Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example - Free Samples
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Published on: Apr 4, 2018
Last updated on: Nov 23, 2023
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Writing a rhetorical analysis essay for academics can be really demanding for students. This type of paper requires high-level analyzing abilities and professional writing skills to be drafted effectively.
As this essay persuades the audience, it is essential to know how to take a strong stance and develop a thesis.
This article will find some examples that will help you with your rhetorical analysis essay writing effortlessly.
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Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
The step-by-step writing process of a rhetorical analysis essay is far more complicated than ordinary academic essays. This essay type critically analyzes the rhetorical means used to persuade the audience and their efficiency.
The example provided below is the best rhetorical analysis essay example:
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Sample
In this essay type, the author uses rhetorical approaches such as ethos, pathos, and logos . These approaches are then studied and analyzed deeply by the essay writers to weigh their effectiveness in delivering the message.
Let’s take a look at the following example to get a better idea;
The outline and structure of a rhetorical analysis essay are important.
According to the essay outline, the essay is divided into three sections:
A rhetorical analysis essay outline is the same as the traditional one. The different parts of the rhetorical analysis essay are written in the following way:
Rhetorical Analysis Introduction Example
The introductory paragraph of a rhetorical analysis essay is written for the following purpose:
- To provide basic background information about the chosen author and the text.
- Identify the target audience of the essay.
An introduction for a rhetorical essay is drafted by:
- Stating an opening sentence known as the hook statement. This catchy sentence is prepared to grab the audience’s attention to the paper.
- After the opening sentence, the background information of the author and the original text are provided.
For example, a rhetorical analysis essay written by Lee Jennings on“The Right Stuff” by David Suzuki. Lee started the essay by providing the introduction in the following way:
Analysis of the Example:
- Suzuki stresses the importance of high school education. He prepares his readers for a proposal to make that education as valuable as possible.
- A rhetorical analysis can show how successful Suzuki was in using logos, pathos, and ethos. He had a strong ethos because of his reputation.
- He also used pathos to appeal to parents and educators. However, his use of logos could have been more successful.
- Here Jennings stated the background information about the text and highlighted the rhetorical techniques used and their effectiveness.
Thesis Statement Example for Rhetorical Analysis Essay
A thesis statement of a rhetorical analysis essay is the writer’s stance on the original text. It is the argument that a writer holds and proves it using the evidence from the original text.
A thesis statement for a rhetorical essay is written by analyzing the following elements of the original text:
- Diction - It refers to the author’s choice of words and the tone
- Imagery - The visual descriptive language that the author used in the content.
- Simile - The comparison of things and ideas
In Jennings's analysis of “The Right Stuff,” the thesis statement was:
Example For Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement
Rhetorical Analysis Body Paragraph Example
In the body paragraphs of your rhetorical analysis essay, you dissect the author's work, analyze their use of rhetorical techniques, and provide evidence to support your analysis.
Let's look at an example that analyzes the use of ethos in David Suzuki's essay:
Rhetorical Analysis Conclusion Example
All the body paragraphs lead the audience towards the conclusion.
For example, the conclusion of “The Right Stuff” is written in the following way by Jennings:
In the conclusion section, Jennings summarized the major points and restated the thesis statement to prove them.
Rhetorical Essay Example For The Right Stuff by David Suzuki
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example AP Lang 2023
Writing a rhetorical analysis for the AP Language and Composition course can be challenging. So drafting it correctly is important to earn good grades.
To make your essay effective and winning, follow the tips provided by professionals below:
Step #1: Understand the Prompt
Understanding the prompt is the first thing to produce an influential rhetorical paper. It is mandatory for this academic writing to read and understand the prompt to know what the task demands from you.
Step #2: Stick to the Format
The content for the rhetorical analysis should be appropriately organized and structured. For this purpose, a proper outline is drafted.
The rhetorical analysis essay outline divides all the information into different sections, such as the introduction, body, and conclusion. The introduction should explicitly state the background information and the thesis statement.
All the body paragraphs should start with a topic sentence to convey a claim to the readers. Provide a thorough analysis of these claims in the paragraph to support your topic sentence.
Step #3: Use Rhetorical Elements to Form an Argument
Analyze the following things in the text to form an argument for your essay:
- Language (tone and words)
- Organizational structure
- Rhetorical Appeals ( ethos, pathos, and logos)
Once you have analyzed the rhetorical appeals and other devices like imagery and diction, you can form a strong thesis statement. The thesis statement will be the foundation on which your essay will be standing.
AP Language Rhetorical Essay Sample
AP Rhetorical Analysis Essay Template
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example AP Lang
AP Lang Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples for Students
Here are a few more examples to help the students write a rhetorical analysis essay:
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Ethos, Pathos, Logos
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Outline
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example College
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example APA Format
Compare and Contrast Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
How to Start Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example High School
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example APA Sample
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Of a Song
Florence Kelley Speech Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example MLA
Writing a Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay with Example
The visual rhetorical analysis essay determines how pictures and images communicate messages and persuade the audience.
Usually, visual rhetorical analysis papers are written for advertisements. This is because they use strong images to convince the audience to behave in a certain way.
To draft a perfect visual rhetorical analysis essay, follow the tips below:
- Analyze the advertisement deeply and note every minor detail.
- Notice objects and colors used in the image to gather every detail.
- Determine the importance of the colors and objects and analyze why the advertiser chose the particular picture.
- See what you feel about the image.
- Consider the objective of the image. Identify the message that the image is portraying.
- Identify the targeted audience and how they respond to the picture.
An example is provided below to give students a better idea of the concept.
Simplicity Breeds Clarity Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips
Follow the tips provided below to make your rhetorical writing compelling.
- Choose an engaging topic for your essay. The rhetorical analysis essay topic should be engaging to grab the reader’s attention.
- Thoroughly read the original text.
- Identify the SOAPSTone. From the text, determine the speaker, occasions, audience, purpose, subject, and tone.
- Develop a thesis statement to state your claim over the text.
- Draft a rhetorical analysis essay outline.
- Write an engaging essay introduction by giving a hook statement and background information. At the end of the introductory paragraph, state the thesis statement.
- The body paragraphs of the rhetorical essay should have a topic sentence. Also, in the paragraph, a thorough analysis should be presented.
- For writing a satisfactory rhetorical essay conclusion, restate the thesis statement and summarize the main points.
- Proofread your essay to check for mistakes in the content. Make your edits before submitting the draft.
Following the tips and the essay's correct writing procedure will guarantee success in your academics.
We have given you plenty of examples of a rhetorical analysis essay. But if you are still struggling to draft a great rhetorical analysis essay, it is suggested to take a professional’s help.
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- How to write a rhetorical analysis | Key concepts & examples
How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis | Key Concepts & Examples
Published on August 28, 2020 by Jack Caulfield . Revised on July 23, 2023.
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.
Table of contents
Key concepts in rhetoric, analyzing the text, introducing your rhetorical analysis, the body: doing the analysis, concluding a rhetorical analysis, other interesting articles, frequently asked questions about rhetorical analysis.
Rhetoric, the art of effective speaking and writing, is a subject that trains you to look at texts, arguments and speeches in terms of how they are designed to persuade the audience. This section introduces a few of the key concepts of this field.
Appeals: Logos, ethos, pathos
Appeals are how the author convinces their audience. Three central appeals are discussed in rhetoric, established by the philosopher Aristotle and sometimes called the rhetorical triangle: logos, ethos, and pathos.
Logos , or the logical appeal, refers to the use of reasoned argument to persuade. This is the dominant approach in academic writing , where arguments are built up using reasoning and evidence.
Ethos , or the ethical appeal, involves the author presenting themselves as an authority on their subject. For example, someone making a moral argument might highlight their own morally admirable behavior; someone speaking about a technical subject might present themselves as an expert by mentioning their qualifications.
Pathos , or the pathetic appeal, evokes the audience’s emotions. This might involve speaking in a passionate way, employing vivid imagery, or trying to provoke anger, sympathy, or any other emotional response in the audience.
These three appeals are all treated as integral parts of rhetoric, and a given author may combine all three of them to convince their audience.
Text and context
In rhetoric, a text is not necessarily a piece of writing (though it may be this). A text is whatever piece of communication you are analyzing. This could be, for example, a speech, an advertisement, or a satirical image.
In these cases, your analysis would focus on more than just language—you might look at visual or sonic elements of the text too.
The context is everything surrounding the text: Who is the author (or speaker, designer, etc.)? Who is their (intended or actual) audience? When and where was the text produced, and for what purpose?
Looking at the context can help to inform your rhetorical analysis. For example, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech has universal power, but the context of the civil rights movement is an important part of understanding why.
Claims, supports, and warrants
A piece of rhetoric is always making some sort of argument, whether it’s a very clearly defined and logical one (e.g. in a philosophy essay) or one that the reader has to infer (e.g. in a satirical article). These arguments are built up with claims, supports, and warrants.
A claim is the fact or idea the author wants to convince the reader of. An argument might center on a single claim, or be built up out of many. Claims are usually explicitly stated, but they may also just be implied in some kinds of text.
The author uses supports to back up each claim they make. These might range from hard evidence to emotional appeals—anything that is used to convince the reader to accept a claim.
The warrant is the logic or assumption that connects a support with a claim. Outside of quite formal argumentation, the warrant is often unstated—the author assumes their audience will understand the connection without it. But that doesn’t mean you can’t still explore the implicit warrant in these cases.
For example, look at the following statement:
We can see a claim and a support here, but the warrant is implicit. Here, the warrant is the assumption that more likeable candidates would have inspired greater turnout. We might be more or less convinced by the argument depending on whether we think this is a fair assumption.
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Rhetorical analysis isn’t a matter of choosing concepts in advance and applying them to a text. Instead, it starts with looking at the text in detail and asking the appropriate questions about how it works:
- What is the author’s purpose?
- Do they focus closely on their key claims, or do they discuss various topics?
- What tone do they take—angry or sympathetic? Personal or authoritative? Formal or informal?
- Who seems to be the intended audience? Is this audience likely to be successfully reached and convinced?
- What kinds of evidence are presented?
By asking these questions, you’ll discover the various rhetorical devices the text uses. Don’t feel that you have to cram in every rhetorical term you know—focus on those that are most important to the text.
The following sections show how to write the different parts of a rhetorical analysis.
Like all essays, a rhetorical analysis begins with an introduction . The introduction tells readers what text you’ll be discussing, provides relevant background information, and presents your thesis statement .
Hover over different parts of the example below to see how an introduction works.
Martin Luther King, Jr.’s “I Have a Dream” speech is widely regarded as one of the most important pieces of oratory in American history. Delivered in 1963 to thousands of civil rights activists outside the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., the speech has come to symbolize the spirit of the civil rights movement and even to function as a major part of the American national myth. This rhetorical analysis argues that King’s assumption of the prophetic voice, amplified by the historic size of his audience, creates a powerful sense of ethos that has retained its inspirational power over the years.
The body of your rhetorical analysis is where you’ll tackle the text directly. It’s often divided into three paragraphs, although it may be more in a longer essay.
Each paragraph should focus on a different element of the text, and they should all contribute to your overall argument for your thesis statement.
Hover over the example to explore how a typical body paragraph is constructed.
King’s speech is infused with prophetic language throughout. Even before the famous “dream” part of the speech, King’s language consistently strikes a prophetic tone. He refers to the Lincoln Memorial as a “hallowed spot” and speaks of rising “from the dark and desolate valley of segregation” to “make justice a reality for all of God’s children.” The assumption of this prophetic voice constitutes the text’s strongest ethical appeal; after linking himself with political figures like Lincoln and the Founding Fathers, King’s ethos adopts a distinctly religious tone, recalling Biblical prophets and preachers of change from across history. This adds significant force to his words; standing before an audience of hundreds of thousands, he states not just what the future should be, but what it will be: “The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.” This warning is almost apocalyptic in tone, though it concludes with the positive image of the “bright day of justice.” The power of King’s rhetoric thus stems not only from the pathos of his vision of a brighter future, but from the ethos of the prophetic voice he adopts in expressing this vision.
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The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis wraps up the essay by restating the main argument and showing how it has been developed by your analysis. It may also try to link the text, and your analysis of it, with broader concerns.
Explore the example below to get a sense of the conclusion.
