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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay has quite an uncommon goal: the writer's purpose here is to write about someone else's writing. In a rhetorical analysis essay, students "decrypt" texts of other writers and speakers to show what their words, phrases, and sentences actually mean. Completing this type of an essay assignment, a student learns (or improves the ability) to understand and explain the particular style of a text or a speech and to define strategies which the original author used to interact with readers. An impression the text makes also depends on methods of persuasion. Besides, the audience does not react to words only. They respond to a style and real purpose of the phrase or sentence, or the whole text.


Rhetorical essay writing


In case you require help in rhetorical analysis essay writing, specialists are always ready to assist you.

So, students usually get speeches of famous people to complete a rhetorical analysis essay. They can be politicians, social activists, actors, artists, scientists, sports figures, and other personalities having influence and popularity. Citations are what students may go in for using when writing a rhetorical analysis essay. When you aim to analyze one’s speech or writing, think over the author’s strategy and explain:

How all the persuasive phrases and their parts combine?

Is the effect caused on the reader (or listener) correct?

Do they have the right effect on the target audience?

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Pre-Writing Stage

To write a successful rhetorical analysis essay, you need to prepare for writing thoroughly and carefully. In case you write such an assignment as a part of the exam, you always have your time limited. So, good pre-writing work will add a chance to get a high test grade. 

Don't spend the whole time reading. Notate things on paper, because there is not enough time to read the speech a couple of times slowly. A critical purpose of time-saving is simple: you'll need a couple of minutes to analyze what you've got from the original material before you start writing a rhetorical analysis essay. Try to notate and memorize facts like:

  • The text author’s name and personality;
  • The goal of his or her speech or writing;
  • The target audience: people who should hear or read the author’s thoughts;
  • The result and the prediction of an effect;  

Pay attention to these speech elements and intentions while analyzing the rhetorical part of the text you’ve got to write an essay about. It is the way you detect and understand strategies and intentions of the author. As a result, your rhetorical analysis essay will look complete.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Ethos, Logos, and Pathos

These three elements of rhetoric (also known as persuasion modes) ground on three various "elements" of the human mind: moral, mental and sensual parts of a person’s character.

Logos means “talking” to one’s logic. It interacts with rational thoughts, logical processes, and conclusions in the mind of the reader or listener to persuade them.

The pathos elements interact with emotions. When writing pathos parts, the author tries to appeal to the emotional feelings of the reader by expressing ones through certain text tricks and techniques.

The ethos text elements tend to interact with ethics.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Intro

Most of the time dedicated to writing the rhetorical analysis essay should be spent on writing and improving the main text body. Still, as you might read in other articles of our blog already, an intro is also a critical element of any academic paper, including analytical essays.

The best rhetorical analysis essay introduction is engaging, involving, and short. Sum up all the arguments and facts of persuasion the original speech or text contains. Help those who would read your analysis understand the core message and the author's viewpoint.

A well-written intro also reveals and explains the tone and mood of the author. Give readers some intriguing hook. Make them go on reading your rhetorical analysis and discover other statements and strategies used by the speaker or writer. 


Rhetorical analysis essay


Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Main Body

The main body is obviously the core of the essay. All the critical arguments, statements, and explanations should have their place in this text part. So, the main body should answer numerous questions and reveal the topic. This point of a rhetorical analysis essay explains how the speaker applies to the audience, what the purpose of his or her text is, which strategies are being used, etc.

Mention and explain the author's thesis statement and persuasive arguments. Divide your rhetorical analysis essay body into paragraphs according to the strategies you reveal.


After you finish the main rhetorical analysis essay body, complete your text with the conclusion. Make the final part of the text easy to understand, sound solid, and confidently. Reveal the effect which the speech (text) caused to the listeners (readers). Keep an eye on instructions when using citations: make sure you use the style mentioned by the professor. 

Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Professional Recommendations

First of all, don't feel relaxed too early. The fact that you wrote a conclusion does not mean the job is done. If there is time for an essay improvement, use it to get the highest grade possible as a result. Check your rhetorical analysis essay according to the following points and fix necessary things if they're not good enough.


Make sure the essay does not contain too much information which could be unnecessary for readers. The intro and conclusion should be the briefest. The most suitable rhetorical analysis essay word count would be 500 to 800 words unless the professor gave other instructions.


Use as many different words as you can. You might not be aware of this fact previously, but a diverse vocabulary can potentially bring you some additional points to the grade. 


When it comes to an essay or the other academic tasks, grammar is one of the first things you should doublecheck before handing the paper in to your professor. No person likes reading texts full of orthography, spelling, and punctuation errors at all. Check the length of sentences, too: interchange long phrases and short ones to make the text tempo balanced. Avoid using acronyms and abbreviations where possible.

Concentrate on the Present Tense

The Present Tense is the most suitable option for your rhetorical analysis essay. Build phrases using the present tense to avoid any misunderstandings from readers.

Check and Edit the Text Obligatory

It is critical to revise what was written in an academic essay text. Use specialized software if possible, ask friends or relatives to proofread the text, and do everything you can, so there would be no mistakes in the finalized paper.

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