Writing a Rhetorical Analysis Essay: Preparation, Structure, Topics

Rhetorical Analysis Essay Writing Guideline

If you take an English course at your higher educational establishment, get ready to rhetorical analysis essay writing. At first gaze, this piece of work seems to be easy. Nevertheless, you need to know about some pitfalls. In any case, if a student faces one or another assignment for the first time, he has to deal with several difficulties. Thus, if handled correctly, you’ll definitely cope with this task. We’ll show you how.


Rhetorical Analysis Definition

A rhetorical analysis essay is a piece of assignment that obliges you to dwell upon someone else’s writing. In other words, your overarching target is to evaluate somebody’s work and express your personal viewpoint. Your purpose is to break apart the words or phrases of the author and show what you think about this. Mostly, receiving an assignment to create a rhetorical essay, students are made to analyze the speeches of popular and influential figures. You need to read the text, analyze it and write a conclusion explaining whether particular words or phrases work together.

How to Get Ready for Writing?

As a rule, the preparation strategy is the most time-consuming one. You need to read the text, understand it and form your personal viewpoint. To simplify this procedure, you need to answer the following questions:

  • Who is the author?
  • For whom was the text written?
  • What is the primary target of writing?
  • When was the author when he was writing the speech?

Having answered the above-written questions, you’ll definitely simplify your future work. Besides, the information you’ll get after you respond to these questions will help you understand the persuasive method used by the author. Furthermore, you’ll realize whether this particular method appeals the ethos, pathos, and logos. Having understood this, it is high time to proceed to outline.

Rhetorical Essay Outline

Rhetorical Essay Outline

When you analyze the resources, you’ll be made to start the outlining. It will help you organize your thoughts and finally put your pen to paper. The best recommendation is to use 5 or 6 paragraphs in your writing. More information isn’t required. Otherwise, you won’t cover the chosen topic. Besides, all your body paragraphs should be similar in size.

  • Introduction

In some cases, experts recommend students to begin working on this part after the body paragraphs are done. Nevertheless, you can also start your writing from this. Mostly, introductions are short and summarize the major arguments. It should be captivating! In other words, its primary aim is to attract the readers to your writing piece. So, you need to do anything to make the audience read your creative work.

  • Body Paragraphs

The overarching goal of each body paragraph is to analyze particular examples from the text which is regarded to be the object of your investigation. You need to describe how a particular tool, used by the author, influences the text’s purpose. Mostly, each body paragraph comprises the main sentence, a particular quote from the text, and a deep analysis of this quote. You need to explain what the author wanted to tell through these words. Try to choose only short quotes. Besides, try to cover a single idea in one paragraph. Each section should include different ideas.

  • Pathos, Ethos, Logos

When you read the text or the speech, you need to understand how the author uses pathos, logos or ethos. In other words, you need to determine how they influence the audience. Let’s understand what each tool means:

  1. Ethos shows how the author uses credibility.
  2. Pathos is an appeal to emotions. As a rule, the author refers to pathos through the use of emotional language.
  3. Logos means the logical use of various ideas.

Working on a rhetorical analysis essay, you should always take into account these three rhetorical techniques. They will help you to make your writing better.

  • Conclusion

It needs to be noted that a conclusion is standard stuff. Here, you need to gather all ideas, mentioned in the body paragraphs, and repeat them one more time. The primary target of any conclusion is to address the overall argument. In other words, you need to give a final overview of the strong and weak points of the text you analyze. You have to express why this particular text is effective or ineffective. To put it simply, just imagine that if you are a book or movie reviewer and just explain what you like and what you dislike in the text.

Need help?

Best 33 Rhetorical Analysis Essay Topics

Best Rhetorical Essay Topics

Our list of themes is for those who can’t choose the best topic and decide which one is better. So, read our list, and probably you’ll finally make your choice:

  1. The analysis of Mark Anthony’s speech in Julius Caesar.
  2. “To Kill a Mocking Bird” is the representative of the American literature.
  3. The significance of three witches in the Shakespeare’s play called “Macbeth.”
  4. The speech of Martine Luther King “I have a dream” (the in-depth out brief).
  5. Effect of the Pearl Harbor on the history of the USA.
  6. Analysis of the speech given by R. Nixon during the resignation.
  7. The significance of the speech provided by Steve Jobs at the commencement.
  8. The effect of one of the speeches given by John F. Kennedy during the inauguration.
  9. The influence of the speech “Atoms for Peace” (by Dwight Eisenhower).
  10. How do you understand the story “The Tell-Tale Heart” written by E. Poe?
  11. “Hamlet” by Shakespeare: is this play really worth attention?
  12. Describe the poem “Wild Nights” by E. Dickinson.
  13. The in-depth analysis of the speech of W. Faulkner when he heard that he is the winner of the Nobel Prize.
  14. Analyze the story of David Foster Wallace “Consider the Lobster.”
  15. How did the story “Brave Heart” written by W. Wallace influence you?
  16. The speech given by Tom Hanks when he was awarded for “Philadelphia.”
  17. Barak’s Obama speech, given during the inauguration (for those who used to work on modern topics).
  18. Analyze the speech “Emancipation Proclamation.”
  19. Smoking should be banned in public areas.
  20. Are tattoos the symbols of freedom?
  21. Do school uniforms influence the progress in studies?
  22. The use of drugs in sport.
  23. Homeless people in your country. How can you help them?
  24. The significance of the college football for your higher educational establishment.
  25. Street art: should it exist?
  26. Analyze the notion of intermarriage between the individuals of various cultures.
  27. Ethnic music.
  28. Find out the differences between dual parent and single parent families.
  29. Analyze how the irony is used in a short story (you can choose any).
  30. The use of allegory in Orwell’s Animal Farm.
  31. Analyze the narrative voice in one literature work.
  32. Describe the most terrible movie you have ever seen.
  33. Give a detailed analysis of any film based on a novel.

Good Rhetorical Analysis Essay Examples