Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples, Outline And Writing Principles

Filed in Education by on April 16, 2021


Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples: A rhetorical essay is something you don’t see very often. Thus, unlike a research paper and a cognitive essay, a typical rhetorical analysis essay example focus on analyzing how a text is written.

However, if you’re a student having an issue writing this essay, then note. Pay attention as you read this article. Because in it there are guiding principles on how to write a good rhetorical analysis essay.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples, Outline And Writing Principles

In other words, it does not focus on the meaning behind it. However, this confuses many young students. Especially those who are taught to pay special attention to every element in a  given text. Also, some rhetorical analysis essay examples will be highlighted to guide you.

Principles Guiding How to Write Rhetorical Analysis Essay

Before going to the rhetorical analysis essay examples, note. Below are some guiding principles you should adhere to while writing this essay:


  • Get Knowledge.
  • Also, be prepared.
  • organize your work.
  • Also, ask questions.
  • Additionally, read attentively.
  • Also, write an essay correctly.
  • Furthermore, check your essay.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Outline

Before going to the rhetorical analysis essay examples, note. Below is the outline of this essay:

  • There is the introduction.
  • Also, there is body paragraph 1.
  • Furthermore, there is body paragraph 2.
  • Also, there is the last body paragraph.
  • Additionally, there is the conclusion.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples

Below are some rhetorical analysis essay examples:

Example 1

“The Right Stuff” by Donna Carthy

David Suzuki’s “The Right Stuff” features the gracious, entertaining, and informative style we have come to associate with this well-known host of The Nature of Things.

He begins with the interesting speculation from the book “Is There Life After High School?” that “impressions formed in high school are more vivid and indelible than those formed at any other time in life”.

Suzuki stresses the importance of high school education and prepares his readers for a proposal related to making that education as valuable as possible.

A rhetorical analysis reveals varying degrees of success with which Suzuki employs logos, pathos, and ethos: while Suzuki’s ethos is strong because of the reputation he brings to his writing, and his use of pathos to appeal to his target audience of parents and educators, his use of logos is weak.

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Suzuki is skilled in argumentation, but his strong ethos fails to make up for the lack of support for his thesis that high school science courses should begin with sex education.

Because there will be parents in the 1980s (when we can assume this article appeared before it was republished in book form in 1989) just as likely to be concerned as parents of any decade if the high school science teacher appeals to teenage sexual interest to “sell” the subject.

Suzuki wisely delays his thesis, first by appealing to his target audience: parents and educators who grew up in relatively the same era as he did, who may even experience some nostalgia for high school when, in the first paragraph, he asks them to invoke their own memories.

He appears to have begun his own musings based on the book he has just read. This is a disarming strategy that gets his readers onside before his argument begins and certainly belongs in both the realms of ethos (his credibility – he had similar experiences to theirs) and pathos (feelings of nostalgia).


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The major question overlooked by Suzuki’s essay—one of logistics– is how can the schools, understaffed and overstressed, add the difficult subject of sex education to their curriculum.

Admittedly, David Suzuki wrote his essay at a time when education budgets were in better shape than they are today, and he certainly makes an excellent point that educators should respect their students and appeal to their interests.

Nevertheless, his argument for sex education in schools clearly needs further thinking. In spite of Suzuki’s strong ethos and persuasive use of pathos, he needs a stronger use of logos to make an argument here.

The best he can hope for is to get his audience’s attention – then it is up to them to see if and how his ideas should be implemented in the schools.


Example 2

Edgar Allan Poe is considered one of America’s greatest novelists and journalists. He’s particularly well known for his masterful horror stories. Poe’s use of metaphors and similes has never failed to put readers on the edge of their seats.

And, while he is less famous for his poetry,  The Raven remains an undeniable classic that leaves a lasting impression on every reader. This effect is achieved through the subtle use of not only poetic devices, but also rhetoric means.

Poe’s poem The Raven shows the struggles of a man possessed by his own ghosts of the past his fear of the ever-changing present, hinting at his impending psychosomatic breakdown. When you start reading the Raven, the first feeling you get is that of immense loneliness.

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The author uses powerful Pathos to evoke feelings of paranoia, fear, hopelessness. The Unseen main character seems to be tormented. With every new verse, the poem’s tone becomes darker and sadder.

Every time the word “Nevermore” is uttered, readers get the impression our main invisible character is becoming more enraged.

Throughout his life, Poe was plagued by misfortune. At a young age, he was traumatized by his mother’s death. This experience gave him a fascination with death and the macabre.

His adult life was not happier. Some experts believe now that Poe has been suffering from chronic depression.

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These dark elements appear clearly in his works. The Raven is a self-painted portrait of a man who is ready to welcome death. It employs anaphora to emphasize feelings of looming insanity.

Poe uses anaphora by ending all 18 stanzas with the word “Nevermore”, “nothing more,” or “evermore”.

By keeping true to his theme, Poe successfully follows the narrator’s train of thought as he goes from an irrational human being who is grieving, to an insane lunatic who sees a giant raven “perched on his door.”

Alliteration is used to add to the overall paranoid tone of this poem. By combining both alliteration and anaphora we can clearly walk side by side with someone who has truly lost all meaning to live.

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The Raven itself is an anthropomorphic metaphor for the past. We are not sure if there actually is a raven in the room.

No other character can justify the existence of that creature but what we do know is that this metaphor is so well crafted that we sometimes feel unnerved and frightened ourselves.

Readers can sense the narrator’s optimism seeping through the Mask of Madness. Every single time Raven quotes “nevermore” we have a separate verse where the narrator is making an excuse. Whether that is a step in the grieving process called denial or just madness it’s unknown.

Poe wasn’t the first writer who used denial to paint an eerie picture. He was, however, feeling guilty at the time he wrote this poem; Raven was written several years after his cousin passed away. It is assumed that Lenore, the maiden in this poem, is actually his cousin.


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If we assume that to be true, Poe himself acts as a protagonist in this poem. We already know that Poe’s cousin died because he himself neglected her and didn’t have the funds to treat her illness.

In that sense, a narrator fighting The Raven has his own specter coming from the depths of Hell to torment his grieving soul. By hiding his true identity behind that of an Invisible narrator, Poe has the power to say to himself what he wasn’t brave enough to say in reality.

That being, he considers himself a murderer. This hypothesis ties in with anaphora use throughout the poem. Not only is our narrator too paranoid but he is also questioning the legitimacy of reality itself.

Every time he glances at the raven, readers are shown exactly what is on his mind. The narrator’s constant attempts to escape are Poe’s own failed attempts to escape his miserable life.


The above are some guiding principles for writing the rhetorical analysis essay. Follow them and practice the rhetorical analysis essay examples given above.

CSN Team.


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