It is clear from this analysis that the effectiveness of King’s rhetoric stems less from the pathetic appeal of his utopian “dream” than it does from the ethos he carefully constructs to give force to his statements. By framing contemporary upheavals as part of a prophecy whose fulfillment will result in the better future he imagines, King ensures not only the effectiveness of his words in the moment but their continuing resonance today. Even if we have not yet achieved King’s dream, we cannot deny the role his words played in setting us on the path toward it.
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The goal of a rhetorical analysis is to explain the effect a piece of writing or oratory has on its audience, how successful it is, and the devices and appeals it uses to achieve its goals.
Unlike a standard argumentative essay , it’s less about taking a position on the arguments presented, and more about exploring how they are constructed.
The term “text” in a rhetorical analysis essay refers to whatever object you’re analyzing. It’s frequently a piece of writing or a speech, but it doesn’t have to be. For example, you could also treat an advertisement or political cartoon as a text.
Logos appeals to the audience’s reason, building up logical arguments . Ethos appeals to the speaker’s status or authority, making the audience more likely to trust them. Pathos appeals to the emotions, trying to make the audience feel angry or sympathetic, for example.
Collectively, these three appeals are sometimes called the rhetorical triangle . They are central to rhetorical analysis , though a piece of rhetoric might not necessarily use all of them.
In rhetorical analysis , a claim is something the author wants the audience to believe. A support is the evidence or appeal they use to convince the reader to believe the claim. A warrant is the (often implicit) assumption that links the support with the claim.
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How to Write a Thesis Statement For a Rhetorical Analysis
14 Feb 2023
📓 Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement
💁 Tips To Compose Thesis Statement For Rhetorical Analysis
✔❌ Dos and Don'ts in Writing Thesis Statement
📝 Thesis Statement Formula
Because of its convoluted name, rhetorical analysis thesis statements might sound like a daunting thing to write. However, it is not that difficult to create as long as you can acknowledge all of its different components and form a proper thesis sentence. In this article, we will cover everything you need to construct a compelling rhetorical analysis statement for your essay. So let’s begin!
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Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement
Rhetorical analysis thesis statements present a main argument about how a particular text (usually non-fiction) uses rhetorical devices to achieve a desired purpose. They can generally be found in rhetorical analysis essays or academic research papers used in college classes such as English, Political Science, or History. It is best to place it at the end of your introduction paragraph.
A thesis statement for rhetorical analysis has three main objectives:
- Give the name of the text being analyzed, as well as the author and genre
- Take note of the different rhetoric being used by said author
- Determine the overall effect these strategies have on the reader
Rhetorical analysis thesis statements are necessary for keeping you focused while you are writing your essay. It also benefits the reader because they can read it in the introduction and know exactly what the paper will be about.
Now we will cover the best practices for creating a proper argument needed for your thesis.
Tips to Compose a Thesis Statement for Rhetorical Analysis
Doing Proper Analysis
Before you begin writing, it is important to remember that it must be defensible. This means that it must be proven with evidence and you should not simply use your own opinion. It might be a good idea to write a rhetorical analysis essay outline to jot down ideas and sources that you will use in your paper. A thorough analysis should be done for your thesis. While you are reading the passage, take note of the rhetorical devices and strategies that the author uses. What specific choice did the author decide on in terms of rhetoric? You can include the names of the devices such as juxtaposition, alliteration, etc.
Find Concrete Examples
Once you have determined the different techniques utilized by the author, your next step is to find solid cases of those techniques within the text. This will serve as evidence for your thesis. The more evidence you can find to back up your claim, the better. While doing research, take note of how the example illustrates the rhetorical technique you are trying to prove.
Determine the Author’s Purpose
After you have found sufficient evidence, start thinking about WHY the author decided to use them in the first place. Why did the author make these particular choices? What point was she trying to make?
The Effect on the Audience
One of the goals of the rhetorical thesis is to take apart an essay or literary work and break it down into its smaller components. You then determine how the parts come together to create a particular effect for the reader. What is going through your mind? Was the author trying to persuade you of something? Or was the purpose only to entertain?
Take a Position
Before you start a rhetorical analysis essay, you must take a firm position if you want your thesis statement to be effective. Of course, the reason why we even read literary works in the first place is because they can be interpreted in a myriad of ways. There might be several rhetorical methods the author uses in their work, but your job is to focus on ONE of them. You cannot convince the reader of your position if your ideas are all over the place. Choose what you think is the strongest point and stick with it.
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Do’s and Don’ts when Writing a Thesis Statement
Use this list as a guide when you begin to write. This way, you can remain on task and create a thesis sentence that is coherent and clear to the reader.
- Make it very clear which techniques you will be analyzing and their effectiveness within the text.
- Take a firm position on the issue you will be discussing. Resist the urge to bloat your thesis statement with different rhetorical devices. Choosing one will keep you organized while you are presenting your argument.
- Keep in mind that this will serve as a guide to the reader on what you will be covering in your essay. Always keep the reader in mind while you are writing so that they do not get lost. This is why having a specific focus is so important.
- Try to use your credentials, reputation, or personal stories to establish yourself as an expert on the topic.
- This is not an opinion piece. Avoid using phrases like “I believe” or “I think”. How you personally feel about the topic being discussed is irrelevant. By the time you write your thesis statement, you should have ample proof to validate your position.
- Do not write a simple, flat statement about the topic. This type of thesis statement has a certain structure that you can find below.
- Don’t make your piece either too vague or too convoluted. Keep the reader in mind when you are stating your argument. Your words should be something they can clearly follow and understand.
Know how to structure your paper
- 12-point Times New Roman
- 0" between paragraphs
- 1" margin all around
- double spaced (275 words/page) / single-spaced (550 words/page)
- 0.5" first line of a paragraph
PapersOwl editors can also format your paper according to your specific requirements.
Examples of Strong and Weak Rhetorical Analysis Thesis
Now that we have determined what goes into creating a thesis statement for a rhetorical essay, we can now discuss what is needed to write the argument itself.
Elements of a STRONG Thesis
A strong rhetorical essay thesis utilizes appeals. Appeals are tools that the author uses to earn the approval of the reader by playing to common experiences that we all have. The three types of appeals are pathos, ethos, and logos.
The pathos appeal uses language to conjure strong emotions in the reader like sympathy, anger, compassion, or sadness.
The ethos appeal uses the writer’s character and credibility to convince the reader that they are an expert on the topic being discussed.
Finally, the logos appeal calls to the reader’s logic and reasoning. You can employ evidence, statistics, and testimonies from other experts in the field to convince the reader of your position.
Utilizing all three types of appeals will guarantee that you create a rock-solid argument for your essay.
Elements of a WEAK Thesis
This should go without saying, but avoid plagiarism when writing a thesis for rhetorical analysis and be sure to properly cite your source.
You should also avoid bias when writing your rhetorical analysis essay thesis. The purpose of this type of essay writing is to be objective and to present evidence to convey the most logical argument possible. Lastly, you should try your best not to merely summarize a thesis for a rhetorical analysis essay . If you want to establish yourself as an expert on the topic, use facts and reasoning to your advantage to arrive at a believable conclusion.
Build your thesis statement
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Formula for Thesis Statement
Use the template below to help you get started and to give you ideas on how to proceed. Remember to place it after your introduction.
In his/her (ADJECTIVE) speech/article/letter, (WRITER’S NAME) uses (RHET. TECHNIQUE) and (RHET. TECHNIQUE) to persuade (AUDIENCE or READER) to (DESCRIBE THE AUTHOR’S PURPOSE)
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Rhetorical Analysis Sample Essay
Ms. Rebecca Winter
13 Feb. 2015
Not Quite a Clean Sweep: Rhetorical Strategies in
Grose's "Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier”
A woman’s work is never done: many American women grow up with this saying and feel it to be true. 1 One such woman, author Jessica Grose, wrote “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier,” published in 2013 in the New Republic, 2 and she argues that while the men recently started taking on more of the childcare and cooking, cleaning still falls unfairly on women. 3 Grose begins building her credibility with personal facts and reputable sources, citing convincing facts and statistics, and successfully employing emotional appeals; however, toward the end of the article, her attempts to appeal to readers’ emotions weaken her credibility and ultimately, her argument. 4
In her article, Grose first sets the stage by describing a specific scenario of house-cleaning with her husband after being shut in during Hurricane Sandy, and then she outlines the uneven distribution of cleaning work in her marriage and draws a comparison to the larger feminist issue of who does the cleaning in a relationship. Grose continues by discussing some of the reasons that men do not contribute to cleaning: the praise for a clean house goes to the woman; advertising and media praise men’s cooking and childcare, but not cleaning; and lastly, it is just not fun. Possible solutions to the problem, Grose suggests, include making a chart of who does which chores, dividing up tasks based on skill and ability, accepting a dirtier home, and making cleaning more fun with gadgets. 5
Throughout her piece, Grose uses many strong sources that strengthen her credibility and appeal to ethos, as well as build her argument. 6 These sources include, “sociologists Judith Treas and Tsui-o Tai,” “a 2008 study from the University of New Hampshire,” and “P&G North America Fabric Care Brand Manager, Matthew Krehbiel” (qtd. in Grose). 7 Citing these sources boosts Grose’s credibility by showing that she has done her homework and has provided facts and statistics, as well as expert opinions to support her claim. She also uses personal examples from her own home life to introduce and support the issue, which shows that she has a personal stake in and first-hand experience with the problem. 8
Adding to her ethos appeals, Grose uses strong appeals to logos, with many facts and statistics and logical progressions of ideas. 9 She points out facts about her marriage and the distribution of household chores: “My husband and I both work. We split midnight baby feedings ...but ... he will admit that he’s never cleaned the bathroom, that I do the dishes nine times out of ten, and that he barely knows how the washer and dryer work in the apartment we’ve lived in for over eight months.” 10 These facts introduce and support the idea that Grose does more household chores than her husband. Grose continues with many statistics:
[A]bout 55 percent of American mothers employed full time do some housework on an average day, while only 18 percent of employed fathers do. ... [W]orking women with children are still doing a week and a half more of “second shift” work each year than their male partners. ... Even in the famously gender-neutral Sweden, women do 45 minutes more housework a day than their male partners. 11
These statistics are a few of many that logically support her claim that it is a substantial and real problem that men do not do their fair share of the chores. The details and numbers build an appeal to logos and impress upon the reader that this is a problem worth discussing. 12
Along with strong logos appeals, Grose effectively makes appeals to pathos in the beginning and middle sections. 13 Her introduction is full of emotionally-charged words and phrases that create a sympathetic image; Grose notes that she “was eight months pregnant” and her husband found it difficult to “fight with a massively pregnant person.” 14 The image she evokes of the challenges and vulnerabilities of being so pregnant, as well as the high emotions a woman feels at that time effectively introduce the argument and its seriousness. Her goal is to make the reader feel sympathy for her. Adding to this idea are words and phrases such as, “insisted,” “argued,” “not fun,” “sucks” “headachey,” “be judged,” “be shunned” (Grose). All of these words evoke negative emotions about cleaning, which makes the reader sympathize with women who feel “judged” and shunned”—very negative feelings. Another feeling Grose reinforces with her word choice is the concept of fairness: “fair share,” “a week and a half more of ‘second shift’ work,” “more housework,” “more gendered and less frequent.” These words help establish the unfairness that exists when women do all of the cleaning, and they are an appeal to pathos, or the readers’ feelings of frustration and anger with injustice. 15
However, the end of the article lacks the same level of effectiveness in the appeals to ethos. 16 For example, Grose notes that when men do housework, they are considered to be “’enacting “small instances of gender heroism,” or ‘SIGH’s’—which, barf.” 17 The usage of the word “barf” is jarring to the reader; unprofessional and immature, it is a shift from the researched, intelligent voice she has established and the reader is less likely to take the author seriously. This damages the strength of her credibility and her argument. 18
Additionally, her last statement in the article refers to her husband in a way that weakens the argument. 19 While returning to the introduction’s hook in the conclusion is a frequently-used strategy, Grose chooses to return to her discussion of her husband in a humorous way: Grose discusses solutions, and says there is “a huge, untapped market ... for toilet-scrubbing iPods. I bet my husband would buy one.” 20 Returning to her own marriage and husband is an appeal to ethos or personal credibility, and while that works well in the introduction, in the conclusion, it lacks the strength and seriousness that the topic deserves and was given earlier in the article. 21
Though Grose begins the essay by effectively persuading her readers of the unfair distribution of home-maintenance cleaning labor, she loses her power in the end, where she most needs to drive home her argument. Readers can see the problem exists in both her marriage and throughout the world; however, her shift to humor and sarcasm makes the reader not take the problem as seriously in the end. 22 Grose could have more seriously driven home the point that a woman’s work could be done: by a man. 23
Grose, Jessica. “Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier.” New Republic. The New Republic, 19 Mar. 2013. Web. 28 Mar. 2014.
