Commentaries, documentaries, T.V. shows, famous art collections, even historical books. A rhetorical analysis can be written about many different mediums. The aim of a rhetorical analysis is to determine how a creator of the work analyzed came up with their argument. When you write a critical analysis essay, you may even wish to determine whether or not the original argument was successful or failed.
The particular writing style used when authoring a rhetorical analysis varies slightly from that of a conventional essay, slightly more insight is required. Continue reading for more information on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay.
Understanding what is a rhetorical analysis essay
Often times, writers and public speakers tend to use linguistics to influence or engage with their audience. The field of studies which concerns this practice is referred to as ‘rhetoric’.
Occasionally, a writer will dissect works of non-fiction in order to determine how each piece of the original work fits together in order to convey a specific message or effect, this is called a rhetorical analysis or rhetorical analysis essay. The writer might find that the original creator used certain verbiage or created specific imagery in order to entertain the audience, or to inform them, or perhaps to create a call-to-action. Nearly every medium can be the subject of a rhetorical analysis, including cartoons and political speeches. The person whose work is being analyzed is often labeled the ‘rhetorician.’
The objective of the analysis is to get insight into the specific aims of the rhetorician, as well as the particular techniques and tools they have employed, and to provide examples of those tools and techniques in action and to discuss the actual efficiency of the tools they’ve used. The purpose of authoring a rhetorical paper is not to oppose or agree with a particular side of the argument, but rather to discuss how the rhetorician delivers their argument and if their approach is successful or not.
What is an analysis
Used frequently in education, research, and even everyday life, an analysis is the act of segregating various elements of complex text with the intent of developing a stronger comprehension of the work as a whole. The process of analyzing something means considering its real meaning, asking how it works or determining why it does what it does.
What is a rhetorical analysis
Prior to delving into what a rhetorical analysis, it is essential to discuss and know what it is not. A rhetorical analysis, while exploratory in nature, should not be confused with a research paper or article, and despite being consider a vehicle to explore literary works, it is not an example of a literary work itself. The purpose of a rhetorical paper is not to try to know the underlying meaning of the work being analyzed.
Understanding rhetorical analysis definition
The very definition of a rhetorical analysis implies that the person conducting the analysis call upon their critical thinking skills in order to dissect various elements of the work being analyzed. Essentially, this involves breaking the entire written work into sections and viewing each section objectively.
The primary objective of this type of analytical paper is to convey HOW the original author writes, rather than merely reflecting upon WHAT they wrote. To do this effectively, the very important thing you should do is to analyze different strategies used by the writer in question in order to achieve their overall goal or determine the purpose of their writing. Remember that writers from different backgrounds will often call upon different strategies in an attempt to meet their objective. Based on this understanding, it is acceptable to use different existing techniques of writing analysis to explore various works. For example, you wouldn’t use the same technique to explore a scientific report as you would to explore a historical paper. Given that each of the original authors had very unique goals in mind, it is only logical that they would utilize different writing style.
The first step to learning how to learning how to start a rhetorical analysis paper is finding a good article or literary work that you would like to base your analysis on.
From there, you will read (and possibly even re-read) the work you’ve selected. As you read the text, attempt to identify the thesis or the main ideas and principal arguments that the author is endeavoring to convey.
Once you’ve identified the thesis and have begun to develop a stronger understanding for the author’s argument, you will need to start analyzing the rhetorical features of the text. This involves re-reading the text, with the following questions in mind:
- Clearly define the thesis statement, explaining what exactly is the argument that the writer endeavours to make?
- What topic has the author elected to study? Why have they chosen this?
- What is the author’s intent? Do they want to persuade, or inform, or educate or criticize?
- Who is the audience that the author is trying to speak to?
- Does the author arrange his or her ideas in chronological order? If not, how are they arranged?
- How does the author use literary devices like diction?
- Does the author use quotes? Why?
- Are key points or terms repeated?
- How is the article structured? Is it exclamatory, imperative or declarative?
- Does the author utilize punctuation in order to create a specific effect?
The primary objective is to not only source for the answers to the questions presented above, but also to determine why exactly it is that the author has chosen to write in the style that they have written in. Remember, WHY not HOW. For example, when determining how the target audience is, consider why exactly the author would want to write for those specific individuals.
You can find out more on Chicago Annotated Bibliography.
Rhetorical analysis strategies
While there are many schools of thought on the best method to utilize while conducting a rhetorical analysis, at the top of the rhetorical strategy list is what is commonly referred to as the SOAPSTone method.
