What is a rhetorical analysis?

A rhetorical analysis is a process of describing and evaluating the words of a text and how they influence an audience. A rhetoric analysis explains and analyses how the text, the author, and an audience interact. When rhetorically analyzing a text you should incorporate the use of rhetorical principles to explore the argument in the text. A text does not necessarily have to be written it could also be a speech, a picture or any other visual work. The purpose of the rhetorical analysis essay is not to support or critic an argument presented in a text, but it is meant to discuss how the argument is made and whether the approach used to make it is effective. The discussion is made by looking into the goals an author is trying to present in the text, the tools he or she uses to present the goals and the effectiveness of the tools used.

The author of a rhetorical analysis essay uses persuasive techniques to look at a text in great detail and present his point. As the writer goes through the text finding persuasive methods used they should ensure that the analysis they develop is informative to the reader. At the end of the paper, the writer should have been able to identify the situation being described in the text, the goal of the text and the target audience for the text. The writer should evaluate the overall content of the text and determine whether the text successfully met the original author’s goal. Rhetorical analysis revolves around three main concepts, the description, analysis and evaluation of content in the text.

As you write your rhetorical analysis essay ensure you first describe the piece of text to your audience. Give the audience details of the text like how it looks, the time it was written and the rhetorical appeals of the text. As you analyze the text, explain why the author of the text uses the rhetorical appeals he or she included in the text. Mention the purpose of the appeal and how the message of the text would be perceived in the real world. Point out what has not been mention in the text which should have been incorporated and give a reason for the omission. Evaluate the text by determining whether it is effective and Mention some of the things you would change to make the text persuasive.

Writing a rhetorical analysis

Like any other piece of writing, it takes adequate preparation to come up with effective rhetorical analysis essay. The goal of writing a rhetorical analysis essay is to analyze a complex text and come up with text that is comprehensive and easy to understand. When writing a rhetorical analysis, you will use critical thinking skills to examine the elements of the text you are analyzing. The focus of your writing will be based on how the writer wrote the text by exploring the content of their work. To be able to write a good rhetorical analysis essay you should know about the elements of a rhetorical situation and how these elements relate to one another. Once you learn about these three main elements, you will be able to understand how they integrate to formulate a strong and persuasive argument for your essay. Ethos, Pathos, and logos influence one another in the text, and it is important to understand how these elements work.

Ethos refers to the credibility of the author, and it is analyzed by looking at the moral character of the author and also the format used in writing the text. Give your judgment on the writer based on how the text looks. Pathos, on the other hand, is the emotional feeling the text evokes in the audience. Analyze the bond the author has and the feeling s the author intends the audience to experience. Logos look at how the author persuades the message of his text. Consider whether there is any logic based on the author’s argument and whether the persuasion of the writer is based on facts and real information.


You could start writing by preparing a draft of the paper. Note down the highlights of your paper to use as a guide for your writing.  Develop a structure you will use to analyze the content of the text.

You can start by identifying the goal of the rhetorician in your analysis. The author’s goal is what forms a basis for your analysis. It shows the intent of your paper. Select the rhetorical techniques that have been used to present the text. Once you have selected these techniques, go ahead to explain why those particular techniques were used.

Create an outline

For someone to write an essay with a consistent and smooth flow, it is necessary to have an outline. An outline will keep your ideas organized, and this will ensure you do not drift away from the main ideas of the essay. An outline will help you define the steps you will take to come up with a good rhetoric analysis essay. It will provide a step by step guideline that you can follow as you write your essay.

Gather information

A good essay is based on good research and writing skills. Before you begin writing you should identify the suitable writing style you will use when writing and maintain it throughout the entire essay. You should also identify your audience and examine the rhetorical appeals that have been used in the piece of text you want to analyze.

Develop a thesis.

A thesis is the backbone of your analysis; it is what makes your analysis.   It provides information o the readers of what to expect in your essay. You can also outline the techniques you will use to analyze the text in your essay. Choose one idea that you would like to base the entire essay on and draw your thesis statement from there. The idea you choose should be one that you are interested in and also well informed on the topic. The readers should be able to retrace the arguments you present in the body back to your thesis statement.

Write your introduction

Begin your introduction by diving into the case of your analysis. Stat the text you are analyzing and provide the audience with background information about the text. Keep this information brief and direct to the point. Briefly point out the intended purpose of the text and determine if the original writer accomplished the purpose of the text.  Give your reader an overview of the points you will discuss in your essay. This is the part where you should set a tone for your essay.

Develop your body paragraphs

You can choose at least three techniques used I the text to build a strong argument for your analysis. Analyze each technique in its paragraph; you can use chronological order while discussing each technique. Begin your paragraph with a topic sentence that acts as an open sentence for discussion of the technique to be mentioned. Provide compelling evidence to back up the arguments you present. Ensure the evidence used is credible and effectively supports the argument. The evidence used to support your claims should be based on facts. Another way to strengthen your argument is by introducing an opposing view and rejecting it with credible evidence. As you introduce the techniques used in the text, identify the epos, pathos, and logos. Try to make your paragraph brief but also informative.

Write the conclusion

Conclude your rhetoric analysis by tying loose ends on your argument by summarizing all the ideas presented in your analysis essay. You could write your conclusion in several different ways. You could finish up the analysis on a high note by restating the main argument in the text. You can also restate the thesis statement of your essay. You can point out the relevance of your argument and the underlying message and how it is relatable to the real world. Your conclusion should revolve around the ideas mentioned in the essay without introducing any new information. Keep your conclusion brief and end the conclusion by leaving the reader with a positive impression.

Revise your work

Going through your work is an essential part of writing. Once you have completed writing your essay, you can set it aside for a few moments and come back to it and check for any mistakes you might have made. As you write the final draft of the rhetorical essay ensure it is free from any technical errors. You can use various software systems to help identify any spelling mistakes and grammatical errors. However, it is also important to go through your paper word by word editing out any errors which cannot be traced by a software system. You can also ask someone else like your peers and teacher to look at the paper and give you their feedback in case there is information you missed out.


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