- Article author's claim or purpose
- Summary of the article's main point in the second paragraph (could also be in the introduction)
- Third paragraph begins with a transition and topic sentence that reflects the first topic in the thesis
- Quotes illustrate how the author uses appeals to ethos
- Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of ethos as noted in the thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about the second point from the thesis
- Quote that illustrates appeals to logos
- Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of logos, as noted in the thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about the third point from the thesis
- Quotes that illustrate appeals to pathos
- Analysis explains how the quotes show the effective use of pathos, as noted in the thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about fourth point from the thesis
- Quote illustrates how the author uses appeal to ethos
- Analysis explains how quote supports thesis
- Transition and topic sentence about fourth point from thesis
- Conclusion returns to the ideas in the thesis and further develops them
- Last sentence returns to the hook in the introduction
Learn more about the " Rhetorical Analysis Graphic Organizer ."
Learn more about " Pathos, Logos, and Ethos ."
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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay–Examples & Template
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 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.
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.
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An Example for Rhetorical Analysis
A publish.illinois.edu site
What is a thesis?
A thesis is a statement of the general view of an argument. In my opinion, the thesis is the most essential part of an argument. It sometimes can be found directly in the argument. In most of these cases, authors put them at the beginning of an argument to tell the readers what this argument is trying to argue for.
An Analysis Example:
The thesis of this paper is not any single sentence in the text but is not difficult to conclude as it is hidden in the abstract, introduction, and conclusion, where the most important points are included. I summarize the thesis in my own words “Banking seeds are valuable for genetic diversity and future evolution of plants.” This is summed up according to the main aspects that seed banks benefit from.
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- Argument Essay
Almost every text makes an argument. Rhetorical analysis is the process of evaluating elements of a text and determining how those elements impact the success or failure of that argument. Often rhetorical analyses address written arguments, but visual, oral, or other kinds of “texts” can also be analyzed.
Rhetorical Features—What to Analyze
Asking the right questions about how a text is constructed will help you determine the focus of your rhetorical analysis. A good rhetorical analysis does not try to address every element of a text; discuss just those aspects with the greatest [positive or negative] impact on the text’s effectiveness.
The Rhetorical Situation
Remember that no text exists in a vacuum. The rhetorical situation of a text refers to the context in which it is written and read, the audience to whom it is directed, and the purpose of the writer.
The Rhetorical Appeals
A writer makes many strategic decisions when attempting to persuade an audience. Considering the following rhetorical appeals will help you understand some of these strategies and their effect on an argument. Generally, writers should incorporate a variety of different rhetorical appeals rather than relying on only one kind.
Ethos (appeal to the writer’s credibility)
- What is the writer’s purpose (to argue, explain, teach, defend, call to action, etc.)?
- Do you trust the writer? Why?
- Is the writer an authority on the subject? What credentials does the writer have?
- Does the writer address other viewpoints?
- How does the writer’s word choice or tone affect how you view the writer?
Pathos (appeal to emotion or to an audience’s values or beliefs)
- Who is the target audience for the argument?
- How is the writer trying to make the audience feel (i.e., sad, happy, angry, guilty)?
- Is the writer making any assumptions about the background, knowledge, values, etc. of the audience?
Logos (appeal to logic)
- Is the writer’s evidence relevant to the purpose of the argument? Is the evidence current (if applicable)? Does the writer use a variety of sources to support the argument?
- What kind of evidence is used (i.e., expert testimony, statistics, proven facts)?
- Do the writer’s points build logically upon each other?
- Where in the text is the main argument stated? How does that placement affect the success of the argument?
- Does the writer’s thesis make that purpose clear?
Kairos (appeal to timeliness)
- When was the argument originally presented?
- Where was the argument originally presented?
- What circumstances may have motivated the argument?
- Does the particular time or situation in which this text is written make it more compelling or persuasive?
- What would an audience at this particular time understand about this argument?
Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
No matter the kind of text you are analyzing, remember that the text’s subject matter is never the focus of a rhetorical analysis. The most common error writers make when writing rhetorical analyses is to address the topic or opinion expressed by an author instead of focusing on how that author constructs an argument.
You must read and study a text critically in order to distinguish its rhetorical elements and strategies from its content or message. By identifying and understanding how audiences are persuaded, you become more proficient at constructing your own arguments and in resisting faulty arguments made by others.
A thesis for a rhetorical analysis does not address the content of the writer’s argument. Instead, the thesis should be a statement about specific rhetorical strategies the writer uses and whether or not they make a convincing argument.
Incorrect: Smith’s editorial promotes the establishment of more green space in the Atlanta area through the planting of more trees along major roads.
This statement is summarizing the meaning and purpose of Smith’s writing rather than making an argument about how – and how effectively – Smith presents and defends his position.
Correct: Through the use of vivid description and testimony from affected citizens, Smith makes a powerful argument for establishing more green space in the Atlanta area.
Correct: Although Smith’s editorial includes vivid descriptions of the destruction of green space in the Atlanta area, his argument will not convince his readers because his claim is not backed up with factual evidence.
These statements are both focused on how Smith argues, and both make a claim about the effectiveness of his argument that can be defended throughout the paper with examples from Smith’s text.
The introduction should name the author and the title of the work you are analyzing. Providing any relevant background information about the text and state your thesis (see above). Resist the urge to delve into the topic of the text and stay focused on the rhetorical strategies being used.
Summary of argument
Include a short summary of the argument you are analyzing so readers not familiar with the text can understand your claims and have context for the examples you provide.
The body of your essay discusses and evaluates the rhetorical strategies (elements of the rhetorical situation and rhetorical appeals – see above) that make the argument effective or not. Be certain to provide specific examples from the text for each strategy you discuss and focus on those strategies that are most important to the text you are analyzing. Your essay should follow a logical organization plan that your reader can easily follow.
Go beyond restating your thesis; comment on the effect or significance of the entire essay. Make a statement about how important rhetorical strategies are in determining the effectiveness of an argument or text.
Analyzing Visual Arguments
The same rhetorical elements and appeals used to analyze written texts also apply to visual arguments. Additionally, analyzing a visual text requires an understanding of how design elements work together to create certain persuasive effects (or not). Consider how elements such as image selection, color, use of space, graphics, layout, or typeface influence an audience’s reaction to the argument that the visual was designed to convey.
This material was developed by the KSU Writing Center and is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License . All materials created by the KSU Writing Center are free to use and can be adopted, remixed, and shared at will as long as the materials are attributed. Please keep this information on materials you adapt or adopt for attribution purposes.
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AP ® Lang teachers: looking to help your students improve their rhetorical analysis essays?
Coach Hall Writes
clear, concise rhetorical analysis instruction.
How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Thesis
November 20, 2021 by Beth Hall
One of the first steps of writing a rhetorical analysis essay is knowing how to write a rhetorical analysis thesis.
Rhetorical analysis thesis statements can seem intimidating, but they do not have to be.
While the thesis is a small portion of an essay, it carries significant weight and impact, especially on the AP® Lang exam. For example, on AP® Lang rubric, a defensible thesis is one out of six possible points.
So, what is a defensible thesis and how do you write one for a rhetorical analysis essay?
A defensible thesis means that the thesis or position can be justified, proven, or defended.
You can craft a rhetorical analysis thesis statement with the following steps:
Step 1: As you are reading the passage, look for strategies or choices the author utilizes. Ask: What rhetorical choices does the writer/speaker make? (ie. juxtaposition, allusion, etc) This will be the basis of your thesis statement.
Step 2: Mention the author’s purpose in the thesis. Ask: Why did he/she make these choices? Why did he/she write this?
Step 3: Consider the effect on the audience. This step is not mandatory or always appropriate, but it can strengthen the thesis. The effect is looking at the author’s call to action. Ask: How does he/she want the audience to think/act?
Now that you understand the basis of a thesis statement, let’s talk about where this thesis goes in the essay.
The thesis is best placed in the introductory paragraph. By placing it in the introduction, it gives you a direction for your writing (and often where readers go looking for the thesis). The introduction contains the hook, context, and thesis statement. Often, the context and the thesis are combined together (look at the example below). The context identifies the specific passage you are talking about in your essay.
You can write only a thesis statement for an introductory paragraph if you are short on time, but it is better to have a well-developed introduction. If you want to know more about writing an introduction, you can watch the video here.
Let’s put this information together and look at an example of a thesis statement.
In Leonid Fridman’s passionate article “America Needs its Nerds,” ← context
he defines “geek” and contrasts America with other industrialized nations to develop his argument that America values athletes more than intellectuals. ← thesis
By doing so, Fridman urges readers to reprioritize the current social hierarchy. ← Effect
If you are feeling unsure about thesis statements or need a place to start, sentence frames are a great way to begin a thesis statement. Below are several sentence frames and examples to help you navigate thesis statements.
In SPEAKER/WRITER’S (tone) speech/letter/article (to AUDIENCE), he/she uses ___ and ____ to PURPOSE.
Note: The blanks in this sentence frame should be choices or strategies (nouns). For example, “he uses repetition and juxtaposition to…” Saying “uses” and then a device is rather simple. However, this sentence frame can lead to a defensible thesis. Once you understand this style of thesis writing, you can try more advanced styles.
In SPEAKER/WRITER’S (tone) speech/letter/article (to AUDIENCE), he/she ____ and ____ to PURPOSE.
Example: In his patriotic speech to Congress, President Roosevelt repeats “attacked” and “deliberate” as well as appeals to patriotism in order to convince Congress to declare war on Japan.
Example: In his patriotic speech to Congress, President Roosevelt repeatedly emphasizes the deliberate nature of the attack on Pearl Harbor and appeals to patriotism in order to convince Congress to declare war on Japan.
When you are ready to begin writing thesis statements on your own, remember to keep the following items in mind:
- A thesis identifies the strategies / choices AND purpose. Without both of these, it is not a defensible thesis.
- A thesis does not restate the prompt. Use the prompt as a guide, not as a thesis.
- A thesis answers the prompt. This may seem obvious, but it can be easy to get caught up in writing and lose track of your goal
Looking for more tips about how to write a rhetorical analysis essay, check out this post here.
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Thesis Statement Examples for Rhetorical Analysis, How to Write, Tips
What is a Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement? – Definition
What is thesis statement example for rhetorical analysis, 100 thesis statement examples for rhetorical analysis.
- “Through her use of vivid imagery, Maya Angelou masterfully conveys the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity in her poem ‘Still I Rise.'”
- “Through the skillful integration of statistics, personal anecdotes, and emotionally charged language, the documentary ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ persuasively conveys the urgency of addressing climate change.”
- “By juxtaposing contrasting viewpoints and utilizing irony, George Orwell incisively critiques the manipulation of language for political control in his novel ‘1984.’”
- “In his letter from Birmingham Jail, Martin Luther King Jr. employs rhetorical appeals and historical references to compellingly advocate for nonviolent protest as a means of achieving justice.”
- “Through a combination of humor, satire, and logical reasoning, Jonathan Swift provocatively critiques British colonialism and social inequities in ‘A Modest Proposal.'”
- “Gloria Steinem employs a combination of personal anecdotes, inclusive language, and impassioned appeals to justice to galvanize the feminist movement in her essay ‘If Men Could Menstruate.'”
- “In his inaugural address, John F. Kennedy strategically employs pathos, ethos, and anaphora to inspire national unity and commitment to global progress.”
- “Through the manipulation of tone, diction, and rhetorical questions, Frederick Douglass powerfully exposes the inherent contradictions of slavery in his narrative.”
- “By utilizing allegory, biblical allusions, and emotional appeals, John Bunyan navigates complex spiritual themes and personal struggles in his work ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress.'”
