How to Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay
In this paper, you are required to analyze an argument made by another person mostly with the intention of passing a message to a particular audience. A rhetorical paper is not a summary; it is more of analysis of the work of another person. A rhetorical text can be written on artwork, televisions programs, radios or even about other texts. To come up with a good template for rhetorical analysis you have to understand the main objective of the person when you are analyzing their argument.
Understanding what is a rhetorical analysis essay (definition)
A rhetoric analysis is an art of breaking another piece of writing or speech into smaller categories, examining it closely and combining them to persuade a certain audience, in other words, the essay is used to clarify to the audience the intention of the writer or speaker and the techniques used for persuasion in their piece. You also have to state to the audience whether the argument is successful or not since you are analyzing.
Given that all academic writing entails good preparation to come up with great content, rhetorical analysis paper is not an exception; you have to adhere to the step by step guide to come out successful. Before you get to start, you have to break your allocated time into three: reading, analyzing and writing. Reading goes hand in hand with analysis; in that, whenever you will be reading through the text that you are to write on, then you have to be writing down the major points. To analyze your text properly, you should have certain questions in mind like:
- Who is the speaker or author of your piece?
- What audience is he or she targeting in their argument?
- What is the intention of their writing?
- Under which set are they presenting their work?
With the above question in mind, you will be able to exploit every aspect of the piece and get to understand the intention of the speaker/author fully. After writing the points, you can brainstorm them and come up with some great content for your writing. Many authors and speakers usually have one intention in their piece, – convincing their audience. Once you convince your audience of what you are talking about, then you have delivered. There are three ways of convincing your audience while writing:
- Through appealing to their emotions – this way, you will need to capture the emotions of your audience by use of good descriptive words for emotions. You can easily achieve this by the use of the five senses. Once you apply the five senses, then the reader will automatically fit themselves into the situation, and this will make them emotional.
- Appealing to ethics – ethics concerns the morally right or wrong behavior expected in the society. You can use ethics to convince your audience because probably no one in the society will be comfortable to go against what is morally expected of them, and this is the best way to convince an audience because they have no option but to accept it as it is.
- Through critical thinking – critical thinking is all about being logical in your reasoning. While applying this technique, you have to give reasons and supports for your arguments to persuade your audience that indeed you are certain of your points.
A thesis statement is a brief statement that usually comes after the introduction, and it is as a rule purposed to guide the reader on what the paper is going to talk about in brief. A thesis statement is a transition from the introduction to the body part of your essay; it is through the thesis that the reader can be able to know that they have reached the body for your essay and hence give it more attention. In your thesis you should:
- Avoid common phrases like ‘I believe’ or ‘the main intention of the essay is…’. Learn to encrypt your thesis using unique words; it should not be common to the reader on how you are going to introduce the body. Let them find out about what the body is going to talk about uniquely. You can introduce a question and leave it unanswered so that the reader can proceed to the body to look for answers.
- Make your thesis brief and to the point – a thesis statement for a rhetorical paper should not constitute a lot of descriptions, you should go direct to the point to facilitate clarity of your work. A thesis statement should be one sentence, so you should summarize everything, in brief, to ensure you touch on what is expected in the body.
- Create suspense – it is good to create suspense in the thesis so that the reader can find a reason to proceed to the body. You should not give the intention of the essay clearly in the thesis because it is sure to make your work boring; try and raise the anticipation of the reader towards your work by making them find out more about the topic in the body paragraphs.
The thesis is fundamental in rhetorical papers because it helps you while building your conclusion. It also helps the reader to understand what the paper is all about in brief.
Tips on how to design a rhetorical analysis essay outline
For you to come up with a great rhetorical paper that is appealing to the reader, you have to know what is expected of you in the essay. Understanding the paper outline is key because it will determine how your essay would sound and look. The main outline for every essay is the introduction, the body, and the conclusion, but you have to understand how you will create content for the different parts. Below are tips on coming up with a good outline for your paper:
- Identify the audience for the author – you should be able to know whom the author is targeting in their writing so that you can come up with a good tone to fit the author’s audience. The tone of the essay is also dependent on the purpose of the essay; the tone varies depending on the intention of the paper. The tone is the attitude in the text. If your paper is about motivation, you will apply a tone that will uplift the readers when they go through the work.
