Commentaries, documentaries, T.V. shows, famous art collections, even historical books. A rhetorical analysis can be written about many different mediums. The aim of a rhetorical analysis is to determine how a creator of the work analyzed came up with their argument. When you write a critical analysis essay, you may even wish to determine whether or not the original argument was successful or failed.
The particular writing style used when authoring a rhetorical analysis varies slightly from that of a conventional essay, slightly more insight is required. Continue reading for more information on how to write a rhetorical analysis essay.
Understanding what is a rhetorical analysis essay
Often times, writers and public speakers tend to use linguistics to influence or engage with their audience. The field of studies which concerns this practice is referred to as ‘rhetoric’.
Occasionally, a writer will dissect works of non-fiction in order to determine how each piece of the original work fits together in order to convey a specific message or effect, this is called a rhetorical analysis or rhetorical analysis essay. The writer might find that the original creator used certain verbiage or created specific imagery in order to entertain the audience, or to inform them, or perhaps to create a call-to-action. Nearly every medium can be the subject of a rhetorical analysis, including cartoons and political speeches. The person whose work is being analyzed is often labeled the ‘rhetorician.’
The objective of the analysis is to get insight into the specific aims of the rhetorician, as well as the particular techniques and tools they have employed, and to provide examples of those tools and techniques in action and to discuss the actual efficiency of the tools they’ve used. The purpose of authoring a rhetorical paper is not to oppose or agree with a particular side of the argument, but rather to discuss how the rhetorician delivers their argument and if their approach is successful or not.
What is an analysis
Used frequently in education, research, and even everyday life, an analysis is the act of segregating various elements of complex text with the intent of developing a stronger comprehension of the work as a whole. The process of analyzing something means considering its real meaning, asking how it works or determining why it does what it does.
What is a rhetorical analysis
Prior to delving into what a rhetorical analysis, it is essential to discuss and know what it is not. A rhetorical analysis, while exploratory in nature, should not be confused with a research paper or article, and despite being consider a vehicle to explore literary works, it is not an example of a literary work itself. The purpose of a rhetorical paper is not to try to know the underlying meaning of the work being analyzed.
Understanding rhetorical analysis definition
The very definition of a rhetorical analysis implies that the person conducting the analysis call upon their critical thinking skills in order to dissect various elements of the work being analyzed. Essentially, this involves breaking the entire written work into sections and viewing each section objectively.
The primary objective of this type of analytical paper is to convey HOW the original author writes, rather than merely reflecting upon WHAT they wrote. To do this effectively, the very important thing you should do is to analyze different strategies used by the writer in question in order to achieve their overall goal or determine the purpose of their writing. Remember that writers from different backgrounds will often call upon different strategies in an attempt to meet their objective. Based on this understanding, it is acceptable to use different existing techniques of writing analysis to explore various works. For example, you wouldn’t use the same technique to explore a scientific report as you would to explore a historical paper. Given that each of the original authors had very unique goals in mind, it is only logical that they would utilize different writing style.
The first step to learning how to learning how to start a rhetorical analysis paper is finding a good article or literary work that you would like to base your analysis on.
From there, you will read (and possibly even re-read) the work you’ve selected. As you read the text, attempt to identify the thesis or the main ideas and principal arguments that the author is endeavoring to convey.
Once you’ve identified the thesis and have begun to develop a stronger understanding for the author’s argument, you will need to start analyzing the rhetorical features of the text. This involves re-reading the text, with the following questions in mind:
- Clearly define the thesis statement, explaining what exactly is the argument that the writer endeavours to make?
- What topic has the author elected to study? Why have they chosen this?
- What is the author’s intent? Do they want to persuade, or inform, or educate or criticize?
- Who is the audience that the author is trying to speak to?
- Does the author arrange his or her ideas in chronological order? If not, how are they arranged?
- How does the author use literary devices like diction?
- Does the author use quotes? Why?
- Are key points or terms repeated?
- How is the article structured? Is it exclamatory, imperative or declarative?
- Does the author utilize punctuation in order to create a specific effect?
The primary objective is to not only source for the answers to the questions presented above, but also to determine why exactly it is that the author has chosen to write in the style that they have written in. Remember, WHY not HOW. For example, when determining how the target audience is, consider why exactly the author would want to write for those specific individuals.
You can find out more on Chicago Annotated Bibliography.
Rhetorical analysis strategies
While there are many schools of thought on the best method to utilize while conducting a rhetorical analysis, at the top of the rhetorical strategy list is what is commonly referred to as the SOAPSTone method.
Created as a method for breaking down the work of professional writers, the SOAPSTone method presents those writing an analysis with the information they need in order to develop rhetorical criticism. An acronym, SOAPSTone stands for Speaking, Occasion, Audience, Purpose, Subject, and Tone. By using this strategy, it is possible to refer to any text and construct a strong sense for what the original author intended and how their target audience may have reacted to it.
The six parts of the SOAPSTone strategy are:
- SPEAKER: Figure out who the speaker is. Determine who is telling the story or relaying the information. Are they a narrator? Or perhaps a character, or is it the author themselves? What other important details or information should be known?