- “Through the strategic use of anecdotes, historical references, and logical reasoning, Malala Yousafzai compellingly advocates for girls’ education rights in her speech to the United Nations.”
- “By intertwining personal narrative with universal themes, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie highlights the importance of diverse storytelling and challenges cultural stereotypes in her TED Talk ‘We Should All Be Feminists.'”
- “Through the use of allegory, symbolism, and metaphors, Nathaniel Hawthorne explores the consequences of hidden sin and guilt in his novel ‘The Scarlet Letter.'”
- “Utilizing juxtaposition, emotional anecdotes, and appeals to morality, Rachel Carson eloquently critiques the adverse effects of pesticide use on the environment in ‘Silent Spring.'”
- “In his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Martin Luther King Jr. employs repetition, allusion, and emotive language to inspire a nation towards racial harmony and equality.”
- “Through a fusion of personal reflections, historical context, and persuasive arguments, Elizabeth Cady Stanton champions women’s suffrage in her speech ‘The Solitude of Self.'”
- “By blending irony, satire, and rhetorical questions, Mark Twain critiques societal hypocrisy and human nature in his novel ‘The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.'”
- “Utilizing a combination of ethos, pathos, and logos, Ronald Reagan articulates his vision for a united America and small government in his speech ‘A Time for Choosing.'”
- “Through vivid sensory descriptions, emotional appeals, and allegory, F. Scott Fitzgerald critiques the American Dream and the decadence of the Jazz Age in ‘The Great Gatsby.'”
- “By employing allegorical characters, vivid imagery, and emotional appeals, George Orwell satirizes totalitarian regimes and political propaganda in ‘Animal Farm.'”
- “Through the strategic use of anecdotes, expert opinions, and logical reasoning, Atul Gawande advocates for open discussions about end-of-life care in his essay ‘Letting Go.'”
- “Combining anecdotes, historical references, and emotional appeals, Patrick Henry passionately advocates for colonial independence and unity in his speech ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death.'”
- “By utilizing repetition, parallelism, and emotional appeals, Sojourner Truth powerfully challenges gender and racial prejudices in her speech ‘Ain’t I a Woman?'”
- “Through allegory, anthropomorphism, and emotional appeals, George Orwell critiques authoritarianism and the corruption of power in his novella ‘Animal Farm.'”
- “Utilizing vivid imagery, allegory, and emotional appeals, Langston Hughes critiques the deferred dreams of African Americans in his poem ‘Harlem.'”
- “By weaving personal anecdotes, expert opinions, and rhetorical questions, Jill Bolte Taylor explores the complexities of human brain function and recovery in her TED Talk ‘My Stroke of Insight.'”
- “Through the use of allegory, religious imagery, and emotional appeals, John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ explores the spiritual journey and personal salvation.”
- “Utilizing humor, satire, and logical reasoning, Voltaire critiques religious dogma, social inequality, and human folly in his novella ‘Candide.'”
- “By incorporating historical references, logical appeals, and emotional anecdotes, Abraham Lincoln persuades for the preservation of the Union and the end of slavery in his Gettysburg Address.”
- “Through the combination of personal experiences, emotional appeals, and vivid language, Anne Frank’s diary captures the human spirit’s resilience amidst the horrors of the Holocaust.”
- “Utilizing allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, William Golding’s ‘Lord of the Flies’ delves into the inherent conflict between civilization and primal instincts.”
- “By employing irony, sarcasm, and logical reasoning, Jonathan Swift criticizes British colonial exploitation and economic policies in his essay ‘A Modest Proposal.'”
- “Through the strategic use of metaphors, repetition, and emotional appeals, Emily Dickinson’s poetry explores themes of mortality, nature, and human emotions.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, emotional appeals, and vivid imagery, Martin Luther King Jr. addresses the issue of racial segregation and inequality in his ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail.'”
- “By incorporating historical anecdotes, expert opinions, and emotional appeals, Susan B. Anthony advocates for women’s suffrage in her speech ‘On Women’s Right to Vote.'”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Franz Kafka explores the absurdity and alienation of modern life in his novella ‘The Metamorphosis.'”
- “Utilizing logical appeals, emotional anecdotes, and expert opinions, Michael Pollan challenges the industrial food system and advocates for healthier eating habits in ‘The Omnivore’s Dilemma.'”
- “By blending satire, humor, and emotional appeals, Oscar Wilde critiques the shallow values of Victorian society in his play ‘The Importance of Being Earnest.'”
- “Through the use of dialogue, rhetorical questions, and logical reasoning, Plato’s ‘Apology’ presents Socrates’ defense of his philosophical beliefs and principles.”
- “Utilizing metaphors, emotional appeals, and expert opinions, Maya Angelou’s poetry reflects the struggles and triumphs of the African American experience in ‘Caged Bird.'”
- “By incorporating historical context, emotional appeals, and rhetorical devices, Patrick Henry’s ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death’ speech galvanizes colonial resistance against British oppression.”
- “Through allegory, vivid imagery, and emotional appeals, Yann Martel’s ‘Life of Pi’ explores the journey of faith and the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.”
- “Utilizing emotional anecdotes, rhetorical questions, and vivid descriptions, Elie Wiesel’s ‘Night’ vividly conveys the horrors of the Holocaust and the endurance of human hope.”
- “By blending personal reflections, expert opinions, and logical appeals, Sheryl Sandberg’s ‘Lean In’ advocates for women’s empowerment and equal opportunities in the workplace.”
- “Through the use of allegory, emotional appeals, and vivid language, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’ critiques the cyclical nature of history and human experience.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical devices, emotional anecdotes, and logical appeals, Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address emphasizes the value of following one’s passion and intuition.”
- “By incorporating allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ examines racial prejudice and moral growth in the American South.”
- “Through the strategic use of historical references, logical appeals, and emotional anecdotes, Thomas Paine’s ‘Common Sense’ advocates for American independence from British rule.”
- “Utilizing metaphors, emotional appeals, and vivid descriptions, Edgar Allan Poe’s poetry delves into the dark recesses of the human mind and explores themes of death and despair.”
- “By blending personal experiences, emotional appeals, and logical reasoning, Helen Keller’s essay ‘Three Days to See’ explores the value of appreciating the world’s beauty.”
- “Through the use of allegory, emotional appeals, and vivid imagery, Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ critiques the dehumanizing effects of technological advancements and consumerism.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, emotional anecdotes, and expert opinions, Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ examines themes of gender oppression and societal control.”
- “By incorporating historical context, emotional appeals, and logical reasoning, Frederick Douglass’ narrative reveals the brutality of slavery and the power of literacy in gaining freedom.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Aesop’s fables convey moral lessons and insights into human behavior through the experiences of animals.”
- “Utilizing irony, satire, and logical appeals, George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’ critiques class distinctions and the impact of education on social mobility.”
- “By blending emotional anecdotes, rhetorical appeals, and vivid descriptions, Anne Bradstreet’s poetry expresses themes of faith, love, and the challenges of colonial life.”
- “Through allegory, religious references, and emotional appeals, John Milton’s ‘Paradise Lost’ explores the nature of good and evil, freedom, and the fall of humanity.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, expert opinions, and emotional appeals, Richard Dawkins’ ‘The God Delusion’ critiques religious beliefs and advocates for atheism and science.”
- “By incorporating historical context, logical appeals, and emotional anecdotes, Thomas Jefferson’s ‘Declaration of Independence’ justifies colonial separation from Britain.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ examines the consequences of censorship and the importance of critical thinking.”
- “Utilizing rhetoric, emotional appeals, and historical references, Winston Churchill’s ‘We Shall Fight on the Beaches’ speech inspires resilience and determination during World War II.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ explores the nature of creation, innocence, and experience.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, logical appeals, and emotional anecdotes, Gloria Anzaldúa’s ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue’ reflects on language, identity, and cultural assimilation.”
- “By incorporating historical context, emotional appeals, and rhetorical devices, Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation’ rallies the American people after the attack.”
- “Through allegory, metaphors, and emotional appeals, Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ challenges the conventions of reality and explores the absurdity of life.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, expert opinions, and emotional appeals, Naomi Klein’s ‘No Logo’ critiques consumer culture, branding, and the power of multinational corporations.”
- “By incorporating historical references, emotional anecdotes, and logical appeals, Mahatma Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ speech calls for nonviolent resistance against British colonial rule.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Ralph Ellison’s ‘Invisible Man’ examines the invisibility and marginalization of African Americans in society.”
- “Utilizing irony, humor, and emotional appeals, Kurt Vonnegut’s ‘Slaughterhouse-Five’ reflects on the horrors of war and the complexities of time.”
- “By blending personal reflections, emotional appeals, and logical reasoning, J.K. Rowling’s Harvard commencement address explores the benefits of failure and imagination.”
- “Through the use of allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Herman Melville’s ‘Moby-Dick’ delves into themes of obsession, fate, and the power of nature.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, expert opinions, and emotional appeals, bell hooks’ ‘Feminism Is for Everybody’ advocates for a more inclusive and intersectional feminist movement.”
- “By incorporating historical context, logical appeals, and emotional anecdotes, Nelson Mandela’s ‘I Am Prepared to Die’ speech defends his anti-apartheid activism.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s ‘The Yellow Wallpaper’ critiques gender roles and the treatment of mental illness.”
- “Utilizing irony, satire, and emotional appeals, Joseph Heller’s ‘Catch-22’ exposes the absurdity and disillusionment of war and bureaucracy.”
- “By blending personal anecdotes, rhetorical questions, and emotional appeals, Audre Lorde’s ‘The Master’s Tools Will Never Dismantle the Master’s House’ critiques white feminism.”
- “Through allegory, metaphors, and emotional appeals, George Orwell’s ‘Shooting an Elephant’ explores the complexities of colonialism and the abuse of power.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, logical appeals, and emotional anecdotes, Harvey Milk’s ‘Hope Speech’ advocates for LGBTQ+ rights and social acceptance.”
- “By incorporating historical references, emotional appeals, and rhetorical devices, Frederick Douglass’ ‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?’ speech challenges American hypocrisy.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Franz Kafka’s ‘The Trial’ examines themes of absurdity, alienation, and the elusive nature of justice.”
- “Utilizing humor, satire, and emotional appeals, Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ critiques patriarchal control and the erosion of women’s rights.”
- “By weaving personal reflections, emotional appeals, and logical reasoning, Ta-Nehisi Coates’ ‘Between the World and Me’ explores the realities of racism and its impact on black bodies.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, historical references, and emotional appeals, Patrick Henry’s ‘Speech to the Virginia Convention’ galvanizes colonial resistance against British oppression.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Haruki Murakami’s ‘Kafka on the Shore’ delves into themes of identity, destiny, and the blurred lines between reality and fantasy.”
- “By blending personal experiences, expert opinions, and emotional appeals, Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming’ reflects on identity, leadership, and the power of storytelling.”
- “Utilizing irony, satire, and logical appeals, Aldous Huxley’s ‘Brave New World’ critiques the dehumanizing effects of a society driven by pleasure and conformity.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, John Steinbeck’s ‘The Grapes of Wrath’ explores themes of poverty, injustice, and the human struggle for dignity.”
- “By incorporating historical context, emotional appeals, and rhetorical devices, Sojourner Truth’s ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ speech challenges gender and racial prejudices.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, expert opinions, and emotional anecdotes, Ken Robinson’s TED Talk ‘Do Schools Kill Creativity?’ critiques the modern education system.”
- “Through allegory, metaphors, and emotional appeals, Gabriel Garcia Marquez’s ‘Love in the Time of Cholera’ examines themes of love, time, and the human condition.”
- “By blending personal reflections, emotional appeals, and logical reasoning, Malala Yousafzai’s ‘I Am Malala’ recounts her fight for education and women’s rights.”
- “Utilizing satire, humor, and emotional appeals, George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ allegorically criticizes the abuse of power and the corrupting influence of totalitarianism.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, E.B. White’s ‘Charlotte’s Web’ explores themes of friendship, mortality, and the circle of life.”
- “By incorporating historical references, emotional anecdotes, and logical appeals, Susan Sontag’s ‘Notes on ‘Camp” explores the aesthetics of extravagance and artifice.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, expert opinions, and emotional appeals, Elizabeth Cady Stanton’s ‘Declaration of Sentiments’ advocates for women’s rights and suffrage.”