Created as a method for breaking down the work of professional writers, the SOAPSTone method presents those writing an analysis with the information they need in order to develop rhetorical criticism. An acronym, SOAPSTone stands for Speaking, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, and Tone. By using this strategy, it is possible to refer to any text and construct a strong sense for what the original author intended and how their target audience may have reacted to it.
The six parts of the SOAPSTone strategy are:
- SPEAKER: Figure out who the speaker is. Determine who is telling the story or relaying the information. Are they a narrator? Or perhaps a character, or is it the author themselves? What other important details or information should be known?
- OCCASION: Determine what the specific occasion is. The occasion (also known as the setting) refers to the place and time that the story takes place in. Consider the geography or era. What other relevant details are offered in the text?
- AUDIENCE: Who is the author speaking to? Could there be more than once audience? Why was this specific text written to this particular audience?
- PURPOSE: Why has the author chosen to write this message? What do they want to get across? Is the author’s thesis or goal clear?
- SUBJECT: After uncovering who the target audience may be, it is necessary to investigate the subject. What is the underlying meaning? What other information is revealed?
- TONE: Investigate the tone, evaluate each literary device and how the text is organized. What emotions does the audience have?
What are rhetorical strategies
Also referred to as rhetorical modes, rhetorical strategies are used by writers in order to allow them to better structure or analyze paragraphs or entire essays. Essentially, these types of strategies, or devices, enable writers to utilize patterns to effectively express their thoughts and ideas. The most commonly taught rhetorical strategies are:
- Cause and Effect
- Comparison and Contrast
- Process Analysis
The above-mentioned writing analyzers will be explained in further detail below.
Types of rhetorical strategies
Description: As most would agree, a great description has the potential to create strong images in the minds of the audience. An author might utilize an objective description, where they will describe the physical appearance of a character or location without any sort of emotion, or they may utilize a subjective description, where the feelings of the writer are clearly evident based on the description.
Narration: The terms ‘narrative’ refers to the scope of the storyline, where it takes place, who is in it, and what the most important elements are. A narrative will focus on the action of the plot, but will also include descriptions, themes, and ideas.
Exemplification: Mankind learns by example, and when presented with written text, it is the use of examples that allows us to learn at a much more rapid pace. Typically, and example is used to relate to a real world scenario regarding the argument or idea that the author is attempting to deliver.
Cause and Effect: The term Cause and Effect is just as it sounds, exploring the cause of a particular element or event and exploring the effect of that same element or event.
Comparison and Contract: When comparing one or more things, you determine how they are similar. When contrasting one or more things, you determine how they are different. Typically, you would compare things that are different from each other to determine how they are related. Moreover, you would contract things that are similar to each other to determine how they differ.
Process Analysis: Process analysis challenges the writer to answer the question “HOW”. More specially, the analysis thesis would answer the question “How does this happen or occur?”
Rhetorical analysis thesis
There are a few things that should be kept in mind when writing a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis essay.
- Never speak in first person or use words like “I think that” or “I believe that”
- Your thesis statement will serve as a roadmap to your essay and guide your reader
- Your thesis statement should assert the conclusion and also highlight the rhetorical strategies deployed by the author
- Your thesis statement should clearly illustrate which techniques you intend to analyze and discuss the impact that each technique has on the text and its overall effectiveness.
Remember, a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis paper is NOT:
- A vague statement of the topic
- A declaration of facts or statistics
- A summary of the original author’s works
- A declaration of what will be explored in the essay
Rhetorical analysis outline
Detailed below is an easy to follow outline for an analytical paper. Remember that this is only a guide and can be customized as needed.
- Clearly state your subject or topic
- Declare you purpose
- Spark interest in your audience
SUMMARIZE THE RHETORICAL ANALYSIS
- Explore the issue – it may be helpful to phrase this as a YES or NO question
- Determine the context
- Figure out who is making the argument
- Determine who the intended audience is
- Uncover the main argument or thesis
- Decide what sort of argument is being presented
- How is the argument presented
- What are the assumptions of the argument
SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT and APPEALS
- Describe the character of the writer, what type of person are they
- What credential or qualifications do they have
- Do they act on good faith, are they respectable, are they likeable
- What tone does the author use, how do they think
- What claims are made in the thesis statement
- How are they supported? What evidence is made available?
- Provide as much detail as possible
- What kind of emotion is presented in the argument
- How does the writer want the audience to feel
- What tools does the author use to call upon these feelings
SUMMARY OF HOW THE ARGUMENT IS VIEWED
- Does the text recognise opposing views or other evidence? If so, does it accept other views or negate them?
- Does the text combat opposing views? If so, how?
SUMMARY OF THE STREGNTHS AND WEAKNESSES
- Are you able to clearly identify errors or other problems?
- What are the strengths of the argument?
