How to Write a Good Rhetorical Essay

How to Write a Good Rhetorical Essay

What is rhetoric? This is the study of how communicators use words to have impact on their audience. Thus, a rhetoric essay analyzes a nonfictional work in various parts and seeks to explain how these parts enhance a specific effect. To know how to write a good rhetoric essay, you must use different approaches to inform, persuade or entertain the audience.

Besides writing a rhetoric essay on a book or article, it is possible to conduct a rhetoric analysis on visual arguments like cartoons, adverts and speech. In this context, a rhetorician refers to the author of a document or speech or the maker of an advert, cartoon or any other visual work.

It is possible to get a surprise assignment asking you to write rhetoric essays. It becomes unthinkable to work on a paper, which you do not know the format. This article breaks down everything you need to know about rhetoric writing.

Here are the Basics on How to Write a Good Rhetoric Essay

This section will clearly show you how to write a good a rhetoric essay. Firstly, your objective should be to explain the techniques of the author and their effectiveness. Remember, the essay is not your opinion on the arguments in the piece of work. Instead, your main concern is how the writer made the claims and if the approach was successful.

Bring out artistic and inartistic proofs. An author creates an artistic proof with appeals and canons while inartistic proof exists outside the limits of the rhetorician i.e. testimonies, surveys, facts, polls, statistics and data. Either of these proofs could be effective in building one’s case.

To write a good rhetorical essay, focus on the appeals in the publication. How does the author use the appeals to win the approval of readers or viewers? The common types of appeals are pathetic, ethical and logical.

With pathetic appeal, the author triggers the emotions of audience to receive their approval based on the ideas present in the piece of work. Here, the creator of the work taps into the sympathy and compassion of readers to persuade the audience of their claims. Effective rhetoricians can evoke these feelings even if they were missing in the beginning.

For example, this rhetorical essay, Confessions of a Female Chauvinist Sow shows how the writer Anne Roiphe, uses anecdotes to win her audience.

“Personal anecdotes, contrast, and comparison are techniques Roiphe skillfully uses to create a strong, convincing essay.”

Roiphe begins her essay with a personal anecdote describing the “horrifying” knowledge of marrying a man who resembled her father.

In another anecdote, Roiphe captures how she got mad money from the mother. “My mother and I knew young men were apt to drink too much . . .”

Here is the link to the essay.

Why appeals are important when Writing Rhetoric Essays

In ethical appeal, the focus is always on the credibility and character of the creator of the work. How does his or her character win the audience? Many rhetoricians use themselves as experts to assert their argument and win the readers or viewers.

In our daily lives, clergymen are examples of rhetoricians who convince their audience to buy arguments they pursue because of their known character as moral authorities.

Here is another Example to consider when figuring out how to write a good rhetoric essay. Why Privacy Matters: Debunking the Nothing-to -Hide Argument- Sample Rhetorical Analysis pdf

The author says, “I’ve got nothing to hide…only if you’re doing something wrong should you worry, and then you don’t deserve to keep it private.”

The author uses this statement to build trust with the readers, based on what readers see as a common belief. The author uses ethos to achieve this.

Tips on Writing a Good Rhetoric Essay

  • Prepare yourself: Writing a good rhetoric essay requires thorough preparation. Conduct meticulous research during pre-writing stage to understand the background of the piece of work you intend to analyze. Ask yourself the purpose of the piece.
  • Look for appeals. What appeals, evidence, and techniques does the author use to convince the audience to their side of argument? Identify some of these appeals, evidence and approaches and state their effectiveness. Start by noting down the answers to these fundamental questions on a piece of paper. Do not worry about how they sound. Just do it and hit the road.
  • Identify the tone. Also, try to bring out the undiscovered techniques, which are present in the piece of work. For example, if the author uses a didactic tone, identify specific instances in your essay. If possible, have many examples to drive your point in explaining particular techniques, which the rhetorician uses.

However, mentioning these techniques without highlighting their effectiveness does not add value to your rhetorical essay. Does the author achieve anything by employing either of them?

Approaches to Writing an Introduction of a Rhetorical Essay

Drafting a thesis statement is an important step when writing a good rhetorical essay. This should not be a problem once you brainstorm your research topic. Select three or four techniques from the work to allow you make a strong case.

Rhetoricians employ a range of techniques. Do not endeavor to explore all of them. Concentrate on important approaches, which seem to appeal to the audience, as they are the effective techniques. Make sure you describe the methods persuasively to affirm your understanding of the arguments that the creator of the piece of work is making.

With a clear thesis statement, you are ready to do your introduction, body and the conclusion of your rhetorical essay. Your introduction should have a link to the argument of the writer.

Example of a Rhetorical Essay: The Right Stuff found on: Rhet Analysis pdf.

The writer introduces the essay by saying:

“Impressions formed in high school are more vivid and indelible than those formed at any other time in life.”

Here, the author captures the reader’s attention by explaining the need for education. By stressing the importance of education, the reader is interested to read the whole essay.

More guidelines on on How to Write a Good Rhetorical Essay

The body of your rhetorical essay carries the weight of your analysis. Make sure that every paragraph of the body starts with a topic sentence. Besides this, the entire paragraph should relate with the topic sentence. Allow the ideas to flow logically, without mixing your arguments. This enhances cohesion as your ideas appear sequentially as they are in the introduction paragraph.

Ask yourself about the organization of your paragraphs throughout the essay. For example, will you discuss each technique at a time? Will you start with ethos, pathos, logos and finalize with a discussion of their effectiveness?

Use a chronological order. Trying to figure out how to write a good rhetorical essay could be a daunting task if you do not have a sequence of ideas in place. A chronology allows you to present your ideas in the same manner your audience follows.

Take precaution when using chronological ordering, especially with documents that have narratives. For instance, applying this method on music videos or TV shows could lead to plot summaries, which is far from the purpose of a rhetorical essay. Remember a rhetorical essay captures the techniques that the author uses to achieve his or her goal of persuading the audience.

Apply spatial ordering: This approach focuses on the parts of a document depending on how the eye scans them. While chronological ordering is based on all the pages wholesomely, spatial focuses on the arrangement of ideas in single page. Here are some rules to observe:

  • English speakers use left to right and top down sequence for normal reading and scanning.
  • Eyes naturally locate the centers. The center could be a location on the page or an item on the same page.
  • Lines allow the eyes to scan the document systematically, from left to right.
  • Most people focus on the top left quadrant of a web page when reading and move after spending substantive time where there is enough information.

What to Remember When Concluding a Rhetoric Essay

Knowing how to write a good rhetoric essay demands that you write a standard ending paragraph. A good rhetorical essay should have a good conclusion, which enhances the mood of closure for the audience. Do not leave your audience hanging, with unanswered questions.

State your main argument in the conclusion to remind your audience about your main topic of discussion. Does the argument matter? You should answer if the argument is important to the audience or a waste of their time.

Make recommendations on bettering this analysis. Here, ask yourself if there were cases that limited your analysis. Indicate how this further research would help in supporting your efforts. Mention the impact of the subject to the real world, which could affirm the need for advance research.

Keep it brief and concise, without unnecessary repetition. Convince the reader that you understand the arguments, which the creator of the piece of work is discussing. You do not want to leave your audience bored. Paint a lasting image that will make them reread your essay endlessly.

Are you still wondering how to write a good rhetorical essay?  If you have difficulties writing a rhetorical essay of your choice, get in touch with us for assistance. 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.