- “Through allegory, imagery, and emotional appeals, J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Lord of the Rings’ delves into themes of heroism, friendship, and the battle between good and evil.”
- “By blending personal experiences, emotional appeals, and logical reasoning, Neil deGrasse Tyson’s ‘The Perimeter of Ignorance’ lecture explores the frontiers of scientific knowledge.”
- “Utilizing irony, satire, and emotional appeals, Mark Twain’s ‘The Adventures of Tom Sawyer’ critiques societal norms and presents a humorous coming-of-age story.”
- “Through allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, Margaret Atwood’s ‘Alias Grace’ examines themes of memory, identity, and the manipulation of truth.”
- “By incorporating historical context, emotional appeals, and rhetorical devices, Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Second Inaugural Address’ reflects on the complexities of reconciliation after the Civil War.”
- “Utilizing rhetorical questions, expert opinions, and emotional appeals, Naomi Wolf’s ‘The Beauty Myth’ critiques societal standards of beauty and their impact on women.”
Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement Example for Essay
- “Through skillful use of metaphors, emotive language, and compelling anecdotes, Jane Doe effectively challenges societal beauty standards in her essay ‘Mirror, Mirror.'”
- “By dissecting persuasive appeals, rhetorical devices, and tone shifts, John Smith uncovers the manipulation of emotion and logic in his analysis of the political speech ‘A Nation United.'”
- “In analyzing Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, this essay explores how he employs repetition, powerful imagery, and moral appeals to inspire societal change.”
- “Examining the persuasive strategies in ‘The Power of Vulnerability’ TED Talk, this analysis demonstrates how Brené Brown combines personal stories, humor, and audience engagement.”
- “Through a close examination of tone, diction, and narrative structure, this essay explores the emotional impact of J.K. Rowling’s ‘The Casual Vacancy’ on its readers.”
- “By evaluating rhetorical devices, historical context, and the speaker’s credibility, this analysis dissects Winston Churchill’s ‘Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat’ speech during World War II.”
- “Analyzing the ‘Blackfish’ documentary, this essay delves into the manipulation of emotional appeals, expert testimonies, and visual storytelling to advocate for animal rights.”
- “This analysis of Maya Angelou’s poem ‘Phenomenal Woman’ uncovers how she uses rhythm, repetition, and empowering language to celebrate female strength and allure.”
- “Through the exploration of rhetorical devices, irony, and emotional appeals, this essay dissects Mark Antony’s funeral oration in Shakespeare’s ‘Julius Caesar.'”
- “Examining Barack Obama’s ‘A More Perfect Union’ speech, this analysis illustrates how he combines personal history, logical reasoning, and rhetorical questions to address race in America.”
Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement Example for College
- “By scrutinizing the strategic use of anecdotes, historical context, and logical appeals, this college-level analysis dissects Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address.”
- “Analyzing the ‘TED Talk’ genre, this essay explores how speakers employ rhetorical strategies, visual aids, and audience engagement to convey complex ideas effectively.”
- “This college-level analysis of Margaret Atwood’s ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ examines the symbolism, dystopian elements, and social commentary through a rhetorical lens.”
- “Evaluating the persuasive techniques in President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘Day of Infamy’ speech, this analysis highlights his use of rhetorical questions, historical references, and emotional appeals.”
- “Through an examination of metaphors, emotional appeals, and logical reasoning, this analysis dissects Frederick Douglass’ ‘Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave.'”
- “Analyzing J.R.R. Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit,’ this essay explores how Tolkien employs allegory, symbolism, and vivid descriptions to convey universal themes of heroism and growth.”
- “This college-level analysis of Maya Angelou’s ‘Still I Rise’ dissects how she uses repetition, metaphor, and uplifting language to empower and inspire marginalized voices.”
- “Evaluating the persuasive techniques in Michelle Obama’s ‘Becoming,’ this analysis illustrates how she combines personal narratives, emotional appeals, and relatable anecdotes to connect with readers.”
- “Through a rhetorical analysis of George Orwell’s ‘1984,’ this essay explores how he uses dystopian elements, propaganda, and language manipulation to critique totalitarianism.”
- “Analyzing Steve Jobs’ Stanford commencement address, this essay delves into how he employs personal stories, rhetorical questions, and aspirational language to inspire graduates.”
Strong Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement Example
- “Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘Letter from Birmingham Jail’ masterfully combines logical appeals, emotional anecdotes, and historical references to advocate for civil rights.”
- “Through the strategic use of pathos, ethos, and logos, Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s ‘We Should All Be Feminists’ compellingly challenges gender stereotypes and inequality.”
- “In ‘The Great Gatsby,’ F. Scott Fitzgerald employs vivid imagery, symbolism, and dramatic irony to critique the American Dream’s corruption and superficiality.”
- “By blending allegory, emotional appeals, and vivid language, Yann Martel’s ‘Life of Pi’ artfully explores the human spirit’s resilience and the complexities of faith.”
- “Harper Lee’s ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ uses allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals to navigate themes of racial prejudice, moral growth, and societal justice.”
- “Through the manipulation of tone, diction, and rhetorical questions, George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ satirically critiques the abuse of power and the dangers of totalitarianism.”
- “In his ‘I Have a Dream’ speech, Martin Luther King Jr. strategically employs repetition, allusion, and emotional appeals to inspire racial unity and equality.”
- “Gloria Anzaldúa’s ‘How to Tame a Wild Tongue’ combines rhetorical questions, historical context, and emotional anecdotes to explore the challenges of linguistic assimilation.”
- “Through the use of vivid imagery, emotive language, and allegory, William Blake’s ‘The Tyger’ delves into the complexities of creation, innocence, and experience.”
- “By intertwining allegory, symbolism, and emotional appeals, John Bunyan’s ‘The Pilgrim’s Progress’ explores themes of spiritual journey and redemption.”
Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement Example for History
- “Analyzing Winston Churchill’s ‘Their Finest Hour’ speech, this historical analysis dissects his use of rhetoric to inspire resilience and unity during World War II.”
- “Evaluating Patrick Henry’s ‘Give Me Liberty or Give Me Death’ speech, this historical analysis explores how he strategically employed emotional appeals and historical references to advocate for colonial independence.”
- “By examining the rhetoric of Frederick Douglass’ ‘What to the Slave Is the Fourth of July?’ speech, this historical analysis uncovers how he used personal anecdotes and logical appeals to critique American hypocrisy.”
- “This historical analysis of Sojourner Truth’s ‘Ain’t I a Woman?’ speech explores her use of rhetorical questions and emotional appeals to challenge gender and racial prejudices of her time.”
- “Through the exploration of Abraham Lincoln’s ‘Second Inaugural Address,’ this historical analysis delves into how he employed biblical references, emotional appeals, and rhetorical devices to address post-Civil War reconciliation.”
- “Analyzing Susan B. Anthony’s ‘Declaration of Sentiments,’ this historical analysis dissects how she utilized rhetorical strategies to advocate for women’s rights and suffrage in the 19th century.”
- “By examining the persuasive techniques in Franklin D. Roosevelt’s ‘Pearl Harbor Address to the Nation,’ this historical analysis highlights how he combined emotional appeals, historical context, and logical reasoning to rally the nation after the attack.”
- “Evaluating Martin Luther King Jr.’s ‘I Have a Dream’ speech through a historical lens, this analysis illustrates how he employed references to history, biblical allusions, and emotional appeals to advocate for racial equality.”
- “Through the exploration of Gandhi’s ‘Quit India’ speech, this historical analysis uncovers how he used rhetoric to inspire nonviolent resistance against British colonial rule during India’s struggle for independence.”
- “Analyzing the persuasive techniques in Ronald Reagan’s ‘Tear Down This Wall’ speech, this historical analysis delves into how he employed rhetorical strategies to advocate for the end of the Berlin Wall and Cold War tensions.”
How do you write a rhetorical analysis thesis statement? – Step by Step Guide
- Understand the Text: Read the text thoroughly to grasp its message, context, and the author’s intent. Identify the rhetorical techniques, such as ethos, pathos, logos, and various stylistic devices used to influence the audience.
- Identify the Core Strategies: Determine the main persuasive strategies employed by the author, such as the use of metaphors, anecdotes, rhetorical questions, appeals to authority, tone shifts, and more.
- Analyze the Impact: Assess how these strategies contribute to the overall effectiveness of the message. Consider how they evoke emotions, create credibility, enhance logic, or provoke thought.
- Narrow Down Your Focus: Choose specific aspects of the text’s rhetoric that you’ll analyze in detail. Your thesis statement should highlight the main techniques you’ll discuss in your essay.
- Frame Your Assertion: Formulate a concise thesis statement that encapsulates your interpretation of the author’s message and the techniques used. It should provide insight into how the techniques contribute to the text’s persuasiveness.
- Make it Specific: Ensure your thesis statement is precise and focused, avoiding vague or generic claims. Mention the specific rhetorical techniques and their impact on the audience.
- Draft and Revise: Write a preliminary thesis statement and refine it through revisions. Ensure it reflects the text’s core themes and the analytical direction you plan to take.
- Test for Clarity: Share your thesis statement with peers or mentors to gauge its clarity and effectiveness in conveying your intended analysis.
- Check for Alignment: Confirm that your thesis statement accurately aligns with the analysis you present in your essay’s body paragraphs.
- Refine as Needed: If your analysis evolves as you write, be open to refining your thesis statement to better capture your insights.
Does a rhetorical analysis need a thesis statement?
Tips for writing a rhetorical analysis thesis statement.
- Be Specific: Clearly identify the rhetorical techniques you will analyze, such as imagery, metaphors, tone, or appeals. This specificity sets the tone for your essay.
- Highlight Impact: Address how the identified techniques contribute to the author’s persuasiveness. Explain how they engage emotions, logic, or credibility.
- Avoid Simple Summaries: Your thesis should go beyond summarizing the text; instead, focus on the techniques and their persuasive function.
- Capture Complexity: Reflect the nuanced relationship between techniques and their combined impact on the audience’s interpretation.
- Tailor to Audience: Consider the context of your essay. Adapt your thesis statement to the intended audience and their familiarity with the text.
- Draft and Revise: Create a working thesis, then refine it as you analyze the text further and gain deeper insights.
- Use Strong Language: Employ confident and assertive language to showcase your analytical approach.
- Stay Objective: Maintain an objective tone in your thesis statement, focusing on the author’s techniques rather than expressing your personal opinions.
- Parallel Structure: Consider using parallel structure to list the techniques you’ll analyze, ensuring clarity and consistency.
- Connect to Argument: Ensure your thesis sets up your main argument or interpretation about the author’s overall effectiveness in persuasion.
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Purdue Online Writing Lab Purdue OWL® College of Liberal Arts
Organizing Your Analysis
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This resource covers how to write a rhetorical analysis essay of primarily visual texts with a focus on demonstrating the author’s understanding of the rhetorical situation and design principles.
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.
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).
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.
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.
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- Essay Examples
Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement
Surely you’ve already realized the difficulty involved in compacting all that is important in your essay into one key sentence – the thesis statement. Reaching a stage in writing your essay when you have decided on the main point that you would like to make can be quite challenging. That is especially when you consider the bearing that a single sentence could have on your entire essay. That's how important a thesis statement is. It's a focal point, a foundation on which you consequently build your paper, relating all the arguments you make back to this statement. Thesis statements vary depending on a particular type of essay you're writing. Here, we provide a detailed guide on how one formulates a rhetorical analysis thesis statement.
What is a rhetorical analysis essay?
Rhetorical analysis is a detailed study of how an author of a non-fiction work succeeded (or failed) in creating a specific effect – to convince, inform or entertain his/her audience. Analyzed work can be a text, a speech or a visual argument such as an advertisement or promotional video. You refer to the author of such work as a rhetorician. Important tools used by a rhetorician include factual evidence and, more importantly, appeals of an emotional (pathetic), ethical or logical type. Generally speaking, appeals represent attempts to earn the audience's approval by making use of fundamental human affinities or shared experience. Pathetic ones (here, we use the word pathetic without a negative connotation) primarily elicit an emotional response, sympathy or compassion, disappointment, sorrow or anger to persuade the audience of the rhetorician's argument. Logical ones use common sense to prove a point, while ethical ones rely upon the author's authority and trustworthiness to persuade the public of whatever attitude he/she has expressed towards a specific theme or topic. When performing a rhetorical analysis, you should look at which tool or technique the author has used, how successfully and what he/she has achieved by doing so.
