Rhetoric is an academic study of how people used their words to influence the audience.
A rhetorical analysis is a form of essay, an academic paper that breaks the original work into parts and argues how they work together, what effect they have on the reader, etc.
It doesn’t even have to be content in a written form. You might be assigned to conduct a rhetorical analysis on an advertisement, a cartoon, or even a speech.
Don’t Know How to Write It?
A rhetorical analysis is not a simple task – and it can take a lot of time. It just has the main structure of an essay, but the entire principle on which it is based, as well as how you handle the content is far more challenging.
If you don’t know how to approach this, you can get some writing help and inspiration by reading a rhetorical analysis essay example. These are free to use and will show you exactly how to craft this type of assignment.
If you are ready to get started on your analytical essay, you might also benefit from our guide. Follow these steps to write a rhetorical analysis as an expert writer.
Step 1: Look for the Key Elements Used in Rhetoric
A rhetoric analysis is an art of looking at arguments, texts, speeches, and other form of content and discussing how they are designed and what effect they have on the audience.
If you want to write a great analysis, you need to analyze these key elements in your writing:
Appeals refer to how the author of the content convinces the audience. There are three forms of appeal in rhetoric according to Aristotle – logos, ethos, and pathos. Logos refers to the use of arguments to persuade. Ethos refers to the author presenting them as an authority in the subject they write in. Pathos attempts to evoke emotions in the audience and includes elements like passionate speaking, vivid imagery, etc.
- Claims, warrants and supports
When you look at the piece, you should also search for these three elements. Every argument in a piece needs to be built up with these. It starts with a claim, which is an idea that the author wants to persuade the reader to believe. The second is a support, which is what they use to back up the claims. Finally there’s the warrant, which refers to the assumption or logic that connects a claim with a support.
Step 2: Analyze the Content in Detail
Your paper cannot solely list the elements. You need to analyze everything in the content to write a good rhetorical analysis.
This is the hardest part of this task. You need to analyze the content over and over again, and the different essay styles do not make this easy. If this is more than you can handle, there’s another resource of analytical essay examples and help you can use.
You can get your analytical essay prepared by an expert that will take over the entire task, and once they deliver the content, you can learn how this is done by checking their work.
Generally speaking, analyzing the content starts with asking the right questions. Look for the answers of questions such as:
- What’s the purpose of the content? What did the author want to achieve?
- Do they only use a narrow topic or do they spread their reach to various topics?
- What’s the tone in the writing? Is it formal or informal? Is it authoritative or personal?
- What do you think is the intended audience? Did the writer use some elements to convince, persuade, appeal to their emotions, etc.?
- What kind of evidence can be found in the content?
Step 3: Write the Paper
At this point, you’ve probably spent a solid amount of time gathering notes and information to use in your writing. Put them in front of you, organize them into an outline, and start writing.
This paper has the same structure as any other essay:
- Introduction. Tell the reader what piece of content you’ll be analyzing, provide background information about the piece, and share your thesis statement.
- Body. Divide this into paragraphs that you’ll connect. Each paragraph should be focused on a different element, but they should contribute to the thesis statement and overall argument you have set. In this part of the essay, write down the key elements and discuss them in detail.
- Conclusion. Wrap up the paper by restating your arguments and thesis statement and, if possible, link your analysis with broader concerns.
There you have it – a short guide on how to write a great rhetorical analysis!
Don’t let the number of steps trick you into believing this is very easy. A rhetorical analysis takes time and effort, so make sure to start on time!