Nova A.
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Rhetorical Analysis Essay - Expert Guide With Examples

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Published on: Mar 27, 2018

Last updated on: Dec 30, 2022

Rhetorical Analysis Essay

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If you are an English language student, you will be writing several assignments for your academics. Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is one of those assignments.

A rhetorical analysis essay is a form of analytical essay assigned to high school and college students. It is the most challenging writing assignment for students as it involves a professional level of analyzing and writing skills.

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay is different from drafting ordinary research papers and essays. Learn how an effective rhetorical analysis essay is written by reading this simple guide.

What Is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

A rhetorical analysis essay is an essay in which a piece of writing is analyzed in detail. Also, in this essay, the writer studies a topic and forms a standpoint.

This essay is drafted to persuade the audience by providing strong reasoning for the writer’s claim or point of view. This essay’s main purpose is to use different methods and approaches to influence different characteristics of the audience.

Unlike other essay types, a rhetorical essay is based on the following information:

  • The situation is highlighted by the author in the original piece.
  • Who is the author?
  • The main goal of the analyzed text based on the original author’s intentions
  • Does the main idea complete the author’s objectives?

It is essential to know the steps involved in the planning and writing process to write a persuasive essay.

How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Before you move on to the writing section, it is vital to learn how to approach this essay. Six elements are required to start a rhetorical analysis essay.

  1. Speaker
  2. Occasion
  3. Audience
  4. Purpose
  5. Subject
  6. Tone

SOAPS Tone Worksheet

SOAPSTone Worksheet

Once you have analyzed the work’s essential elements, it is time to start drafting your rhetorical analysis essay.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

When the planning of your essay is strong, the writing process will become easier. Once you have taken all the required pre-writing steps, start writing your essay taking the steps provided below:

1. Determine the Rhetorical Strategy

The effectiveness of any communication, whether verbal or written, is based on persuading the audience. The strategies used to persuade the audience includes; ethos, pathos, and logos.

  • Ethos - Ethos appeals to ethics. This strategy convinces the readers that the writer is a credible source. He/she uses this approach to justify the stance and exhibits his/her morality.

For example, "As a doctor, I am qualified to tell you that this course of treatment will likely generate the best results."

  • Pathos - Pathos is a strategy that appeals to the reader’s emotions and aims to provoke their emotional response. It is due to this approach that the audience feels pity or angry about particular issues or situations.

For example, "If we don't move soon, we're all going to die! Can't you see how dangerous it would be to stay?"

  • Logos - This strategy is used to appeal to the audience by a logical representation of facts. According to this strategy, the audience is convinced through logical reasoning.

For example, "History has shown time and again that absolute power corrupts absolutely."

When writing a rhetorical analysis essay, identify which strategy the author used and whether he succeeded in persuading the audience.

2. Choose a Topic

Every writer aims to attract the audience towards his writing to communicate his ideas to them. To do this, a writer makes several efforts and uses different techniques. The first attempt to attract the audience towards the essay is by choosing an engaging topic.

Choose a topic that perfectly suits the source text and reflects your analysis. A topic for this essay type can be chosen, keeping in mind the targeted audience.

3. Develop a Thesis Statement

Brainstorm ideas about the work at hand and develop a strong thesis statement. The thesis statement is the writer’s main stance or interpretation that he/she forms on the original text. This main argument will be the basis of your rhetorical analysis essay.

The thesis statement should be well defined and arguable so that logical reasoning can be done in the essay.

4. Conduct Research

Once you form a thesis statement for your essay, start gathering supporting information from the original text. Re-read the work and take notes of all the supporting and opposing information to prove your claim right.

Every idea or point you form about the work should have a shred of evidence from the work to support it.

5. Draft a Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

All the gathered information needs to be organized to shape the content in a readable manner. For this purpose, an outline is drafted. A rhetorical analysis essay uses the basic essay outline of 5 paragraphs

The information is divided into the different sections of the rhetorical analysis essay outline, taking the following steps:

  1. Introduction
  2. Body Paragraph 1
  3. Body Paragraph 2
  4. Body Paragraph 3
  5. Conclusion

The information is divided into the different sections of the rhetorical analysis essay outline, taking the following steps:

5.1 Introduction

An introduction is the first section of a rhetorical analysis essay. In this part, the chosen work is introduced along with some necessary information about the author. A rhetorical essay introduction can include a summary of the work under analysis as well.

Also, in the introductory paragraphs, the author’s strategies to persuade the audience are discussed. All the essential elements that were analyzed in the planning phase of the work are mentioned here.

