Rhetorical Analysis Essay, Writing Guide For Students

What is a rhetorical analysis essay?

Rhetorical analysis is a writing style that combines the three elements to persuade his audience. These include combining the writer’s artist strategy, his target audience and the message to present a deeper understanding of an event. This type of analysis is applicable mostly for television shows, films or collection of artwork and other mediums that make statements for its intended audience. Writing a rhetorical analysis require good analytical skills to understand how the original author attempts to present his work.

Purpose of writing

Writing a great analysis is a process that enables writers to develop analytical skills by determining how all the three elements contributes to the failure or success of his arguments.

Preparation

Writing a good composition requires careful planning to arrange complex ideas to produce an understandable meaning. SOAPStone guides writers to develop the logical structure of their arguments. Using SOAPStone, the writers identify and use key components of the text to produce a professional piece of work. Writers can use SOAPStone to organize their thoughts and develop a clear text structure.

SOAPStone is an acronym containing a series of questions that the writer needs to review when planning. SOAPStone stands for speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject and tone.

Using SOAPStone the writer needs to review who the speaker is meant, the voice that narrates the story. Occasion, if the place or the context that provoked the writing. The other important analysis is the audience, the audience is the group of the readers the author intended to reach with his work. The purpose, in this case, needs to describe the reasons for the text, the purpose guides the author develop his argument and come up with a relevant thesis. The other important question to consider during planning is the subject, the subject is the intended task for the writing. The last consideration is the tone, the tone is the attitude of the author, words convey the author’s attitude, the type of language gives meaning of the authors. In writing, the tone includes the choice of words, sentence construction use of metaphors and inclusion of figurative language.

Gathering information for analysis

Before writing an analysis, the author needs to identify the meaning of the information gathered and review the information to understand the type of rhetorical strategies the author applied to achieve the intended purpose. After gathering information the writer needs to determine if the author’s strategy failed or achieved the objective.

The author should analyze if any of the opinions can impact negatively on the author`s piece of work. The writer should speculate as to why the author may have decided to choose a specific rhetorical strategy for that particular piece. Writing an analysis requires the author to describe why the speaker`s strategies are different from the occasion or audience. The writer does not necessarily have to concur with the original author, his task is to present an in-depth review of the author’s writing and how well the author used appeal in his arguments.  Before starting to analyze an author’s work, the writer should develop his purpose to inform the reader that the paper is a rhetorical analysis.

Analysis structure

Introduction

  • Topic to be analyzed

Purpose of the analysis

  • Summary of the rhetorical situation
  • The issue being analyzed

The context

  • Who is presenting the augment, their credential?
  • Identify any biases if the evident
  • Who is the target audience?

The main points  

  • The types of arguments presented and the purpose
  • The argument structure
  • The argument assumptions

Summary of the argument

  • Pathos
  • Ethos
  • Logos
  • Summary of the argument opposing views
  • Summary of the argument strengths and weaknesses and any other problems noted

Conclusion

How to write an introduction to a rhetorical analysis essay?

An introductory paragraph is a brief summary of the main argument of the speaker, the author specifically states what the speaker said, then develops his opinion using a thesis statement. The introduction should mention the SOAPS meaning, the speaker, the occasion, the audience, the purpose and the subject. A rhetorical analysis intro needs to indicate the original author`s name the title of his work and relevant background and the text.

Tips on thesis writing

A thesis statement describes the text to be analyzed in a brief statement for the audience to know what to expect in the following paragraphs:

  • A good thesis statement should explain the rhetorical techniques used by the author to attract the reader’s attention.
  • The thesis statement needs to analyze how the author utilized his techniques to achieve his goal.
  • The thesis statement should present what the writer wants to focus on.
  • The writer can decide to choose one aspect of the text and use the entire essay to analyze it.
  • For a rhetorical analysis, a thesis statement does not describe the content of the author’s argument, but talks about specific rhetorical strategies used by the writer to determine if the strategy is convincing.

Tips on body paragraphs

The essay body evaluates and describes the rhetorical strategies to determine if they were used effectively or not. The author mentions examples from the text to support his arguments. The body also should discuss the most important strategies using a logical plan. Writing an analysis requires proper organization with logical text divided into different paragraphs to enable the reader to follow through the argument.  If possible, the author needs to discuss each paragraph in brief or divide the body into section and discuss the beginning, the middle and the end of the author’s work. The length of each section is determined by how the text is organized. The author uses transition words to move through the text in a systematic way.

Tips on conclusion writing

  • Concussion is the last part of the analysis, conclusions should be brief and simple. The conclusion reminds the reader of the first words used during the introduction.
  • In conclusion, the author needs to avoid repeating the word “in conclusion”.
  • The author should not present any new information in his conclusion.
  • The conclusion should include a summary of the key points analyzed in the essay.
  • The conclusion should not contain the argument, but focus on how the arguments were presented.

Finalizing analysis

After completing the first part of the analysis, the second step is to review the essay to see if the main points of the author are articulated. The author needs to proofread his work to identify any mistakes like spellings and grammar and make corrections where necessary.  Unnecessary words and incomplete sentences should be rectified to make the essay look professional.  Any part the author feels needs to be changed can be rewritten at this point, and any relevant information can be added to any section before finally submitting the final essay.

related articles