How to write a Great Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Last Updated: 03 July 2023

Most students wonder how to write a rhetorical analysis essay. While it is an important part of the AP exams, done by students in the US, one can fail if they lack mastery.

For beginners, grasping the concepts and ropes of rhetorical analysis writing can be arduous.

For this reason, the gist of our article is to give a comprehensive definition of rhetorical analysis. We also offer a guide on how to prepare outlines, format, and offer examples where possible.

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What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

By definition, rhetorical analysis refers to the use of reading skills and critical thinking as well as creativity in the analysis of a piece of work. In this respect, the rhetorical analysis is written about text, television shows, movies, artwork collections, communication circulars, and film, which seeks to make a statement to the target audience.

Students are always given modern and historical texts to analyze, and they are free to use many of the writing strategies. However, in a rhetorical analysis essay, the student must identify with the writing style of the author, and their point of view.

Mostly, rhetorical analysis assignments require the students to go deep into the methods of persuasion. Besides, they must gauge how the methods are effective in appealing to the readers. Professors can choose topics of speeches by influential persons such as Martin Luther King.

Have you ever written an essay using ethos, pathos, and logos? Then you have already written a rhetorical analysis at some point in your academic life.

At this point, how to write a rhetorical analysis should not worry you. However, we still need to revisit the same.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis AP Essay: Comprehensive Guide

Most of the AP examinations have a fixed timeframe. As such, the preparation phase is always critical to creating great academic writing tasks.

Before writing a rhetorical analysis essay, there are certain things you have to know:

In essence, the introductory paragraph of a rhetoric essay should be in this format:

  1. Speaker (author’s name and credentials, type of text or work, title, the subject of the author. Etc.)
  2. The purpose of the author
  3. Intended audience and the tone.

Example of an Introduction to a rhetorical analysis essay

Novelist, Amy Tan, in her narrative essay, “Fish Cheeks,” narrates an excruciating Christmas Eve during dinner, when she was 14 years of age. The aim of the author is to express the idea that, at 14 years, she could neither recognize her maternal love her mother nor understand the sacrifices her mom made. She adopts an emotional tone to  appeal to comparable feelings and familiarities among her intended adult readers.”

It is always good to begin by reading the text to be analyzed to get insights. When reading, take note of the information that can be useful in the writing process.

Rhetorical Analysis Strategies

It is always vital to understand the ingredients of persuasion. Their alternative name is rhetorical analysis strategies. These are the essential writer’s method of persuasion, and every author would try to use them.

  1. This refers to the appeal to ethics. It offers reasons and traits on why the author/speaker is a credible source of information. An example is “, credible research suggests that Medical Marijuana cures cancer.”
  2. Refers to the appeals to emotions and looks at how well the author convinces the audience through agitating for emotional response. For example, this is a pathos statement. “Since you have been able to develop common sense and the right mindset, unlike many, you will make better decisions.”
  3. As the name suggests is an appeal to rationality and logic. Its aim is to persuade the audience through reasoning. Let us look at an example “, Years of research and reading has taught us that wars never bring development.”

AP English exams are vital. At times, the literary prompt always has examples of the persuasive methods used by authors. It is now easy to understand the tricks used by authors to pursue the intended audience. Undeniably, before attempting an AP exam, it is always advisable to practice writing rhetorical analysis essays.

Introduction and Conclusion of Rhetorical Analysis Essays

We already covered the contents of a rhetorical analysis essay introduction. Remember, it should be very brief yet loaded. It should have a summary of the text, how the rhetorical analysis essay will include different aspects, and how you will make the reader know you understood the text.

Here is then a chance to write the thesis statement.  Explain the diction, tone, imagery, details, language, and sentence structure or DIDLES. Include the persuasive styles used by the author in your thesis.

Well, if you lack time to write the best essay, you can always buy essays online from Gradecrest.  Alternatively, begin with facts then the thesis later.

The conclusion is pretty much just a summary of the entire essay. Here, you ought to restate the thesis (but reinvent it around). Besides, reveal how the analysis of the work or text has changed their audience or made any impact on the society at large.

