How to Write a Good Rhetorical Analysis

Guide on how to Write a Good Rhetorical Analysis

How to write a good rhetorical analysis

The first thing you need to know about how to write a good rhetorical analysis, is what a rhetorical analysis is. Rhetorical analysis is written about television shows, other texts, artwork collection, films or other communicative mediums in the attempt at making a statement to the target audience.

So as to write this kind of analysis, you must be in the position to establish how the author of the original work made their argument. Also, you can include information on whether the argument the author made was successful or not. Writing a rhetorical analysis involves the following:

  • Effective usage of words in order to influence or persuade
  • The use of logos, pathos and ethos
  • It includes details, imagery, tone, humor, use of figurative language and details among others
  • Anything that can be deliberately used in order to create an effect.

As you get to know more about how to write a good rhetorical essay you should bear in mind that it:

  • Is writing that has the ability to separate content from the strategies that were used to convey the content successfully
  • Is a prompt that presents an effect, the answer should discuss and identify rhetorical techniques that are used in creating that effect.

A rhetorical analysis attempts to cover three aspects which include:

  • Why- Are the choices appropriate and effective for the audience?
  • How-What are some of the techniques used by the writer in presentation of the material?
  • So what-What does the content accomplish or create

Unless you are able to achieve these three pointers, you do not have a rhetorical analysis.

Tips for on how to write a good rhetorical analysis

In order to know how to write a good rhetorical analysis such as the one on Mrs. Clinton, there are a couple of things you need to bear in mind.

Gathering Information

Identification of the SOAPS Tone

This includes the speaker, occasion, audience, purpose, subject and the tone.

  • The speaker in this case refers to the writers first and last name. In cases where the writer has credentials that lend authority to the matter at hand, you ought to take such into consideration.
  • The occasion, oftentimes refers to the context and type of the text under which that text was written. For example, there is a difference between one that is written at a scholarly conference and a letter that is written by an associate.
  • The audience refers to who that text is written for. It is connected to the occasion for instance, whether at a conference or an associate field.
  • The purpose is what the author attempts to accomplish in their text. Usually, it includes a point or view or selling of the product
  • The subject refers to the topic the author discusses

Examination of appeals

The first classification of rhetorical analysis is the appeals which include ethos, logos and pathos.

  • Ethos-These are ethical appeals and they rely on the character and credibility of the writer in acquiring approval. Mention of the writer’s qualifications and character often qualifies as ethos.
  • Logos also known as logical appeals employ reason in making an argument. Majority of the academic discourse need to employ this heavily. A writer is able to support data, evidence as well as undeniable facts by use of logos.
  • Pathos also known as pathetic appeals attempt to evoke emotion so as to acquire approval. Such emotions might include anything that range from anger and sympathy to a desire for love. If the article is about crimes of violence, the author should provide human, personal details regarding the victims of the crime and in such a case, they employ pathos.

More details on how to write a good rhetorical analysis

These make up the second strategy used in rhetorical analysis and include different kinds of elements like tone, diction, imagery and syntax.

  • Ideas are demonstrated through comparison by use of figurative language and analogies which include similes and metaphors
  • Repetition of certain ideas or points can be used for purposes of making the point appear more memorable
  • Imagery affects pathos. For instance the image of a child in 3rd world country starving has the power to evoke anger and compassion
  • Diction is word choice-Words that are emotionally charged have a great impact and rhythmic patterns have the ability of effectively establishing a theme.
  • Essentially, tone refers to the attitude or mood. An essay that is sarcastic is different from one that is scientific and the tone is effective based on the situation.
Form the analysis

As part of knowing how to write a good rhetorical analysis, the first thing that you need to consider is what the information gathered proposes to you. You should:

  • Ask whether the rhetorical strategies of style and appeal aid the writer in achieving their purpose. Determine whether the strategies hurt or fail the author rather than helping
  • Speculate on the reason the author might have selected the strategies used for that occasion and the audience. Determine whether the pick of strategies might have been different for a different occasion or audience
  • Once you know how to write a good rhetorical analysis, you will realize that you do not necessarily have to agree with the argument presented by the author. Your work is that of analyzing what the author has used and whether it appeals to the argument they make.

The introduction

The most important thing to bear in mind as while writing a rhetorical analysis is that you have to identify your unique purpose. This means you are supposed to let your reader know that the paper is an analytical analysis.

  • By letting the reader know it is a rhetorical analysis, you are setting them up for what is to be expected. If you fail to do this, then chances are the reader will view the work as evaluative argument.
  • Note you should not bluntly state, “The paper is a rhetorical analysis”. Rather, you are supposed to weave that information naturally into the paper.
  • In cases where you are supposed to write an assignment that is centered specifically on rhetorical analysis, it is not necessary for you to inform your reader that it is a rhetorical analysis.

You will find some great examples of rhetorical analysis by visiting this page at where different examples are provided and explanations provided as well.

State the text you are analyzing

You must clearly identify the document or text you have intentions of analyzing in the paper. The best place for you to provide the summary is in the introduction. However, you should make sure it is short and precise. This is so you can save a large section of major details for the body paragraphs as this is where you need to defend your analysis most.

Specify the thesis statement

The key to any successful introduction lies in the thesis statement and it also proves focus for the remainder of the analysis. There are a couple of ways through which you can state the intentions you have:

  • Try stating the rhetorical techniques used by the writer so as to move people towards their desired purpose. You should analyze just how such techniques have been put to use in order to accomplish the goal.
  • Make the consideration of narrowing the essay’s focus. Pick 1 or 2 design aspects that are complex ad spend time analyzing these.
  • Think of coming up with an argument that is original. If the analysis causes you to make a specific argument regarding the text, focus the essay and thesis around that argument and at the same time, provide support for the same through the entire body.
  • Focus on making use of words such as “ineffective” and “effective” while composing the thesis instead of “good” or “bad”. This is important as you do not want to come across as if you are passing some value judgment.

The Body

Also, as you get to know how to write a good rhetorical analysis, you also need to practice how to use rhetorical appeals to organize the body. The standard technique of organizing the body is separating it into sections that identify the ethos, pathos and logos.

  • The order of ethos, pathos and logos is not set on stone. If you have the intention of focusing on one of these more than the rest, you can briefly cover the other two appeals in lesser details before elaborating on your preferred one to greater details.
  • In the case of logos, identify one major claim made by the author and evaluate how they have used it.
  • For ethos, analyze how the speaker or writer uses their status as a known “expert” to boost their credibility
  • For pathos look at details that can in any way, alter the reader or viewer’s feelings regarding the subject. Also, you need to analyze imagery used in order to appeal to the aesthetic senses and establish how such elements are effective
  • Wrap up things by discussing overall impact and consequences of the three appeals
Maintain a tone that is objective

As you get to know how to write a good rhetorical analysis, it is important to ensure you keep an objective tone. While this kind of analysis is supposed to make an argument, you are supposed to remain reasonable and scholarly in analyzing the document. Therefore, you should not use first words such as “we” and “I”. Stick to the objective side by using the third person.

You can also refer to this sample on the challenges of constant connectivity to see how a good rhetorical analysis should be written.


Its’ our hope that from the above guidelines you no know how to write a good rhetorical analysis. However if you don’t know how to write a good rhetorical analysis, get in touch with us for assistance. You can also visit our homepage for more information about our academic writing services. You can also continue reading more academic paper writing guidelines and sample papers on this blog.