How To Write a rhetorical analysis essay

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical analysis essays are common pieces of academic writing in English classes. They equip students with critical thinking, analytical and reading skills. In a bid to come up with a flawless rhetorical analytical essay, learners must combine those three skills. They must tear apart a piece of writing, movie, television shows, and the likes, and then closely look at them. The reader convinces the reader why and how the author uses certain styles or techniques to achieve a certain purpose. The student may analyze a piece whose aim was to entertain, educate, warn or instill some values. Other than providing a summary, the writer will establish whether the author met the desired objective or not.

Essential aspects in a rhetorical analysis essay

It is not easy to look at another person’s work in your perspective without having hands-on experience. However, by understanding some concepts and their use in written work, you can produce a masterpiece. Your essay must persuade the audience to look at things from your point of view. How can a student achieve this?

Use SOAPS tone when writing a rhetorical analysis paper

In rhetorical analysis paper writing, SOAPS form a critical point of analysis. SOAPS is an abbreviation of:

  • Speaker,
  • Occasion,
  • Audience,
  • Purpose,
  • Subject

Identify the speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, and subject of your text or piece to be analyzed. Give the first and last name of the piece you are analyzing, together with any authoritative credentials. This is the speaker, who could also be the narrator of the specific text. The occasion tells the context under which the piece being analyzed was written. The audience refers to the people to whom the piece was written. You will also require to establish the purpose for which the writer wrote the piece. The subject refers to the topic being discussed by the author. You do not have to follow any order while analyzing a piece; the flow of the essay determines the order.

Involve rhetorical stages in writing your essay

The appeals and writing style comprise the rhetorical stages that will lead to a flawless essay.

  • Appeals

The appeals involve the ethos, logos, and pathos, which are effective in persuading your reader.

Ethos: These ethical appeals rely on the writer’s credibility and character for approval.

Pathos: The pathetic appeals invoke readers’ emotions to gain approval. These emotions may include anger, passion, sadness, and disappointment among others. An effective rhetoric will create these emotions in the audience even if they were non-existent before.

Logos: The writer uses logical appeals such as data, verifiable facts, and evidence to make an argument.

  • Writing styles

The writer uses voice, tone, language, imagery, dialect, imagery, and more to persuade the reader. One can use figures of speech, repetition or a certain word choice to drive a point home. You can also create images in the readers’ mind to evoke certain emotions. Different texts attract distinct moods or attitudes, all relevant depending on the piece.

Build an analysis

The appeals, styles, and SOAPS provide you with information about the piece or text of analysis. Before you can dive into writing, identify what you have gathered from the strategies above. Do they work or not in achieving the writer’s objective? Why did the writer choose those strategies and not any other? Write the answers to these questions; they do not necessarily have to agree with the writer’s arguments. Use examples to unveil the various techniques or styles used by the writer to deliver a message. Having cited an example and the objective, evaluate whether the style has effectively achieved the purpose.

Write your rhetorical analysis essay

You have identified the various techniques that you can use in coming up with a great analysis. You can now put them into use in the introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion of your essay. These 3 sections below will help you learn the rhetorical analysis essay format and structure.

Rhetorical analysis essay structure

  • Rhetorical Analysis Essay Introduction

The introduction is the face of your essay and, therefore, should be keenly crafted. It should give the reader your clear argument of the text while identifying the piece being analyzed using SOAPS. Background information regarding the writer’s stance can come in handy. You can start your introduction with a factual statement or statistical figure concerning the text. End your introduction with a brief and concise thesis statement. This statement can contain the techniques used by a writer, aspects, an original argument or the effectiveness of a style.

  • Body paragraphs

Different paragraphs should begin with a separate topic sentence while maintaining a logical flow. Discuss each technique or design its paragraph and highlight the different rhetorical stages. Use the same order to discuss all the concepts. For instance, you can deal with the appeals and then their effectiveness later. You can also discuss each technique followed by its effectiveness in reaching the writer’s objective. The point is to remain consistent throughout the essay. Use relevant examples or illustrations for each technique discussed.

Also, ensure that you maintain an objective third-person tone as opposed to first-person words. Form your arguments based or evidence rather than personal opinions or emotions. Mention the various tools used by the writer, followed by tangible evidence of the same. Ensure that all the ideas you present are directly linked to your thesis statement.

  • Conclusion - Write a conclusion for your rhetorical analysis essay paper.

As laughable as it might sound, very few students are know how to end a rhetorical analysis essay the way their instructure would like. This is the section where you will lose marks if you don't know how to do it right. Your conclusion should uniquely restate your thesis statement without following word for word. It should also highlight the main ideas uncovered and how they relate to bigger issues. Show the reader that you have adequately covered and supported your thesis statement. What is the significance of your argument on a broader perspective? You can cite the need for further research while pointing towards a certain direction, giving adequate significance. Your conclusion should transition smoothly from the previous body paragraphs, leaving no questions. Therefore, you must ensure that your essay flows smoothly from the introduction paragraph to the conclusion.

It is time to proofread and edit your rhetorical analysis paper

Students often forget to review their work, hence submitting essays that are full of mistakes. Your essay depends not only on your analytical skills but on writing ones too. Therefore, you should take some time to go through your essay before handing it in. Use any available tools to check for grammatical, punctuation or spelling errors. Having someone else look at your work helps you to establish any flows in the flow or analysis of the essay.

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