How to write a rhetorical analysis essay
A rhetorical essay is a type of essay that is focused on how an author expresses himself.
With this type, you need to focus on the author’s style rather than what he/she is saying. The techniques of the authors are way more critical.
Step 1. What is rhetoric?
Rhetoric refers to the skill of effective writing and speaking. In rhetoric, we look at the motives of the author rather than the content.
How did the author design the text to persuade the reader? This is the right approach to rhetorical analysis.
Logos, ethos, and pathos (a.k.a. Appeals Concept)
When it comes to understanding “rhetoric”, you need to learn what logos, ethos. and pathos mean. The famous Aristotle introduced the appeals concept. They are used to convince the reader when writing or speaking in rhetoric.
So logos simply refers to using logical reasoning. It is quite common in academic essays.
Recent research by the American Medical Association found that using our medication reduced the risk of heart disease by 35%. This data, together with positive comments from delighted clients, provides significant proof of the success of our solution.
Ethos, on the other hand, is all about ethics. In this appeal, an author should be the authority.
We believe in honesty, integrity, and treating our customers with the highest respect at our organization. These principles are at the heart of all we do, and we seek to act constantly in ways that represent them.
Pathos is used to trigger the emotions of the audience. This appeal refers to emotional speaking, sympathy, anger, empathy, or all kinds of feelings. The aim is to evoke an emotional response in the audience.
As a mother of two small children, I understand how difficult it is to juggle work and family obligations. That is why I am delighted to work for a firm that emphasizes work-life balance and offers extensive parental leave policies to its workers.
The context of the text
For rhetorical analyses, the subject is not necessarily a text. It can be a visual, speech, novel, or anything that is linked to rhetoric. Therefore:
More on understanding contextSay you’re analyzing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's speech in Samsun, 1919. If you do prior research on how the Turkish people suffered from never-ending battles, you’ll have a better understanding of the whole speech. So, you can quickly analyze his rhetoric and the audience’s response.
Step 2. Analyze your text deeply
Rhetorical analysis is different from other types of essays. That is, it doesn’t rely on applying prior academic concepts or tactics. Instead, your work starts with analyzing the source text or media. So, your best concept is generally the source text.
Below, there is a list of critical points on analyzing your text before writing a rhetorical essay:
When you’re reading the text, asking these questions will help analyze the whole context and tone.
Rather than focusing on each rhetoric element, choosing the key ones is essential. Don’t lose yourself in details; focus on the general.
Step 3. Rhetorical essay introduction
Step 4. Body paragraphs
Step 5. Rhetorical analysis conclusion
Typically, a conclusion is where you wrap up your arguments and summarize your essay. It shouldn’t be more than 10% of your total word count. Most importantly, don’t present any new information or argument when writing a conclusion.
A good rhetorical analysis conclusion would include:
Below, you’ll see an example of a rhetorical analysis conclusion:
Step 6. Proofreading and editing
When you finish writing your rhetorical analysis essay, don’t forget to proofread your paper for common mistakes, as well as grammar (active and passive voice, verb tenses, etc.) and punctuation mistakes.
There are many tools available online. Also, please make use of our tips below before submitting your paper.
5-Paragraph Rhetorical Analysis Example
The Negative Effects of Social Media: A Rhetorical Analysis