Rhetorical Analysis Essay


What is a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Rhetoric is well-known as the art of persuasive speaking or writing. Meanwhile, a rhetorical analysis essay is the examination of the tools and strategies used by the author to sound convincing to the target audience. Don’t treat this kind of writing as a summary, as it doesn’t need you to rehash or interpret the context. Instead of explaining what the author is saying, you need to explain how he/she is doing it. You have neither to support nor disagree with his/her thoughts and ideas.

A rhetorical analysis essay can be written on a piece of prose, poetry, article, movie, advertisement, or any other thing that features some elements of rhetoric to be addressed. Being based on high-level thinking, this analysis is widely applied for tests and other standardized exams.

How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay

An AP rhetorical analysis essay is often assigned for students who are undertaking an exam. While this kind of academic writing is limited in time, it requires the extensive knowledge of the subject matter. In this case, it won’t be hard for you to break the text into pieces and conduct a thorough analysis.

At the first stage of working on a rhetorical essay, you should read the body paragraphs and analyze them properly. When reading the text, you need to make notes of all the key details. You will need this information again while you will be working on your essay. Hence, your future paper should contain the answers to the following questions:

  • Who’s the author?
  • What is the target audience?
  • What was the goal of creating the text (or any other piece of work)?
  • Why did the author decide to send this message?

With the above questions in mind, it will be much easier for you to proceed with the analysis of the writer’s strategies. They build up a basic outline for your future work by letting you understand how the author aims to persuade the target audience. If you think the rhetorical analysis essay is too difficult, just write to our support team “write my essay for me” and we will help you solve this problem.


When it comes to rhetorical analysis writing, there are a lot of things to pay attention to. Before examining the different tools used by the author, you need to understand the basic elements of writing. This is where SOAPS can be of great use.

  • S is for a speaker – Who is telling the story (or any other piece of work)? Who is the author or speaker?
  • O is for occasion – What is the location of the story (or any other piece of work)? What time period is it in? What are the surrounding events?
  • A is for the audience – Who was the target audience of the story (or any other piece of work)? Is it clearly defined?
  • P is for purpose – Why did the author create the story (or any other piece of work)? What is it about?
  • S is for subject – What is the main purpose of the story (or any other piece of work)? How is it introduced?

Don’t forget about one important thing, namely “tone.” This includes the language, voice, and imagery created by the author. While answering the above questions, you need to do it through the prism of the general tone of the story.


Rhetoric, as the art of efficient speaking and writing, has the key concepts it relies on. While they may sound like a bunch of magic words, they are actually the major elements of persuasion established by Aristotle! So, let’s have a closer look at them:

  • Ethos or ethical appeal: It is nothing but the author’s credibility on the theme he/she wants to analyze. Ethos addresses a situation where an author cites his/her own credibility in order to explain to the target audience why they should believe him/her. There are two types of credibility to be explored – intrinsic (inside the message) and extrinsic (outside the message).
  • Pathos or pathetic appeal: It is the emotional reaction of the target audience to the points stated by the author. In other words, if the author is trying to set the direct contact with the target audience, then he/she has applied pathos. This concept is widely applied in political speeches that usually open with phrases like “My fellow Canadians…”
  • Logos or logical appeal: It is the use of real facts and other logical points to affect the target audience’s way of thinking. By providing reasonable arguments and evidence, the author tries to support his/her ideas. In fact, an argument doesn’t have to be logical to be marked with logos.

Now that you know those magic words, don’t forget to use them for the analysis. This is probably the only way to make your rhetorical essay work.

How to Choose a Topic for a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

The general knowledge of writing a rhetorical analysis is important for the overall success. But it won’t take you far without a proper topic. If you are free to choose what to write about, you should think of something you personally find interesting. For instance, this can be a famous autobiography or a graduation speech. Also, you can write an essay based on a famous movie or even a popular commercial. But don’t choose something too wordy or complicated.

While rhetorical analysis essay topics are unlimited, make sure you find something relevant for you. This way, you will make the whole writing process smooth.

Rhetorical Analysis Topics for Essay

  • Rhetorical Analysis of an Advertisement
  • Life Is Beautiful – Rhetorical Analysis
  • Rhetorical Analysis : the Scarlet Letter
  • Rhetorical Analysis on Psycho
  • Rhetorical Analysis on Deborah Tannen’s Argument Culture
  • I Have a Dream: Rhetorical Analysis
  • Stylistic Analysis of Obama’s Inaugural Speech
  • Metaphorical Analysis of Living Grace: Graceful Advertising
  • Nickel and Dimed vs Scratched Beginnings: a Rhetorical Analysis
  • Analysis of William Faulkner’s Nobel Prize of Literature Speech

Topics for Rhetorical Analysis Essay

  • Rhethorical Analysis Movie Shrek
  • A Rethorical Analysis of Bono
  • Old Major’s Speech analysis
  • Rhetorical Analysis on Skittles Commercial
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Alice Walker’s “Am I Blue”
  • Rhetorical Analysis on Benjamin Banneker’s Letter to Thomas Jefferson
  • An Analysis of George Orwell’s Why I Write
  • An Analysis of “A Time For Choosing”
  • A Rhetorical Analysis of an Article on Euthanasia

