Writing a rhetorical analysis essay: what you should know


When it comes to a rhetorical analysis essay, we understand a piece of writing where the writer, considering the topic, pay attention to the details and use various persuasive techniques to support his/her claim. In other words, we can say that this is a piece of writing about another piece of writing and a similar direction. This type of academic writing is important to learn as this is an important part of the AP English exam.

The purpose of the essay is to write in the way you divide apart units used by the author to find the persuasive approaches aimed at receiving readers’ feedback. You can see examples of it in public speeches. You will succeed in evaluating as soon as you find the proper topic for analysis and disclose its parts as a whole piece.

If you are a student, your main target now is writing the best possible text. Let’s start from the main points to define that will lead you to success in rhetorical analysis essay preparation:

  • the case described in the original text;
  • the personality of the writer/speaker;
  • the purpose the writing or any other piece of text you are about to analyze considering the author’s motive;
  • the author’s target readers/listeners (their demographics, geolocation, interests and other features);
  • the style of sending the main message of the text;
  • the way form and the content correlate;
  • whether the main idea of the piece of the text was achieved considering the author’s motives and targets;
  • what info way of communication gives us about the environment it has been created in.

A good rhetorical analysis essay should have the following features:

  • grammatical correctness;
  • clearness;
  • coherence;
  • conciseness;
  • usage of the present tenses;
  • responding to the objective (text/ speech/ article/  etc.).

Now let’s move to more detailed guidelines for working on this academic assignment.

Preparation for rhetorical analysis essay writing: main points

In any writing task, one of the most important stages is preparation. Only this way you will be able to compose an effective intro to grab the reader’s attention. You can learn how to do it by studying the examples. Discover how to structure your AP essay properly for analyzing the selected piece of written work. As a writer, you should:

1. Apply SOAPS scheme:

  • S – subject or the topic you are interested in;
  • O – occasions that are implied in the piece;
  • A – audience of the chosen text;
  • P – a purpose for creating the chosen text;
  • S – speaker’s personality.

2. Follow the rhetorical steps:

  • learn what are ethos, logos, & pathos and why these elements are significant in writing an essay;
  • define the style (including vocabulary, voice, etc.) you will use;

3. Get a clear understanding of the reasons why the author has chosen those particular means for disclosing the topic. The following points will help you:

  • define the rhetorical means and how they help in reaching the target audience;
  • think why the writer decided to use those rhetorical means.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay: the beginning

You have to understand that arranging your writing process is significant for achieving your goal, including working in a rhetorical analysis paper. A great way to be on the right path is having a few great examples of a similar piece of academic writing to follow. Considering the structure, this essay will be very similar to other academic works you probably have dealt with already.

Your first point to cover is creating a strong introduction line to grab the reader’s attention. This is your only chance to present your work from the very beginning so feel free to come up with some kind of a “hook” that is relevant to your topic. Make sure, that the chosen line correlates with the general tone of the text as well as the reader’s expectations. It even can be a joke but only of the topic “allows” doing so. In case you are going to disclose some serious issues, it is better to reject this approach and compose a relevant phrase with a relevant mood.

Here are some ideas for a “hook” part:

  • an interesting story from life;
  • a joke;
  • fascinating facts;
  • a quote;
  • a line from some poetry;
  • comparing or contrasting things;
  • asking about something (e. g. a rhetorical question);
  • using metaphor, simile or other figures of speech.

Define your attitude

This stage of preparation is essential as it will define further work on your essay. So, define what is your attitude to the topic you are about to disclose. On this step, you also need to compose your thesis statement, your main claim, standpoint or an argument that you will disclose in your essay. For example, if you are going to analyze a book, you should write about your own understanding of its content. Feel free to apply available techniques and strategies for explaining to the readers why your thesis is right. However, when you compose the main statement, do not use personal pronouns and write it in an objective manner. Make your reader believe in it.

Work on analysis

Conduct deep research on the topic in order to detect multiple solutions for the problem that will be the objective in your essay. Do not try to find something complicated or broad. As soon as you defined the thesis, you can start your research. As soon as you collect enough information on the target issue, you can start analyzing the topic. Try to look at the problem from various perspectives in order to cover all possible points of view and be ready to support your own. You can use any analyzing approaches and strategies for supporting your main statement.

Pick your strategy

This step is significant for the success of your final essay. Considering academic writing you should use the most suitable strategy that will serve you well in supporting your statement. The proper choice of the strategy will help you in grabbing readers’ attention and maintaining their interest. Working with a rhetorical analysis essay you definitely should find your winning strategy. To succeed in this you should know well who your target audience is and what are their pain points.