- OCCASION: Determine what the specific occasion is. The occasion (also known as the setting) refers to the place and time that the story takes place in. Consider the geography or era. What other relevant details are offered in the text?
- AUDIENCE: Who is the author speaking to? Could there be more than once audience? Why was this specific text written to this particular audience?
- PURPOSE: Why has the author chosen to write this message? What do they want to get across? Is the author’s thesis or goal clear?
- SUBJECT: After uncovering who the target audience may be, it is necessary to investigate the subject. What is the underlying meaning? What other information is revealed?
- TONE: Investigate the tone, evaluate each literary device and how the text is organized. What emotions does the audience have?
What are rhetorical strategies
Also referred to as rhetorical modes, rhetorical strategies are used by writers in order to allow them to better structure or analyze paragraphs or entire essays. Essentially, these types of strategies, or devices, enable writers to utilize patterns to effectively express their thoughts and ideas. The most commonly taught rhetorical strategies are:
- Cause and Effect
- Comparison and Contrast
- Process Analysis
The above-mentioned writing analyzers will be explained in further detail below.
Types of rhetorical strategies
Description: As most would agree, a great description has the potential to create strong images in the minds of the audience. An author might utilize an objective description, where they will describe the physical appearance of a character or location without any sort of emotion, or they may utilize a subjective description, where the feelings of the writer are clearly evident based on the description.
Narration: The terms ‘narrative’ refers to the scope of the storyline, where it takes place, who is in it, and what the most important elements are. A narrative will focus on the action of the plot, but will also include descriptions, themes, and ideas.
Exemplification: Mankind learns by example, and when presented with written text, it is the use of examples that allows us to learn at a much more rapid pace. Typically, and example is used to relate to a real world scenario regarding the argument or idea that the author is attempting to deliver.
Cause and Effect: The term Cause and Effect is just as it sounds, exploring the cause of a particular element or event and exploring the effect of that same element or event.
Comparison and Contract: When comparing one or more things, you determine how they are similar. When contrasting one or more things, you determine how they are different. Typically, you would compare things that are different from each other to determine how they are related. Moreover, you would contract things that are similar to each other to determine how they differ.
Process Analysis: Process analysis challenges the writer to answer the question “HOW”. More specially, the analysis thesis would answer the question “How does this happen or occur?”
Rhetorical analysis thesis
There are a few things that should be kept in mind when writing a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis essay.
- Never speak in first person or use words like “I think that” or “I believe that”
- Your thesis statement will serve as a roadmap to your essay and guide your reader
- Your thesis statement should assert the conclusion and also highlight the rhetorical strategies deployed by the author
- Your thesis statement should clearly illustrate which techniques you intend to analyze and discuss the impact that each technique has on the text and its overall effectiveness.
Remember, a thesis statement for a rhetorical analysis paper is NOT:
- A vague statement of the topic
- A declaration of facts or statistics
- A summary of the original author’s works
- A declaration of what will be explored in the essay
Rhetorical analysis outline
Detailed below is an easy to follow outline for an analytical paper. Remember that this is only a guide and can be customized as needed.
- Clearly state your subject or topic
- Declare you purpose
- Spark interest in your audience
SUMMARIZE THE RHETORICAL ANALYSIS
- Explore the issue – it may be helpful to phrase this as a YES or NO question
- Determine the context
- Figure out who is making the argument
- Determine who the intended audience is
- Uncover the main argument or thesis
- Decide what sort of argument is being presented
- How is the argument presented
- What are the assumptions of the argument
SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT and APPEALS
- Describe the character of the writer, what type of person are they
- What credential or qualifications do they have
- Do they act on good faith, are they respectable, are they likeable
- What tone does the author use, how do they think
- What claims are made in the thesis statement
- How are they supported? What evidence is made available?
- Provide as much detail as possible
- What kind of emotion is presented in the argument
- How does the writer want the audience to feel
- What tools does the author use to call upon these feelings
SUMMARY OF HOW THE ARGUMENT IS VIEWED
- Does the text recognise opposing views or other evidence? If so, does it accept other views or negate them?
- Does the text combat opposing views? If so, how?
SUMMARY OF THE STREGNTHS AND WEAKNESSES
- Are you able to clearly identify errors or other problems?
- What are the strengths of the argument?
Rhetorical analysis essay example
The examples of rhetorical analysis essays can be found on the Internet. It is best to go through them to know the common writing patterns as well as the mistakes students often do, before you start preparing your own paper.
AP English is a popular discipline among students who love improving their language skills. Just as any other class, this course implies that students will face at least one project and midterm + final exams. Besides, this class involves a lot of research and writing.
At the test, the students must be ready to handle 3 original types of academic papers. One of the essays is known as a rhetorical analysis essay. A good example of mind blogging you will challenge can be seen in Inception film. A stellar rhetorical evaluation essay is a real challenge, so it is better to learn all possible ways of writing it thanks to our effective tips.
Know How to Define a Rhetorical Analysis
First, you should know what a rhetorical analysis is before moving to the discussion of this type of paper. It is difficult to understand the assignment which sounds like “write about the writing.” However, through reading this article, you will learn how to write such essays.