Definitive essay outline page has useful information about authority and trustworthiness.
What is a rhetorical analysis thesis statement?
All thesis statements represent a final element of the introduction section of an essay. They consist of three parts: topic, argument and reason for it. A thesis statement written within a rhetorical analysis paper could look like this:
Author (name) effectively convinces readers (viewers) of the product quality by pointing to the (health or other) benefits of using it.
Alternatively, you could also argue:
Author (name) fails to persuade the audience of the product quality by using trivial argumentation and appealing to the wrong emotions.
But how do you decide what stand to take towards work you're analyzing? First of all, you should explore the goal a particular text or video is intended to reach. Next, check if the rhetorician has successfully achieved it. Then try to find out which techniques he/she used along the way and what has proven to be decisive in gaining the audience's approval or disapproval.
What to remember when writing a rhetorical thesis statement
- Thesis statement is to serve as an orientation for readers, letting them know what will be discussed in a paper and from what angle or perspective.
- It keeps you, as a writer, focused. It functions as an anchor to prevent you from drifting away from your topic. Without it, you would risk straying from your central theme which could cause you to end up not proving your point or seeming unclear of the message you're trying to get across.
- It defines the overall content of your paper covering all points you would need for convincing your reader that your argument is indeed valid.
- It is composed as an arguable claim. If something is an indisputable fact, then there is no use arguing its veracity. Thesis statement must have a potential to instigate discussion and provoke a reaction.
While there is no simple recipe on how to compose a compelling thesis statement for your rhetorical analysis essay, there are a few essential rules to follow:
- Become sufficiently acquainted with analyzed material (text, audio or video) which acts as a topic of your rhetorical analysis. Read it thoroughly or watch it a couple of times to find out what impression it makes on you, what the author's primary goal was, what techniques he/she employed to reach this goal and whether it was successful. Analyze precisely what kinds of appeals the author used and to what avail. Don’t rush it. Take your time and if necessary go over the material several times to make sure that you didn’t miss anything.
- After you've scrutinized the material and got to the bottom of every appeal used and to check for its efficiency, continue to next step which includes more specific analysis of things that were contrasted or made to appear similar in the material. Try to find out what was the aim and if it was successful.
- Formulate a working hypothesis which will serve as an interim thesis statement while you further analyze material by examining factual evidence presented. It will be refined in the process until you reach a final thesis statement.
With what rules should a rhetorical analysis thesis statement comply?
- Most importantly, it is supposed to be well-defined and precise. There is no room for vagueness and ambiguity when writing a thesis statement. It should provide a clear indication of your principle idea, which you will elaborate throughout your paper. Its formulation should make it clear to everyone what your essay will cover and what position you will be taking on this subject. If necessary, read your thesis statement to a few friends or family members and ask them what they think will be the theme of your essay. If what you get as an answer differs from your initial intention, then your thesis statement was not clear enough and you need to alter it.
- Next, itemize rhetorical methods used by the author. Rhetorical analysis should identify all appeals used by the rhetorician to accomplish his/her goal. Determine which strategies were used and subject them to critical analysis. Decide if the author was successful in his use of common sense appeals, emotional cues or moral grounds for his argument. What impression do you think the audience got after reading or viewing the material?
- Restrict the scope of your analysis to a particular segment of the material. You cannot possibly cover every conceivable aspect in one essay. So keep it specific. Decide upon a topic you find the most significant or appealing. Then thoroughly examine it to find enough support for your thesis.
- Put some effort into finding a unique angle to your rhetorical analysis. Object essay examples may help with this one. It's an original essay and should be as distinctive as possible. Your essay provides your subjective view on how effectively the author has persuaded the audience of his argument. Of course, this perspective should be backed up with supporting evidence or facts but it remains personal and different from anyone else's nevertheless.
- Although personal, your view should not be illogical or biased. Your task is not to pass judgment but to determine the author’s successfulness in accomplishing his work’s goal. So, do not claim that the material is good or bad, but establish if it was efficient in conveying a particular message or successful in creating a public opinion on a subject.
- Discuss the author’s style and general tone he employed in his work. Consider the target audience for analyzed material and whether a particular style of presenting it is suited for them. If not, explain why. Talk about different techniques the author used to make an impression on his intended audience.
- Your thesis statement should represent the point you would like to make in your essay. It should state your position clearly and provide a basis for further analysis.
Step-by-step refinement of rhetorical analysis thesis statement
Step #1: consider all possible angles of approaching your analyzed material. Read or watch it several times and write down everything that comes to your mind. Include impressions made on you by the author, as well as emotional responses these impressions elicited. Then think of the author's style and rhetorical appeals he utilized to accomplish his aim.
Step #2: restrict the scope of your analysis by deciding on which aspects of the material you would like to focus. These will be subjected to meticulous examination in your paper. Upon analysis, you will decide on the author's effectiveness in proving his point. What contributed to his success or failure?
Step #3: formulate your thesis. Now is the time to compose a compelling thesis which provides information on your general position regarding the material you analyzed and the main argumentation that you will discuss in more detail in the remaining parts of your essay. Take a stand on how you think the author's style, tone, and the various appeals used contributed to influencing the audience to think or feel in a particular way. If necessary, write multiple thesis statements and later decide on the most fitting one.
Step #4: refine your thesis. If you think your working version of the thesis statement is a bit rough around the edges, polish it to get a final version which pinpoints your position and expresses your point of view most clearly. A thesis statement is like a living organism; it changes and evolves over the time needed to write tips for rhetorical analysis . Adjusting it along the way is therefore crucial.
With a bit of luck, the information and guidance provided in this text will make the task of writing a rhetorical analysis thesis statement somewhat easier. It is a critically important part of the essay and should be given sufficient consideration so that you can structure the entire paper around it.
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What Is a Rhetorical Analysis and How to Write a Great One
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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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!
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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).
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 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.
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Rhetorical Analysis Essay
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Top 15+ Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples for Students
Published on: Mar 10, 2023
Last updated on: Oct 30, 2023
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Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can be tough. You want to engage your reader, but you also need to provide clear and concise analysis of the text.
It's hard to know where to start, what information is important, and how to make your argument clear.
Don't fret! We've got you covered.
In this blog post, we'll give you 15+ Rhetorical analysis essay examples to help you craft a winning essay. Plus, we'll give you some tips on how to make your essay stand out.
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Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples
Examples help the readers to understand things in a better way. They also help a writer to compose an essay just like professionals.
Here are some amazing rhetorical analysis examples on different topics. Use them as a helping hand to understand the concept and write a good essay.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: AP Language
Rhetorical analysis done in AP Language and Composition is one of the biggest tasks a student can ever get. On the same hand, drafting it in a proper way is also necessary to get good grades.
Look at these rhetorical analysis essay example AP language given below to see how a well-written rhetorical essay is written.
AP Rhetorical analysis essay example
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Ap Lang 2020
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Ap Lang 2021
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example AP Lang 2022
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example AP Lang 2023
These rhetorical analysis essay example college board will help you to win over your panel in no time!
Want to start from the basics? Head over to our Rhetorical essay guide to solidify your base.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Ted Talk
A rhetorical analysis can be done on nearly anything. Here is a good example of a rhetorical essay in which a ted talk is being analyzed.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Ethos, Pathos, Logos
The first impression of these three terms sounds just like a conjuration in some kind of a magical story. But in fact, these elements of persuasion were created by Aristotle and have been used for a very long time.
According to Aristotle, they were the primary persuasive strategies that authors should use in their papers. These elements are further elaborated as follows:
- The ethos appeals to ethics.
- Pathos appeals to emotions.
- Logos mean the use of rational thinking.
Here is an example of a rhetorical essay written using these elements.
Understand Ethos,Pathos and Logos to write a compelling essay.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example for College
College students often get to write a rhetorical analysis essay. They find it hard to write such an essay because it is a bit more technical than other essay types.
Here is an example of a well-written rhetorical essay for college students.
Comparative Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
A rhetorical analysis essay can be written to show a comparison between two objects. Here is a compare-and-contrast rhetorical analysis essay example.
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Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
The visual rhetorical essay determines how pictures and images communicate messages and persuade the audience. Usually, visual rhetorical essays are written for advertisements. They use strong images to convince the audience to behave in a certain way.
Visual Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Pdf
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Letter from Birmingham Jail
Here is another good example of a rhetorical essay. Most of us know about the history of âletter from a Birmingham jailâ. Read the given example to see how rhetorical analysis is done on it.
Struggling for a similar good topic? Check out our amazing rhetorical essay topics to select the perfect theme for your essay.
Great Influenza: Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Influenza has been one of the scariest pandemics the world has faced in history. Here is a rhetorical essay on great influenza.
Great influenza: Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
Condoleezza Rice Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
The speech given by Condoleezza Rice has become a classic example of effective oratory. Here is an example of a rhetorical analysis essay on the speech given by Condoleezza Rice at a commencement ceremony.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example: Condoleezza Riceâs Commencement Speech
This example explores the effectiveness of Rice's speech and features an in-depth analysis.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example High School
High school essays involve the analysis of different texts and the application of rhetorical tools to those texts. Here is an example that focuses on a high school essay about the effects of television on society.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example (Pdf)
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example MLA
MLA format is one of the most commonly used formats for essays. Here is an example of a rhetorical essay written in MLA format that focuses on the effectiveness of advertisements.
MLA Rhetorical Analysis Essay PDF
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Outline
Outline helps to organize the ideas and arguments that you want to present in your essay. Here is a sample outline that can help you write an effective rhetorical analysis essay.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Outline sample
Hop on to our rhetorical essay outline guide to learn the step-by-step process of crafting an exemplary outline.
How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
When starting a rhetorical analysis essay, it is important to provide a brief overview of the topic that you are analyzing. This should include the overall message being conveyed, the target audience and the rhetorical devices used in the text.
Here is a rhetorical analysis introduction example for your ease.
Thesis Statement Example for Rhetorical Analysis Essay
The thesis statement of a rhetorical analysis essay should explain the primary argument being made in the text. Here is an example of a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis essay for your ease.
Example of Rhetorical Analysis Thesis Statement
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example Conclusion
The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis essay is an important part of the overall essay. It should summarize your main points and provide some final thoughts on the topic.
Here is an example of conclusion for a rhetorical analysis essay for your ease.
Download this Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Manual to help gather all the relevant guidance for your rhetorical essay.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Manual (PDF)
Watch this video to understand how to select Rhetorical analysis essay evidences.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips
To write a rhetorical analysis essay, you must have good writing skills. Writing a rhetorical essay is a technical task to do. This is why many students find it really difficult.
There are the following things that you should do to write a good rhetorical analysis essay. Those important things are as follows:
- Determine the Rhetorical Strategy
To write a rhetorical essay, the writer needs to follow a specific method for research. The typical research methods used for this particular essay are as follows:
- Choose a Topic
For any essay type, it is very important to have a good topic. A good topic seeks the readers of attention and convinces them to read the complete essay.
- Create a Rhetorical Analysis Outline
An outline is an essential part of essay writing. The outline provides a definite structure to the essay and also guides the reader throughout the essay. A rhetorical analysis outline has the following elements in it:
- Body paragraphs
These three elements let you describe the entire idea of your rhetorical analysis essay. These three elements are further written with the help of sub-elements.
- Develop a Thesis Statement
The thesis statement is yet another important part of essay writing. It is the essence of the entire essay. It may be a sentence or two explaining the whole idea of your essay. However, not give background information about the topic.
- Proofread and Edit
The formal terminology used for essay revision is known as proofreading. To make sure that your essay is error-free, repeat this process more than once.
Now let's wrap up , shall we?
So far we have provided you with the best rhetorical analysis examples that are sure to win over your panel. With our help, you can surely sfe guard your academic success journey in no time!
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Frequently Asked Questions
What are the 3 parts of rhetorical analysis.
The three parts of rhetorical analysis are:
What are the elements of a rhetorical analysis?