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Analysis of the Vietnam War
  • Banking and Seasonal Metaphors in Martin Luther King “I have a Dream” Speech
  • Declaration of Independence Analysis
  • A Rhetorical Analysis of Elizabeth Barrett Browning’s Letter to Napoleon Iii
  • A Rhetorical Analysis of Evil Empire Speech by Donald Reagan
  • A Rhetorical Analysis: Linguistic Power Dynamics in Oleanna
  • Analysis of Rhetorical Devises and Film Techniques in Bowling for Columbine
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Abigail Adams’ Letter to Her Son
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Amy Tan’s Mother Tongue
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Identity Speech by Andrew Solomon
  • Rhetorical Analysis of James Hansen’s Speech About Climate Change
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Kristof’s Article “Food for The Soul”
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Lebron James’ Social Media Posts
  • Rhetorical Analysis of The Solution of World Poverty by Peter Singer
  • Rhetorical Analysis of The Speech by Susan B. Anthony “Women’s Right to Vote”
  • Rhetorical Analysis Gun Violence

Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

  • Rhetorical Analysis of Noam Chomsky’s Prospects for Survival
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Savage Inequalities by Jonathan Kozol
  • Rhetorical Analysis of Steve Jobs’ Commencement Address
  • Rhetorical Analysis of The Black Men and Public Space by Brent Staples
  • Rhetorical Analysis of The Drum Major Instinct by Martin Luther King Jr.
  • Rhetorical Analysis of The Letter from Birmingham Jail by Martin Luther King Jr
  • Rhetorical Analysis of The Plastic Pink Flamingo: a Natural History

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Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

How to start a rhetorical analysis essay? The rhetorical analysis essay outline doesn’t differ from the one featured by other kinds of academic writings. The rhetorical analysis essay format is simple. It includes introduction, body paragraphs, and conclusion. Let’s check what information to integrate into each of these structural elements.

Writing an introduction: Being the so-called roadmap for the reader, an introduction happens to be a crucial part of any essay. By setting the tone of the entire paper, it reflects on the main ideas, goals, and purposes to be covered in the main part.

Nothing damages the balance of an essay as badly as a poorly-written opening paragraph. Thus, it’s important that you work on this aspect by enabling a continuous flow from one sentence to another, and from one paragraph to another. An introduction should not reveal all the details but rather provide a general idea of what to expect from the body paragraphs.

Writing body paragraphs: Body paragraphs  happen to be the flesh and blood of the entire paper. They  contain all the points associated with the major topic. Generally, there is no limit in a number of arguments to be included, but it is recommended to have at least three points to carry sufficient value for analysis. Depending on the kind of writing, some more paragraphs might be required to address all the aspects of the story. While this part consists of several paragraphs, it is important to organize them properly to make the paper look cohesive. Thus, your ideas and thoughts are to be integrated into the essay to connect with each other in a chain reaction. Each point should be connected to the next one until the final idea is fully covered. Every point you make should contribute to the in-depth understanding of the arguments you are trying to cover.

Regardless of rhetorical essay topics, you can split each body paragraph into different ideas to extract ethos, pathos and logos. Each paragraph should have one claim and evidence, not more. If you still struggle to see the difference between these rhetorical devices, check out some sample works below.

Writing a conclusion: How to write a conclusion for a rhetorical analysis? To conclude a rhetorical analysis essay, you do not need to retell everything you wrote before. It’s enough to highlight the most crucial points on the described persuasive strategies and demonstrate their significance as the parts of the coherent text. In conclusion, you solely wrap up all arguments into the final point, showing the importance of the analyzed text. But don’t make things too boring here. After all, you want your target audience to be impressed with your work.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples

Whether you are looking for the right topic for your essay or just want to see what the completed rhetorical analysis looks like, you need a couple of samples. Going through a rhetorical analysis essay example, you will gain a better understanding of how to deal with this kind of academic writing. Thus, this  analysis will become much easier for you. To see some examples, follow these links:



Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Tips

To make your rhetorical essay even more impressive, you may need some tips. Here are some of them you should consider:

  • Develop the extensive knowledge of rhetorical devices. The ability to analyze those devices will make the whole process easier and faster. The list of rhetorical devices is quite long, but you’d better check it properly. The major devices to be analyzed in a rhetorical essay are assonance, consonance, parallelism, alliteration, hyperbole, and anaphora.
  • Pick up a topic that resonates with your personality. If you are not interested in the subject matter, you will hardly manage to create a decent piece of work.
  • Consider the specificity of the selected media, in which the piece of work is about to be issued. For instance, a movie will involve plenty of pauses and emphases, a journal article will feature a variety of literary devices, while a book will contain even more nuances to be analyzed.
  • Make the author’s strategic intention clear. The writer always has a particular goal while creating this or that piece of work. You should explore how the word and writing style choices influence the target audience. Keep two main questions in mind while writing a rhetorical analysis essay: “how?” and “why?”
  • Check the final draft a few times with the help of different online grammar- and plagiarism checkers. By proofreading the final paper at least two-three times, you will see whether it is grammatically, structurally, and contextually accurate or not. The good idea is to give your completed essay to your parents or friends, so they can express their ideas on possible improvements.
  • Check the high-quality rhetorical analysis essay samples on the Internet. As the saying goes, it is better to see once than to hear one hundred times. In the online databases, you can find plenty of credible resources providing you with good essay samples.

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