It is important to keep in mind that your introduction section should be engaging. This is to make sure that the readers are inspired and encouraged to read your essay. To make your introductory section interesting, use a catchy hook and a strong thesis statement.

The thesis statement usually comes at the end of the introductory paragraph. A thesis statement in the introduction is to make the audience familiar with the purpose of your writing.

5.2 Body Paragraphs

Following the introduction comes the essay’s main body section, where all the details about the work are presented. Here the writer attempts to justify his arguments and claims regarding the work of the author.

To prove your point, use quotes from the text. Provide references from the original work to give strong evidence for your argument.

All the points gathered for discussion should be presented in the body paragraphs. The good idea is to give each point a separate section for its explanation. Use each point as a topic sentence of the paragraph and provide its analysis and resolution.

For a rhetorical essay, the writer should present the points in chronological order.

5.3 Conclusion

All the body paragraphs should lead the audience towards the writer’s final verdict about the chosen work. The conclusion of a rhetorical analysis essay restates the thesis statement and summarizes all the content’s major points.

In addition to this, concluding paragraphs discuss how the main argument is proved right. The writer also presents the impact of the author’s work on the audience in the last section.

6. Proofread and Edit

After drafting a conclusion for your essay, revise the written content. It is to check if there are any mistakes in the essay. Cross-check the references made and all the writing conventions. Make edits at this point if you come across any errors to make your rhetorical analysis essay flawless.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

To write a rhetorical analysis essay that is strong and effective, choosing a good topic is essential. Selecting rhetorical analysis essay topics that are appropriate for the content is a time taking process.

Grabbing the reader’s attention and motivating them to read your essay is the core objective of any writing. For this purpose, the writers choose engaging topics as they are the first attempt to attract readers.

If you are searching for good topics to write a rhetorical essay, we have a solution. Professional writers of have gathered some strong essay topics that are provided in the list below:

  • Martin Luther King Jr’s last speech
  • A scene from Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet
  • “I Am Prepared to Die” by Nelson Mandela
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Macbeth’s rhetorical analysis
  • Rhetorical analysis of the movie “The fault in our stars”
  • Analyze the poem "The Epic" by Alfred Lord Tennyson
  • Analyze Joseph Stiglitz’s “The Price of Inequality”
  • Mark Twain’s “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn"
  • Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird'

Writing Tips for Rhetorical Analysis Essay AP Language

Writing a rhetorical analysis essay for Advanced Placement English Language and composition is mandatory. It is a course and examination offered in Advanced Placement Programs by the College Board.

The writing process of the essay for this course is the same as the basic writing process of a rhetorical analysis essay. There are some writing tips provided by the professionals at to make your rhetorical analysis essay for AP Lang perfect.

Follow the easy writing tips provided below to draft a compelling rhetorical analysis essay:

  • Choose an interesting topic for your essay.
  • Read the original until the basic elements of the work are not clear. For example, speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject, and tone.
  • When drafting a thesis statement for your rhetorical analysis essay, make sure the thesis matches your topic.
  • Use accurate and appropriate language when drafting an essay.
  • Keep in mind that the fundamental objective of this essay type is to analyze and not to prove the counter-argument.
  • Keep your voice as well while explaining the ideas of the text.
  • In the concluding section of the essay, only summarize the major points of the contents. Avoid introducing new ideas in the concluding paragraphs.
  • Proofread your essay at least thrice to check if the content is error-free.
  • Another tip is to take a professional’s help to draft a perfect essay.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Example

It is essential to first go through examples and samples to see which structure and outline to follow when drafting. For our student’s ease, expert writers at have provided some rhetorical analysis essay examples. is an online essay writing service that provides original content for all academic writing types. Our professional writers draft quality assignments for all the subjects and levels.

Frequently Asked Questions

How many paragraphs does a rhetorical analysis essay have?

In your rhetorical analysis, you'll tackle the text directly by focusing on three areas in each paragraph. Each area should contribute to a larger argument that supports the main idea or thesis statement for this piece of work. 

What is the purpose of rhetorical analysis?

The purpose of a rhetorical analysis is to understand HOW the author writes, rather than WHAT they wrote. To do this, you will look at how the author achieved their goal or purpose for writing. 

Nova A.


Nova A. (Literature, Marketing)

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

Nova Allison is a Digital Content Strategist with over eight years of experience. Nova has also worked as a technical and scientific writer. She is majorly involved in developing and reviewing online content plans that engage and resonate with audiences. Nova has a passion for writing that engages and informs her readers.

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