How to write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Rhetorical Analysis Essay 

Below you will find all the answers you’ve been searching for rhetoric writing, as well as helpful tips on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay.

What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Before we even get into analysis, you have to know what rhetoric is! Rhetoric is the study of how writers and speakers use words to influence an audience. They influence an audience by appealing to these three characteristics:

Pathos: Appeals to an audience’s emotions.

Ethos: The author using his credibility and background to gain approval.

Logos: Using reason to win favor or gain approval.

There are many mediums by which a rhetorician can use these three types of appeal. He can do it in the written form by authoring an article or a book; he can also do so verbally by giving speeches, or he can do it visually with cartoons or films with interesting dialogue.

Understanding the Basics

The basics of essay writing are often communicated across to all students at some time in their academic journey, especially here in the US. However, it isn’t uncommon to discover that some still struggle with drafting out written work that is worth an A grade. Of course, we must understand that people assimilate information at different speed. Also, an essay type that is not very much discussed around would take more time adapting to and understanding.
One such write-up category is a rhetorical analysis essay. For us to understand what type of content would be found in it, we would first look at what a rhetorical analysis entails.

A rhetorical analysis is a style of writing that dissects a non-fictional piece into bits and pieces. It then proceeds to explain in detail how each bit and piece complement each other to produce certain effects experienced in reading through and between lines. A rhetorical analysis paper involves an in-depth study of the particular essay in need of analysis before taking steps to divide it into bits that can be explained at a closer glance. This makes it an ‘intense’ type of work, and one that should not be undertaken with laxity or indifference.

Now that you have a general idea about what rhetoric is, now we can get into rhetorical analysis thesis. Simply put, analysis is when you study how a rhetorician uses words and influence an audience, and as a researcher, make the determination of whether or not the rhetorician was successful.

How do you write a visual rhetorical analysis?

In case you have the task of writing a visual rhetoric analysis, you could start by putting down on paper everything you see in the image or video (colors, objects, their relative size and position) as well as their role and meaning with relation to the whole piece. Describe evoked feelings and thoughts. Think about the author’s motivation of using this picture or certain elements in it and the message he/she wanted to convey (but also who is the intended audience).

Structure and Parts – The Typical Rhetorical Essay Outline

What does a rhetorical analysis outline look like? A typical outline would have the following parts, which would be reflected in a step-by-step process outlined below:

Selecting a non-fiction story /Gathering necessary information

Many wonderful books can be selected with the purpose of creating this essay. However, a widespread and common glitch related to non-fiction is their availability via online channels. Keeping this in mind, it’s also okay to gather information about the said book. It could be that you just need a chapter of this book to create the perfect rhetorical analysis essay. The most important thing is to have a book, or part of it decided upon, as this would guide you in your information search.

Getting the introductions in order

Nothing upsets the balance of an essay like a poorly-constructed introductory paragraph/opening remark. Hence, it’s essential that you work on this aspect and ensure that it is in continuous flow with other work’s parts. The introduction should not give an entire essay away; rather; it should point to the basics alongside with some titbits that are sure to catch any reader’s attention.

Paragraphs with arguments

The next aspect of a rhetorical analysis essay is organizing paragraphs. Among the few important moments to remember during learning how to write a rhetorical essay is that your ideas need to ‘flow’ and connect. It should be a chain reaction. Each idea and bit examined should connect to an upcoming one, and the next, and they all keep connecting until the final idea is roped into a perfect rhetorical analysis essay.

Every point you raise to aid the proper understanding of the arguments you are trying to push forward. Usually, three solid arguments are considered to carry enough weight to analyze an essay. However, depending on the book synopsis and outline, more paragraphs might be needed so that all aspects of the story might be addressed.

Working with the conclusion

For every beginning, there’s an ending. An essay without a proper ending as well could bring room for some degree of confusion. Some students still struggle with ending their written work because they make the mistake of discussing ideas rather than bringing them all to a wrap. A conclusion should solely focus on bringing all arguments to a common point and ending them. Your closing remarks should be as good as your introduction; it gives credibility to your write-up.

How do you write a conclusion paragraph for a rhetorical analysis?

Writing a conclusion for a rhetorical analysis would likely require revising the main elements or categories of elements/ tricks used in the rhetorical piece and looking at them in an integrated manner (summarizing their anticipated effect or interactions in order to produce the desired effects). An evaluation of the overall power of the rhetoric piece is also given.

Use your writing tips

How do you make this task of drafting a well-prepared rhetorical analysis essay easier? Even though a student might be familiar with all steps listed above, they still search for the best approach towards this whole process. Everyone wants to be time – efficient and produce more within a short period. This is why we include some rhetorical analysis tips that would help anyone to get more done properly in a short period.

Do not write with assumptions

Don’t assume. Any fact that isn’t mentioned in the story, or that was mentioned as a ‘by-detail’ should not be picked on as a major point, e.g. targeted story says that “a man had to watch his mother almost die” and then nothing is mentioned about his mother anymore in that part. It would be wrong to say that his mother died because there is no supporting text for that in this story.

Grammatical accuracy

This stays forever important as far as any category of essay writing is concerned. A lot of confusion is avoided when you ‘dot the I’s and cross the t’s’ in a proper and timely way. Overuse of punctuation marks is an absolute no. Let your readers know where one sentence ends, and another starts. Keep your words clear and concise. Be wary of discrepancies between American and British English, and do not interchange one when writing to an audience that understands another.

Get your work checked

Rhetorical Analysis Essay As the sole owner of the work, it’s okay if you discover you omitted some corrections, and before you submit you should subject your work to a compulsory check. You could either use online checkers who would identify grammatical errors and watery words, or you could ask an experienced friend to assist you in proofreading the work.

Proper referencing

Perhaps you have to gather information from more than one source related to this story you are analyzing. It is essential to include appropriate reference details. This gives your rhetorical analysis essay more credibility, and it’s easier for readers to trust information from you, knowing that they can always check on it from the source. Furthermore, do the best possible not to use out-dated information because this would indefinitely push you towards out-dated references. Keep your work relevant to the happenings and trends of the day.

Don’t just write

In other words; do not just create a rhetorical analysis essay for the sake of creating one. Every written piece has its own target audience. Take all needed steps to ensure that the work you’ve prepared is relevant to the targeted audience, i.e. it’s something they can identify with and relate to.

Check previously done essays

If you feel like you would learn better from checking out previously done pieces by others who had to come up with an essay similar to this one, then you should check their works out. It would also help you avoid making mistakes that they already made, and improve your accuracy index.


With the above-highlighted tips, advice and other aspects, it becomes easier for one to attempt the process of creating a read-worthy rhetorical essay. As one might correctly assess, writing this type of paper can take much time. It requires a good amount of mental focus. We do hope that with the tips offered above, writing in a rhetorical tone is something students in US universities can finally look forward to without fear of failing.