- Identify the setting – the setting is the circumstances that surround the description of the author. To analyze a text, you have to understand the setting of the narration which goes hand in hand with the intention of the author. It is the setting that will enable you to differentiate a scholarly text and a non-scholarly one.
- Identify the purpose – the purpose of the text is what the author intends to pass in their piece. Once you understand the purpose of the author, then you can know how to place your thesis and plan your paper.
- Note the styles applied – when you read the work of other authors, you will be able to understand their purpose through the styles used. Many authors are not usually direct in their text; they do use different styles to bring out different impressions in their writing. Some of the common styles used include figurative language where metaphors are employed for comparison purposes. Repetition is another style used when the writer wants to emphasize a particular point. Imagery is also common because it helps to bring understanding to the audience as a certain aspect is compared directly with something that happens in reality. Imagery is normally used to involve the reader in your work by stimulating their emotions. Diction is also common with most writers; diction is the choice of words to bring out different implications in the text. The author usually chooses words that rhyme with what they are describing to their audience.
- Understand how is come up with the analysis – after reading through what you are to write about and gathering all the information, the next step is knowing how to organize your point to convince the reader. You should be able to know how the author used the styles to achieve their objectives.
Writing a rhetorical analysis introduction
The introduction to your paper should be attractive so that the reader can be attracted to read the rest of your work. You should put more attention to the introduction part because it is what the reader would come across first. You should be able to state your purpose in the introduction. It is in the introduction that you are supposed to let the reader know the essay is a rhetorical analysis paper. In your introduction, you have to state the piece that you are analyzing, the author, the occasion and the audience. After the introduction, you should include a thesis statement as a transition from the introduction to the body paragraphs.
How to write a body for rhetorical paper
The body is the main agenda for your paper. The body is all about organization of points; once you learn how to organize your points in your body paragraphs, then you are good to go regarding encrypting the body. You have to divide your points into sections and ensure each idea is placed in its paragraph so that you can achieve rhetorical appeal. In the paragraph, you should first state the idea, then support it with sufficient evidence to persuade your reader. An objective tone is necessary and should be maintained since it’s an analysis.
Rhetorical paper conclusion
In conclusion, be sure to use good words for a transition to your conclusion. The reader has to know that they are coming to an end of your analysis and it is your role to prepare them psychologically by use of good transition words fit for rhetorical essays. In conclusion, you should re-state the thesis just to act as a reminder to the reader on what the paper was to cover, then support your thesis by convincing the reader that you covered the mentioned points fully in your body. You can also make suggestion for further research on the topic for your reader.
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Samples of rhetorical analysis essay – going through examples
It is good to go through various examples of rhetorical papers because it makes you a pro in writing. There are various good articles for rhetorical essay samples on the internet that you should get familiar with because it adds value to your writing. Some of the tips that you can learn from going through various essay samples are:
- You will advance your grammar – by going through essay examples, you will know how to adhere to grammar rules. The grammar for your work is critical because it determines whether your work would be understandable or not to the reader.
- Acquisition of new vocabulary – vocabulary helps to pimp your work; when you read examples of rhetorical papers you will learn how to apply different vocabulary in your writing.
- Development of coherence – coherence is the flow of your work. It is impossible to determine the flow of your work unless you read through it after writing. Essays examples are there to help you come up with a smooth flow of your work.
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Significance of rhetorical analysis topics
While writing a rhetorical paper, you may be asked to write on the following topics: about a book, about a speech delivered in an event or about a television show. Topics in rhetorical writing are usually derived from some platform where communication is done to a certain audience. From different communication settings, you can easily analyze the speech or writing and come up with a good rhetorical paper. You should choose a topic that has sufficient points to sustain your analysis and length that you need for your essay.