The main goal is to uncover the methods and persuasive approaches that the writer of the specific article is using to receive feedback. It is important to break apart the words, phrases, and sentences. A topic should be based on the original speech of the authorities. They can be politicians, scientists, actors, etc. All you have to do on your test is to evaluate the value of some example of such speech.
You may discover how to write an original persuasive essay using these tips!
Strategies for Getting Ready
While mastering different techniques, do not forget that any examination sets certain time limits. Usually, you have just 50 minutes to write a complete rhetorical essay. You may think that it’s more than enough, but it's not. Mind that you need some time for creating a draft and revision.
The author should prepare a schedule. Try to dedicate a sufficient amount of time to several activities that contribute to the process of writing a rhetorical analysis essay:
- Reading and comprehension
Most of your time should be invested in the original analysis of the given text.
Begin taking notes of what you read from the very start. You may face a great amount of information to process. Try to choose only the most effective questions to answer:
- Explain who the author is, but do not include the whole biography.
- Define the reading audience.
- Identify the main goal of the example speech.
- Write about specific settings like time and location. Share your ideas why the author chose this setting.
This way, a writer can find the most effective and easy strategies. It is important to understand the persuasive and debatable techniques applied by the author. In AP English course, it is critical to determine the impact of the chosen techniques and strategies on the ethos, pathos, and logos.
The first component deals with ethics. In this part, a student has to present arguments that explain why the specific article is a credible one. Validate the words of the author with the help of certain examples and facts. After ethos, a pathos follows. It has to do with the reader’s emotions. How does the author manage to stimulate people to demonstrate an emotional reaction to the reading? Find out how the readers are responding to the writer’s or speaker’s statement. Finally, the logos stand for the ability to express logical/rational ability to think. Is the speaker successful with his attempts to persuade the audience? How does it treat him?
- An example of ethos:“The best chefs from China suggest that people apply this recipe when cooking sushi!” “I am a doctor with more than 15 years of experience so that I can heal your anorexia.”
- Pathos sample:“Jake knows how to cope with that assignment better than others as he has a talent for solving complicated math problems." “You will not find a good job if you don’t write a good resume today.”
- An example of logos:“The example of the resistance between Europeans and Indians prove that people with weapon possess the entire power.” “I have not noticed too much rain in California for 7 years so far.”
Decide on your preferred tactic to compose an original and impressive rhetorical essay. Having the examples and all required information in front of you, practice writing this type of paper before the examination date.
Search for the best way to use all three effective techniques to persuade the audience in free online examples of rhetorical analysis essays.
Develop Your Essay’s Outline
An evaluation essay demands a good outline just like any other academic paper. You should write an effective outline stating all basic points to win the highest score on your AP Examination. It is recommended that students include up to six paragraphs using one of the official writing styles. The order of the structure remains the same: introduction paragraph – body paragraphs – conclusion section.
The introduction must be brief and clear enough to let the readers understand your topic. To begin with, prepare a summary of the main though of the analyzed author. It would be your original thesis statement. Do not copy-paste the words of your speaker. Even though, you may include an interesting citation from the speech. Mind your persuasive styles.
These 3-4 paragraphs require most of your exam time. Make sure to develop an original question for each paragraph and present an effective answer to it. These would form your arguments. The paragraphs begin with such sentences. The following sentence of the rhetorical analysis paper must contain evidence to support these arguments. Each argument must be related to the thesis statement. Recall all the strategies you have chosen to cover ethos, pathos, and logos. A good evidence will be a direct in-text citation. It will prove that you have read the entire text carefully and you understand the topic. Here are the basic questions for you to consider when writing the body of your rhetorical essay:
- Are the chosen strategies effective?
- Share examples of how the selected techniques function.
- Explain why the speaker selected specific ways to interact with the target audience.
- Describe the way people react to the speech.
Wrap up the paper with the powerful outcomes. First, it is critical to add a rewritten thesis statement. Next, present information on how the piece influenced the readers or listeners. Make sure to unite all arguments into one whole picture. The last sentence of the last paragraph must include a general conclusion to reflect the significance of the given speech/written article and its role in the society.
Some Effective Writing Recommendations
These tips might help on the way to creating a meaningful analysis essay.
- Pay attention to grammar. It is important to re-read the entire essay once done to correct all English grammar, spelling, and punctuation mistakes. Make sure to use only pure, official English. Check the structure of your rhetorical analysis essay as well.
- Mind how you use different words. English vocabulary is another important part to consider as you should avoid terms that you do not understand.
- What about the coherency? Your analysis essay must be as smooth as possible. Use appropriate transition words to have your paper written in a good English.
- Apply present tense only. Also, avoid using the first-person.
- Following the guidelines, give a meaningful respond to the speech or article shared by the author.
A rhetorical analysis essay is a real challenge on the way to a high test score. If you are assigned one to complete at home, there is no better solution than ordering the academic paper from the competent AP English writers. Being native speakers with the prestigious diplomas and rewards for long years of work in the educational field, we are ready to prepare the most effective analysis essay for all our customers!
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