Rhetorical analysis essay example
The examples of rhetorical analysis essays can be found on the Internet. It is best to go through them to know the common writing patterns as well as the mistakes students often do, before you start preparing your own paper.
A rhetorical analysis essay is a form of writing where the author looks at the topic in greater detail and prove his standpoint, using effective and persuasive methods. In a broader sense, a rhetorical paper means 'writing about writing,' 'dreaming about a dream,' 'teaching a teacher,' and so on. It is one of the writing assignments which appears on the AP English exam.
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The main point is to create the informative text by dividing apart the words/phrases that the writer comes up with to reveal the persuasive techniques used to get feedback from the audience. Good examples involve public speeches by various authorities. An effective evaluation requires selecting a certain article to analyze and interpret how all written sections relate to each other, forming one whole.
Student's goal is to create the top-notch paper. Following the basic questions is the key to success in rhetorical writing:
- What is the situation described by the author of original piece?
- Who is the writer/author/speaker?
- What is the primary goal of the analyzed piece of text, article, or public speech based on the author's intentions?
- Who is the author's target audience (age, nationality, gender, preferences, location, interests, and other factors)?
- How does the content of the main message sound?
- Do the overall form and content correspond?
- Does the main article's or speech idea successfully complete the author's intentions and primary objectives?
- What does the nature of communication tell about the culture that developed it?
In short, a rhetorical analysis essay has to be
- grammatically correct
- written in present tense
- and respond to the analyzed article/speech/text.
Now, it is time to proceed to the detailed instruction of creating such paper.
Things to Memorize about Great Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Preparation
Following pre-writing stages is what every writer must keep in mind in order to create an effective introduction. One of the ways to get ready is to view several examples. Learn how to structure AP paper paragraphs to analyze the chosen article or piece of text effectively. The writer should:
- Involve rhetorical stages.
- Appeals (ethos, logos, & pathos) - read more information on these three important elements further in the article.
- Writing style (voice, tone, language, imagery, dialect, imagery, and more)
- Understand why the speaker picked these ways to communicate with the target reading/listening audience, occasion, and goal.
- Here is where the analysis part of the article steps in! A summary of the text is never an analysis paper, so focus more on evaluation strategies in your text.
- Following a couple of primary questions helps; do not ignore them!
- How do the rhetorical strategies/ways to interact with the readers help to achieve the main purpose of the writing?
- Why did the author choose these ways to communicate with the target reading audience and for that certain occasion?
How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?
Another thing to keep in mind is the organization is essential for any types of academic writing, and a rhetorical paper is not an exception. Make sure to have excellent rhetorical analysis essay example on hand. Don't worry - this essay's structure looks pretty much the same as other types of school/college academic papers on any topic.
There are many different ways to grab the attention of your reader from the initial line of your essay. The best trick is to choose effective hook to reflect your topic. Keep in mind that a hook sentence should correspond to the tone and audience of your paper too. A joke won't be OK if you write a paper summarizing and analyzing the article on serious health issue like full disability. This type of hook is a perfect start for the paper which covers funny moments from the life of wild animals or popular books.
It's up to the writer to decide on the powerful hook!
- A good story
- Interesting fact or statistics
- Literary quote
- Poetry line
CHOOSE YOUR POSITION!
This part of work is essential because the way of writing is entirely contingent on it. Here, you need to define your position on the theme you should analyze; you should define a thesis statement. It is a short argument or your standpoint which you should prove in your text. For instance, if your target aim is to analyze a novel, your thesis is your personal interpretation of it. Thus, you should find and use different techniques or strategies to prove the audience that you are right. When you work on your statement, always avoid personal pronouns and try to present it objectively. Your reader should believe you.
THINK ABOUT THE ANALYSIS
You need to involve the educational research on your topic to find several solutions to the existing problem. It shouldn't be too wordy or complicated. Proceed to this part after the moment you stated your thesis; having done it, you may move to the analysis of the topic. Use all possible strategies to support your idea in the best way possible.
CHOOSE THE STRATEGY
It is an important part of critical academic work where you should support your thesis statement. Your task is to grab the attention of the audience: the strategy will be your helping hand, allowing you to do that. If you work on a rhetorical content, you should choose a winning strategy. You know who your reader is - now, it is high time to determine the target reading audience.
ETHOS, PATHOS, LOGOS: WHAT IS THAT AND WHY SHOULD YOU USE THEM?
At first gaze, these terms sound like a conjuration in a magic story. Nevertheless, they are the major ingredients of persuasion created by Aristotle and know for centuries of the mankind history! Many years ago, Aristotle discussed these three terms in his well-known book Rhetoric. He considered them to be the primary persuasive strategies that authors should use in their papers.
