How to Write a Good Rhetorical Analysis

How to Write a Good Rhetorical Analysis

Knowing how to write a good rhetorical analysis essay is one of the best ways through which you can easily master the art of crafting outstanding academic papers. In this way, you can always be guaranteed better grades in assignments as well as term papers.  Contrary to what some students think, writing rhetorical analysis essays can be quite easy, fast and fun when you follow the required guidelines. Herein, you will also get examples of professionally crafted rhetorical analysis essays for motivation on how to write a good rhetorical analysis paper.

A rhetorical analysis essay is an academic paper about a given piece of work, for example a book, film, artwork among others. In writing the paper, you are required to give an evaluation of how the author or creator of that piece has tried to convince the target audience. The essay should also present a clear and logical argument highlighting the intentions of the original creator of the particular piece of work.

All academic papers, including rhetorical analysis essays take a similar writing format. Therefore, by knowing how to write a good rhetorical analysis paper, you will also be able to get ideas on how to deliver top notch papers for other assignments. Apart from enhancing your writing skills, you will also be able to significantly improve your oral communication skills.

Guidelines on how to write a good rhetorical analysis essay

Writing a good rhetorical analysis essay requires that you properly study and understand the given piece of work in order to present and evaluation. Continue reading to get the best tips on how to write a good rhetorical analysis essay.

Identify the SOAPS

While studying the work to be analyzed, it is always advisable that you take notes on the key aspects. Among the main elements are SOAPS. This is a short abbreviation which in full means, speaker, occasion, audience, purpose and subject.

Speaker refers to the original creator or author of that work. Occasion is the time or period when the work was done. Purpose describes the intention or goals of the author in creating that particular work. Audience on the other hand, refers to the readers, viewers or people whom the author was targeting with the book or artwork.

While studying the artwork, it is also important that you identify the subject and context in which the author emphasized on. These will help you to understand the work quite well, hence, proper evaluation.

Note down the appeals

In order to give a good rhetorical analysis, you will be required to identify and explain the rhetorical strategies used by the person who created the given piece. The best way to do this is by discussing the appeals, including ethos, logos and pathos. These are strategies applied by the author in altering the minds of the audience towards his or her argument.

Ethical appeals or ethos is whereby the author uses his or credibility and character to convince an audience. Logos on the other hand, rely on the use of reason to compel the audience to an idea. Also known as pathetic appeals, pathos is whereby the author tries to trigger emotions in order to win the approval of the audience.

Highlight the styles used in the work

Try to dig deeper into the text or piece of work in order to identify instances where the author has used elements like repetition, figurative speech, diction, imagery among others. The importance of identifying these is that you will be able to have a better understanding of the way in which the author has created the work and presented his or her argument.

Formulate a thesis

Every academic paper must have a specific and clearly stated thesis, showing the particular angle or area that your analysis will cover. When choosing a thesis, you should always identify one key area in the entire work, which the analysis will comprehensively discuss.

Organize your points

A good rhetorical analysis essay paper should be made up of three main sections; introduction, body paragraphs and conclusion. In order to have an easy time writing the paper, it is advisable that you first create an outline, showing the main points that you will address in the essay.

The outline should clearly indicate the key points, including the thesis statement and evidence or examples that will be used to prove your thesis, in the right order.

Steps on how to write a good rhetorical analysis

Having outlined the ideas that you intend to discuss in the essay, it is time to now get down to writing the final paper. The following procedures will direct you on how to write a good rhetorical analysis paper.


The first statements of a rhetorical analysis essay should tell readers about your own purpose for writing the paper. Do not simply write that your paper is a rhetorical analysis but be creative so as to make the introduction both informative and captivating.

You should also clearly identify the piece of work under analysis. However, just give a quick summary to help the audience know what your analysis is based on. You can briefly state the SOAPS.

On the final part of the introduction, move from the general information about the work to a more specific statement highlighting your thesis. Besides, you should also talk briefly about the key points that will be discussed in the essay.

Body paragraphs

The body paragraphs is whereby you will be required to give a comprehensive evaluation of the given piece of work. Every paragraph in this section should give a new idea and examples from the piece, to prove your thesis. There are various ways of organizing the body paragraphs. One of them is by rhetorical appeals. In this way, you will be able to have different sections highlighting logos, ethos and pathos. However, your analysis could also focus on more aspects.

Try to organize your points in the way that they appear in the original work, that way you will be able to create proper flow of ideas in the essay. Start from the beginning of the text or film, evaluating the points through to the end.

Be more elaborate in showing how the author has used the rhetorical appeals and various styles in the artwork or text. Each key point given in a paragraph should be properly illustrated using examples from the text. Provide enough evidence so your essay does not look like just a collection of opinions but logical discussion.

When writing the analysis, maintain an objective tone and always stick to the purpose of the paper. Avoid using first and second person when writing, instead, focus more on third person to make the argument reasonable.


The final paragraph of a rhetorical analysis essay should be brief, but sum up the discussion in a way that the readers’ questions are well answered. The best way to end the paper is by restating your thesis, main points and pointing out any further studies on the subject of the analysis. It would also be important to state the importance of the research.

Examples of Good Rhetorical Analysis Papers

The following sample rhetorical analysis papers can also give you more insights on how to write a good rhetorical analysis essay.

Example 1

Sample Rhetorical Analysis of Grose’s ‘’Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier’’

‘’A woman’s work is never done: many American women grew up with this saying and feel it to be true. One such woman, author Jessica Grose, wrote, ‘’Cleaning: The Final Feminist Frontier,’’ published in 2013 in the New Republic, and she argues that while the men in our lives recently started taking on more of the childcare and cooking, cleaning still falls unfairly on women. Grose begins building her credibility with personal facts and reputable sources…’’ Continue reading the sample here.

Example 2

Sample Rhetorical analysis: ‘’Why Privacy Matters: Debunking the Nothing-to-Hide Argument’’

‘’In today’s society, the word ‘’privacy’’ has become ubiquitous. We see it every day; on HIPAA forms, social networking sites, online transactions, et cetera. In his essay, ‘’Why Privacy Matters Even if You Have ‘’Nothing to Hide,’’ published in May 2011, Professor Daniel J. Solove argues that the issue of privacy affects more than just individuals hiding wrong…’’ Click here to read the rest of the sample rhetorical analysis essay.

Example 3        

A Rhetorical analysis of ‘’The Right Stuff’’

‘’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 incredible 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…’’Read the whole sample analysis on this link.

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