Importance of using ethos, pathos, and logos

For the beginners in academic writing, these words seem like some kind of magic spell. However, they are significant tools in rhetorical writing, created far back in ancient times by Aristotle. And even humanity still uses them in academic communication and writing. Back then Aristotle disclosed those terms in his famous work Rhetoric, He was pretty convinced that they are the most efficient part of the persuasive strategies and writers/speakers should definitely use them.

  • Ethos refers to ethics. It is about the credibility of the writer considering the topic he/she is analyzing. It is important to persuade the readers that they can trust the author’s views. If you really want to receive the emotional response and support from the audience, it is significant to gain their trust first.
  • Pathos refers to emotions. You should reach both the minds and hearts of the readers as the emotional reaction is very important as well. You should build a particular mood and attitude to the topic in order to direct the readers on the right rhetorical path to follow your chain of thoughts. This is the case when you can get emotional feedback.
  • Logos refers to rational thinking. Along with trust and emotional connection, you should reach the readers’ minds. This is the condition when your ideas can live after the emotional degree falls. You can persuade your audience using truthful facts and arguments to prove your thesis. This approach appeals to logical thinking and stays in the human mind encouraging inner discussion or reflection.

In the case mentioned above terms and approaches are complicated, for you for now, you can delegate your academic writing to the professionals of our writing service. You do not have to wait until you will be confident in your writing talent. Our experienced authors will help you with completing your writing task or any type and level of complexity. They are well trained in all the aspects we discuss in this article so you can be sure that your essay will be written in the best possible way.

So, as soon as we have highlighted the main aspect of writing this essay, let’s move to the outlining stage.

Outlining stage in writing a rhetorical essay

You can find numerous examples and guidelines for creating an outline for an essay. The basics are pretty similar and understandable. Also, it is good to look at some examples. Why almost every article about essay creation keeps highlighting the outline? The thing is that in academic writing, you should not just wait for inspiration. You should force it by creating an outline.


At this stage you define the suitable writing style, learn about features of your target audience and form your main thesis. As soon as you cover these aspects you can continue working on the main parts of your essay.

Working on an intro part

As we already mentioned, the introduction is a very important part of any essay. It defines the mood and direction of the entire work. So you have to specify here the main ideas and the purpose of the essay so your readers will know what to expect. Compose a thesis by presenting the main statement in one simple, but a meaningful and understandable sentence. This sentence is significant for defining the way you deliver the info to your target readers.

Composing body paragraphs with argumentation

During your research, you should collect and define s few arguments that will support your main idea stated in the intro part. In the body paragraphs, you should disclose each of them. This should not be complicated or time-consuming as soon as you have done a decent preparation.

Try not to overload your essay with numerous arguments. But one or two arguments can be not enough. So be sure that you have chosen the right number of them. Instead, pick 3-4 that are trustworthy and time-tested, and support your ideas in the best way. You can even mention the opposite points of view, but it is important to explain why you disagree with them using strong proofs. Organize your evidence using rhetorical appeals (epos, logos, pathos).

Completing your essay with a strong conclusion

At this stage, you have to finalize your ideas. Provide a summary of all the arguments you have disclosed in the previous paragraphs and paraphrase the main thesis of your work repeating it. Present your thoughts in a laconic way. Do not make a conclusion too wordy or repetition of the previous paragraphs. Also, in case your topic is too broad and you skipped some of its aspects, you can mention this in the final part of an essay.

As well as with intro beginning, try to end the conclusions with a strong phrase that will remain in the readers’ minds. It can be a call-to-action, question, prediction or any other statement that will have an impact on your target audience.

Additional tips for writing a rhetorical analysis essay

Here’re six valuable tips that you should keep in mind while working on your essay:

  1. Do not use the new information in the final part of an essay. A conclusion should contain a summary of the disclosed problems and stated ideas mentioned in the main parts.
  2. Do not argue with other points of view trying to defend yours. Instead, provide arguments that will support your ideas and persuade readers.
  3. Do not start the conclusion with a word combination starting with “In”. This is inappropriate in academic writing and you may lose some points because of this structure.
  4. Check your draft for any mistakes (grammar, spelling, contextual and others). Use available checking tools or ask somebody experienced in writing to help you with this.
  5. Do at least two revisions before sending it to your teacher.
  6. Do not neglect available examples of rhetorical analysis and other types of essays and try to use them to improve your piece of work.

Bottom line

We hope our recommendations and guidelines will be helpful for your creative writing process. Be sure that applying all our tips you will compose a good rhetorical analysis essay that will serve its purpose and bring you a decent grade. However, if you still do not feel confident in your writing skills or maybe other issues create obstacles on your writing path, you can find a solution in our writing service. Any time you need professional writing assistance, you can address your request to our team and we will provide you with quality essays, papers and other types of academic writing works. We are constantly updating our knowledge about essay and paper requirements as well as improve writing and academic skills. So you can be sure that the final product that you receive fits all the requirements and it is worth the highest grade and appreciation of your readers.

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