- The ethos appeals to ethics. The term refers to the author's credibility on the theme he wants to analyze; the writer must prove the audience why they should believe him.
- The pathos appeals to emotions. In a similar vein, it is the emotional reaction of the target audience to the arguments provided by the author. You should create an emotional response to your essay.
- The logos mean the using of the rational thinking. You provide different truthful facts and other logical arguments to influence your audience's ways of thinking.
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After considering all major aspects of the task, it is time to proceed to the outline.
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DETAILED OUTLINE OF A RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY
Browsing the web and learning the information presented on different portals, you will find out the outline is essential. There are many examples, proving such fact. Keep in mind that it is not a chaotic writing where you start working when the muse comes; when you create the outline, we guarantee, the inspiration will come faster!
The point comprises the identification of the writing style, choosing the core audience and examination of appeals. Having coped with such issue, you may proceed to work on the main paragraphs.
- Write the Introduction Paragraph
Introductory paragraph always sets the tone of the entire essay, so it has to include all the main ideas you're going to discuss. Here, you need to designate the goal of your work by notifying your reader in advance about what your essay is. You need to create your thesis statement. Choose a single idea you like better than others, narrow it down, and write a concise, clear sentence highlighting this idea to your readers. A thesis statement is an extremely important part which regulated the way the information is conveyed and delivered to the audience of readers. You should state the types of rhetorical techniques you use. Think about choosing the original argument and focus your writing on it; this argument must be traced throughout the body paragraphs.
- Write Three Body Paragraphs with Arguments
It is the leading part of any school or college academic writing assignment. Nevertheless, if you cope with the previous part, this one will not be difficult or time-consuming. During the writing process, you should pinpoint attention upon arrangements, but the process will speed up once you manage to provide effective evidence.
There are many arguments a writer can find online/in the library while trying to support thesis statement and each argument in particular. Include information which is credible, time-tested, fresh, and supports the argument in the best way. If you're running out of ideas, include an opposing view, but try to reject it with the help of strong evidence.
Working on body paragraphs, organize them by rhetorical appeals (divide them into sections and identify the epos, logos, and pathos). Your essay shouldn't be too wordy. Your primary aim is to give facts and fortify them with various ideas so that in the end, each body paragraph will have a single claim and supporting evidence.
- Work on the Rhetorical Analysis Essay Conclusion
The specific goal of the conclusion is to summarize all ideas mentioned in your essay, state the specific ideas/arguments, and rewrite the thesis. Still, you should rephrase the thesis statement and mention it once again. Information alluded in conclusion should be brief. If the theme of work is too broad and requires additional research, you should also mention it in conclusion.
It is better to end up your descriptive essay with a powerful call-to-action. Other ways include an expression, related question, or forecast to leave a positive impression on your reader.
RHETORICAL ANALYSIS ESSAY WRITING TIPS
Below, we want to publish six important tips that you may put into your essay.
- Never mention new information in conclusion - summarize and paraphrase the ideas discussed in the text before.
- Don't argue as the overriding priority of such paper is to analyze, but not to espouse your view.
- Never start conclusion with the word combination "in " If your writing piece belongs to a high academic level, this expression will only clutter your work.
- Once you're done with your draft, check it several times with the help of various free grammar-checking tools available online. Show the draft to your educator to point out your mistakes; fix them before the deadline arrives.
- Revise the final papers at least two times to see whether you fixed everything. The good idea is to give your finished essay to people around to share their ideas on what can be improved.
- We have asked academic writing experts how to write a rhetorical analysis essay. We will share one of the most interesting tips:
"I would recommend reviewing different rhetorical analysis examples to understand the main point. Sensory details, emotions, and examples altogether help to support thesis statement just like arguments help to support the main argument in the argumentative/persuasive paper. Thus, facts alone are not effective enough. I suggest that students utilize different literary and creative writing tools like similes, metaphors, personification, comparisons, and parallels to provide a complete description of the topic."
Daniel Rosenberg, Dean's Assistant at Clemson University.
Writing an example of rhetorical analysis is not your worst nightmare any longer!
FINAL THOUGHTS: Where to Get an Effective Rhetorical Analysis Example Essay?
We believe that our rhetorical essay example or custom article will help you create a superior academic paper. Nevertheless, if English is not your native language or you can't brag about ideal writing skills, you can always find the professional assistance at JustBuyEssay. This online service is aware of all peculiarities of working with this type of assignment. Its talented academic authors with more than 20 years of combined experience in educational services used to write such works on a timely basis. For that reason, their professionalism can comply with requirements of the most demanding people.
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