The main elements of a rhetorical analysis essay are:
Is there any difference between AP lang rhetorical analysis essay example 2020 and AP lang rhetorical analysis essay example 2021?
Yes, there are differences between 2020 and 2021 AP Language and Composition rhetorical analysis essay examples.
- In 2020 the essay prompts revolved around various social issues related to public discourse. In 2021 they mainly focused on the ideas of justice or progress.
- In 2020 students were encouraged to write a multi-paragraph essay shifting back and forth between creative devices of rhetoric. While in 2021 more emphasis was placed on analyzing how well an author's argument is structured.
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100 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics for Students
Most students struggle to choose rhetorical analysis topics to write about when given this assignment. That’s because a learner should choose a topic they can comfortably analyze with minimal research. A rhetorical analysis essay refers to an academic paper in which the student deeply analyzes an artistic work, a film, or literature, and then takes a position.
Some students find this academic task difficult because it requires them to evaluate the original content’s purpose and its delivery to the audience. Good rhetorical analysis essay topics enable learners to do this and determine whether the original message delivery was effective.
What is a Good Topic for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?
Top rhetorical analysis topics.
- Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Fictional Works
Rhetorical Analysis of Controversial Topics
Comparative rhetorical analysis topics, current rhetorical analysis topics.
This is a question that most learners ask. Well, a good topic should be interesting, not too narrow or too broad. What’s more, it should have adequate information for the student to use in writing the essay.
Choosing a topic is the first step in the process of writing this essay. This may sound simple to some people but deciding what to analyze and write about can be challenging. Even seasoned writers struggle to choose topics for rhetorical analysis essays sometimes. Essentially, writer’s block can affect anyone, especially when it comes to choosing a good topic.
If you’ve been assigned this academic task and you don’t know where to start, consider this rhetorical analysis topics list from our custom thesis writing service .
Some students want to write about something unique. As such, they choose unique topics for rhetorical analysis essays. If you’re such a student, pick a topic from this category.
- Symbolism theme in The Things They Carried
- Rhetorical analysis of symbolism in Harry Potter series
- An effective new writer
- Definition of heroism by different writers
- Animal Farm
- Importance of home as a literature theme
- Literary devices employed by Jane Austen
- Rhetorical strategies in your best novel
- Role of symbolism in novels
- Issues of prejudice and race in literature
- Meaning in the I am the Cheese book
- Louisa May Alcott and Feminism
- The Lottery versus Hunger Games
- Edgar Allan Poe rhetoric and one of his famous works
- A rhetorical analysis of a TED talks speech
- Rhetorical analysis of a speech is time-consuming
- A rhetorical analysis of the speech by William Wallace
- Rhetorical analysis of Martin Luther King’s speech
- Rhetorical analysis of I’m not a crook by Richard Nixon
- Rhetorical analysis of King Lear by William Shakespeare
Any of these rhetorical analysis topics for the essay is worth exploring. Nevertheless, you should be ready to research your topic extensively to come up with a brilliant essay.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics on Fictional Works
Fiction is the expression of imagination. Just like any other literary work, people communicate messages through fiction. If looking for good rhetorical analysis essay topics on fiction, here are brilliant ideas to consider.
- Rhetorical features in The Great Gatsby
- Presentation of the war theme in Things They Carry
- The Millenium Hall narrative form
- Justice theme in The Heretic’s Daughter
- The revelation of a teenager’s life in The Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
- With All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doer, explain the simple language
- Explain the creation of diverse characters by Erin Morgenstern in The Night Circus
- Describe the mystery language in The Secret Life of Violet Grant
- Describe the presentation of character development in The Alchemist
- Author’s voice in The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
- Crisis and love in Mohsin Hamid’s Exit West
- Explore civilization versus savagery in the Lord of the Flies
- Describe the delivery of the friendship theme in Code Name Verity
- Describe the elitism theme in One Hundred Years of Solitude
- Shame language in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian
- Humanism reflections in Lincoln in the Bardo
- Behavior as presented in Jesse Stuart’s The Slipover Sweater
- Describe rhetorical devices in The Sense of an Ending
- Explain the emphasis of dreams in Of Mice and Men by John Steinbeck
- Author’s voice in John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars
Pick any of these rhetorical analysis paper topics if you want to write about something fictional. Nevertheless, make sure that you have studied and understood the work carefully before you proceed to write your essay.
Non-Fiction Rhetorical Analysis example Topics
If you don’t want to write about fictional topics, consider the ideas in this category.
- Rhetorical devices in A Brief History of Time
- Rhetorical analysis of trauma in Hiroshima by John Hersey
- Rhetorical features in Out of Africa by Isak Dinesen
- Exploration of fandom by Nick Horny in Fever Pitch
- Sympathy and abuse in Cold Blood
- Racism theme in I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings
- Grief in H Is for Hawk
- The function of the title in A Moveable Feast
- Overcoming theme in Ron Chernow’s Alexander Hamilton
- Persuasion theme in Silent Spring
Pick any of these topics and then develop it through rhetorical analysis.
If you find controversy interesting, this category has the best rhetorical analysis topic ideas for you. These are great topics for rhetorical analysis when it comes to writing academic papers and essays.
- Rhetorical analysis of E.L. James’ Fifty Shades of Grey
- Analysis of J.D Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye
- Rhetorical analysis of Peter Parnell and Justin Richardson’s And Tango Makes Three
- Salman Rushdie’s The Satanic Verses rhetorical analysis
- Rhetorical analysis of George Orwell’s 1984
- Analysis of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code
- Rhetorical Analysis of William Styron’s Sophie’s Choice
- Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling – Rhetorical Analysis
- Analysis of Brett Easton Ellis’ American Psycho
- Rhetorical Analysis of Sylvia Plath’s The Bell Jar
- Analysis of Heather Has Two Mommies by Laura Cornell and Leslea Newman
- Analysis of Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War
- Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita Rhetorical Analysis
- Rhetorical Analysis of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham
- Analyze Henry Miller’s Topic of Cancer Rhetorically
- Rhetorical Analysis of Anonymous’ Go Ask Alice
- Analysis of William Golding’s The Lord of the Flies
- John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men : Rhetorical Analysis
- Rhetorical Analysis: Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World
- Rhetorical analysis of James Joyce’s Ulysses
These are good rhetorical analysis topics to consider if you want to write about something controversial. Nevertheless, take your time to study the work and understand the controversy. That way, you will ensure that it comes out in your analysis.
Maybe you want to compare one literary work and another rhetorically. In that case, this category has good topics to write a rhetorical analysis on. Here are great ideas to explore.
- The Lottery versus The Hunger Games
- The Breakfast Club’s Ending Scenes versus The Danger of a Single Story by Chimamanda Ngozi Achichi
- Pep Talk by Kid President versus Ellen’s People’s Choice Humanitarian Award Acceptance Speech
- Nobel Peace Prize Speech by Malala Yousafzai versus I Am Prepared to Die by Nelson Mandela
- 2005 Stanford Commencement Speech by Steve Jobs versus Donovan Livington’s Harvard Graduation Speech
- Pep Talk to Students and Teachers by Kids President versus Shane Koyczan’s To This Day: For the Bullied and the Beautiful speech
- Don’t Let Others Stop You from Living Your Own Truth versus Susan Cain’s The Power of Introverts
- Abraham Lincoln’s The Gettysburg Address versus Remember the Titans’ Gettysburg Monologue
- Emma Watson’s Power of Women speech versus Priyanka Chopra’s Full Power of Women
- Warren Buffet’s Integrity versus Finding Forrester’s Speech
These are great topics for a rhetorical analysis paper when a student wants to compare one literary work to another. Nevertheless, careful research is necessary to understand both works.
If you want to explore what’s trending in your essay, consider the rhetorical analysis topic’s current issues. Here are good topics for rhetorical analysis in this category.
- David Grann’s arguments in The Mark of a Masterpiece
- People versus nature in Tim Zimmerman’s The Killer in the Pool
- The double life of a thief in Art of the Steal by Joshua Bearman
- Persuasive devices in John Buntin’s Mississippi’s Connections Reform
- The emotional appeal of In the Name of the Law by William Finnegan
- Wil S. Hylton’s narration in the Hope, Change, Reality
- Politics in the Unrest in the Arab World by Kenneth Jost
- Tom Bissell’s Video Games: The Addiction
- Use of rhetorical devices by Zach Zorich in Should We Clone Neanderthals?
- Connecting with the audience as depicted in William Deresiewicz’s Solitude and Leadership
- Motherhood presentation in Inside India’s Rent-A-Womb Business by Scott Carney
- The prejudice theme is He Who Casts the First Stone by Forrest Wilder
- Credibility in James Medd’s The Little Pill That Could Cure Alcoholism
- Acceptance in Karen Zucker and John Donvan’s Autism’s First Child
- Home Theme in Nadya Labi’s Are You Sure You Want to Quit the World?
- How Howard Jacobson persuades the reader in On Taking Comic Novels Seriously
- Social media use by Jonah Weiner in Kanye West Has a Goblet
- Humor in The Guiltless Pleasure by Rick Bragg
- Success theme in Richard Morgan’s Seven Years as a Freelance Writer
- Prominent Rhetorical devices in Beth Kowitt’s Inside the Secret World of Trader Joe
Pick any of these essay rhetorical analysis topics if you want to write about something current. But again, take your time to research the topic before writing about it.
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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
What Is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Definition
If you're tasked with defining -'what is a rhetorical analysis essay?', our dissertation service provides a thorough explanation of the topic.
A rhetorical analysis essay requires you to analyze a piece of writing, speech, or another form of communication to determine how effectively the author or speaker has used rhetorical strategies to convey their message. A rhetorical analysis aims to identify the techniques used by the author or speaker to persuade their audience and evaluate the effectiveness of those techniques in achieving the intended goal.
One rhetorical essay example might be an analysis of a political speech. In this case, you would examine how the speaker uses language, tone, and other rhetorical strategies to appeal to their audience. You would also evaluate how successfully those strategies convey the speaker's message. Another example of rhetorical analysis essay might be analyzing a piece of advertising. Here, you would examine how the advertiser uses visual and verbal cues to persuade their audience to buy a particular product or service, and you would evaluate the effectiveness of those cues in achieving that goal.
In short, a rhetorical analysis essay analyzes how language and other persuasive strategies are used to achieve a particular goal. By carefully examining the techniques used by an author or speaker, you can gain a deeper understanding of how language and persuasion work and develop your skills as a communicator.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Prompt
When given a rhetorical analysis essay prompt, it is important to carefully analyze the prompt to understand the assignment's expectations. The prompt will typically provide you with a text to analyze and a set of specific questions or tasks to guide your analysis.
Here are two different prompts for rhetorical analysis examples:
- Analyze the use of rhetorical strategies in Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech. Identify at least three specific rhetorical strategies used by King, and evaluate their effectiveness in achieving his goal of promoting civil rights for African Americans.
- Analyze the use of visual rhetoric in a recent political advertisement. Identify the specific visual and verbal cues used by the ad's creator, and evaluate how those cues are used to persuade the viewer. Consider the ad's intended audience and the creator's goal in shaping the viewer's perception.
In both of these prompts, the key to a successful rhetorical analysis essay is to carefully analyze the text or visual rhetoric to identify the specific strategies used to persuade the audience and to evaluate the effectiveness of those strategies in achieving the intended goal.
Rhetorical Analysis Strategies
There are three universal methods of persuasion—also called rhetorical strategies. To handle the task, you need to have a good understanding of these strategies and their use.
So, what are the 3 rhetorical strategies? Let’s define each and look closer at their key attributes with our dissertation service :
The ethos rhetorical device is what establishes the author’s credibility in a literary piece. Simply put, the skillful use of this strategy is what helps readers determine whether or not a particular author can be trusted on a specific matter. Credibility is defined by the author’s expertise, knowledge, and moral competence for any particular subject. According to Aristotle, there are three categories of ethos: arete (virtue, goodwill), phronesis (useful skills & wisdom), and eunoia (goodwill towards the audience).
For example, when the author of a book is a well-known expert in a specific subject, or when a product is advertised by a famous person – these are uses of ethos for persuasion.
