appositive phrase about the author to establish credibility & authority) genre, and title of ... Hints for Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing: 1. Rhetorical analysis moves beyond merely listing the devices or appeals used or stating how the purpose is crafted.

  18. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Outline, Steps, & Examples

    Step #2: Identify Rhetorical Appeals Used in the Text. Rhetorical appeals are also known as "modes of persuasion" and include ethos, pathos, and logos. They can be understood as tools for making others believe a particular point of view. Some of the most potent examples can be found in advertisements. Just in 1 hour!

  19. Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline: Examples & Strategies

    ️ How to Write an Outline for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay . Now that you've found the appeals and analyzed them, it's time to write the outline. We will explain it part by part, starting with the introduction. How to Write an Introduction for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay . In a rhetorical analysis, the introduction is different from that ...

  20. Tips for Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

    Here is a step-by-step guide to help you write an effective rhetorical analysis essay: 1. Carefully read the text: Begin by reading the text multiple times to ensure that you thoroughly understand the arguments presented. Note down significant points, arguments, and claims made by the author. 2.

  21. How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: 15 Steps (with Pictures)

    The purpose refers to what the writer wants to accomplish in the text. It usually includes selling a product or point of view. The subject is simply the topic the writer discusses in the text. 2. Examine the appeals. Appeals are the first classification of rhetorical strategy and involve the ethos, logos, and pathos.

  22. Organizing Your Analysis

    There may be a temptation to think that merely announcing the text as a rhetorical analysis is purpose enough. However, especially depending on your essay's length, your reader may need a more direct and clear statement of your intentions. Below are a few examples. 1. Clearly narrow the focus of what your essay will cover.

  23. How to Write the AP Lang Rhetorical Essay

    Tips for Writing the AP Lang Rhetorical Essay. 1. Outline Your Essay Before Writing. One of the most important parts of the AP Lang essays is structuring your essay so that it makes sense to the reader. This is just as important as having good content. For this essay in particular, you'll want to read the passage first and write a brief ...

  24. PDF Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statements

    A strong thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis is NOT… A simple statement of your topic A broad statement A statement of facts or statistics A summary of the author's essay you are analyzing A statement of what you're going to do in the essay Examples of weak rhetorical analysis thesis statements:

  25. Rhetorical Essay

    Rhetorical Essay. Writings are known as activities or skills of marking coherent words on paper and composing text. Throughout history we have seen different types of writing, whether it is a poem, an essay, a short story or editorial writing. Writing began as a tool that would establish order to facilitate agriculture, calendaring, and ...