Factors to consider when writing Rhetorical Analysis Assignments

First, before delving into the analysis, always ensure that you read the text. Remember, most rhetorical analysis essays require you to go deep. Now, you can only do that if you understand the style, tone, diction, and other strategies used by the author. In short, you become a super audience.

Immediately after gaining insights on the author and their presentation, it is time for critical analysis.

Here are the next self-guided steps:

Some of the strong verbs to use in your rhetorical analysis should include:

Outline for Rhetorical Essay

You can begin writing your rhetorical analysis essay outline innovatively. While it is good to follow the standard essay structure, it is not a must.

Students mostly begin with writing a clear thesis statement. However, it is good to do so after you have your body paragraphs in place.

Unconventional huh! Well, that is what rhetoric analysis is all about.

When offering essay writing help, most professors always prefer the 5-6 paragraph style for essays.

Nevertheless, this should be purely guided by the strategies you have identified.

But first, you have to read the text and make an outline as you write the notes.

Normally, it should follow the introduction-body-conclusion format.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics

Here are some of the common rhetorical analysis topics

  1. "Canterbury Tales," Story Of Lady Of Bath And The Knight
  2. Rita Dove And Her Writing Experience
  3. Why Is "Pride And Prejudice" Still Popular Today?
  4. "Success Strategies” Analysis
  5. "Violence Unbroken" By Laura Hillenbrand
  6. Jonathan Edwards’ Sermons
  7. "Witches Loaves" By O'Henry
  8. "Traveling Mercies” By Anne Lamott
  9. "The Revenant" By Michael Punke
  10. "A Nation Among Nations"
  11. Silent Voices In Three Poems
  12. "Guns, Germs, And Steel” By Jared Diamond
  13. "Hamlet" Rhetorical Analysis
  14. Assessing the Effect of Amy Poehler’s”Yes, Please.”
  15. “The Price Of Inequality” By Joseph Stiglitz
  16. Comparison Between Charles Wales From "Babylon Revisited" And Jay Gatsby From "The Great Gatsby"
  17. Analyze Edgar Allen Poe’s poem ‘Raven.’
  18. William Wallace's speech
  19. Analysis of the speech by a Nobel Peace Prize winner of your choice.
  20. The rhetorical analysis of ‘I’m not a Crook’ by Richard Nixon.
  21. “The Great Gatsby” why it was a great film.
  22. Shakespearian characters and monologue, use rhetoric analysis.
  23. Analyze the Pearl Harbor Address speech by Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1941
  24. "Cri De Coeur” By Romeo Dallier
  25. Character evaluation of Hamlet.

Related Read: Fresh persuasive speech topics and ideas.

More Essay Topics for your AP Essay

  1. ‘Sinners in the Hands of Angry God’ Rhetorical analysis.
  2. Analyze an Inaugural Address of a President, either acting or former.
  3. What’s “Pride and Prejudice” still applicable now?
  4. "Romeo And Juliet" Rhetorical Analysis
  5. "Beowulf" And "The Odyssey"
  6. Female Characters And References Within Shakespeare's Play "Macbeth"
  7. Animal Imagery In "Essay On Man"
  8. Feminism And Jane Austen
  9. Cultural And Political Contexts Of Asian-American Plays
  10. Salem witch Trials Rhetorical Analysis
  11. Formal analysis of the movie “Dead ”
  12. Analyze a speech that you listened and admired.
  13. ‘ The Law Of Moses ‘ Critical analysis.
  14. The rhetorical analysis in advertisements
  15. ‘The shadow scholar,’ rhetorical analysis
  16. A rhetorical analysis essay on Malcolm X
  17. A Country among Nations”. Analysis.
  18. Assess by Martin Luther King Jr.’s final speech at Memphis.
  19. Overview and evaluation of Anne Lamott’s “Traveling Mercies.”
  20. Explain the changes in a character over the course of a novel.
  21. Street art and graffiti
  22. Multicultural identity

The best AP Essay Writing Tips

Before submitting the AP rhetorical analysis essay, it is always advisable to check these items:

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