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How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Since ancient times there has been a practice of developing new forms of organization of written and oral texts, which are addressed to a large audience. To a large extent, such a linguistic technique as a rhetorical analysis essay has contributed to their consolidation in speech. Mastering the skills of rhetorical analysis essay contributes to people acquiring the required level of communicative competence. As a result, rhetorical analysis of speech can act as the basis on which the creation of one’s texts of various genres will be based.

Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A rhetorical analysis essay implies a statement of one’s thoughts on a given topic. It can be a review of a book you have read, an account of your attitude toward a social phenomenon, and the like. To write an argument, it is important to look at the problem from different angles and draw conclusions. Before you begin work on your rhetorical analysis essay, try to discuss the topic in question to express your feelings about it and explain why you think this way and not that way. From these discussions, and perhaps even arguments, you can compile material for your paper.

How to Start a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Fear of a blank page is the first problem one faces when writing a rhetorical essay. The introduction is a responsible and rather difficult part of the rhetorical analysis essay. In the introduction, the author provides the reader with a brief summary of the topic being analyzed with its respective hypothesis. The latter may be posed as a question or a statement awaiting confirmation.

In any case, these decisions reflect the writer’s originality and style. Once the topic has been chosen and studied, the essayist must position himself just before presenting his thesis (to be confirmed or refuted). Next, the writer develops a writing outline, which will be useful in ordering the sequence of his argument. In other words, which ideas will be discussed in the introduction, development, and conclusion, with their respective citations of the sources consulted.

How to Structure a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Any rhetorical analysis essay consists of an introduction, the main body, and a conclusion. The introduction usually introduces the reader to the topic. As a rule, it occupies no more than 20% of the text. In the main part, the stated topic should be disclosed and explained. The conclusion is summarized. Its volume should not exceed the volume of the introduction. In its most general form, a rhetorical analysis essay consists of different interesting elements that are meant to attract the audience. Try to at least vaguely follow those main elements and you are bound to succeed:

  • Determining the genre and genre of the speech/text message;
  • Identifying those to whom the text/speech is addressed;
  • Identifying the goal set by the author of the text/speech, and determining the extent to which it was achieved;
  • Description of the environment and conditions that accompanied the process of creating the text or delivering the speech (e.g., time, place, etc.);
  • Characterizing the relationship that develops between the author and the audience;
  • Establishing the location of the text/speech, which, above all, involves taking into account the rhetorical strategy of the specific audience;
  • Determining the type of arguments and their types (refuting/supporting, inductive/deductive, etc.);
  • Evaluation of the effectiveness of the argumentation given;
  • Decomposing a particular speech or text message into smaller parts and determining its overall composition, taking into account the transitions between them;
  • Focusing on the change of the author’s point of view during the reproduction of the speech/text, which, for example, can be his/her own/foreign, internal/external, temporal, spatial, evaluative, etc.

How to Write a Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay

A special place in the process of a rhetorical analysis essay is its check for factual, grammatical, logical, and speech errors. The results of this check will demonstrate the degree of correctness, accuracy, relevance, and expressiveness of this speech in a particular setting.

Within this same range of research, linguists address the task of establishing whether communicative failures have occurred. The reasons for their occurrence must then be elucidated. As a result of such investigations, the degree of sufficiency and the level of prior essay preparation will be determined.

A particular message (whether speech or text) can be constructed with the help of certain tools, which significantly affect the entire content and structure of the message. This is also investigated by specialists during the rhetorical analysis essay, in which the following activities can be carried out:

  • Justification of the appropriateness of the use of rhetorical figures and tropes in the text/speech;
  • Determination of the techniques and means used in the speech/text to create dialogue;
  • Establishing the means of establishing and maintaining a speech conic;
  • Identification of the means of expressing speech aggression in speech/text and determining the extent of their permissibility;
  • To detect manipulative and pedagogical techniques.

At the end of the rhetorical analysis essay after all the above-described processes of studying a particular discourse, the researcher should give a general assessment of the speech/text, which, among other things, reveals the level of its originality, persuasiveness, etc.


What is a rhetorical analysis essay?

Rhetorical analysis is the kind of essay where you scrutinize a particular topic, trying to prove your main point concerning the topic. It is an art of persuasiveness where your arguments reach an impeccable quality that is not susceptible to basic criticism. You have a limited time to concisely report on your research, thus making the most out of one’s limits.

How long should a rhetorical analysis essay be?

There is no standard length for a rhetorical analysis essay. You see, it is dictated by the circumstances you are in. If you need to write something on a high-school level, then the length would probably be 600 to 1000 words. If you need to conduct a deeper groundwork and impress everyone with your in-depth analysis then the length can reach a maximum of 5000 words. The most important thing is to not make it artificially long.

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