According to the pathos literary definition, this Greek word translates to “experience,” “suffering,” or “emotion” and is one of the three methods of persuasion authors are able to use to appeal to their readers’ emotions. In a nutshell, the key goal of this strategy is to elicit certain feelings (e.g. happiness, sympathy, pity, anger, compassion, etc.) in their audience with the sole goal of persuading them of something. The main goal is to help readers relate to the author’s identity and ideas.
Some of the common ways to use pathos in rhetoric are through:
- Personal anecdotes, etc.
Just to give you an example, when you see an advertisement that shows sad, loveless animals and it asks you to donate money to an animal shelter or adopt an animal – that’s clear use of emotional appeal in persuasion.
According to the logos literary definition, this word translates from Greek as “ground,” “plea,” “reason,” “opinion,” etc. This rhetorical strategy is solely logical; so, unlike ethos or pathos that rely on credibility or emotions, the logos rhetorical device is used to persuade readers through the use of critical thinking, facts, numbers and statistics, and other undeniable data.
For example, when the author of a literary piece makes a statement and supports it with valid facts – that’s logos.
These three strategies: logos, ethos, and pathos play an essential role in writing a rhetorical analysis essay. The better you understand them, the easier you will be able to determine how successful the author of the assigned text was in using them. Now, let’s take a look at how to start.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example
For a better understanding, take a careful look at our analysis sample essay. This will serve as an inspiration for your assignment.
Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example:
Get a better idea of what’s needed to master this type of writing. Take a look at our rhetorical analysis essay example, which was written by one of our professional writers.
Choosing Rhetorical Analysis Topics
Choosing a rhetorical analysis topic can be a challenging task, but there are several strategies you can use to identify a suitable topic.
- Consider your interests and passion. Think about the texts that have had the most significant impact on you and that you feel passionate about analyzing. This can include speeches, essays, advertisements, or even social media posts.
- Explore current events or issues that are relevant to your life or the lives of those around you . Analyzing a timely and relevant text can add depth and meaning to your analysis and may also make it more engaging to your audience.
- Look for texts that have had a significant impact on society or culture. This could include classic speeches, historical documents, or even popular cultural texts such as music videos or movies.
- Reflect on the scope of your analysis once you have identified a few potential topics. Make sure the text is complex enough to analyze in detail but not so dense or lengthy that it becomes overwhelming. Additionally, ensure enough information is available to support your analysis and provide context for your arguments.
Unique Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
Now if you're wondering - 'what is a rhetorical analysis essay example that stands out?', consider the following rhetorical analysis essay topics from our ' write my paper for me ' expert writers:
- The rhetorical strategies used in a political speech
- The effectiveness of an advertisement in persuading its target audience
- The use of figurative language in a poem or song
- The rhetorical techniques used in a famous historical document, such as the Declaration of Independence or the Gettysburg Address
- The use of social media to convey a message or persuade an audience
- The use of humor in a comedic TV show or movie
- The rhetorical devices used in a TED talk or other popular talk
- The use of imagery in a work of literature, such as a novel or short story
- The persuasive techniques used in a persuasive essay or editorial
- The use of language in a product review or critique of a work of art or literature.
High School Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
With these high school rhetorical analysis essay topics, you can start your analysis and produce a strong and effective essay.
- The use of persuasive techniques in a political campaign ad
- The rhetorical strategies used in a famous speech, such as Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech
- The use of imagery and symbolism in a work of literature, such as William Golding's 'Lord of the Flies.'
- The persuasive techniques used in a college application essay
- The rhetorical devices used in a poem, such as Robert Frost's 'The Road Not Taken.'
- The use of humor in a satirical TV show or movie
- The rhetorical strategies used in a popular YouTube video or podcast
- The use of emotional appeals in a charity or non-profit advertisement
- The rhetorical devices used in a historical document, such as the Constitution or the Bill of Rights
- The persuasive techniques used in a personal essay or memoir.
College Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
Here are ten college-level topics you can use for your ap rhetorical analysis essay:
- The use of persuasive techniques in a political speech delivered by a contemporary leader
- The rhetorical strategies used in a famous literary work, such as Toni Morrison's 'Beloved.'
- The use of figurative language and literary devices in a contemporary poem or song
- The persuasive techniques used in a corporate advertising campaign or public relations effort
- The rhetorical devices used in a contemporary work of art, such as a painting or sculpture
- The use of emotional appeals in a documentary or film exploring a social issue
- The rhetorical strategies used in a scientific research paper or article
- The use of humor and satire in a contemporary TV show or movie
- The persuasive techniques used in a political opinion editorial published in a major newspaper or online media outlet
- The rhetorical devices used in a speech delivered at a significant historical event, such as the Stonewall Riots or the March on Washington.
2023 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics
Here are some unique rhetorical analysis essay topics for 2023 from our essay writing service :
- The use of rhetorical strategies in a popular TikTok video or trend
- The persuasive techniques used in a social media influencer's sponsored post
- The rhetorical devices used in a podcast episode exploring a current social issue
- The use of visual rhetoric in a contemporary art exhibit or installation
- The rhetorical strategies used in a political satire TV show, such as 'The Daily Show with Trevor Noah.'
- The persuasive techniques used in a climate change awareness campaign
- The use of rhetorical devices in a contemporary speech given by a notable public figure, such as Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez or Greta Thunberg
- The rhetorical strategies used in popular video games, such as 'Fortnite.'
- The use of emotional appeals in a recent documentary film, such as 'The Social Dilemma.'
- The persuasive techniques used in a contemporary marketing campaign for a popular fashion brand.
How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis: Step-by-Step
Writing a rhetorical analysis essay can be a valuable skill for students of all disciplines, as it requires various forms of critical thinking, analysis, and evaluation of communication. Whether you are analyzing a political speech, a work in academic writing, or a visual advertisement, following these steps can help you write a compelling and insightful rhetorical analysis essay.
- Analyze the Text : The first step in writing a rhetorical analysis is carefully reading and analyzing the text. Look for the author's purpose, the target audience, and the text's context. Take note of any rhetorical devices, such as metaphors, repetition, or appeals to ethos, pathos, or logos, that the author uses to convey their message.
- Organize Your Analysis: After the actual analysis, organize your thoughts into an outline or structure for your analysis. Begin with an introduction that provides some background information on the text and the author's purpose. Then, break down the text into smaller sections and analyze each in detail. Use specific examples from the text to support your analysis.
- Write Your Analysis : With your outline or structure in place, you can begin writing your analysis. Start with an attention-grabbing introduction that sets the tone for your analysis. Then, work through your analysis, using specific examples from the text to support your arguments. Provide the summary in your rhetorical analysis conclusion and a final statement about the author's effectiveness using key rhetorical concepts.
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You'll need to employ some rhetorical techniques to write good rhetorical analysis essays. These are persuasive strategies used to appeal to an audience and effectively communicate a message. Three of the most commonly used techniques, otherwise known as the rhetorical triangle, are ethos, pathos, and logos.
Ethos refers to the credibility and authority of the speaker or writer. It involves establishing oneself as a trustworthy and knowledgeable source to persuade the audience through ethical appeal. Ethos can be established through professional credentials, moral argument, personal experience, or other forms of expertise.
Pathos refers to the use of emotional appeals to persuade an audience. This can be accomplished through vivid imagery, powerful language, and relatable stories or experiences. The goal of pathos is to evoke strong emotional reactions in the audience, such as empathy, compassion, or outrage.
Logos refers to the use of logic and reason to persuade an audience. It involves providing factual information, statistics, and other evidence to support the arguments presented. Logos uses logical appeal and effectively convinces them to adopt a particular viewpoint.
Rhetorical Essay Outline
Here is a detailed outline for writing a rhetorical essay, along with examples:
A. Background information on the topic
B. Rhetorical analysis essay thesis statement
C. Brief overview of the rhetorical analysis
Rhetorical analysis introduction example: The concept of freedom has been a fundamental aspect of American society since its inception. In the speech 'I Have a Dream' delivered by Martin Luther King Jr. in 1963, the issue of freedom and equality for African Americans is passionately addressed through the use of rhetorical devices. This essay will analyze King's use of ethos, pathos, and logos to persuade his audience and convey his message of equality and freedom.
A. Explanation of ethos and its importance
B. Examples of ethos in the text
C. Analysis of the effectiveness of ethos in the speech
Example: King establishes his credibility as a speaker through ethos by referencing his role as a Baptist minister and a leader in the civil rights movement. He also appeals to the authority of the founding fathers and the Constitution to support his argument for equality. By using these sources of authority, King gains the trust and respect of his audience, making them more likely to accept his message.
A. Explanation of pathos and its importance
B. Examples of pathos in the text
C. Analysis of the effectiveness of pathos in the speech
Example: King uses pathos by employing emotional language and vivid imagery to elicit strong emotions from his audience. For example, he uses phrases like 'sweltering heat of injustice' and 'the quicksands of racial injustice' to create a sense of urgency and desperation in his listeners. By tapping into their emotions, King is able to create a powerful connection with his audience and inspire them to take action.
A. Explanation of logos and its importance
B. Examples of logos in the text
C. Analysis of the effectiveness of logos in the speech
Example: King also uses logos by presenting logical arguments and evidence to support his message. For instance, he references the Emancipation Proclamation and the Declaration of Independence to argue that the American promise of freedom and equality should apply to all citizens. He also uses statistics to highlight the economic and social disparities faced by African Americans. King reinforces his message and persuades his audience to take action by presenting a logical and well-supported argument.
A. Restate thesis statement
B. Summarize the main points
C. Concluding thoughts
Example: In conclusion, Martin Luther King Jr.'s 'I Have a Dream' speech is a powerful example of effective rhetoric. By using ethos, pathos, and logos, King is able to persuade his audience and convey his message of freedom and equality for all. His speech continues to inspire people today and serves as a reminder of the power of rhetoric to effect change.
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Steps to Polish Your Rhetorical Analysis
Here are some steps you can take to polish your rhetorical analysis. By following these steps, you can improve the quality and effectiveness of your rhetorical analysis.
- Re-read the text: To ensure that you have a comprehensive understanding of the text, read it several times. Pay attention to the language, structure, and overall tone of the text.
- Identify the author's purpose : Determine the author's main goal in writing the text. Are they trying to inform, persuade, or entertain? Understanding the author's purpose will help you analyze the text more effectively.
- Analyze the rhetorical situation: Consider the context in which the text was written. Who is the intended audience? What is the author's background, and how might that influence their writing? Understanding the rhetorical situation will help you understand the purpose and effectiveness of the rhetorical techniques used in the text.
- Identify the rhetorical techniques used: Look for specific techniques used by the author to persuade or convey their message. These might include appeals to ethos, pathos, or logos, as well as the use of figurative language, repetition, or rhetorical questions.
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the techniques: Once you have identified the rhetorical techniques used, evaluate their effectiveness in achieving the author's purpose. Consider how the techniques affect the audience's perception of the message and whether they are persuasive.
- Revise and edit : Once you have completed your analysis, revise and edit your essay to ensure your argument is clear and well-supported. Pay attention to the organization of your essay, the clarity of your language, and the coherence of your analysis.
- Get feedback : Ask a peer, instructor, or tutor to read your essay and provide feedback. Consider their suggestions for improvement and revise accordingly.
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Queer Cultures 101
Rhetorical Analysis is an analytical approach that commonly used in the study of literature, speeches, political documents and other forms of communication. It aims to establish strong argument through the usage of passive language, persuasion techniques, and rhetorical devices.
Rhetorical Analysis is a effective method for author to convey their message and influence their audience. It helps individuals to understand persuasion and how it works in various forms of communication. By evaluating rhetorical techniques, people can be more aware of the main theme the author intended to deliver. Rhetorical analysis also requires individuals to think critically about the content, context, and intent of a literary piece, and can help to improve one’s communication skills as well. Rhetorical analysis enables individuals to identify bias, manipulation, and false arguments in all forms of communication. This skill is especially important in today’s information-rich environment where misinformation and propaganda are prevalent.
Political Communication. Rhetorical analysis is essential for analyzing political speeches, debates, and campaign materials since it provide individuals a better insight of the strategies and persuasive technique the politicians are using.
Academic Writing. As a common component of literature and communication studies, rhetorical analysis helps students improve their writing skills and communication abilities.
Advertising. Rhetorical analysis is a common method marketers will use to craft ads and message with their target group effectively.