Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing – A Step-by-Step Guide

Filed in Education by on June 4, 2024

What do you know about ‘rhetorical analysis essay writing?’ Would you like to learn about it? A quick one though, a rhetorical analysis essay is writing that analyses a rhetorical (technique & intent) of the author rather than the text of the paper. You have to write this essay in the “AP English Language and Composition” exams.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing - A Step-by-Step Guide

Academics, professionals, and students use rhetorical approaches to analyze writings. To write your rhetoric essay analysis, you need to determine answers to certain questions, like what the desired outcome is and whether it was achieved or not.

The rhetorical essay has the same structure as most essays: an introduction to present the thesis, a body text to analyze the chosen text for study, a division into sections to describe how arguments are built coherently and which part informs, entertains, or persuades the reader, and, lastly, the conclusion section to wind up your analysis.

As you read on, we will describe how the rhetorical approach effectively decrypts the fundamental mechanism of arguments and presentations in an academic essay and how to write your essay step by step.

What is Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Rhetorical writing is a paper that examines an author’s use of rhetorical devices, appeals, and techniques in a text. Overall, it’s an art of persuasion techniques to drive an action from your target audience.

How do You Write a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

Writing a rhetorical essay involves different steps. First of all, you have to select a text, understand its context, identify the rhetorical devices used in it, build an analysis and draw conclusions.

A rhetorical essay is a demanding task and if you are stressed because of your other academic activities. You can acquire essay writing help from a professional to get a structured essay. But, if you want to write it yourself, some steps explained below can make it up to mark to academic standards.

1. Choose and Study a Text

The piece of writing that you analyze in the rhetorical analysis may include a political speech or an advertisement.

The first step towards your professional rhetoric analysis essay is to select and analyze a text. To become more and more familiar with the argument and writing style of the author, read and review the text you’re analyzing multiple times.

Ensure you have read the piece of writing thoroughly and you completely understand its main points and context. Select a text that covers the topic you’re interested in, passionate about, or knowledgeable about. This may ease the writing process and make it more interesting for you.

2. Understand the Context by Contextual Analysis

The analysis of the context of the content includes historical, social, cultural, and political elements. Contextual analysis of your rhetoric analysis essay involves inspecting the political and historical circumstances, cultural climate and demographics.

However, everything that surrounds the text, i.e., who the author or speaker is, their target audience, the time and surroundings of when the text was written, and its purpose is context. Understanding the context of the text can impact the reading’s message and its interpretation by the audience. 

3. Identify the Claims, Support, and Warrants

According to Toulmin’s Method, claim, support, and warrant are the main elements of an argument. In the context of a rhetorical analysis essay, the claim is what an author needs his readers to accept, support is the appeal or confirmation the author uses to convince his audience to accept the claim, and a warrant is a presumption that justifies the link between the claim and support.

To establish the claim, support, and warrant, you need to find answers to these questions in the text.

  • What is the Author’s argument in this reading?
  • What is the evidence used by the author to support their argument?
  • How does the support justify the claim?

4. Examine the Appeals

Appeals, also called persuasive/convincing strategies, are used to drive desired actions from the audience. The main appeals discussed in rhetoric are often referred to as the rhetorical triangle; Aristotle establishes logos, ethos, and pathos.

These three appeals are known as the basic part of rhetoric, and a writer may add all three to convince the audience.

  • Logos:  Logos, or logical appeal, refers to the use of rational argument to persuade. This approach is often used in academic writing where building arguments with proper reasoning and evidence.
  • Ethos: Often referred to as ethical appeal, it includes the presentation of the author as an authority on the topic. i.e., an author making a moral argument might spotlight his or her own moral behavior, and another one talking about travel might mention his travelling experiences.
  • Pathos: Often referred to as pathetic appeal, gives rise to the audience’s emotions. It may include, speaking passionately, trying to provoke sympathy, anger, or any other emotion.

One thing that is most important about rhetoric analysis essay appeals is that you cannot get them wrong. Your complete essay will be based on your analysis of the appeals.

So, if you do not have a grip on knowledge about appeals or lack analysis skills, you are advised to hire an expert essay writer to get the job done with a perfect understanding of the arguments.

5. Build an Analysis

To build an analysis, you need to review the information gathered on the topic and figure out what the reading suggests to you.

Does the reading suggest how rhetorical appeals helped the writer achieve their purposes? Do the used strategies drive results or fail? Why did the writer select these strategies for the target audience and occasion? Decide if the strategies can be changed with the change in audience demographics and occasion.

6. Draw Conclusions from Your Analysis

Before you start writing your rhetorical essay, you need to draw conclusions from the reading as per your analysis. This will require you to consider the overall efficacy.

To draw effective conclusions, analysts may seek answers to these questions:

  • Was the writer successful in achieving his goals?
  • What improvement could they have made to be more successful?
  • What are your thoughts about the text?

7. Write a Rhetorical Analysis

After you have analysed it thoroughly, it’s time to write your rhetorical analysis paper. Remember, you are required to write the analysis instead of summarising the text. To do so, you should write about composition and choices that affect the helpfulness of the text.

In the introduction, a brief overview of the text is expected to give the audience a review of the analysis. Other than that, the writer must focus on persuasion devices used in the text to convince the audience of the claim.

Here are some best practices for writing a rhetorical analysis essay:

  • Make sure to use the present tense while narrating the actions in the paper and what the author does.
  • Quote the writer’s name correctly. When referring to the author the first time, use his first and second name, and only use his second name to reference again in the paper.
  • Use straight quotes from the paper. While writing the rhetorical analysis essay, it is a better option to quote the exact text and avoid paraphrasing. This will give a better idea of the form of rhetoric used in the text. 
  • You need to explain each quote, determine its importance, and understand how it shows rhetoric.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples and Topics

Here, we have provided a sample rhetorical analysis essay so you can better understand its purpose and structure. The example is taken from the St. Luis Community College.

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples and Topics

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Here are the best topics for a great rhetorical analysis essay:

  1. Is it necessary to separate sports on a gender basis?
  2. How affordable are monopolies?
  3. Describe the rhetorical devices used in Palahniuk’s Fight Club
  4. Rhetorical analysis of sermon by Edward
  5. A rhetorical analysis of Mona Lisa’s meaningful smile
  6. How authors handle prejudice and race matters in their writings
  7. How does the choice of language affect speech delivery?

Writing your essay on these types of topics may help you get good grades.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is the Purpose of a Rhetorical Analysis Essay?

The motive of the rhetorical analysis essay is to make an argument on how the author passes on their message to their target audience. You need to explore the writer’s goals, techniques, or devices used in the text. You also need to explain those techniques and analyse if these techniques were effective or not.

What are the 5 Points of a Rhetorical Analysis?

Here are five points of Rhetorical analysis:

  1. Target audience
  2. Rhetor (author)
  3. Purpose of the text
  4. Content of the paper
  5. Context of the writing


To conclude the article, we can state that writing a rhetorical analysis essay is quite a challenging and demanding task. It requires a lot of energy, focus, and time to complete an effective rhetorical essay.

In this article, we have covered seven steps that you can use to write a perfect rhetorical analysis essay. We have also answered the common questions and provided the best examples for your understanding.

The student must have a strong knowledge of rhetorical devices and claim, support, and warrant rules to get good grades out of their hard work. If you lack any of these skills, you should avail of essay writing services UK from a reputed platform to pass your essay with flying colors.

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